Trump offers competing coronavirus messaging, warning of death but lamenting lockdown

Trump offers competing coronavirus messaging, warning of death but lamenting lockdownTrump repeated a favorite refrain of some conservatives, who have said that the coronavirus “cure”—that is, a nationwide shutdown—cannot be worse than the disease itself.


Why does the coronavirus affect people differently? Yahoo News Explains

Why does the coronavirus affect people differently? Yahoo News ExplainsCoronavirus patients are showing a wide range of symptoms and the exact reason why is still a mystery — but we do have some clues as to what factors can influence the severity of the disease.


Italy's virus deaths plunge to lowest since March 19

Italy's virus deaths plunge to lowest since March 19Italian officials said Sunday they may soon have to consider easing restrictions after seeing the daily coronavirus death toll plunge to its lowest in over two weeks. The 525 official COVID-19 fatalities reported by the civil protection service were the Mediterranean country's lowest since 427 deaths were registered on March 19. "The curve has started its descent and the number of deaths has started to drop," Italy's ISS national health institute director Silvio Brusaferro told reporters.


An Illinois man allegedly shot his wife then himself over coronavirus fears

An Illinois man allegedly shot his wife then himself over coronavirus fearsExperts predicted the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns could lead to an uptick in domestic violence.


Biden says removal of Navy captain who sounded alarm on coronavirus 'close to criminal'

Biden says removal of Navy captain who sounded alarm on coronavirus 'close to criminal'"I think the guy should ... have a commendation rather than be fired," Biden said.


Televangelist Kenneth Copeland 'blows wind of God' at coronavirus and claims pandemic is 'destroyed' in sermon

Televangelist Kenneth Copeland 'blows wind of God' at coronavirus and claims pandemic is 'destroyed' in sermonAmerican televangelist Kenneth Copeland, who recently claimed that the coronavirus pandemic will be "over much sooner you think" because "Christian people all over this country praying have overwhelmed it," has summoned the "wind of God" to destroy the novel coronavirus during a recent sermon.Before blowing at the camera, he said: "I blow the wind of God on you. You are destroyed forever, and you'll never be back. Thank you, God. Let it happen. Cause it to happen."


Revealed: food bank shortages expected to hit Washington state by mid-April

Revealed: food bank shortages expected to hit Washington state by mid-AprilReport obtained by Guardian projects acute demand and supply problem, meaning agencies will struggle to provide for the hungry * Coronavirus – live US updates * Live global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageAgencies and organisations tasked with feeding children, the poor and the elderly in Washington state during the coronavirus crisis will experience shortages of food and supplies as early as mid-April, according to state government emergency planning documents obtained by the Guardian.A 27 March situation report (SitRep) document produced by the Unified Command of Washington’s State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) projects that a combination of acute demand at food banks and schools, supply problems for food and cleaning supplies, plus staffing shortages, will mean government and NGOs will struggle to provide for hungry people whose incomes have disappeared as the state’s economy stutters.This raises the prospect of food bank shortages in Washington but also nationwide, as food banks across the US are being increasingly utilized by unprecedented numbers of people in an economy that has been abruptly slowed to fight the spreading pandemic.Washington state has experienced one of the earliest and most serious outbreaks of Covid-19 in the US. Governor Jay Inslee has received praise in recent days for his decisive response, which is thought to have prevented an even worse crisis.But the document suggests that at the predicted peak of the epidemic, which has already infected at least 4,896 Washingtonians and killed at least 195, the state will need to head off a parallel humanitarian crisis.The SitRep document, produced by the emergency agency coordinated by Washington state’s military department and distributed to state and local agencies involved in the emergency response, details emerging problems and frantic efforts to solve them across a range of numbered emergency support functions (ESF), including communications, firefighting, and energy.Under the heading “ESF11 Agriculture and Natural Resources”, the SitRep details the growing problems in food security. Many of the problems involve food banks – non-governmental organizations that deliver food to needy people.The document says there is already a “shortage of food at food banks”, which is projected to become worse. It says: “NGOs have food on hand. However, burn rate is increasing fast. Demand is growing dramatically so supply is quickly being used up.”It goes on to warn: “Food banks expect a significant gap in the food supply across the whole system by mid-April (April 10-20).”It then offers insight into spiking demand at specific NGOs delivering food in Washington: “Northwest Harvest (a statewide food bank service) reported they are distributing 450,000lbs of food this week.”It continues: “The burn rate and demand are rising sharply. These NGOs are seeing 30 percent to 100% increases in the number of people served.”In a telephone conversation, Northwest Harvest chief executive Thomas Reynolds said of his food banks: “We don’t predict peak demand for another three weeks and then we anticipate peak demand for 12 to 20 weeks.”He added: “I worked for 15 years for Care International. So what it reminds me of is earthquakes in Nepal, the tsunami in Japan, food crises in Yemen. And the difference is there’s a lot more experience in a place like Nepal or Yemen to respond to emergencies.”The document says rural counties are already moving to rationalize food delivery in the face of demand.“Chelan county is moving away from using small distribution centers. Instead they are going to start using a single, mass-distribution site for emergency food,” it says.It continues with a prediction: “It’s a model we will likely see more of in the days and weeks to come.”On Wednesday, Inslee, announced he had mobilized 130 National Guard members to provide support for food banks in Chelan and four other counties, with potentially more to follow.The problems are being compounded by supply problems in other goods necessary for food service, such as supplies used to clean kitchens.As in other states, Washington has closed schools, but many districts have maintained school lunch delivery as a way of feeding needy children.These programs, too, are under strain, according to the SitRep.One issue is in the workforce, which “is a growing issue because schools rely on older people to work in food service and as bus drivers. These are two job categories important to food assistance.”The document says “older workers are opting not to work because of Covid concerns” and that schools are also experiencing supply problems.The document does offer some hope that solutions to shortages are emerging, but leaves open the question of whether they will arrive in time.Chris McGann, a spokesman for the Washington state department of agriculture, said in an email: “The current situation with its rapidly increasing demand and limited resources is putting incredible strain on the social safety net. Hunger relief is no different.”He added: “We have called on the federal government and private industry to identify and commit additional resources to help us make sure families have the nutritional support they need to make it through this crisis.”He also said that the problem was so far confined to food banks. “The food supply chain is otherwise operational and functional. People will still be able to get food at the grocery store.”Reynolds stressed that Northwest Harvest was working well with the state and has “good relationship with our local elected officials”. But he said he hoped food security will become more central to political debate.“I think we should be asking people who are running for office. What is your food policy?”


US sees coronavirus window to push Taiwan's global status

US sees coronavirus window to push Taiwan's global statusThe Trump administration is seizing the opportunity of the coronavirus pandemic to push a cause that has long been an irritant in U.S. relations with China: Taiwan. The virus has added yet another dimension to U.S.-China tensions that were already wracked by a trade war and heated discussions over intellectual property, human rights and Chinese policies in Hong Kong and the South China Sea. As the pandemic has grown, U.S. officials and lawmakers have stepped up alternately bashing China for a lack of transparency over the outbreak and praising Taiwan for its response to the outbreak.


Coronavirus: China mourns Covid-19 victims with three-minute silence

Coronavirus: China mourns Covid-19 victims with three-minute silenceA day of mourning is held for the 3,300 people who died in China, where the Covid-19 pandemic began.


Does Iran's coronavirus crisis raise the risk of war?

Does Iran's coronavirus crisis raise the risk of war?Iran is experiencing on of the worst outbreaks of coronavirus in the world. Will the instability cause the country's leaders to lash out against America?


Trump: U.S. approaching period ‘that is going to be very horrendous’

Trump: U.S. approaching period ‘that is going to be very horrendous’President Trump on Saturday said that the United States is approaching a time that will be “very horrendous” for the nation amid the growing coronavirus outbreak across the country.


Face masks: How the Trump administration went from 'no need' to 'put one on' to fight coronavirus

Face masks: How the Trump administration went from 'no need' to 'put one on' to fight coronavirusJust a little over a month after saying there was no need for the community at large to wear masks in public, the CDC has changed its mind, recommending that all Americans should wear some sort of face covering when venturing outside.


Scots' medical chief resigns after flouting own coronavirus rules

Scots' medical chief resigns after flouting own coronavirus rulesScotland's Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood resigned on Sunday after she broke her own advice to stay at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus by visiting her second home this weekend and last. Calderwood said that during discussions with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Sunday evening they agreed her actions risked distracting from the "hugely important job that government and the medical profession has to do in getting the country through this coronavirus pandemic". Police had earlier issued a warning to Calderwood about her behaviour and Sturgeon had removed her as the public face of the campaign to tackle the coronavirus.


Woman needed stitches after anti-Asian hate crime attack on city bus, NYPD says

Woman needed stitches after anti-Asian hate crime attack on city bus, NYPD saysAn unidentified woman and three teens are alleged to have attacked a 51-year-old Asian woman, hitting her on the head with an umbrella after making anti-Asian remarks.


Asia virus latest: Australia sends away ships, Pakistan hunts worshippers

Asia virus latest: Australia sends away ships, Pakistan hunts worshippersThe largest maritime operation ever undertaken in Sydney Harbour was completed on Sunday with the successful restocking and refuelling of five cruise ships, Australian police said. It was part of government efforts since mid-March to force vessels to leave the country's waters to prevent any further spread of the coronavirus in Australia. Cruise ship guests have so far accounted for almost 10 percent of Australia's more than 5,500 infections.


Japan’s Abe Set to Declare Virus Emergency As Cases Jump

Japan’s Abe Set to Declare Virus Emergency As Cases Jump(Bloomberg) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to declare a state of emergency, media reports said, after coronavirus cases in Tokyo jumped over the weekend to top 1,000, raising worries of a more explosive surge.After last week saying the situation didn’t yet call for such a move, Abe changed course and will announce the plan as soon as Monday, media reports said. The formal declaration for the Tokyo area will be coming as early as Tuesday, the Yomiuri newspaper reported without attribution. The declaration could also cover the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa, as well as Osaka, and be given a time limit of six months, broadcaster TBS said, citing sources close to the matter.The process for making the declaration picked up pace Monday, with Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is handling the virus response, meeting Abe alongside the government’s top expert adviser on the pandemic. The premier may unveil his plan at a meeting of his virus task force after 6 p.m.The declaration could go into effect as Japan’s biggest-ever stimulus package worth 60 trillion yen ($550 billion) is set to be announced Tuesday.No LockdownThe state of emergency, which comes after pressure from local governors and the medical community, doesn’t enable a European-style lockdown.Declaring a state of emergency hands powers to local governments, including to urge residents to stay at home for a certain span of time during the emergency period. By contrast with some other countries though, there is no legal power to enforce such requests due to civil liberties protections in Japanese law.Abe’s government saw its approval rating slip to its lowest since October 2018 in a poll from broadcaster JNN released Monday with a majority of respondents faulting the way the government has managed the virus crisis. The poll taken April 4-5 showed that about 80% of respondents said the declaration should be made.The governors of Tokyo and Osaka have been pushing for the declaration as the recent spike in cases sparked concerns Japan is headed for a crisis on the levels seen in the U.S. and several countries in Europe.Japan was one of the first countries outside of the original epicenter in neighboring China to confirm a coronavirus infection and it has fared better than most, with about 3,650 reported cases as of Monday -- a jump from less than 500 just a month ago. That’s the lowest tally of any Group of Seven country, although Japan might be finding fewer mild cases because it has conducted a relatively small number of tests.Last week, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo advised American citizens who live in the U.S. but are currently in Japan to return home, “unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.” It added Japan’s low testing rate makes it hard to accurately assess the prevalence of the virus. The Japan Medical Association warned last week that the jump in cases in the nation’s most populous cities is putting more pressure on medical resources and that the government should declare a state of emergency.Tokyo reported 143 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, the largest number in a single day. It marked the second straight day the city’s daily infection tally exceeded 100.Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is already pressing residents to avoid unnecessary outings, and television showed many of the capital’s main shopping areas almost deserted over the weekend. The Tokyo local government is set to begin leasing hotels this week to accommodate mild cases, making room in its hospitals for the seriously ill.(Updates with media reports on area, time period)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Leaked memo: Amazon is now recommending the workers sorting and moving your online orders wear face masks, but will only have 'limited' quantities

Leaked memo: Amazon is now recommending the workers sorting and moving your online orders wear face masks, but will only have 'limited' quantitiesAmazon employs some 400,000 warehouse workers across 175-plus facilities. Workers at more than 50 warehouses have tested positive for the coronavirus.


Trump tempers officials' grave assessments with optimism

Trump tempers officials' grave assessments with optimismThe U.S. surgeon general says that Americans should brace for levels of tragedy reminiscent of the Sept. 11 attacks and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, while the nation’s infectious disease chief warned that the new coronavirus may never be completely eradicated from the globe. “We’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel,” Trump said at a Sunday evening White House briefing. Pence added, “We are beginning to see glimmers of progress.”


Trump accused of ‘firing people for telling the truth’ after dismissing man who handled impeachment complaint

Trump accused of ‘firing people for telling the truth’ after dismissing man who handled impeachment complaintDonald Trump has fired the US inspector general for the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, the man who first handled the complaint made by an anonymous CIA whistleblower that became the basis for his impeachment.The president wrote to the House and Senate intelligence committees late on Friday informing them of his decision, saying it was “vital” he had confidence in the independent government watchdog and and “that is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general”.


When Coronavirus Is Over, Middle East Chaos Will Only Be Worse

When Coronavirus Is Over, Middle East Chaos Will Only Be WorseFor a time the Middle East seemed like it just froze, the conflicts of yesterday put in quarantine—as so many of us have been—while various countries strive to contain an epidemic of biblical scale. Don’t expect that to last. The coronavirus outbreak is not the great equalizer, nor is it the crisis in which past rivalries will be forgotten.Trump’s Most Vital Mideast Allies Are Trending Fast Toward TyrannyLike an earthquake, the coronavirus is magnifying the foundational weaknesses of the least prepared countries, exacerbating existing inequalities across the region. And like a particularly lethal aftershock, the crash of the oil price further debilitates petroleum-based economies that lack the financial reserves to weather the secondary blow to their system. For Gulf countries, the “double whammy” of the coronavirus and the oil shock, while major disruptions, can be weathered with mass injections of capital. Moreover, these countries appear to have been some of the best prepared to deal with the pandemic, likely because they already faced the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak. They acted relatively quickly and decisively to identify cases and close down their borders. That’s not to say that things aren’t going to be bad for Gulf countries—they will—but there will be different shades of bad.  By contrast, Algeria, Iraq, Egypt, and Lebanon are certain to be hit especially hard by the twin blows. Algeria and Iraq’s budgets are so tied to the price of oil that they have no margin to maneuver. The economic crisis will also hit Egypt, especially with the loss of tourism, while Lebanon was in the process of defaulting on its sovereign debt even before the outbreak really took off. Refugee and internally displaced communities across the region also are going to be hit very hard, which is likely to increase refugee flows both within and outside the region—with potential recipients of these flows having another reason to close their doors. As a result, the burden of these new refugees is poised to be borne most by the states that can least afford to do so and those that already are host to massive displaced populations.This widening gap will have an impact on the region’s geopolitics. Desperate people do desperate things, and desperate regimes even more so. The recent escalation in attacks against coalition forces in Iraq which resulted in the killing of two U.S. and UK soldiers in the Taji military base is one example of what could become a trend: namely, the growing need for countries weakened by the outbreak to project strength. Iran has been at the epicenter of the crisis in the region and its lack of transparency and effort to maintain ties with one of its last trading partners, China, turned the crisis into a nightmare—making us, as geopolitical analysts, wonder what does Iran have to lose and where could its proxies strike next?Beyond that, as the crisis shifts America’s focus even more inwards, local actors will test Washington’s willingness to respond to escalation. Given what happened in Iran, and the possible geopolitical consequences, this raises the questions of what would (or more likely will) happen if/when the crisis will reach these levels in areas such as Syria, Yemen, Libya or Gaza? In an already unequal world, the crisis may well make asymmetric warfare even more relevant than it already was.While some regimes struggling against popular protest movements may have perceived a silver lining in the outbreak, a day of reckoning is not far over the horizon. In Algeria and Lebanon the streets are emptying fast. Now that the scale of the outbreak has set in, most if not all protesters won’t be marching for weeks or months to come. But there will be some reluctance to call off the demonstrations. Some protesters view their local regimes as worse than the virus. Those who decide to continue demonstrating will face a crackdown rationalized by the outbreak—Algeria already issued a ban on protests. The pandemic will break the momentum of these popular movements, but, once the dust settles, these may also come back swinging at governments that mishandled the crisis. The Middle East and North Africa were in the middle of a second Arab Spring. There’s every reason to expect the uprisings to regain their momentum when “coronavirus season” is over.On a domestic level, the crisis likely won’t bring people together, at least not in the long term—and not only because of the need for social distancing. Sectarian tensions are liable to increase, particularly as a result of Iran’s catastrophic mishandling of the situation. In the Gulf, where much of the initial outbreak was the result of Iran-related travels—which are difficult to track given that Gulf citizens who travel to Iran don’t get their passports stamped—fear of a broader outbreak due to such travel is already having an impact, with Saudi Arabia closing the Shiite-majority region of Qatif, and other Gulf countries reluctant to repatriate their own citizens from Iran.  The lack of testing capabilities in Sunni areas of Iraq (when compared to Kurdish and Shiite-majority areas), a similar lack of balance between testing numbers among the Jewish and Arab communities in Israel alongside tensions prompted by lockdown measures in Jaffa, all highlight the possibility that the outbreak will widen domestic divides rather than bridge them.In Israel, the crisis has revealed—overnight—the government’s willingness to approve massive spying on its own population at a time when parliament can’t convene to monitor the use of data gathered by the Israeli Security Agency. This is not an isolated case: more broadly, containment measures and the subsequent reaction by their respective populations will widen the gap between governments who managed to gain public trust, and those who didn’t.All of these factors suggest the coronavirus pandemic will turn into a defining moment for the region, not simply because of its magnitude, but because it came at a time when most countries were experiencing their own political crises—and failed to build any immunity to the one that suddenly knocked at their doors.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.


Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated

Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understatedPublic health experts and government officials agree that the U.S. government's coronavirus death toll almost certainly understates how many Americans have actually died from the virus.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only counts deaths where the presence of the coronavirus is confirmed in a lab test, The Washington Post reports, and "we know that it is an underestimation," CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said.There are many reasons why the numbers are underreported. Strict criteria in the beginning of the outbreak kept many people from getting tested for coronavirus, and it's still difficult to get tested in some areas, for example. There's also the matter of false positives, and not all medical examiners have tests or believe they should conduct postmortem testing, even on people who died at home or in nursing homes where there were outbreaks. Experts also believe some February and early March deaths that were attributed to influenza or pneumonia were likely due to coronavirus.The official death count is based on reports sent by states, and as of Sunday night, the CDC reports 304,826 confirmed U.S. cases and 7,616 deaths. The Post, other media outlets, and university researchers update their numbers more frequently, with the Post reporting on Sunday night that 9,633 people have died from coronavirus in the U.S., and at least 337,000 cases have been confirmed.More stories from theweek.com 5 funny cartoons about social distancing 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Fauci, Navarro reportedly got into a heated dispute over unproven coronavirus treatment


Iran's Rouhani says low-risk economic activities to resume from April 11 amid coronavirus

Iran's Rouhani says low-risk economic activities to resume from April 11 amid coronavirusIran's president said on Sunday "low-risk" economic activities would resume from April 11 in the Middle Eastern country worst-affected by the new coronavirus. Iran has been struggling to curb the spread of the highly infectious respiratory disease known as COVID-19 but authorities are also concerned that measures to limit public life to contain the virus could wreck an already sanctions-battered economy. "Under the supervision of the health ministry, all those low-risk economic activities will resume from Saturday," President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised meeting, adding that "those activities will resume in Tehran from April 18".


Two children hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bank

Two children hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bankAt least five children ate candy containing high THC doses after the Utah Food Bank distributed it as part of their food donations, police said.


Jordan becomes latest Mideast country to deploy drones in virus response

Jordan becomes latest Mideast country to deploy drones in virus responseJordan on Sunday started to deploy drones to fight the coronavirus pandemic, joining a host of Middle East countries using the technology to enforce curfews, deliver public health announcements and even monitor people's temperatures. Jordan has declared five deaths and 323 cases of COVID-19 and says it has arrested at least 1,600 people for violating a nationwide curfew in force since last month. "The armed forces and security services will ensure the curfew is being respected by using modern technology such as drones and surveillance cameras," Minister of State for Information, Amjad al-Adayleh, told a press briefing late Saturday.


Here's the biggest news you missed this weekend

Here's the biggest news you missed this weekendMedical professionals are being deployed to New York City. Two Coral Princess cruise passengers have died. Here's the weekend's biggest news.


Photos show China coming to a standstill to mourn everyone who died of coronavirus, including whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang

Photos show China coming to a standstill to mourn everyone who died of coronavirus, including whistleblower doctor Li WenliangAll of China observed a three-minute silence on Saturday, which coincided with Qingming Festival, when people traditionally visit ancestors' graves.


Coronavirus: Australia launches criminal investigation into Ruby Princess

Coronavirus: Australia launches criminal investigation into Ruby PrincessPassengers from the Ruby Princess disembarked in Sydney without knowing the coronavirus was on board.


No Probe on Trump’s Early Virus Response, House Democrat Says

No Probe on Trump’s Early Virus Response, House Democrat Says(Bloomberg) -- House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said it’s unlikely a congressional panel overseeing coronavirus relief will investigate the Trump administration’s initial response to the pandemic that’s claimed thousands of American lives.“This committee will be forward-looking,” Clyburn told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “We’re not going to be looking back on what the president may or may not have done back before this crisis hit. The crisis is with us.”The South Carolina lawmaker said the panel will instead be looking at how $2 trillion stimulus package to address the economic fallout of the spread of Covid-19 is administered.“The American people are now out of work, millions of them out of work,” he said. “The question is whether or not the money that’s appropriated will go to support them and their families, or whether or not this money will end up in the pockets of a few profiteers.”Clyburn’s remarks arrive as some Democratic governors criticize the Trump administration for what they say is a failure to provide adequate supplies or centralized policies to the states to address the crisis, despite having weeks or months of lead time.Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said during a Sunday news conference that the federal government knew about the seriousness of the virus as early as January but failed to act quickly enough.“The idea that the United States federal government did nearly nothing for quite a long time is now being visited upon us,” Pritzker said. “If action had been taken earlier a lot fewer lives would be lost.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Coronavirus: Germany and France accuse US of taking face masks as international tensions rise

Coronavirus: Germany and France accuse US of taking face masks as international tensions riseGermany and France have accused the US of taking face masks already ordered by Europe as the coronavirus pandemic continued to cause rising international tensions.Politicians in Berlin and Paris both said America had been using unfair means to undermine their own attempts to secure personal protective equipment.


Trump warns 'there will be a lot of death' in coming weeks

Trump warns 'there will be a lot of death' in coming weeksFatalities from complications of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus continue to climb in the United States as several major cities are bracing for their caseload apex in the next week.The U.S. reported 1,344 deaths from the new coronavirus Saturday, the country's highest number of fatalities in one day since the outbreak began. There are now more than 300,000 confirmed infections nationwide. In his daily White House briefing Saturday, President Trump warned the next couple of weeks would only get more difficult. "There will be a lot of death unfortunately," he said.Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said the coming weeks were crucial in the fight against the pandemic, urging Americans to adhere to social distancing guidelines. "This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe, and that means everybody doing the six feet distancing, washing your hands," she said.Birx added that modeling shows metro areas like New York, Detroit, and New Orleans will likely reach the peak of their outbreaks in the next six or seven days. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) also said it looks like his state his about a week away from when its health care system will be stretched thinnest. Read more at CNN and The Wall Street Journal.More stories from theweek.com 5 funny cartoons about social distancing 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated


Birx: 'It's giving us hope of what our future can be'

Birx: 'It's giving us hope of what our future can be'Dr. Deborah Birx on Sunday spoke about the declining numbers of new coronavirus cases and deaths in Spain and Italy. She believes it can offer hope to the United States.


1st federal inmate to die of coronavirus wrote heartbreaking letter to judge

1st federal inmate to die of coronavirus wrote heartbreaking letter to judgePatrick Jones "spent the last 12 years contesting a sentence that ultimately killed him," one of his former lawyers said.


Taiwan execution casts pall over coronavirus diplomacy with Europe
Iran to restart 'low-risk' economic activities soon

Iran to restart 'low-risk' economic activities soonIran said Sunday it will allow "low-risk" economic activities to resume from April 11 as its daily coronavirus infection rates slowed for a fifth straight day. "Restarting these activities does not mean we have abandoned the principle of staying at home," President Hassan Rouhani said at a meeting of Iran's anti-coronavirus task force. The president, whose country has been battered by US economic sanctions, did not specify what qualified as "low risk" activities, but said bans would remain on schools and large gatherings.


Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea

Recent developments surrounding the South China SeaThe People’s Liberation Army Daily and other state media reported last week that the Eastern Theater Command responsible for patrols around Taiwan held endurance training with early-warning aircraft last month.


Flight attendants are still working during coronavirus lockdowns and they worry that they're spreading the virus

Flight attendants are still working during coronavirus lockdowns and they worry that they're spreading the virusSome flight attendants are worried that they may be spreading coronavirus because of travel and lack of personal protective equipment.


Spain Virus Cases Pass Italy, Where Daily Deaths Are Falling

Spain Virus Cases Pass Italy, Where Daily Deaths Are Falling(Bloomberg) -- Spain’s Covid-19 cases surpassed Italy as Europe’s two main epicenters continue to struggle to curtail the virus, with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announcing plans to extend the country’s lockdown until April 25.Spain’s confirmed cases increased by 7,026 to 124,736 over the past 24 hours, while deaths rose by 809 to 11,744. Total cases are now higher than Italy’s 124,632, where the country reported the fewest number of new deaths since March 26. In France, the total number of fatalities rose to 7,560 and the U.K. reported its deadliest day yet with an increase of 708 deaths.The virus has crippled Europe at different times with most countries now in some form of lockdown, even as nations like Sweden and the U.K. were more reluctant to take drastic measures earlier. Governments and policy-makers are scrambling to find ways to mitigate the damage with entire economies headed into deep recession and a common approach still elusive.As attention shifts to Spain, Italy has signaled the situation, while still grave, is improving. Angelo Borrelli, the head of the country’s civil protection agency, said the number of patients in intensive care has dropped by 74, the first fall since the country went into a state of emergency.In Spain, a slower pace of fatalities and new cases is also offering some hope that the outbreak may be moving toward a peak. Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Friday that the goal of slowing the epidemic was “within reach.”The government in Madrid has imposed some of the most restrictive lockdown measures in Europe, shuttering most businesses and forcing people to stay in their homes except to buy groceries and seek healthcare.Containment measures across the continent have cut off border crossings and limited air travel, while countries have announced trillions of euros in aid to support businesses and individuals.Italy’s ruling parties and the Treasury reached an agreement to free up an additional 200 billion euros ($216 billion) of liquidity for firms, according to daily newspaper La Stampa. It said the moves, part of a new aid decree, will be approved by Monday and will let companies seek bank loans for as much as 25% of their revenue, most of which will be granted by the state.In Germany the number of coronavirus deaths and confirmed cases climbed further, a day after Robert Koch Institute President Lothar Wieler warned the country might require further intensive-care space. Germany has boosted capacity by more than 40% since the outbreak began.The death rate in Europe’s largest economy has been well below the levels seen in Italy and Spain, but government officials and healthcare experts insist it’s too early to ease social distancing rules and transport restrictions.Swedish QuestionThere are signs in turn that the death rate in Sweden is growing faster than elsewhere in Scandinavia, raising pressure on the government to abandon its controversial hands-off approach -- schools, restaurants and cafes remain open -- in tackling Covid-19.The number of Swedish deaths from the virus rose to 373 on Saturday, up 12% from Friday. That brings the rate per million in Scandinavia’s biggest economy to 36, compared with 29 in Denmark and 9 in Norway, where much tougher lockdowns are in place.Prime Minister Stefan Lofven warned that Sweden may now be facing “thousands” of deaths, and said the crisis is likely to drag on for months rather than weeks.When, and How, Does the Coronavirus Pandemic End?: QuickTakeApart from imposing lockdowns, several European leaders have moved to institute other controls which in some cases could also consolidate their own holds on power.In Hungary, political parties will lose half of their state funding this year, Gergely Gulyas, the minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s office, said in a video briefing. The move comes after Prime Minister Viktor Orban secured the power to rule by decree this week, drawing criticism from European Union members that he staged a power grab under the cover of the Covid-19 crisis.Equipment TensionsMeanwhile another dispute emerged over emergency medical equipment with Madrid accusing Ankara of retaining a shipment of respirators bought by two regional Spanish governments from a Turkish company.Turkey cited the risk of a shortage at home in holding onto the ventilators, Spain’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Spain would insist on reimbursement if the equipment was not released, it added. There was no immediate comment from the Turkish government.It comes after local officials in France and Germany accused unnamed Americans of using unfair means to obtain protective masks. The U.S. embassy in Paris said any suggestion that the federal government was involved in such practices was “completely false.(Updates with context and numbers throughout)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Disney World, Disneyland halt annual passholder payments during coronavirus closures

Disney World, Disneyland halt annual passholder payments during coronavirus closuresDisney World and Disneyland annual passholders will not be charged while the parks are closed due to COVID-19. Payments made from March 14-April 4 will be refunded.


Fauci, Navarro reportedly got into a heated dispute over unproven coronavirus treatment

Fauci, Navarro reportedly got into a heated dispute over unproven coronavirus treatmentA fight broke out in the White House Situation Room on Saturday, after President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro clashed with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, over an unproven COVID-19 coronavirus treatment, Axios reports. Four people with knowledge of the matter told Axios' Jonathan Swan the argument took place near the end of a White House coronavirus task force meeting, after Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn brought up hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug Trump has touted as a possible "game-changer" in the fight against coronavirus. When Hahn was finished giving updates on drug trials, Navarro put folders down on the table where Hahn, Fauci, Vice President Mike Pence, and others were sitting.One person familiar with the conversation told Swan the "first words out of his mouth are that the studies that he's seen, I believe they're mostly overseas, show 'clear therapeutic efficacy.' Those are the exact words out of his mouth." Fauci responded that this was anecdotal evidence, and this "just set Peter off," Swan reports. Navarro pointed to the folders and said, "That's science, not anecdote," a source said, and as his voice continued to get louder, Pence tried to intervene. "It was pretty clear that everyone was just trying to get Peter to sit down and stop being so confrontational," another person told Swan.Fauci and other public health officials have said more data is needed before anyone can say the drug is effective against COVID-19, but based on things he's read, Navarro is convinced it works, Swan reports. The task force ultimately decided that publicly, the White House needs to say that use of hydroxychloroquine is between doctors and patients. Read more at Axios.More stories from theweek.com 5 funny cartoons about social distancing 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated


'We're gonna die': migrants in US jail beg for deportation due to Covid-19 exposure

'We're gonna die': migrants in US jail beg for deportation due to Covid-19 exposureIce detainees isolated after one had Covid-19 symptoms tell the Guardian that cries for help and protection have gone ignored * Coronavirus – latest US updates * Coronavirus – latest global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageDetainees in a US immigration jail are begging to be released after potential Covid-19 exposure, saying the conditions are so brutal that they would rather suffer deportation than remain locked up.Three men incarcerated at the Winn correctional center in a remote part of Louisiana told the Guardian that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has isolated 44 of them together after they were possibly exposed to coronavirus. Some of the detainees are so desperate to leave that they are seeking voluntary deportation. They say their cries for masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and cleaning supplies have gone ignored, including for elderly detainees and those with asthma.In a series of phone calls, the men described a nightmare ordeal over the last two weeks, citing rampant mistreatment and a terrifying lack of information from Ice after they learned they were under some kind of quarantine. They also said that seven of their fellow detainees were deported on a flight to Colombia this week, four days into a 14-day quarantine period, which would appear to violate basic standards of coronavirus containment.Their firsthand accounts escalate concerns that human rights lawyers have been raising for weeks, that Ice jails could become death traps during the pandemic and that the only way to save lives and slow the spread is to release people en masse.“People are writing to the judge that they want to be deported as soon as possible. They don’t want to continue fighting,” said a detainee from El Salvador in his 30s, who declined to give his name. He said he was trying to self-deport and was also helping an asylum seeker seek deportation. “He told me, ‘I’d prefer to go home instead of being in this jail.’ … Ice has to release all the people, immediately.”One of the detainees speaking out and advocating for the release of immigrant prisoners is Dr Sirous Asgari, an Iranian scientist who was exonerated in a US trial last year but continues to face detention. The 59-year-old professor shared his story with the Guardian last week, prompting Iran’s foreign minister to call for his release.The men were first detained at the Alexandria staging facility (ASF) in Louisiana, where Asgari said Ice was continuing to bring in new detainees from around the country in cramped quarters where they were denied masks and basic supplies to protect themselves.Then on 26 March, ASF staff put up a sign outside the pod where they slept, which said the room was under “medical observation” due to the possibility of exposure, saying the risk was “high”, Asgari recounted this week. He heard that a detainee had a fever. But Ice, he alleged, gave the detainees no information and declined to tell them whether it was Covid-19.“Everybody got panicked,” he said, describing a chaotic scene of the detainees yelling for help and information. “We had two elderly people in their 70s, younger people with respiratory problems. One guy is crying, saying, ‘My life is in danger, we have been exposed.’ People were screaming, ‘Give us masks!’ … ‘We’re gonna die!’”One officer suggested there was nothing to worry about, but then staff kept the pod completely isolated from other detainees, suggesting they were under quarantine, Asgari said. Despite what seemed to be a strict quarantine, seven of them were deported to Colombia a few days later, he said.Roughly 30 men who remained behind were then taken to Winn, but were still given no information, the detainees said. But once they had medical visits, he said they confirmed their fears after asking the nurse to look at their records, which all said “possible exposure to Covid-19” and listed as 8 April as a “release date” which would be the end of a 14-day quarantine period. The men joined a dozen other detainees in that facility who were also suspected of having exposure, Asgari said.Bryan Cox, an Ice spokesman, declined to respond to many of their specific claims, but said no detainee has tested positive for Covid-19 at ASF. He did not answer questions about whether the men were given tests or whether there was a direct exposure or quarantine. He said Ice groups detainees in “medical cohorts”, meaning separating potential Covid-19 patients from others, but said that a “cohort for potential exposure does not mean a person has been exposed”.He said the men were spreading “unsubstantiated rumor and false allegations”, but did not offer specifics.“We are just a number to them. They don’t care,” said a detainee in his 30s who is facing deportation to Guatemala, and was also moved from ASF to Winn alongside Asgari. “I’m really afraid … They put you in jail with all these people and you don’t know where they’ve come from. It doesn’t make any sense.”This detainee said he had lived in the US for more than a decade and that he was arrested in New York in mid-March as Ice continued its raids and arrests amid the worsening pandemic. He said he has little information about his case and is fighting to get out: “I’m trying to do something, but I can’t. I haven’t seen a judge, nothing. They are just moving me around.” ‘Disgusting’ conditions and silence from IceThe men said the conditions at Winn were appalling. The detainees are responsible for all cleaning, and there is a single shower and only two toilets for all 44 of them to share. They are also sleeping on beds roughly two feet apart from each other, and the humidity when they first arrived left the sheets wet and beds rusted, they alleged.“When we got inside, everyone was absolutely shocked at the living conditions,” said Asgari, who has a history of respiratory problems and is at risk of death. “It’s frustrating, disgusting and humiliating. We get outside for one hour a day. That’s the only good thing.”By Friday, a majority of the detainees were suffering from some kind of cold, according to Asgari, who said he now has a bad cough and fears it will infect his lungs. They don’t have fevers, and he said he hopes it’s not coronavirus.The man from El Salvador said the staff at Winn were taking their temperatures daily, but otherwise doing little else related to Covid-19 prevention. He said Ice should consider releasing them in the US for their own safety, noting that he didn’t know the status of the outbreak in El Salvador and whether it would be dangerous to return. But ultimately, he said he was desperate to get out, fearing staff could bring the virus to the facility or that he could be moved again and exposed to hundreds more detainees in other jails.One Ice officer told him he could submit a formal request and get a reply in seven or eight days, he said: “I want to know what is happening with us. They don’t answer, nothing.”On Friday, the man from El Salvador was deported, according to Asgari.> People are seeking asylum and they are saying, ‘Just send me back.’ That speaks to the horrific conditions> > Mehrnoush YazdanyarAsgari has also been trying to self-deport to Iran, where there is a massive Covid-19 outbreak.“They are asking to be sent anywhere but there,” said Mehrnoush Yazdanyar, an attorney who has talked to multiple Winn detainees and is helping Asgari’s family. “People are seeking asylum and they are saying, ‘Just send me back.’ That speaks to the horrific conditions.”Cox, the Ice spokesman, said all detainees are screened upon arrival to facilities and that Ice conducts Covid-19 testing in accordance with US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. He said Ice provides soap and “other appropriate cleaning supplies” and “necessary and appropriate medical care” to detainees.Advocates have raised similar complaints about Ice conditions across the country. Karlyn Kurichety, an attorney with immigrant rights group Al Otro Lado, said that at California’s largest Ice jail, detainees lack basic sanitation supplies and that Ice has placed some detainees in quarantine without telling them why.“We’re concerned there’s going to be a massive outbreak in one of these facilities, and literally thousands of people could die,” she said.


Search continues for Arkansas woman who vanished from her home in 2016

Search continues for Arkansas woman who vanished from her home in 2016Mercedes Toliver was last seen leaving her Prescott, Arkansas home on foot just after midnight on December 17, 2016. She was reportedly on her way to her aunt’s house nearby. She never made it. There has been no activity on her social media accounts since. The Prescott Police Department is investigating.


Trump: 'Going to be a lot of death' in U.S. next week from coronavirus

Trump: 'Going to be a lot of death' in U.S. next week from coronavirusPresident Donald Trump told Americans to brace for a big spike in coronavirus fatalities in the coming days, as the country faces what he called the toughest two weeks of the pandemic. "There's going to be a lot of death," Trump said at a briefing with reporters. "Fears of shortages have led to inflated requests," Trump said of submissions his administration has received to dole out equipment from the strategic national stockpile.


Monster storm strengthens in Pacific, lashing Vanuatu

Monster storm strengthens in Pacific, lashing VanuatuA deadly Pacific cyclone intensified as it hit Vanuatu on Monday, threatening a natural disaster that experts fear will undermine the impoverished Pacific nation's battle to remain coronavirus-free. Tropical Cyclone Harold, which claimed 27 lives when it swept through the Solomon Islands last week, strengthened to a scale-topping category five superstorm overnight, Vanuatu's meteorology service said. It made landfall on the remote east coast of Espiritu Santo island on Monday morning and was heading directly for Vanuatu's second-largest town Luganville, which has a population of 16,500.


Do social distancing better, White House doctor tells Americans

Do social distancing better, White House doctor tells AmericansDr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House task force on the coronavirus, had a message for Americans that she shared on Thursday: Do better at social distancing. President Trump disagreed.


Blame the Chinese Communist Party for the coronavirus crisis

Blame the Chinese Communist Party for the coronavirus crisisCoronavirus crisis proves communism is still a grave threat to the entire world. If Beijing had just been honest, the pandemic could be preventable.


'Complete collapse of economies' ahead as Africa faces virus

'Complete collapse of economies' ahead as Africa faces virusSome of Uganda’s poorest people used to work here, on the streets of Kampala, as fruit sellers sitting on the pavement or as peddlers of everything from handkerchiefs to roasted peanuts. Now they're gone and no one knows when they will return, victims of a global economic crisis linked to the coronavirus that could wipe out jobs for millions across the African continent, many who live hand-to-mouth with zero savings.


Is the coronavirus an act of God? Faith leaders debate tough questions amid pandemic

Is the coronavirus an act of God? Faith leaders debate tough questions amid pandemicFaith leaders are fielding questions about whether coronavirus is an act of God and if it's some sort of punishment for sin.


Trump is touting experimental drugs for COVID-19, saying they're 'not going to hurt' people. But the drugs have severe side effects and misuse has led to poisoning and even death.

Trump is touting experimental drugs for COVID-19, saying they're 'not going to hurt' people. But the drugs have severe side effects and misuse has led to poisoning and even death."If it works, that will be great, if it doesn't work ... it doesn't kill people," Trump said of chloroquine. But the drug comes with serious risks.


Japan Won’t Hesitate to Declare Emergency if Needed: Nishimura

Japan Won’t Hesitate to Declare Emergency if Needed: Nishimura(Bloomberg) -- Japan will not hesitate to declare a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic if there is any sign of an explosive spike in infections, Japan’s Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said.“We’ve been saying that we are on the brink of the brink, but it’s becoming a very tense situation,” Nishimura said during a Fuji Television broadcast Sunday. “Nationwide rampancy of virus infections is really approaching just right now.”Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has come under increasing pressure to declare a state of emergency to contain the spread of Covid-19. Tokyo reported more than 110 new coronavirus cases Saturday, the first time the daily toll of confirmed infections has exceeded 100, national broadcaster NHK reported. The were 336 new cases nationwide, the health ministry said.Hiroshi Mikitani, founder of Japan’s e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc., on Friday joined the call for Abe to declare a state of emergency. The prime minister told parliament Friday that the situation didn’t yet warrant an emergency declaration, but said he wouldn’t hesitate to do so when the time comes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


South Korea's return to normal interrupted by uptick in coronavirus cases

South Korea's return to normal interrupted by uptick in coronavirus casesWith many parts of the world wondering what a slow return to normal life will look like, South Korea's situation offers a warning: The curve doesn't necessarily stay flat.


Trump offers competing coronavirus messaging, warning of death but lamenting lockdown

Trump offers competing coronavirus messaging, warning of death but lamenting lockdownTrump repeated a favorite refrain of some conservatives, who have said that the coronavirus “cure”—that is, a nationwide shutdown—cannot be worse than the disease itself.


Why does the coronavirus affect people differently? Yahoo News Explains

Why does the coronavirus affect people differently? Yahoo News ExplainsCoronavirus patients are showing a wide range of symptoms and the exact reason why is still a mystery — but we do have some clues as to what factors can influence the severity of the disease.


Italy's virus deaths plunge to lowest since March 19

Italy's virus deaths plunge to lowest since March 19Italian officials said Sunday they may soon have to consider easing restrictions after seeing the daily coronavirus death toll plunge to its lowest in over two weeks. The 525 official COVID-19 fatalities reported by the civil protection service were the Mediterranean country's lowest since 427 deaths were registered on March 19. "The curve has started its descent and the number of deaths has started to drop," Italy's ISS national health institute director Silvio Brusaferro told reporters.


An Illinois man allegedly shot his wife then himself over coronavirus fears

An Illinois man allegedly shot his wife then himself over coronavirus fearsExperts predicted the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns could lead to an uptick in domestic violence.


Biden says removal of Navy captain who sounded alarm on coronavirus 'close to criminal'

Biden says removal of Navy captain who sounded alarm on coronavirus 'close to criminal'"I think the guy should ... have a commendation rather than be fired," Biden said.


Televangelist Kenneth Copeland 'blows wind of God' at coronavirus and claims pandemic is 'destroyed' in sermon

Televangelist Kenneth Copeland 'blows wind of God' at coronavirus and claims pandemic is 'destroyed' in sermonAmerican televangelist Kenneth Copeland, who recently claimed that the coronavirus pandemic will be "over much sooner you think" because "Christian people all over this country praying have overwhelmed it," has summoned the "wind of God" to destroy the novel coronavirus during a recent sermon.Before blowing at the camera, he said: "I blow the wind of God on you. You are destroyed forever, and you'll never be back. Thank you, God. Let it happen. Cause it to happen."


Revealed: food bank shortages expected to hit Washington state by mid-April

Revealed: food bank shortages expected to hit Washington state by mid-AprilReport obtained by Guardian projects acute demand and supply problem, meaning agencies will struggle to provide for the hungry * Coronavirus – live US updates * Live global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageAgencies and organisations tasked with feeding children, the poor and the elderly in Washington state during the coronavirus crisis will experience shortages of food and supplies as early as mid-April, according to state government emergency planning documents obtained by the Guardian.A 27 March situation report (SitRep) document produced by the Unified Command of Washington’s State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) projects that a combination of acute demand at food banks and schools, supply problems for food and cleaning supplies, plus staffing shortages, will mean government and NGOs will struggle to provide for hungry people whose incomes have disappeared as the state’s economy stutters.This raises the prospect of food bank shortages in Washington but also nationwide, as food banks across the US are being increasingly utilized by unprecedented numbers of people in an economy that has been abruptly slowed to fight the spreading pandemic.Washington state has experienced one of the earliest and most serious outbreaks of Covid-19 in the US. Governor Jay Inslee has received praise in recent days for his decisive response, which is thought to have prevented an even worse crisis.But the document suggests that at the predicted peak of the epidemic, which has already infected at least 4,896 Washingtonians and killed at least 195, the state will need to head off a parallel humanitarian crisis.The SitRep document, produced by the emergency agency coordinated by Washington state’s military department and distributed to state and local agencies involved in the emergency response, details emerging problems and frantic efforts to solve them across a range of numbered emergency support functions (ESF), including communications, firefighting, and energy.Under the heading “ESF11 Agriculture and Natural Resources”, the SitRep details the growing problems in food security. Many of the problems involve food banks – non-governmental organizations that deliver food to needy people.The document says there is already a “shortage of food at food banks”, which is projected to become worse. It says: “NGOs have food on hand. However, burn rate is increasing fast. Demand is growing dramatically so supply is quickly being used up.”It goes on to warn: “Food banks expect a significant gap in the food supply across the whole system by mid-April (April 10-20).”It then offers insight into spiking demand at specific NGOs delivering food in Washington: “Northwest Harvest (a statewide food bank service) reported they are distributing 450,000lbs of food this week.”It continues: “The burn rate and demand are rising sharply. These NGOs are seeing 30 percent to 100% increases in the number of people served.”In a telephone conversation, Northwest Harvest chief executive Thomas Reynolds said of his food banks: “We don’t predict peak demand for another three weeks and then we anticipate peak demand for 12 to 20 weeks.”He added: “I worked for 15 years for Care International. So what it reminds me of is earthquakes in Nepal, the tsunami in Japan, food crises in Yemen. And the difference is there’s a lot more experience in a place like Nepal or Yemen to respond to emergencies.”The document says rural counties are already moving to rationalize food delivery in the face of demand.“Chelan county is moving away from using small distribution centers. Instead they are going to start using a single, mass-distribution site for emergency food,” it says.It continues with a prediction: “It’s a model we will likely see more of in the days and weeks to come.”On Wednesday, Inslee, announced he had mobilized 130 National Guard members to provide support for food banks in Chelan and four other counties, with potentially more to follow.The problems are being compounded by supply problems in other goods necessary for food service, such as supplies used to clean kitchens.As in other states, Washington has closed schools, but many districts have maintained school lunch delivery as a way of feeding needy children.These programs, too, are under strain, according to the SitRep.One issue is in the workforce, which “is a growing issue because schools rely on older people to work in food service and as bus drivers. These are two job categories important to food assistance.”The document says “older workers are opting not to work because of Covid concerns” and that schools are also experiencing supply problems.The document does offer some hope that solutions to shortages are emerging, but leaves open the question of whether they will arrive in time.Chris McGann, a spokesman for the Washington state department of agriculture, said in an email: “The current situation with its rapidly increasing demand and limited resources is putting incredible strain on the social safety net. Hunger relief is no different.”He added: “We have called on the federal government and private industry to identify and commit additional resources to help us make sure families have the nutritional support they need to make it through this crisis.”He also said that the problem was so far confined to food banks. “The food supply chain is otherwise operational and functional. People will still be able to get food at the grocery store.”Reynolds stressed that Northwest Harvest was working well with the state and has “good relationship with our local elected officials”. But he said he hoped food security will become more central to political debate.“I think we should be asking people who are running for office. What is your food policy?”


US sees coronavirus window to push Taiwan's global status

US sees coronavirus window to push Taiwan's global statusThe Trump administration is seizing the opportunity of the coronavirus pandemic to push a cause that has long been an irritant in U.S. relations with China: Taiwan. The virus has added yet another dimension to U.S.-China tensions that were already wracked by a trade war and heated discussions over intellectual property, human rights and Chinese policies in Hong Kong and the South China Sea. As the pandemic has grown, U.S. officials and lawmakers have stepped up alternately bashing China for a lack of transparency over the outbreak and praising Taiwan for its response to the outbreak.


Coronavirus: China mourns Covid-19 victims with three-minute silence

Coronavirus: China mourns Covid-19 victims with three-minute silenceA day of mourning is held for the 3,300 people who died in China, where the Covid-19 pandemic began.


Does Iran's coronavirus crisis raise the risk of war?

Does Iran's coronavirus crisis raise the risk of war?Iran is experiencing on of the worst outbreaks of coronavirus in the world. Will the instability cause the country's leaders to lash out against America?


Trump: U.S. approaching period ‘that is going to be very horrendous’

Trump: U.S. approaching period ‘that is going to be very horrendous’President Trump on Saturday said that the United States is approaching a time that will be “very horrendous” for the nation amid the growing coronavirus outbreak across the country.


Face masks: How the Trump administration went from 'no need' to 'put one on' to fight coronavirus

Face masks: How the Trump administration went from 'no need' to 'put one on' to fight coronavirusJust a little over a month after saying there was no need for the community at large to wear masks in public, the CDC has changed its mind, recommending that all Americans should wear some sort of face covering when venturing outside.


Scots' medical chief resigns after flouting own coronavirus rules

Scots' medical chief resigns after flouting own coronavirus rulesScotland's Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood resigned on Sunday after she broke her own advice to stay at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus by visiting her second home this weekend and last. Calderwood said that during discussions with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Sunday evening they agreed her actions risked distracting from the "hugely important job that government and the medical profession has to do in getting the country through this coronavirus pandemic". Police had earlier issued a warning to Calderwood about her behaviour and Sturgeon had removed her as the public face of the campaign to tackle the coronavirus.


Woman needed stitches after anti-Asian hate crime attack on city bus, NYPD says

Woman needed stitches after anti-Asian hate crime attack on city bus, NYPD saysAn unidentified woman and three teens are alleged to have attacked a 51-year-old Asian woman, hitting her on the head with an umbrella after making anti-Asian remarks.


Asia virus latest: Australia sends away ships, Pakistan hunts worshippers

Asia virus latest: Australia sends away ships, Pakistan hunts worshippersThe largest maritime operation ever undertaken in Sydney Harbour was completed on Sunday with the successful restocking and refuelling of five cruise ships, Australian police said. It was part of government efforts since mid-March to force vessels to leave the country's waters to prevent any further spread of the coronavirus in Australia. Cruise ship guests have so far accounted for almost 10 percent of Australia's more than 5,500 infections.


Japan’s Abe Set to Declare Virus Emergency As Cases Jump

Japan’s Abe Set to Declare Virus Emergency As Cases Jump(Bloomberg) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to declare a state of emergency, media reports said, after coronavirus cases in Tokyo jumped over the weekend to top 1,000, raising worries of a more explosive surge.After last week saying the situation didn’t yet call for such a move, Abe changed course and will announce the plan as soon as Monday, media reports said. The formal declaration for the Tokyo area will be coming as early as Tuesday, the Yomiuri newspaper reported without attribution. The declaration could also cover the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa, as well as Osaka, and be given a time limit of six months, broadcaster TBS said, citing sources close to the matter.The process for making the declaration picked up pace Monday, with Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is handling the virus response, meeting Abe alongside the government’s top expert adviser on the pandemic. The premier may unveil his plan at a meeting of his virus task force after 6 p.m.The declaration could go into effect as Japan’s biggest-ever stimulus package worth 60 trillion yen ($550 billion) is set to be announced Tuesday.No LockdownThe state of emergency, which comes after pressure from local governors and the medical community, doesn’t enable a European-style lockdown.Declaring a state of emergency hands powers to local governments, including to urge residents to stay at home for a certain span of time during the emergency period. By contrast with some other countries though, there is no legal power to enforce such requests due to civil liberties protections in Japanese law.Abe’s government saw its approval rating slip to its lowest since October 2018 in a poll from broadcaster JNN released Monday with a majority of respondents faulting the way the government has managed the virus crisis. The poll taken April 4-5 showed that about 80% of respondents said the declaration should be made.The governors of Tokyo and Osaka have been pushing for the declaration as the recent spike in cases sparked concerns Japan is headed for a crisis on the levels seen in the U.S. and several countries in Europe.Japan was one of the first countries outside of the original epicenter in neighboring China to confirm a coronavirus infection and it has fared better than most, with about 3,650 reported cases as of Monday -- a jump from less than 500 just a month ago. That’s the lowest tally of any Group of Seven country, although Japan might be finding fewer mild cases because it has conducted a relatively small number of tests.Last week, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo advised American citizens who live in the U.S. but are currently in Japan to return home, “unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.” It added Japan’s low testing rate makes it hard to accurately assess the prevalence of the virus. The Japan Medical Association warned last week that the jump in cases in the nation’s most populous cities is putting more pressure on medical resources and that the government should declare a state of emergency.Tokyo reported 143 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, the largest number in a single day. It marked the second straight day the city’s daily infection tally exceeded 100.Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is already pressing residents to avoid unnecessary outings, and television showed many of the capital’s main shopping areas almost deserted over the weekend. The Tokyo local government is set to begin leasing hotels this week to accommodate mild cases, making room in its hospitals for the seriously ill.(Updates with media reports on area, time period)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Leaked memo: Amazon is now recommending the workers sorting and moving your online orders wear face masks, but will only have 'limited' quantities

Leaked memo: Amazon is now recommending the workers sorting and moving your online orders wear face masks, but will only have 'limited' quantitiesAmazon employs some 400,000 warehouse workers across 175-plus facilities. Workers at more than 50 warehouses have tested positive for the coronavirus.


Trump tempers officials' grave assessments with optimism

Trump tempers officials' grave assessments with optimismThe U.S. surgeon general says that Americans should brace for levels of tragedy reminiscent of the Sept. 11 attacks and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, while the nation’s infectious disease chief warned that the new coronavirus may never be completely eradicated from the globe. “We’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel,” Trump said at a Sunday evening White House briefing. Pence added, “We are beginning to see glimmers of progress.”


Trump accused of ‘firing people for telling the truth’ after dismissing man who handled impeachment complaint

Trump accused of ‘firing people for telling the truth’ after dismissing man who handled impeachment complaintDonald Trump has fired the US inspector general for the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, the man who first handled the complaint made by an anonymous CIA whistleblower that became the basis for his impeachment.The president wrote to the House and Senate intelligence committees late on Friday informing them of his decision, saying it was “vital” he had confidence in the independent government watchdog and and “that is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general”.


When Coronavirus Is Over, Middle East Chaos Will Only Be Worse

When Coronavirus Is Over, Middle East Chaos Will Only Be WorseFor a time the Middle East seemed like it just froze, the conflicts of yesterday put in quarantine—as so many of us have been—while various countries strive to contain an epidemic of biblical scale. Don’t expect that to last. The coronavirus outbreak is not the great equalizer, nor is it the crisis in which past rivalries will be forgotten.Trump’s Most Vital Mideast Allies Are Trending Fast Toward TyrannyLike an earthquake, the coronavirus is magnifying the foundational weaknesses of the least prepared countries, exacerbating existing inequalities across the region. And like a particularly lethal aftershock, the crash of the oil price further debilitates petroleum-based economies that lack the financial reserves to weather the secondary blow to their system. For Gulf countries, the “double whammy” of the coronavirus and the oil shock, while major disruptions, can be weathered with mass injections of capital. Moreover, these countries appear to have been some of the best prepared to deal with the pandemic, likely because they already faced the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak. They acted relatively quickly and decisively to identify cases and close down their borders. That’s not to say that things aren’t going to be bad for Gulf countries—they will—but there will be different shades of bad.  By contrast, Algeria, Iraq, Egypt, and Lebanon are certain to be hit especially hard by the twin blows. Algeria and Iraq’s budgets are so tied to the price of oil that they have no margin to maneuver. The economic crisis will also hit Egypt, especially with the loss of tourism, while Lebanon was in the process of defaulting on its sovereign debt even before the outbreak really took off. Refugee and internally displaced communities across the region also are going to be hit very hard, which is likely to increase refugee flows both within and outside the region—with potential recipients of these flows having another reason to close their doors. As a result, the burden of these new refugees is poised to be borne most by the states that can least afford to do so and those that already are host to massive displaced populations.This widening gap will have an impact on the region’s geopolitics. Desperate people do desperate things, and desperate regimes even more so. The recent escalation in attacks against coalition forces in Iraq which resulted in the killing of two U.S. and UK soldiers in the Taji military base is one example of what could become a trend: namely, the growing need for countries weakened by the outbreak to project strength. Iran has been at the epicenter of the crisis in the region and its lack of transparency and effort to maintain ties with one of its last trading partners, China, turned the crisis into a nightmare—making us, as geopolitical analysts, wonder what does Iran have to lose and where could its proxies strike next?Beyond that, as the crisis shifts America’s focus even more inwards, local actors will test Washington’s willingness to respond to escalation. Given what happened in Iran, and the possible geopolitical consequences, this raises the questions of what would (or more likely will) happen if/when the crisis will reach these levels in areas such as Syria, Yemen, Libya or Gaza? In an already unequal world, the crisis may well make asymmetric warfare even more relevant than it already was.While some regimes struggling against popular protest movements may have perceived a silver lining in the outbreak, a day of reckoning is not far over the horizon. In Algeria and Lebanon the streets are emptying fast. Now that the scale of the outbreak has set in, most if not all protesters won’t be marching for weeks or months to come. But there will be some reluctance to call off the demonstrations. Some protesters view their local regimes as worse than the virus. Those who decide to continue demonstrating will face a crackdown rationalized by the outbreak—Algeria already issued a ban on protests. The pandemic will break the momentum of these popular movements, but, once the dust settles, these may also come back swinging at governments that mishandled the crisis. The Middle East and North Africa were in the middle of a second Arab Spring. There’s every reason to expect the uprisings to regain their momentum when “coronavirus season” is over.On a domestic level, the crisis likely won’t bring people together, at least not in the long term—and not only because of the need for social distancing. Sectarian tensions are liable to increase, particularly as a result of Iran’s catastrophic mishandling of the situation. In the Gulf, where much of the initial outbreak was the result of Iran-related travels—which are difficult to track given that Gulf citizens who travel to Iran don’t get their passports stamped—fear of a broader outbreak due to such travel is already having an impact, with Saudi Arabia closing the Shiite-majority region of Qatif, and other Gulf countries reluctant to repatriate their own citizens from Iran.  The lack of testing capabilities in Sunni areas of Iraq (when compared to Kurdish and Shiite-majority areas), a similar lack of balance between testing numbers among the Jewish and Arab communities in Israel alongside tensions prompted by lockdown measures in Jaffa, all highlight the possibility that the outbreak will widen domestic divides rather than bridge them.In Israel, the crisis has revealed—overnight—the government’s willingness to approve massive spying on its own population at a time when parliament can’t convene to monitor the use of data gathered by the Israeli Security Agency. This is not an isolated case: more broadly, containment measures and the subsequent reaction by their respective populations will widen the gap between governments who managed to gain public trust, and those who didn’t.All of these factors suggest the coronavirus pandemic will turn into a defining moment for the region, not simply because of its magnitude, but because it came at a time when most countries were experiencing their own political crises—and failed to build any immunity to the one that suddenly knocked at their doors.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.


Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated

Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understatedPublic health experts and government officials agree that the U.S. government's coronavirus death toll almost certainly understates how many Americans have actually died from the virus.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only counts deaths where the presence of the coronavirus is confirmed in a lab test, The Washington Post reports, and "we know that it is an underestimation," CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said.There are many reasons why the numbers are underreported. Strict criteria in the beginning of the outbreak kept many people from getting tested for coronavirus, and it's still difficult to get tested in some areas, for example. There's also the matter of false positives, and not all medical examiners have tests or believe they should conduct postmortem testing, even on people who died at home or in nursing homes where there were outbreaks. Experts also believe some February and early March deaths that were attributed to influenza or pneumonia were likely due to coronavirus.The official death count is based on reports sent by states, and as of Sunday night, the CDC reports 304,826 confirmed U.S. cases and 7,616 deaths. The Post, other media outlets, and university researchers update their numbers more frequently, with the Post reporting on Sunday night that 9,633 people have died from coronavirus in the U.S., and at least 337,000 cases have been confirmed.More stories from theweek.com 5 funny cartoons about social distancing 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Fauci, Navarro reportedly got into a heated dispute over unproven coronavirus treatment


Iran's Rouhani says low-risk economic activities to resume from April 11 amid coronavirus

Iran's Rouhani says low-risk economic activities to resume from April 11 amid coronavirusIran's president said on Sunday "low-risk" economic activities would resume from April 11 in the Middle Eastern country worst-affected by the new coronavirus. Iran has been struggling to curb the spread of the highly infectious respiratory disease known as COVID-19 but authorities are also concerned that measures to limit public life to contain the virus could wreck an already sanctions-battered economy. "Under the supervision of the health ministry, all those low-risk economic activities will resume from Saturday," President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised meeting, adding that "those activities will resume in Tehran from April 18".


Two children hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bank

Two children hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bankAt least five children ate candy containing high THC doses after the Utah Food Bank distributed it as part of their food donations, police said.


Jordan becomes latest Mideast country to deploy drones in virus response

Jordan becomes latest Mideast country to deploy drones in virus responseJordan on Sunday started to deploy drones to fight the coronavirus pandemic, joining a host of Middle East countries using the technology to enforce curfews, deliver public health announcements and even monitor people's temperatures. Jordan has declared five deaths and 323 cases of COVID-19 and says it has arrested at least 1,600 people for violating a nationwide curfew in force since last month. "The armed forces and security services will ensure the curfew is being respected by using modern technology such as drones and surveillance cameras," Minister of State for Information, Amjad al-Adayleh, told a press briefing late Saturday.


Here's the biggest news you missed this weekend

Here's the biggest news you missed this weekendMedical professionals are being deployed to New York City. Two Coral Princess cruise passengers have died. Here's the weekend's biggest news.


Photos show China coming to a standstill to mourn everyone who died of coronavirus, including whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang

Photos show China coming to a standstill to mourn everyone who died of coronavirus, including whistleblower doctor Li WenliangAll of China observed a three-minute silence on Saturday, which coincided with Qingming Festival, when people traditionally visit ancestors' graves.


Coronavirus: Australia launches criminal investigation into Ruby Princess

Coronavirus: Australia launches criminal investigation into Ruby PrincessPassengers from the Ruby Princess disembarked in Sydney without knowing the coronavirus was on board.


No Probe on Trump’s Early Virus Response, House Democrat Says

No Probe on Trump’s Early Virus Response, House Democrat Says(Bloomberg) -- House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said it’s unlikely a congressional panel overseeing coronavirus relief will investigate the Trump administration’s initial response to the pandemic that’s claimed thousands of American lives.“This committee will be forward-looking,” Clyburn told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “We’re not going to be looking back on what the president may or may not have done back before this crisis hit. The crisis is with us.”The South Carolina lawmaker said the panel will instead be looking at how $2 trillion stimulus package to address the economic fallout of the spread of Covid-19 is administered.“The American people are now out of work, millions of them out of work,” he said. “The question is whether or not the money that’s appropriated will go to support them and their families, or whether or not this money will end up in the pockets of a few profiteers.”Clyburn’s remarks arrive as some Democratic governors criticize the Trump administration for what they say is a failure to provide adequate supplies or centralized policies to the states to address the crisis, despite having weeks or months of lead time.Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said during a Sunday news conference that the federal government knew about the seriousness of the virus as early as January but failed to act quickly enough.“The idea that the United States federal government did nearly nothing for quite a long time is now being visited upon us,” Pritzker said. “If action had been taken earlier a lot fewer lives would be lost.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Coronavirus: Germany and France accuse US of taking face masks as international tensions rise

Coronavirus: Germany and France accuse US of taking face masks as international tensions riseGermany and France have accused the US of taking face masks already ordered by Europe as the coronavirus pandemic continued to cause rising international tensions.Politicians in Berlin and Paris both said America had been using unfair means to undermine their own attempts to secure personal protective equipment.


Trump warns 'there will be a lot of death' in coming weeks

Trump warns 'there will be a lot of death' in coming weeksFatalities from complications of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus continue to climb in the United States as several major cities are bracing for their caseload apex in the next week.The U.S. reported 1,344 deaths from the new coronavirus Saturday, the country's highest number of fatalities in one day since the outbreak began. There are now more than 300,000 confirmed infections nationwide. In his daily White House briefing Saturday, President Trump warned the next couple of weeks would only get more difficult. "There will be a lot of death unfortunately," he said.Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said the coming weeks were crucial in the fight against the pandemic, urging Americans to adhere to social distancing guidelines. "This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe, and that means everybody doing the six feet distancing, washing your hands," she said.Birx added that modeling shows metro areas like New York, Detroit, and New Orleans will likely reach the peak of their outbreaks in the next six or seven days. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) also said it looks like his state his about a week away from when its health care system will be stretched thinnest. Read more at CNN and The Wall Street Journal.More stories from theweek.com 5 funny cartoons about social distancing 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated


Birx: 'It's giving us hope of what our future can be'

Birx: 'It's giving us hope of what our future can be'Dr. Deborah Birx on Sunday spoke about the declining numbers of new coronavirus cases and deaths in Spain and Italy. She believes it can offer hope to the United States.


1st federal inmate to die of coronavirus wrote heartbreaking letter to judge

1st federal inmate to die of coronavirus wrote heartbreaking letter to judgePatrick Jones "spent the last 12 years contesting a sentence that ultimately killed him," one of his former lawyers said.


Taiwan execution casts pall over coronavirus diplomacy with Europe
Iran to restart 'low-risk' economic activities soon

Iran to restart 'low-risk' economic activities soonIran said Sunday it will allow "low-risk" economic activities to resume from April 11 as its daily coronavirus infection rates slowed for a fifth straight day. "Restarting these activities does not mean we have abandoned the principle of staying at home," President Hassan Rouhani said at a meeting of Iran's anti-coronavirus task force. The president, whose country has been battered by US economic sanctions, did not specify what qualified as "low risk" activities, but said bans would remain on schools and large gatherings.


Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea

Recent developments surrounding the South China SeaThe People’s Liberation Army Daily and other state media reported last week that the Eastern Theater Command responsible for patrols around Taiwan held endurance training with early-warning aircraft last month.


Flight attendants are still working during coronavirus lockdowns and they worry that they're spreading the virus

Flight attendants are still working during coronavirus lockdowns and they worry that they're spreading the virusSome flight attendants are worried that they may be spreading coronavirus because of travel and lack of personal protective equipment.


Spain Virus Cases Pass Italy, Where Daily Deaths Are Falling

Spain Virus Cases Pass Italy, Where Daily Deaths Are Falling(Bloomberg) -- Spain’s Covid-19 cases surpassed Italy as Europe’s two main epicenters continue to struggle to curtail the virus, with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announcing plans to extend the country’s lockdown until April 25.Spain’s confirmed cases increased by 7,026 to 124,736 over the past 24 hours, while deaths rose by 809 to 11,744. Total cases are now higher than Italy’s 124,632, where the country reported the fewest number of new deaths since March 26. In France, the total number of fatalities rose to 7,560 and the U.K. reported its deadliest day yet with an increase of 708 deaths.The virus has crippled Europe at different times with most countries now in some form of lockdown, even as nations like Sweden and the U.K. were more reluctant to take drastic measures earlier. Governments and policy-makers are scrambling to find ways to mitigate the damage with entire economies headed into deep recession and a common approach still elusive.As attention shifts to Spain, Italy has signaled the situation, while still grave, is improving. Angelo Borrelli, the head of the country’s civil protection agency, said the number of patients in intensive care has dropped by 74, the first fall since the country went into a state of emergency.In Spain, a slower pace of fatalities and new cases is also offering some hope that the outbreak may be moving toward a peak. Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Friday that the goal of slowing the epidemic was “within reach.”The government in Madrid has imposed some of the most restrictive lockdown measures in Europe, shuttering most businesses and forcing people to stay in their homes except to buy groceries and seek healthcare.Containment measures across the continent have cut off border crossings and limited air travel, while countries have announced trillions of euros in aid to support businesses and individuals.Italy’s ruling parties and the Treasury reached an agreement to free up an additional 200 billion euros ($216 billion) of liquidity for firms, according to daily newspaper La Stampa. It said the moves, part of a new aid decree, will be approved by Monday and will let companies seek bank loans for as much as 25% of their revenue, most of which will be granted by the state.In Germany the number of coronavirus deaths and confirmed cases climbed further, a day after Robert Koch Institute President Lothar Wieler warned the country might require further intensive-care space. Germany has boosted capacity by more than 40% since the outbreak began.The death rate in Europe’s largest economy has been well below the levels seen in Italy and Spain, but government officials and healthcare experts insist it’s too early to ease social distancing rules and transport restrictions.Swedish QuestionThere are signs in turn that the death rate in Sweden is growing faster than elsewhere in Scandinavia, raising pressure on the government to abandon its controversial hands-off approach -- schools, restaurants and cafes remain open -- in tackling Covid-19.The number of Swedish deaths from the virus rose to 373 on Saturday, up 12% from Friday. That brings the rate per million in Scandinavia’s biggest economy to 36, compared with 29 in Denmark and 9 in Norway, where much tougher lockdowns are in place.Prime Minister Stefan Lofven warned that Sweden may now be facing “thousands” of deaths, and said the crisis is likely to drag on for months rather than weeks.When, and How, Does the Coronavirus Pandemic End?: QuickTakeApart from imposing lockdowns, several European leaders have moved to institute other controls which in some cases could also consolidate their own holds on power.In Hungary, political parties will lose half of their state funding this year, Gergely Gulyas, the minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s office, said in a video briefing. The move comes after Prime Minister Viktor Orban secured the power to rule by decree this week, drawing criticism from European Union members that he staged a power grab under the cover of the Covid-19 crisis.Equipment TensionsMeanwhile another dispute emerged over emergency medical equipment with Madrid accusing Ankara of retaining a shipment of respirators bought by two regional Spanish governments from a Turkish company.Turkey cited the risk of a shortage at home in holding onto the ventilators, Spain’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Spain would insist on reimbursement if the equipment was not released, it added. There was no immediate comment from the Turkish government.It comes after local officials in France and Germany accused unnamed Americans of using unfair means to obtain protective masks. The U.S. embassy in Paris said any suggestion that the federal government was involved in such practices was “completely false.(Updates with context and numbers throughout)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Disney World, Disneyland halt annual passholder payments during coronavirus closures

Disney World, Disneyland halt annual passholder payments during coronavirus closuresDisney World and Disneyland annual passholders will not be charged while the parks are closed due to COVID-19. Payments made from March 14-April 4 will be refunded.


Fauci, Navarro reportedly got into a heated dispute over unproven coronavirus treatment

Fauci, Navarro reportedly got into a heated dispute over unproven coronavirus treatmentA fight broke out in the White House Situation Room on Saturday, after President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro clashed with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, over an unproven COVID-19 coronavirus treatment, Axios reports. Four people with knowledge of the matter told Axios' Jonathan Swan the argument took place near the end of a White House coronavirus task force meeting, after Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn brought up hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug Trump has touted as a possible "game-changer" in the fight against coronavirus. When Hahn was finished giving updates on drug trials, Navarro put folders down on the table where Hahn, Fauci, Vice President Mike Pence, and others were sitting.One person familiar with the conversation told Swan the "first words out of his mouth are that the studies that he's seen, I believe they're mostly overseas, show 'clear therapeutic efficacy.' Those are the exact words out of his mouth." Fauci responded that this was anecdotal evidence, and this "just set Peter off," Swan reports. Navarro pointed to the folders and said, "That's science, not anecdote," a source said, and as his voice continued to get louder, Pence tried to intervene. "It was pretty clear that everyone was just trying to get Peter to sit down and stop being so confrontational," another person told Swan.Fauci and other public health officials have said more data is needed before anyone can say the drug is effective against COVID-19, but based on things he's read, Navarro is convinced it works, Swan reports. The task force ultimately decided that publicly, the White House needs to say that use of hydroxychloroquine is between doctors and patients. Read more at Axios.More stories from theweek.com 5 funny cartoons about social distancing 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated


'We're gonna die': migrants in US jail beg for deportation due to Covid-19 exposure

'We're gonna die': migrants in US jail beg for deportation due to Covid-19 exposureIce detainees isolated after one had Covid-19 symptoms tell the Guardian that cries for help and protection have gone ignored * Coronavirus – latest US updates * Coronavirus – latest global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageDetainees in a US immigration jail are begging to be released after potential Covid-19 exposure, saying the conditions are so brutal that they would rather suffer deportation than remain locked up.Three men incarcerated at the Winn correctional center in a remote part of Louisiana told the Guardian that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has isolated 44 of them together after they were possibly exposed to coronavirus. Some of the detainees are so desperate to leave that they are seeking voluntary deportation. They say their cries for masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and cleaning supplies have gone ignored, including for elderly detainees and those with asthma.In a series of phone calls, the men described a nightmare ordeal over the last two weeks, citing rampant mistreatment and a terrifying lack of information from Ice after they learned they were under some kind of quarantine. They also said that seven of their fellow detainees were deported on a flight to Colombia this week, four days into a 14-day quarantine period, which would appear to violate basic standards of coronavirus containment.Their firsthand accounts escalate concerns that human rights lawyers have been raising for weeks, that Ice jails could become death traps during the pandemic and that the only way to save lives and slow the spread is to release people en masse.“People are writing to the judge that they want to be deported as soon as possible. They don’t want to continue fighting,” said a detainee from El Salvador in his 30s, who declined to give his name. He said he was trying to self-deport and was also helping an asylum seeker seek deportation. “He told me, ‘I’d prefer to go home instead of being in this jail.’ … Ice has to release all the people, immediately.”One of the detainees speaking out and advocating for the release of immigrant prisoners is Dr Sirous Asgari, an Iranian scientist who was exonerated in a US trial last year but continues to face detention. The 59-year-old professor shared his story with the Guardian last week, prompting Iran’s foreign minister to call for his release.The men were first detained at the Alexandria staging facility (ASF) in Louisiana, where Asgari said Ice was continuing to bring in new detainees from around the country in cramped quarters where they were denied masks and basic supplies to protect themselves.Then on 26 March, ASF staff put up a sign outside the pod where they slept, which said the room was under “medical observation” due to the possibility of exposure, saying the risk was “high”, Asgari recounted this week. He heard that a detainee had a fever. But Ice, he alleged, gave the detainees no information and declined to tell them whether it was Covid-19.“Everybody got panicked,” he said, describing a chaotic scene of the detainees yelling for help and information. “We had two elderly people in their 70s, younger people with respiratory problems. One guy is crying, saying, ‘My life is in danger, we have been exposed.’ People were screaming, ‘Give us masks!’ … ‘We’re gonna die!’”One officer suggested there was nothing to worry about, but then staff kept the pod completely isolated from other detainees, suggesting they were under quarantine, Asgari said. Despite what seemed to be a strict quarantine, seven of them were deported to Colombia a few days later, he said.Roughly 30 men who remained behind were then taken to Winn, but were still given no information, the detainees said. But once they had medical visits, he said they confirmed their fears after asking the nurse to look at their records, which all said “possible exposure to Covid-19” and listed as 8 April as a “release date” which would be the end of a 14-day quarantine period. The men joined a dozen other detainees in that facility who were also suspected of having exposure, Asgari said.Bryan Cox, an Ice spokesman, declined to respond to many of their specific claims, but said no detainee has tested positive for Covid-19 at ASF. He did not answer questions about whether the men were given tests or whether there was a direct exposure or quarantine. He said Ice groups detainees in “medical cohorts”, meaning separating potential Covid-19 patients from others, but said that a “cohort for potential exposure does not mean a person has been exposed”.He said the men were spreading “unsubstantiated rumor and false allegations”, but did not offer specifics.“We are just a number to them. They don’t care,” said a detainee in his 30s who is facing deportation to Guatemala, and was also moved from ASF to Winn alongside Asgari. “I’m really afraid … They put you in jail with all these people and you don’t know where they’ve come from. It doesn’t make any sense.”This detainee said he had lived in the US for more than a decade and that he was arrested in New York in mid-March as Ice continued its raids and arrests amid the worsening pandemic. He said he has little information about his case and is fighting to get out: “I’m trying to do something, but I can’t. I haven’t seen a judge, nothing. They are just moving me around.” ‘Disgusting’ conditions and silence from IceThe men said the conditions at Winn were appalling. The detainees are responsible for all cleaning, and there is a single shower and only two toilets for all 44 of them to share. They are also sleeping on beds roughly two feet apart from each other, and the humidity when they first arrived left the sheets wet and beds rusted, they alleged.“When we got inside, everyone was absolutely shocked at the living conditions,” said Asgari, who has a history of respiratory problems and is at risk of death. “It’s frustrating, disgusting and humiliating. We get outside for one hour a day. That’s the only good thing.”By Friday, a majority of the detainees were suffering from some kind of cold, according to Asgari, who said he now has a bad cough and fears it will infect his lungs. They don’t have fevers, and he said he hopes it’s not coronavirus.The man from El Salvador said the staff at Winn were taking their temperatures daily, but otherwise doing little else related to Covid-19 prevention. He said Ice should consider releasing them in the US for their own safety, noting that he didn’t know the status of the outbreak in El Salvador and whether it would be dangerous to return. But ultimately, he said he was desperate to get out, fearing staff could bring the virus to the facility or that he could be moved again and exposed to hundreds more detainees in other jails.One Ice officer told him he could submit a formal request and get a reply in seven or eight days, he said: “I want to know what is happening with us. They don’t answer, nothing.”On Friday, the man from El Salvador was deported, according to Asgari.> People are seeking asylum and they are saying, ‘Just send me back.’ That speaks to the horrific conditions> > Mehrnoush YazdanyarAsgari has also been trying to self-deport to Iran, where there is a massive Covid-19 outbreak.“They are asking to be sent anywhere but there,” said Mehrnoush Yazdanyar, an attorney who has talked to multiple Winn detainees and is helping Asgari’s family. “People are seeking asylum and they are saying, ‘Just send me back.’ That speaks to the horrific conditions.”Cox, the Ice spokesman, said all detainees are screened upon arrival to facilities and that Ice conducts Covid-19 testing in accordance with US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. He said Ice provides soap and “other appropriate cleaning supplies” and “necessary and appropriate medical care” to detainees.Advocates have raised similar complaints about Ice conditions across the country. Karlyn Kurichety, an attorney with immigrant rights group Al Otro Lado, said that at California’s largest Ice jail, detainees lack basic sanitation supplies and that Ice has placed some detainees in quarantine without telling them why.“We’re concerned there’s going to be a massive outbreak in one of these facilities, and literally thousands of people could die,” she said.


Search continues for Arkansas woman who vanished from her home in 2016

Search continues for Arkansas woman who vanished from her home in 2016Mercedes Toliver was last seen leaving her Prescott, Arkansas home on foot just after midnight on December 17, 2016. She was reportedly on her way to her aunt’s house nearby. She never made it. There has been no activity on her social media accounts since. The Prescott Police Department is investigating.


Trump: 'Going to be a lot of death' in U.S. next week from coronavirus

Trump: 'Going to be a lot of death' in U.S. next week from coronavirusPresident Donald Trump told Americans to brace for a big spike in coronavirus fatalities in the coming days, as the country faces what he called the toughest two weeks of the pandemic. "There's going to be a lot of death," Trump said at a briefing with reporters. "Fears of shortages have led to inflated requests," Trump said of submissions his administration has received to dole out equipment from the strategic national stockpile.


Monster storm strengthens in Pacific, lashing Vanuatu

Monster storm strengthens in Pacific, lashing VanuatuA deadly Pacific cyclone intensified as it hit Vanuatu on Monday, threatening a natural disaster that experts fear will undermine the impoverished Pacific nation's battle to remain coronavirus-free. Tropical Cyclone Harold, which claimed 27 lives when it swept through the Solomon Islands last week, strengthened to a scale-topping category five superstorm overnight, Vanuatu's meteorology service said. It made landfall on the remote east coast of Espiritu Santo island on Monday morning and was heading directly for Vanuatu's second-largest town Luganville, which has a population of 16,500.


Do social distancing better, White House doctor tells Americans

Do social distancing better, White House doctor tells AmericansDr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House task force on the coronavirus, had a message for Americans that she shared on Thursday: Do better at social distancing. President Trump disagreed.


Blame the Chinese Communist Party for the coronavirus crisis

Blame the Chinese Communist Party for the coronavirus crisisCoronavirus crisis proves communism is still a grave threat to the entire world. If Beijing had just been honest, the pandemic could be preventable.


'Complete collapse of economies' ahead as Africa faces virus

'Complete collapse of economies' ahead as Africa faces virusSome of Uganda’s poorest people used to work here, on the streets of Kampala, as fruit sellers sitting on the pavement or as peddlers of everything from handkerchiefs to roasted peanuts. Now they're gone and no one knows when they will return, victims of a global economic crisis linked to the coronavirus that could wipe out jobs for millions across the African continent, many who live hand-to-mouth with zero savings.


Is the coronavirus an act of God? Faith leaders debate tough questions amid pandemic

Is the coronavirus an act of God? Faith leaders debate tough questions amid pandemicFaith leaders are fielding questions about whether coronavirus is an act of God and if it's some sort of punishment for sin.


Trump is touting experimental drugs for COVID-19, saying they're 'not going to hurt' people. But the drugs have severe side effects and misuse has led to poisoning and even death.

Trump is touting experimental drugs for COVID-19, saying they're 'not going to hurt' people. But the drugs have severe side effects and misuse has led to poisoning and even death."If it works, that will be great, if it doesn't work ... it doesn't kill people," Trump said of chloroquine. But the drug comes with serious risks.


Japan Won’t Hesitate to Declare Emergency if Needed: Nishimura

Japan Won’t Hesitate to Declare Emergency if Needed: Nishimura(Bloomberg) -- Japan will not hesitate to declare a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic if there is any sign of an explosive spike in infections, Japan’s Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said.“We’ve been saying that we are on the brink of the brink, but it’s becoming a very tense situation,” Nishimura said during a Fuji Television broadcast Sunday. “Nationwide rampancy of virus infections is really approaching just right now.”Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has come under increasing pressure to declare a state of emergency to contain the spread of Covid-19. Tokyo reported more than 110 new coronavirus cases Saturday, the first time the daily toll of confirmed infections has exceeded 100, national broadcaster NHK reported. The were 336 new cases nationwide, the health ministry said.Hiroshi Mikitani, founder of Japan’s e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc., on Friday joined the call for Abe to declare a state of emergency. The prime minister told parliament Friday that the situation didn’t yet warrant an emergency declaration, but said he wouldn’t hesitate to do so when the time comes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


South Korea's return to normal interrupted by uptick in coronavirus cases

South Korea's return to normal interrupted by uptick in coronavirus casesWith many parts of the world wondering what a slow return to normal life will look like, South Korea's situation offers a warning: The curve doesn't necessarily stay flat.


Trump offers competing coronavirus messaging, warning of death but lamenting lockdown

Trump offers competing coronavirus messaging, warning of death but lamenting lockdownTrump repeated a favorite refrain of some conservatives, who have said that the coronavirus “cure”—that is, a nationwide shutdown—cannot be worse than the disease itself.


Why does the coronavirus affect people differently? Yahoo News Explains

Why does the coronavirus affect people differently? Yahoo News ExplainsCoronavirus patients are showing a wide range of symptoms and the exact reason why is still a mystery — but we do have some clues as to what factors can influence the severity of the disease.


Italy's virus deaths plunge to lowest since March 19

Italy's virus deaths plunge to lowest since March 19Italian officials said Sunday they may soon have to consider easing restrictions after seeing the daily coronavirus death toll plunge to its lowest in over two weeks. The 525 official COVID-19 fatalities reported by the civil protection service were the Mediterranean country's lowest since 427 deaths were registered on March 19. "The curve has started its descent and the number of deaths has started to drop," Italy's ISS national health institute director Silvio Brusaferro told reporters.


An Illinois man allegedly shot his wife then himself over coronavirus fears

An Illinois man allegedly shot his wife then himself over coronavirus fearsExperts predicted the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns could lead to an uptick in domestic violence.


Biden says removal of Navy captain who sounded alarm on coronavirus 'close to criminal'

Biden says removal of Navy captain who sounded alarm on coronavirus 'close to criminal'"I think the guy should ... have a commendation rather than be fired," Biden said.


Televangelist Kenneth Copeland 'blows wind of God' at coronavirus and claims pandemic is 'destroyed' in sermon

Televangelist Kenneth Copeland 'blows wind of God' at coronavirus and claims pandemic is 'destroyed' in sermonAmerican televangelist Kenneth Copeland, who recently claimed that the coronavirus pandemic will be "over much sooner you think" because "Christian people all over this country praying have overwhelmed it," has summoned the "wind of God" to destroy the novel coronavirus during a recent sermon.Before blowing at the camera, he said: "I blow the wind of God on you. You are destroyed forever, and you'll never be back. Thank you, God. Let it happen. Cause it to happen."


Revealed: food bank shortages expected to hit Washington state by mid-April

Revealed: food bank shortages expected to hit Washington state by mid-AprilReport obtained by Guardian projects acute demand and supply problem, meaning agencies will struggle to provide for the hungry * Coronavirus – live US updates * Live global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageAgencies and organisations tasked with feeding children, the poor and the elderly in Washington state during the coronavirus crisis will experience shortages of food and supplies as early as mid-April, according to state government emergency planning documents obtained by the Guardian.A 27 March situation report (SitRep) document produced by the Unified Command of Washington’s State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) projects that a combination of acute demand at food banks and schools, supply problems for food and cleaning supplies, plus staffing shortages, will mean government and NGOs will struggle to provide for hungry people whose incomes have disappeared as the state’s economy stutters.This raises the prospect of food bank shortages in Washington but also nationwide, as food banks across the US are being increasingly utilized by unprecedented numbers of people in an economy that has been abruptly slowed to fight the spreading pandemic.Washington state has experienced one of the earliest and most serious outbreaks of Covid-19 in the US. Governor Jay Inslee has received praise in recent days for his decisive response, which is thought to have prevented an even worse crisis.But the document suggests that at the predicted peak of the epidemic, which has already infected at least 4,896 Washingtonians and killed at least 195, the state will need to head off a parallel humanitarian crisis.The SitRep document, produced by the emergency agency coordinated by Washington state’s military department and distributed to state and local agencies involved in the emergency response, details emerging problems and frantic efforts to solve them across a range of numbered emergency support functions (ESF), including communications, firefighting, and energy.Under the heading “ESF11 Agriculture and Natural Resources”, the SitRep details the growing problems in food security. Many of the problems involve food banks – non-governmental organizations that deliver food to needy people.The document says there is already a “shortage of food at food banks”, which is projected to become worse. It says: “NGOs have food on hand. However, burn rate is increasing fast. Demand is growing dramatically so supply is quickly being used up.”It goes on to warn: “Food banks expect a significant gap in the food supply across the whole system by mid-April (April 10-20).”It then offers insight into spiking demand at specific NGOs delivering food in Washington: “Northwest Harvest (a statewide food bank service) reported they are distributing 450,000lbs of food this week.”It continues: “The burn rate and demand are rising sharply. These NGOs are seeing 30 percent to 100% increases in the number of people served.”In a telephone conversation, Northwest Harvest chief executive Thomas Reynolds said of his food banks: “We don’t predict peak demand for another three weeks and then we anticipate peak demand for 12 to 20 weeks.”He added: “I worked for 15 years for Care International. So what it reminds me of is earthquakes in Nepal, the tsunami in Japan, food crises in Yemen. And the difference is there’s a lot more experience in a place like Nepal or Yemen to respond to emergencies.”The document says rural counties are already moving to rationalize food delivery in the face of demand.“Chelan county is moving away from using small distribution centers. Instead they are going to start using a single, mass-distribution site for emergency food,” it says.It continues with a prediction: “It’s a model we will likely see more of in the days and weeks to come.”On Wednesday, Inslee, announced he had mobilized 130 National Guard members to provide support for food banks in Chelan and four other counties, with potentially more to follow.The problems are being compounded by supply problems in other goods necessary for food service, such as supplies used to clean kitchens.As in other states, Washington has closed schools, but many districts have maintained school lunch delivery as a way of feeding needy children.These programs, too, are under strain, according to the SitRep.One issue is in the workforce, which “is a growing issue because schools rely on older people to work in food service and as bus drivers. These are two job categories important to food assistance.”The document says “older workers are opting not to work because of Covid concerns” and that schools are also experiencing supply problems.The document does offer some hope that solutions to shortages are emerging, but leaves open the question of whether they will arrive in time.Chris McGann, a spokesman for the Washington state department of agriculture, said in an email: “The current situation with its rapidly increasing demand and limited resources is putting incredible strain on the social safety net. Hunger relief is no different.”He added: “We have called on the federal government and private industry to identify and commit additional resources to help us make sure families have the nutritional support they need to make it through this crisis.”He also said that the problem was so far confined to food banks. “The food supply chain is otherwise operational and functional. People will still be able to get food at the grocery store.”Reynolds stressed that Northwest Harvest was working well with the state and has “good relationship with our local elected officials”. But he said he hoped food security will become more central to political debate.“I think we should be asking people who are running for office. What is your food policy?”


US sees coronavirus window to push Taiwan's global status

US sees coronavirus window to push Taiwan's global statusThe Trump administration is seizing the opportunity of the coronavirus pandemic to push a cause that has long been an irritant in U.S. relations with China: Taiwan. The virus has added yet another dimension to U.S.-China tensions that were already wracked by a trade war and heated discussions over intellectual property, human rights and Chinese policies in Hong Kong and the South China Sea. As the pandemic has grown, U.S. officials and lawmakers have stepped up alternately bashing China for a lack of transparency over the outbreak and praising Taiwan for its response to the outbreak.


Coronavirus: China mourns Covid-19 victims with three-minute silence

Coronavirus: China mourns Covid-19 victims with three-minute silenceA day of mourning is held for the 3,300 people who died in China, where the Covid-19 pandemic began.


Does Iran's coronavirus crisis raise the risk of war?

Does Iran's coronavirus crisis raise the risk of war?Iran is experiencing on of the worst outbreaks of coronavirus in the world. Will the instability cause the country's leaders to lash out against America?


Trump: U.S. approaching period ‘that is going to be very horrendous’

Trump: U.S. approaching period ‘that is going to be very horrendous’President Trump on Saturday said that the United States is approaching a time that will be “very horrendous” for the nation amid the growing coronavirus outbreak across the country.


Face masks: How the Trump administration went from 'no need' to 'put one on' to fight coronavirus

Face masks: How the Trump administration went from 'no need' to 'put one on' to fight coronavirusJust a little over a month after saying there was no need for the community at large to wear masks in public, the CDC has changed its mind, recommending that all Americans should wear some sort of face covering when venturing outside.


Scots' medical chief resigns after flouting own coronavirus rules

Scots' medical chief resigns after flouting own coronavirus rulesScotland's Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood resigned on Sunday after she broke her own advice to stay at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus by visiting her second home this weekend and last. Calderwood said that during discussions with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Sunday evening they agreed her actions risked distracting from the "hugely important job that government and the medical profession has to do in getting the country through this coronavirus pandemic". Police had earlier issued a warning to Calderwood about her behaviour and Sturgeon had removed her as the public face of the campaign to tackle the coronavirus.


Woman needed stitches after anti-Asian hate crime attack on city bus, NYPD says

Woman needed stitches after anti-Asian hate crime attack on city bus, NYPD saysAn unidentified woman and three teens are alleged to have attacked a 51-year-old Asian woman, hitting her on the head with an umbrella after making anti-Asian remarks.


Asia virus latest: Australia sends away ships, Pakistan hunts worshippers

Asia virus latest: Australia sends away ships, Pakistan hunts worshippersThe largest maritime operation ever undertaken in Sydney Harbour was completed on Sunday with the successful restocking and refuelling of five cruise ships, Australian police said. It was part of government efforts since mid-March to force vessels to leave the country's waters to prevent any further spread of the coronavirus in Australia. Cruise ship guests have so far accounted for almost 10 percent of Australia's more than 5,500 infections.


Japan’s Abe Set to Declare Virus Emergency As Cases Jump

Japan’s Abe Set to Declare Virus Emergency As Cases Jump(Bloomberg) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to declare a state of emergency, media reports said, after coronavirus cases in Tokyo jumped over the weekend to top 1,000, raising worries of a more explosive surge.After last week saying the situation didn’t yet call for such a move, Abe changed course and will announce the plan as soon as Monday, media reports said. The formal declaration for the Tokyo area will be coming as early as Tuesday, the Yomiuri newspaper reported without attribution. The declaration could also cover the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa, as well as Osaka, and be given a time limit of six months, broadcaster TBS said, citing sources close to the matter.The process for making the declaration picked up pace Monday, with Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is handling the virus response, meeting Abe alongside the government’s top expert adviser on the pandemic. The premier may unveil his plan at a meeting of his virus task force after 6 p.m.The declaration could go into effect as Japan’s biggest-ever stimulus package worth 60 trillion yen ($550 billion) is set to be announced Tuesday.No LockdownThe state of emergency, which comes after pressure from local governors and the medical community, doesn’t enable a European-style lockdown.Declaring a state of emergency hands powers to local governments, including to urge residents to stay at home for a certain span of time during the emergency period. By contrast with some other countries though, there is no legal power to enforce such requests due to civil liberties protections in Japanese law.Abe’s government saw its approval rating slip to its lowest since October 2018 in a poll from broadcaster JNN released Monday with a majority of respondents faulting the way the government has managed the virus crisis. The poll taken April 4-5 showed that about 80% of respondents said the declaration should be made.The governors of Tokyo and Osaka have been pushing for the declaration as the recent spike in cases sparked concerns Japan is headed for a crisis on the levels seen in the U.S. and several countries in Europe.Japan was one of the first countries outside of the original epicenter in neighboring China to confirm a coronavirus infection and it has fared better than most, with about 3,650 reported cases as of Monday -- a jump from less than 500 just a month ago. That’s the lowest tally of any Group of Seven country, although Japan might be finding fewer mild cases because it has conducted a relatively small number of tests.Last week, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo advised American citizens who live in the U.S. but are currently in Japan to return home, “unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.” It added Japan’s low testing rate makes it hard to accurately assess the prevalence of the virus. The Japan Medical Association warned last week that the jump in cases in the nation’s most populous cities is putting more pressure on medical resources and that the government should declare a state of emergency.Tokyo reported 143 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, the largest number in a single day. It marked the second straight day the city’s daily infection tally exceeded 100.Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is already pressing residents to avoid unnecessary outings, and television showed many of the capital’s main shopping areas almost deserted over the weekend. The Tokyo local government is set to begin leasing hotels this week to accommodate mild cases, making room in its hospitals for the seriously ill.(Updates with media reports on area, time period)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Leaked memo: Amazon is now recommending the workers sorting and moving your online orders wear face masks, but will only have 'limited' quantities

Leaked memo: Amazon is now recommending the workers sorting and moving your online orders wear face masks, but will only have 'limited' quantitiesAmazon employs some 400,000 warehouse workers across 175-plus facilities. Workers at more than 50 warehouses have tested positive for the coronavirus.


Trump tempers officials' grave assessments with optimism

Trump tempers officials' grave assessments with optimismThe U.S. surgeon general says that Americans should brace for levels of tragedy reminiscent of the Sept. 11 attacks and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, while the nation’s infectious disease chief warned that the new coronavirus may never be completely eradicated from the globe. “We’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel,” Trump said at a Sunday evening White House briefing. Pence added, “We are beginning to see glimmers of progress.”


Trump accused of ‘firing people for telling the truth’ after dismissing man who handled impeachment complaint

Trump accused of ‘firing people for telling the truth’ after dismissing man who handled impeachment complaintDonald Trump has fired the US inspector general for the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, the man who first handled the complaint made by an anonymous CIA whistleblower that became the basis for his impeachment.The president wrote to the House and Senate intelligence committees late on Friday informing them of his decision, saying it was “vital” he had confidence in the independent government watchdog and and “that is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general”.


When Coronavirus Is Over, Middle East Chaos Will Only Be Worse

When Coronavirus Is Over, Middle East Chaos Will Only Be WorseFor a time the Middle East seemed like it just froze, the conflicts of yesterday put in quarantine—as so many of us have been—while various countries strive to contain an epidemic of biblical scale. Don’t expect that to last. The coronavirus outbreak is not the great equalizer, nor is it the crisis in which past rivalries will be forgotten.Trump’s Most Vital Mideast Allies Are Trending Fast Toward TyrannyLike an earthquake, the coronavirus is magnifying the foundational weaknesses of the least prepared countries, exacerbating existing inequalities across the region. And like a particularly lethal aftershock, the crash of the oil price further debilitates petroleum-based economies that lack the financial reserves to weather the secondary blow to their system. For Gulf countries, the “double whammy” of the coronavirus and the oil shock, while major disruptions, can be weathered with mass injections of capital. Moreover, these countries appear to have been some of the best prepared to deal with the pandemic, likely because they already faced the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak. They acted relatively quickly and decisively to identify cases and close down their borders. That’s not to say that things aren’t going to be bad for Gulf countries—they will—but there will be different shades of bad.  By contrast, Algeria, Iraq, Egypt, and Lebanon are certain to be hit especially hard by the twin blows. Algeria and Iraq’s budgets are so tied to the price of oil that they have no margin to maneuver. The economic crisis will also hit Egypt, especially with the loss of tourism, while Lebanon was in the process of defaulting on its sovereign debt even before the outbreak really took off. Refugee and internally displaced communities across the region also are going to be hit very hard, which is likely to increase refugee flows both within and outside the region—with potential recipients of these flows having another reason to close their doors. As a result, the burden of these new refugees is poised to be borne most by the states that can least afford to do so and those that already are host to massive displaced populations.This widening gap will have an impact on the region’s geopolitics. Desperate people do desperate things, and desperate regimes even more so. The recent escalation in attacks against coalition forces in Iraq which resulted in the killing of two U.S. and UK soldiers in the Taji military base is one example of what could become a trend: namely, the growing need for countries weakened by the outbreak to project strength. Iran has been at the epicenter of the crisis in the region and its lack of transparency and effort to maintain ties with one of its last trading partners, China, turned the crisis into a nightmare—making us, as geopolitical analysts, wonder what does Iran have to lose and where could its proxies strike next?Beyond that, as the crisis shifts America’s focus even more inwards, local actors will test Washington’s willingness to respond to escalation. Given what happened in Iran, and the possible geopolitical consequences, this raises the questions of what would (or more likely will) happen if/when the crisis will reach these levels in areas such as Syria, Yemen, Libya or Gaza? In an already unequal world, the crisis may well make asymmetric warfare even more relevant than it already was.While some regimes struggling against popular protest movements may have perceived a silver lining in the outbreak, a day of reckoning is not far over the horizon. In Algeria and Lebanon the streets are emptying fast. Now that the scale of the outbreak has set in, most if not all protesters won’t be marching for weeks or months to come. But there will be some reluctance to call off the demonstrations. Some protesters view their local regimes as worse than the virus. Those who decide to continue demonstrating will face a crackdown rationalized by the outbreak—Algeria already issued a ban on protests. The pandemic will break the momentum of these popular movements, but, once the dust settles, these may also come back swinging at governments that mishandled the crisis. The Middle East and North Africa were in the middle of a second Arab Spring. There’s every reason to expect the uprisings to regain their momentum when “coronavirus season” is over.On a domestic level, the crisis likely won’t bring people together, at least not in the long term—and not only because of the need for social distancing. Sectarian tensions are liable to increase, particularly as a result of Iran’s catastrophic mishandling of the situation. In the Gulf, where much of the initial outbreak was the result of Iran-related travels—which are difficult to track given that Gulf citizens who travel to Iran don’t get their passports stamped—fear of a broader outbreak due to such travel is already having an impact, with Saudi Arabia closing the Shiite-majority region of Qatif, and other Gulf countries reluctant to repatriate their own citizens from Iran.  The lack of testing capabilities in Sunni areas of Iraq (when compared to Kurdish and Shiite-majority areas), a similar lack of balance between testing numbers among the Jewish and Arab communities in Israel alongside tensions prompted by lockdown measures in Jaffa, all highlight the possibility that the outbreak will widen domestic divides rather than bridge them.In Israel, the crisis has revealed—overnight—the government’s willingness to approve massive spying on its own population at a time when parliament can’t convene to monitor the use of data gathered by the Israeli Security Agency. This is not an isolated case: more broadly, containment measures and the subsequent reaction by their respective populations will widen the gap between governments who managed to gain public trust, and those who didn’t.All of these factors suggest the coronavirus pandemic will turn into a defining moment for the region, not simply because of its magnitude, but because it came at a time when most countries were experiencing their own political crises—and failed to build any immunity to the one that suddenly knocked at their doors.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.


Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated

Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understatedPublic health experts and government officials agree that the U.S. government's coronavirus death toll almost certainly understates how many Americans have actually died from the virus.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only counts deaths where the presence of the coronavirus is confirmed in a lab test, The Washington Post reports, and "we know that it is an underestimation," CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said.There are many reasons why the numbers are underreported. Strict criteria in the beginning of the outbreak kept many people from getting tested for coronavirus, and it's still difficult to get tested in some areas, for example. There's also the matter of false positives, and not all medical examiners have tests or believe they should conduct postmortem testing, even on people who died at home or in nursing homes where there were outbreaks. Experts also believe some February and early March deaths that were attributed to influenza or pneumonia were likely due to coronavirus.The official death count is based on reports sent by states, and as of Sunday night, the CDC reports 304,826 confirmed U.S. cases and 7,616 deaths. The Post, other media outlets, and university researchers update their numbers more frequently, with the Post reporting on Sunday night that 9,633 people have died from coronavirus in the U.S., and at least 337,000 cases have been confirmed.More stories from theweek.com 5 funny cartoons about social distancing 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Fauci, Navarro reportedly got into a heated dispute over unproven coronavirus treatment


Iran's Rouhani says low-risk economic activities to resume from April 11 amid coronavirus

Iran's Rouhani says low-risk economic activities to resume from April 11 amid coronavirusIran's president said on Sunday "low-risk" economic activities would resume from April 11 in the Middle Eastern country worst-affected by the new coronavirus. Iran has been struggling to curb the spread of the highly infectious respiratory disease known as COVID-19 but authorities are also concerned that measures to limit public life to contain the virus could wreck an already sanctions-battered economy. "Under the supervision of the health ministry, all those low-risk economic activities will resume from Saturday," President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised meeting, adding that "those activities will resume in Tehran from April 18".


Two children hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bank

Two children hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bankAt least five children ate candy containing high THC doses after the Utah Food Bank distributed it as part of their food donations, police said.


Jordan becomes latest Mideast country to deploy drones in virus response

Jordan becomes latest Mideast country to deploy drones in virus responseJordan on Sunday started to deploy drones to fight the coronavirus pandemic, joining a host of Middle East countries using the technology to enforce curfews, deliver public health announcements and even monitor people's temperatures. Jordan has declared five deaths and 323 cases of COVID-19 and says it has arrested at least 1,600 people for violating a nationwide curfew in force since last month. "The armed forces and security services will ensure the curfew is being respected by using modern technology such as drones and surveillance cameras," Minister of State for Information, Amjad al-Adayleh, told a press briefing late Saturday.


Here's the biggest news you missed this weekend

Here's the biggest news you missed this weekendMedical professionals are being deployed to New York City. Two Coral Princess cruise passengers have died. Here's the weekend's biggest news.


Photos show China coming to a standstill to mourn everyone who died of coronavirus, including whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang

Photos show China coming to a standstill to mourn everyone who died of coronavirus, including whistleblower doctor Li WenliangAll of China observed a three-minute silence on Saturday, which coincided with Qingming Festival, when people traditionally visit ancestors' graves.


Coronavirus: Australia launches criminal investigation into Ruby Princess

Coronavirus: Australia launches criminal investigation into Ruby PrincessPassengers from the Ruby Princess disembarked in Sydney without knowing the coronavirus was on board.


No Probe on Trump’s Early Virus Response, House Democrat Says

No Probe on Trump’s Early Virus Response, House Democrat Says(Bloomberg) -- House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said it’s unlikely a congressional panel overseeing coronavirus relief will investigate the Trump administration’s initial response to the pandemic that’s claimed thousands of American lives.“This committee will be forward-looking,” Clyburn told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “We’re not going to be looking back on what the president may or may not have done back before this crisis hit. The crisis is with us.”The South Carolina lawmaker said the panel will instead be looking at how $2 trillion stimulus package to address the economic fallout of the spread of Covid-19 is administered.“The American people are now out of work, millions of them out of work,” he said. “The question is whether or not the money that’s appropriated will go to support them and their families, or whether or not this money will end up in the pockets of a few profiteers.”Clyburn’s remarks arrive as some Democratic governors criticize the Trump administration for what they say is a failure to provide adequate supplies or centralized policies to the states to address the crisis, despite having weeks or months of lead time.Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said during a Sunday news conference that the federal government knew about the seriousness of the virus as early as January but failed to act quickly enough.“The idea that the United States federal government did nearly nothing for quite a long time is now being visited upon us,” Pritzker said. “If action had been taken earlier a lot fewer lives would be lost.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Coronavirus: Germany and France accuse US of taking face masks as international tensions rise

Coronavirus: Germany and France accuse US of taking face masks as international tensions riseGermany and France have accused the US of taking face masks already ordered by Europe as the coronavirus pandemic continued to cause rising international tensions.Politicians in Berlin and Paris both said America had been using unfair means to undermine their own attempts to secure personal protective equipment.


Trump warns 'there will be a lot of death' in coming weeks

Trump warns 'there will be a lot of death' in coming weeksFatalities from complications of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus continue to climb in the United States as several major cities are bracing for their caseload apex in the next week.The U.S. reported 1,344 deaths from the new coronavirus Saturday, the country's highest number of fatalities in one day since the outbreak began. There are now more than 300,000 confirmed infections nationwide. In his daily White House briefing Saturday, President Trump warned the next couple of weeks would only get more difficult. "There will be a lot of death unfortunately," he said.Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said the coming weeks were crucial in the fight against the pandemic, urging Americans to adhere to social distancing guidelines. "This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe, and that means everybody doing the six feet distancing, washing your hands," she said.Birx added that modeling shows metro areas like New York, Detroit, and New Orleans will likely reach the peak of their outbreaks in the next six or seven days. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) also said it looks like his state his about a week away from when its health care system will be stretched thinnest. Read more at CNN and The Wall Street Journal.More stories from theweek.com 5 funny cartoons about social distancing 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated


Birx: 'It's giving us hope of what our future can be'

Birx: 'It's giving us hope of what our future can be'Dr. Deborah Birx on Sunday spoke about the declining numbers of new coronavirus cases and deaths in Spain and Italy. She believes it can offer hope to the United States.


1st federal inmate to die of coronavirus wrote heartbreaking letter to judge

1st federal inmate to die of coronavirus wrote heartbreaking letter to judgePatrick Jones "spent the last 12 years contesting a sentence that ultimately killed him," one of his former lawyers said.


Taiwan execution casts pall over coronavirus diplomacy with Europe
Iran to restart 'low-risk' economic activities soon

Iran to restart 'low-risk' economic activities soonIran said Sunday it will allow "low-risk" economic activities to resume from April 11 as its daily coronavirus infection rates slowed for a fifth straight day. "Restarting these activities does not mean we have abandoned the principle of staying at home," President Hassan Rouhani said at a meeting of Iran's anti-coronavirus task force. The president, whose country has been battered by US economic sanctions, did not specify what qualified as "low risk" activities, but said bans would remain on schools and large gatherings.


Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea

Recent developments surrounding the South China SeaThe People’s Liberation Army Daily and other state media reported last week that the Eastern Theater Command responsible for patrols around Taiwan held endurance training with early-warning aircraft last month.


Flight attendants are still working during coronavirus lockdowns and they worry that they're spreading the virus

Flight attendants are still working during coronavirus lockdowns and they worry that they're spreading the virusSome flight attendants are worried that they may be spreading coronavirus because of travel and lack of personal protective equipment.


Spain Virus Cases Pass Italy, Where Daily Deaths Are Falling

Spain Virus Cases Pass Italy, Where Daily Deaths Are Falling(Bloomberg) -- Spain’s Covid-19 cases surpassed Italy as Europe’s two main epicenters continue to struggle to curtail the virus, with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announcing plans to extend the country’s lockdown until April 25.Spain’s confirmed cases increased by 7,026 to 124,736 over the past 24 hours, while deaths rose by 809 to 11,744. Total cases are now higher than Italy’s 124,632, where the country reported the fewest number of new deaths since March 26. In France, the total number of fatalities rose to 7,560 and the U.K. reported its deadliest day yet with an increase of 708 deaths.The virus has crippled Europe at different times with most countries now in some form of lockdown, even as nations like Sweden and the U.K. were more reluctant to take drastic measures earlier. Governments and policy-makers are scrambling to find ways to mitigate the damage with entire economies headed into deep recession and a common approach still elusive.As attention shifts to Spain, Italy has signaled the situation, while still grave, is improving. Angelo Borrelli, the head of the country’s civil protection agency, said the number of patients in intensive care has dropped by 74, the first fall since the country went into a state of emergency.In Spain, a slower pace of fatalities and new cases is also offering some hope that the outbreak may be moving toward a peak. Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Friday that the goal of slowing the epidemic was “within reach.”The government in Madrid has imposed some of the most restrictive lockdown measures in Europe, shuttering most businesses and forcing people to stay in their homes except to buy groceries and seek healthcare.Containment measures across the continent have cut off border crossings and limited air travel, while countries have announced trillions of euros in aid to support businesses and individuals.Italy’s ruling parties and the Treasury reached an agreement to free up an additional 200 billion euros ($216 billion) of liquidity for firms, according to daily newspaper La Stampa. It said the moves, part of a new aid decree, will be approved by Monday and will let companies seek bank loans for as much as 25% of their revenue, most of which will be granted by the state.In Germany the number of coronavirus deaths and confirmed cases climbed further, a day after Robert Koch Institute President Lothar Wieler warned the country might require further intensive-care space. Germany has boosted capacity by more than 40% since the outbreak began.The death rate in Europe’s largest economy has been well below the levels seen in Italy and Spain, but government officials and healthcare experts insist it’s too early to ease social distancing rules and transport restrictions.Swedish QuestionThere are signs in turn that the death rate in Sweden is growing faster than elsewhere in Scandinavia, raising pressure on the government to abandon its controversial hands-off approach -- schools, restaurants and cafes remain open -- in tackling Covid-19.The number of Swedish deaths from the virus rose to 373 on Saturday, up 12% from Friday. That brings the rate per million in Scandinavia’s biggest economy to 36, compared with 29 in Denmark and 9 in Norway, where much tougher lockdowns are in place.Prime Minister Stefan Lofven warned that Sweden may now be facing “thousands” of deaths, and said the crisis is likely to drag on for months rather than weeks.When, and How, Does the Coronavirus Pandemic End?: QuickTakeApart from imposing lockdowns, several European leaders have moved to institute other controls which in some cases could also consolidate their own holds on power.In Hungary, political parties will lose half of their state funding this year, Gergely Gulyas, the minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s office, said in a video briefing. The move comes after Prime Minister Viktor Orban secured the power to rule by decree this week, drawing criticism from European Union members that he staged a power grab under the cover of the Covid-19 crisis.Equipment TensionsMeanwhile another dispute emerged over emergency medical equipment with Madrid accusing Ankara of retaining a shipment of respirators bought by two regional Spanish governments from a Turkish company.Turkey cited the risk of a shortage at home in holding onto the ventilators, Spain’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Spain would insist on reimbursement if the equipment was not released, it added. There was no immediate comment from the Turkish government.It comes after local officials in France and Germany accused unnamed Americans of using unfair means to obtain protective masks. The U.S. embassy in Paris said any suggestion that the federal government was involved in such practices was “completely false.(Updates with context and numbers throughout)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Disney World, Disneyland halt annual passholder payments during coronavirus closures

Disney World, Disneyland halt annual passholder payments during coronavirus closuresDisney World and Disneyland annual passholders will not be charged while the parks are closed due to COVID-19. Payments made from March 14-April 4 will be refunded.


Fauci, Navarro reportedly got into a heated dispute over unproven coronavirus treatment

Fauci, Navarro reportedly got into a heated dispute over unproven coronavirus treatmentA fight broke out in the White House Situation Room on Saturday, after President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro clashed with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, over an unproven COVID-19 coronavirus treatment, Axios reports. Four people with knowledge of the matter told Axios' Jonathan Swan the argument took place near the end of a White House coronavirus task force meeting, after Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn brought up hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug Trump has touted as a possible "game-changer" in the fight against coronavirus. When Hahn was finished giving updates on drug trials, Navarro put folders down on the table where Hahn, Fauci, Vice President Mike Pence, and others were sitting.One person familiar with the conversation told Swan the "first words out of his mouth are that the studies that he's seen, I believe they're mostly overseas, show 'clear therapeutic efficacy.' Those are the exact words out of his mouth." Fauci responded that this was anecdotal evidence, and this "just set Peter off," Swan reports. Navarro pointed to the folders and said, "That's science, not anecdote," a source said, and as his voice continued to get louder, Pence tried to intervene. "It was pretty clear that everyone was just trying to get Peter to sit down and stop being so confrontational," another person told Swan.Fauci and other public health officials have said more data is needed before anyone can say the drug is effective against COVID-19, but based on things he's read, Navarro is convinced it works, Swan reports. The task force ultimately decided that publicly, the White House needs to say that use of hydroxychloroquine is between doctors and patients. Read more at Axios.More stories from theweek.com 5 funny cartoons about social distancing 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated


'We're gonna die': migrants in US jail beg for deportation due to Covid-19 exposure

'We're gonna die': migrants in US jail beg for deportation due to Covid-19 exposureIce detainees isolated after one had Covid-19 symptoms tell the Guardian that cries for help and protection have gone ignored * Coronavirus – latest US updates * Coronavirus – latest global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageDetainees in a US immigration jail are begging to be released after potential Covid-19 exposure, saying the conditions are so brutal that they would rather suffer deportation than remain locked up.Three men incarcerated at the Winn correctional center in a remote part of Louisiana told the Guardian that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has isolated 44 of them together after they were possibly exposed to coronavirus. Some of the detainees are so desperate to leave that they are seeking voluntary deportation. They say their cries for masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and cleaning supplies have gone ignored, including for elderly detainees and those with asthma.In a series of phone calls, the men described a nightmare ordeal over the last two weeks, citing rampant mistreatment and a terrifying lack of information from Ice after they learned they were under some kind of quarantine. They also said that seven of their fellow detainees were deported on a flight to Colombia this week, four days into a 14-day quarantine period, which would appear to violate basic standards of coronavirus containment.Their firsthand accounts escalate concerns that human rights lawyers have been raising for weeks, that Ice jails could become death traps during the pandemic and that the only way to save lives and slow the spread is to release people en masse.“People are writing to the judge that they want to be deported as soon as possible. They don’t want to continue fighting,” said a detainee from El Salvador in his 30s, who declined to give his name. He said he was trying to self-deport and was also helping an asylum seeker seek deportation. “He told me, ‘I’d prefer to go home instead of being in this jail.’ … Ice has to release all the people, immediately.”One of the detainees speaking out and advocating for the release of immigrant prisoners is Dr Sirous Asgari, an Iranian scientist who was exonerated in a US trial last year but continues to face detention. The 59-year-old professor shared his story with the Guardian last week, prompting Iran’s foreign minister to call for his release.The men were first detained at the Alexandria staging facility (ASF) in Louisiana, where Asgari said Ice was continuing to bring in new detainees from around the country in cramped quarters where they were denied masks and basic supplies to protect themselves.Then on 26 March, ASF staff put up a sign outside the pod where they slept, which said the room was under “medical observation” due to the possibility of exposure, saying the risk was “high”, Asgari recounted this week. He heard that a detainee had a fever. But Ice, he alleged, gave the detainees no information and declined to tell them whether it was Covid-19.“Everybody got panicked,” he said, describing a chaotic scene of the detainees yelling for help and information. “We had two elderly people in their 70s, younger people with respiratory problems. One guy is crying, saying, ‘My life is in danger, we have been exposed.’ People were screaming, ‘Give us masks!’ … ‘We’re gonna die!’”One officer suggested there was nothing to worry about, but then staff kept the pod completely isolated from other detainees, suggesting they were under quarantine, Asgari said. Despite what seemed to be a strict quarantine, seven of them were deported to Colombia a few days later, he said.Roughly 30 men who remained behind were then taken to Winn, but were still given no information, the detainees said. But once they had medical visits, he said they confirmed their fears after asking the nurse to look at their records, which all said “possible exposure to Covid-19” and listed as 8 April as a “release date” which would be the end of a 14-day quarantine period. The men joined a dozen other detainees in that facility who were also suspected of having exposure, Asgari said.Bryan Cox, an Ice spokesman, declined to respond to many of their specific claims, but said no detainee has tested positive for Covid-19 at ASF. He did not answer questions about whether the men were given tests or whether there was a direct exposure or quarantine. He said Ice groups detainees in “medical cohorts”, meaning separating potential Covid-19 patients from others, but said that a “cohort for potential exposure does not mean a person has been exposed”.He said the men were spreading “unsubstantiated rumor and false allegations”, but did not offer specifics.“We are just a number to them. They don’t care,” said a detainee in his 30s who is facing deportation to Guatemala, and was also moved from ASF to Winn alongside Asgari. “I’m really afraid … They put you in jail with all these people and you don’t know where they’ve come from. It doesn’t make any sense.”This detainee said he had lived in the US for more than a decade and that he was arrested in New York in mid-March as Ice continued its raids and arrests amid the worsening pandemic. He said he has little information about his case and is fighting to get out: “I’m trying to do something, but I can’t. I haven’t seen a judge, nothing. They are just moving me around.” ‘Disgusting’ conditions and silence from IceThe men said the conditions at Winn were appalling. The detainees are responsible for all cleaning, and there is a single shower and only two toilets for all 44 of them to share. They are also sleeping on beds roughly two feet apart from each other, and the humidity when they first arrived left the sheets wet and beds rusted, they alleged.“When we got inside, everyone was absolutely shocked at the living conditions,” said Asgari, who has a history of respiratory problems and is at risk of death. “It’s frustrating, disgusting and humiliating. We get outside for one hour a day. That’s the only good thing.”By Friday, a majority of the detainees were suffering from some kind of cold, according to Asgari, who said he now has a bad cough and fears it will infect his lungs. They don’t have fevers, and he said he hopes it’s not coronavirus.The man from El Salvador said the staff at Winn were taking their temperatures daily, but otherwise doing little else related to Covid-19 prevention. He said Ice should consider releasing them in the US for their own safety, noting that he didn’t know the status of the outbreak in El Salvador and whether it would be dangerous to return. But ultimately, he said he was desperate to get out, fearing staff could bring the virus to the facility or that he could be moved again and exposed to hundreds more detainees in other jails.One Ice officer told him he could submit a formal request and get a reply in seven or eight days, he said: “I want to know what is happening with us. They don’t answer, nothing.”On Friday, the man from El Salvador was deported, according to Asgari.> People are seeking asylum and they are saying, ‘Just send me back.’ That speaks to the horrific conditions> > Mehrnoush YazdanyarAsgari has also been trying to self-deport to Iran, where there is a massive Covid-19 outbreak.“They are asking to be sent anywhere but there,” said Mehrnoush Yazdanyar, an attorney who has talked to multiple Winn detainees and is helping Asgari’s family. “People are seeking asylum and they are saying, ‘Just send me back.’ That speaks to the horrific conditions.”Cox, the Ice spokesman, said all detainees are screened upon arrival to facilities and that Ice conducts Covid-19 testing in accordance with US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. He said Ice provides soap and “other appropriate cleaning supplies” and “necessary and appropriate medical care” to detainees.Advocates have raised similar complaints about Ice conditions across the country. Karlyn Kurichety, an attorney with immigrant rights group Al Otro Lado, said that at California’s largest Ice jail, detainees lack basic sanitation supplies and that Ice has placed some detainees in quarantine without telling them why.“We’re concerned there’s going to be a massive outbreak in one of these facilities, and literally thousands of people could die,” she said.


Search continues for Arkansas woman who vanished from her home in 2016

Search continues for Arkansas woman who vanished from her home in 2016Mercedes Toliver was last seen leaving her Prescott, Arkansas home on foot just after midnight on December 17, 2016. She was reportedly on her way to her aunt’s house nearby. She never made it. There has been no activity on her social media accounts since. The Prescott Police Department is investigating.


Trump: 'Going to be a lot of death' in U.S. next week from coronavirus

Trump: 'Going to be a lot of death' in U.S. next week from coronavirusPresident Donald Trump told Americans to brace for a big spike in coronavirus fatalities in the coming days, as the country faces what he called the toughest two weeks of the pandemic. "There's going to be a lot of death," Trump said at a briefing with reporters. "Fears of shortages have led to inflated requests," Trump said of submissions his administration has received to dole out equipment from the strategic national stockpile.


Monster storm strengthens in Pacific, lashing Vanuatu

Monster storm strengthens in Pacific, lashing VanuatuA deadly Pacific cyclone intensified as it hit Vanuatu on Monday, threatening a natural disaster that experts fear will undermine the impoverished Pacific nation's battle to remain coronavirus-free. Tropical Cyclone Harold, which claimed 27 lives when it swept through the Solomon Islands last week, strengthened to a scale-topping category five superstorm overnight, Vanuatu's meteorology service said. It made landfall on the remote east coast of Espiritu Santo island on Monday morning and was heading directly for Vanuatu's second-largest town Luganville, which has a population of 16,500.


Do social distancing better, White House doctor tells Americans

Do social distancing better, White House doctor tells AmericansDr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House task force on the coronavirus, had a message for Americans that she shared on Thursday: Do better at social distancing. President Trump disagreed.


Blame the Chinese Communist Party for the coronavirus crisis

Blame the Chinese Communist Party for the coronavirus crisisCoronavirus crisis proves communism is still a grave threat to the entire world. If Beijing had just been honest, the pandemic could be preventable.


'Complete collapse of economies' ahead as Africa faces virus

'Complete collapse of economies' ahead as Africa faces virusSome of Uganda’s poorest people used to work here, on the streets of Kampala, as fruit sellers sitting on the pavement or as peddlers of everything from handkerchiefs to roasted peanuts. Now they're gone and no one knows when they will return, victims of a global economic crisis linked to the coronavirus that could wipe out jobs for millions across the African continent, many who live hand-to-mouth with zero savings.


Is the coronavirus an act of God? Faith leaders debate tough questions amid pandemic

Is the coronavirus an act of God? Faith leaders debate tough questions amid pandemicFaith leaders are fielding questions about whether coronavirus is an act of God and if it's some sort of punishment for sin.


Trump is touting experimental drugs for COVID-19, saying they're 'not going to hurt' people. But the drugs have severe side effects and misuse has led to poisoning and even death.

Trump is touting experimental drugs for COVID-19, saying they're 'not going to hurt' people. But the drugs have severe side effects and misuse has led to poisoning and even death."If it works, that will be great, if it doesn't work ... it doesn't kill people," Trump said of chloroquine. But the drug comes with serious risks.


Japan Won’t Hesitate to Declare Emergency if Needed: Nishimura

Japan Won’t Hesitate to Declare Emergency if Needed: Nishimura(Bloomberg) -- Japan will not hesitate to declare a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic if there is any sign of an explosive spike in infections, Japan’s Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said.“We’ve been saying that we are on the brink of the brink, but it’s becoming a very tense situation,” Nishimura said during a Fuji Television broadcast Sunday. “Nationwide rampancy of virus infections is really approaching just right now.”Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has come under increasing pressure to declare a state of emergency to contain the spread of Covid-19. Tokyo reported more than 110 new coronavirus cases Saturday, the first time the daily toll of confirmed infections has exceeded 100, national broadcaster NHK reported. The were 336 new cases nationwide, the health ministry said.Hiroshi Mikitani, founder of Japan’s e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc., on Friday joined the call for Abe to declare a state of emergency. The prime minister told parliament Friday that the situation didn’t yet warrant an emergency declaration, but said he wouldn’t hesitate to do so when the time comes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


South Korea's return to normal interrupted by uptick in coronavirus cases

South Korea's return to normal interrupted by uptick in coronavirus casesWith many parts of the world wondering what a slow return to normal life will look like, South Korea's situation offers a warning: The curve doesn't necessarily stay flat.


Trump offers competing coronavirus messaging, warning of death but lamenting lockdown

Trump offers competing coronavirus messaging, warning of death but lamenting lockdownTrump repeated a favorite refrain of some conservatives, who have said that the coronavirus “cure”—that is, a nationwide shutdown—cannot be worse than the disease itself.


Why does the coronavirus affect people differently? Yahoo News Explains

Why does the coronavirus affect people differently? Yahoo News ExplainsCoronavirus patients are showing a wide range of symptoms and the exact reason why is still a mystery — but we do have some clues as to what factors can influence the severity of the disease.


Italy's virus deaths plunge to lowest since March 19

Italy's virus deaths plunge to lowest since March 19Italian officials said Sunday they may soon have to consider easing restrictions after seeing the daily coronavirus death toll plunge to its lowest in over two weeks. The 525 official COVID-19 fatalities reported by the civil protection service were the Mediterranean country's lowest since 427 deaths were registered on March 19. "The curve has started its descent and the number of deaths has started to drop," Italy's ISS national health institute director Silvio Brusaferro told reporters.


An Illinois man allegedly shot his wife then himself over coronavirus fears

An Illinois man allegedly shot his wife then himself over coronavirus fearsExperts predicted the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns could lead to an uptick in domestic violence.


Biden says removal of Navy captain who sounded alarm on coronavirus 'close to criminal'

Biden says removal of Navy captain who sounded alarm on coronavirus 'close to criminal'"I think the guy should ... have a commendation rather than be fired," Biden said.


Televangelist Kenneth Copeland 'blows wind of God' at coronavirus and claims pandemic is 'destroyed' in sermon

Televangelist Kenneth Copeland 'blows wind of God' at coronavirus and claims pandemic is 'destroyed' in sermonAmerican televangelist Kenneth Copeland, who recently claimed that the coronavirus pandemic will be "over much sooner you think" because "Christian people all over this country praying have overwhelmed it," has summoned the "wind of God" to destroy the novel coronavirus during a recent sermon.Before blowing at the camera, he said: "I blow the wind of God on you. You are destroyed forever, and you'll never be back. Thank you, God. Let it happen. Cause it to happen."


Revealed: food bank shortages expected to hit Washington state by mid-April

Revealed: food bank shortages expected to hit Washington state by mid-AprilReport obtained by Guardian projects acute demand and supply problem, meaning agencies will struggle to provide for the hungry * Coronavirus – live US updates * Live global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageAgencies and organisations tasked with feeding children, the poor and the elderly in Washington state during the coronavirus crisis will experience shortages of food and supplies as early as mid-April, according to state government emergency planning documents obtained by the Guardian.A 27 March situation report (SitRep) document produced by the Unified Command of Washington’s State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) projects that a combination of acute demand at food banks and schools, supply problems for food and cleaning supplies, plus staffing shortages, will mean government and NGOs will struggle to provide for hungry people whose incomes have disappeared as the state’s economy stutters.This raises the prospect of food bank shortages in Washington but also nationwide, as food banks across the US are being increasingly utilized by unprecedented numbers of people in an economy that has been abruptly slowed to fight the spreading pandemic.Washington state has experienced one of the earliest and most serious outbreaks of Covid-19 in the US. Governor Jay Inslee has received praise in recent days for his decisive response, which is thought to have prevented an even worse crisis.But the document suggests that at the predicted peak of the epidemic, which has already infected at least 4,896 Washingtonians and killed at least 195, the state will need to head off a parallel humanitarian crisis.The SitRep document, produced by the emergency agency coordinated by Washington state’s military department and distributed to state and local agencies involved in the emergency response, details emerging problems and frantic efforts to solve them across a range of numbered emergency support functions (ESF), including communications, firefighting, and energy.Under the heading “ESF11 Agriculture and Natural Resources”, the SitRep details the growing problems in food security. Many of the problems involve food banks – non-governmental organizations that deliver food to needy people.The document says there is already a “shortage of food at food banks”, which is projected to become worse. It says: “NGOs have food on hand. However, burn rate is increasing fast. Demand is growing dramatically so supply is quickly being used up.”It goes on to warn: “Food banks expect a significant gap in the food supply across the whole system by mid-April (April 10-20).”It then offers insight into spiking demand at specific NGOs delivering food in Washington: “Northwest Harvest (a statewide food bank service) reported they are distributing 450,000lbs of food this week.”It continues: “The burn rate and demand are rising sharply. These NGOs are seeing 30 percent to 100% increases in the number of people served.”In a telephone conversation, Northwest Harvest chief executive Thomas Reynolds said of his food banks: “We don’t predict peak demand for another three weeks and then we anticipate peak demand for 12 to 20 weeks.”He added: “I worked for 15 years for Care International. So what it reminds me of is earthquakes in Nepal, the tsunami in Japan, food crises in Yemen. And the difference is there’s a lot more experience in a place like Nepal or Yemen to respond to emergencies.”The document says rural counties are already moving to rationalize food delivery in the face of demand.“Chelan county is moving away from using small distribution centers. Instead they are going to start using a single, mass-distribution site for emergency food,” it says.It continues with a prediction: “It’s a model we will likely see more of in the days and weeks to come.”On Wednesday, Inslee, announced he had mobilized 130 National Guard members to provide support for food banks in Chelan and four other counties, with potentially more to follow.The problems are being compounded by supply problems in other goods necessary for food service, such as supplies used to clean kitchens.As in other states, Washington has closed schools, but many districts have maintained school lunch delivery as a way of feeding needy children.These programs, too, are under strain, according to the SitRep.One issue is in the workforce, which “is a growing issue because schools rely on older people to work in food service and as bus drivers. These are two job categories important to food assistance.”The document says “older workers are opting not to work because of Covid concerns” and that schools are also experiencing supply problems.The document does offer some hope that solutions to shortages are emerging, but leaves open the question of whether they will arrive in time.Chris McGann, a spokesman for the Washington state department of agriculture, said in an email: “The current situation with its rapidly increasing demand and limited resources is putting incredible strain on the social safety net. Hunger relief is no different.”He added: “We have called on the federal government and private industry to identify and commit additional resources to help us make sure families have the nutritional support they need to make it through this crisis.”He also said that the problem was so far confined to food banks. “The food supply chain is otherwise operational and functional. People will still be able to get food at the grocery store.”Reynolds stressed that Northwest Harvest was working well with the state and has “good relationship with our local elected officials”. But he said he hoped food security will become more central to political debate.“I think we should be asking people who are running for office. What is your food policy?”


US sees coronavirus window to push Taiwan's global status

US sees coronavirus window to push Taiwan's global statusThe Trump administration is seizing the opportunity of the coronavirus pandemic to push a cause that has long been an irritant in U.S. relations with China: Taiwan. The virus has added yet another dimension to U.S.-China tensions that were already wracked by a trade war and heated discussions over intellectual property, human rights and Chinese policies in Hong Kong and the South China Sea. As the pandemic has grown, U.S. officials and lawmakers have stepped up alternately bashing China for a lack of transparency over the outbreak and praising Taiwan for its response to the outbreak.


Coronavirus: China mourns Covid-19 victims with three-minute silence

Coronavirus: China mourns Covid-19 victims with three-minute silenceA day of mourning is held for the 3,300 people who died in China, where the Covid-19 pandemic began.


Does Iran's coronavirus crisis raise the risk of war?

Does Iran's coronavirus crisis raise the risk of war?Iran is experiencing on of the worst outbreaks of coronavirus in the world. Will the instability cause the country's leaders to lash out against America?


Trump: U.S. approaching period ‘that is going to be very horrendous’

Trump: U.S. approaching period ‘that is going to be very horrendous’President Trump on Saturday said that the United States is approaching a time that will be “very horrendous” for the nation amid the growing coronavirus outbreak across the country.


Face masks: How the Trump administration went from 'no need' to 'put one on' to fight coronavirus

Face masks: How the Trump administration went from 'no need' to 'put one on' to fight coronavirusJust a little over a month after saying there was no need for the community at large to wear masks in public, the CDC has changed its mind, recommending that all Americans should wear some sort of face covering when venturing outside.


Scots' medical chief resigns after flouting own coronavirus rules

Scots' medical chief resigns after flouting own coronavirus rulesScotland's Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood resigned on Sunday after she broke her own advice to stay at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus by visiting her second home this weekend and last. Calderwood said that during discussions with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Sunday evening they agreed her actions risked distracting from the "hugely important job that government and the medical profession has to do in getting the country through this coronavirus pandemic". Police had earlier issued a warning to Calderwood about her behaviour and Sturgeon had removed her as the public face of the campaign to tackle the coronavirus.


Woman needed stitches after anti-Asian hate crime attack on city bus, NYPD says

Woman needed stitches after anti-Asian hate crime attack on city bus, NYPD saysAn unidentified woman and three teens are alleged to have attacked a 51-year-old Asian woman, hitting her on the head with an umbrella after making anti-Asian remarks.


Asia virus latest: Australia sends away ships, Pakistan hunts worshippers

Asia virus latest: Australia sends away ships, Pakistan hunts worshippersThe largest maritime operation ever undertaken in Sydney Harbour was completed on Sunday with the successful restocking and refuelling of five cruise ships, Australian police said. It was part of government efforts since mid-March to force vessels to leave the country's waters to prevent any further spread of the coronavirus in Australia. Cruise ship guests have so far accounted for almost 10 percent of Australia's more than 5,500 infections.


Japan’s Abe Set to Declare Virus Emergency As Cases Jump

Japan’s Abe Set to Declare Virus Emergency As Cases Jump(Bloomberg) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to declare a state of emergency, media reports said, after coronavirus cases in Tokyo jumped over the weekend to top 1,000, raising worries of a more explosive surge.After last week saying the situation didn’t yet call for such a move, Abe changed course and will announce the plan as soon as Monday, media reports said. The formal declaration for the Tokyo area will be coming as early as Tuesday, the Yomiuri newspaper reported without attribution. The declaration could also cover the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa, as well as Osaka, and be given a time limit of six months, broadcaster TBS said, citing sources close to the matter.The process for making the declaration picked up pace Monday, with Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is handling the virus response, meeting Abe alongside the government’s top expert adviser on the pandemic. The premier may unveil his plan at a meeting of his virus task force after 6 p.m.The declaration could go into effect as Japan’s biggest-ever stimulus package worth 60 trillion yen ($550 billion) is set to be announced Tuesday.No LockdownThe state of emergency, which comes after pressure from local governors and the medical community, doesn’t enable a European-style lockdown.Declaring a state of emergency hands powers to local governments, including to urge residents to stay at home for a certain span of time during the emergency period. By contrast with some other countries though, there is no legal power to enforce such requests due to civil liberties protections in Japanese law.Abe’s government saw its approval rating slip to its lowest since October 2018 in a poll from broadcaster JNN released Monday with a majority of respondents faulting the way the government has managed the virus crisis. The poll taken April 4-5 showed that about 80% of respondents said the declaration should be made.The governors of Tokyo and Osaka have been pushing for the declaration as the recent spike in cases sparked concerns Japan is headed for a crisis on the levels seen in the U.S. and several countries in Europe.Japan was one of the first countries outside of the original epicenter in neighboring China to confirm a coronavirus infection and it has fared better than most, with about 3,650 reported cases as of Monday -- a jump from less than 500 just a month ago. That’s the lowest tally of any Group of Seven country, although Japan might be finding fewer mild cases because it has conducted a relatively small number of tests.Last week, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo advised American citizens who live in the U.S. but are currently in Japan to return home, “unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.” It added Japan’s low testing rate makes it hard to accurately assess the prevalence of the virus. The Japan Medical Association warned last week that the jump in cases in the nation’s most populous cities is putting more pressure on medical resources and that the government should declare a state of emergency.Tokyo reported 143 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, the largest number in a single day. It marked the second straight day the city’s daily infection tally exceeded 100.Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is already pressing residents to avoid unnecessary outings, and television showed many of the capital’s main shopping areas almost deserted over the weekend. The Tokyo local government is set to begin leasing hotels this week to accommodate mild cases, making room in its hospitals for the seriously ill.(Updates with media reports on area, time period)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Leaked memo: Amazon is now recommending the workers sorting and moving your online orders wear face masks, but will only have 'limited' quantities

Leaked memo: Amazon is now recommending the workers sorting and moving your online orders wear face masks, but will only have 'limited' quantitiesAmazon employs some 400,000 warehouse workers across 175-plus facilities. Workers at more than 50 warehouses have tested positive for the coronavirus.


Trump tempers officials' grave assessments with optimism

Trump tempers officials' grave assessments with optimismThe U.S. surgeon general says that Americans should brace for levels of tragedy reminiscent of the Sept. 11 attacks and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, while the nation’s infectious disease chief warned that the new coronavirus may never be completely eradicated from the globe. “We’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel,” Trump said at a Sunday evening White House briefing. Pence added, “We are beginning to see glimmers of progress.”


Trump accused of ‘firing people for telling the truth’ after dismissing man who handled impeachment complaint

Trump accused of ‘firing people for telling the truth’ after dismissing man who handled impeachment complaintDonald Trump has fired the US inspector general for the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, the man who first handled the complaint made by an anonymous CIA whistleblower that became the basis for his impeachment.The president wrote to the House and Senate intelligence committees late on Friday informing them of his decision, saying it was “vital” he had confidence in the independent government watchdog and and “that is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general”.


When Coronavirus Is Over, Middle East Chaos Will Only Be Worse

When Coronavirus Is Over, Middle East Chaos Will Only Be WorseFor a time the Middle East seemed like it just froze, the conflicts of yesterday put in quarantine—as so many of us have been—while various countries strive to contain an epidemic of biblical scale. Don’t expect that to last. The coronavirus outbreak is not the great equalizer, nor is it the crisis in which past rivalries will be forgotten.Trump’s Most Vital Mideast Allies Are Trending Fast Toward TyrannyLike an earthquake, the coronavirus is magnifying the foundational weaknesses of the least prepared countries, exacerbating existing inequalities across the region. And like a particularly lethal aftershock, the crash of the oil price further debilitates petroleum-based economies that lack the financial reserves to weather the secondary blow to their system. For Gulf countries, the “double whammy” of the coronavirus and the oil shock, while major disruptions, can be weathered with mass injections of capital. Moreover, these countries appear to have been some of the best prepared to deal with the pandemic, likely because they already faced the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak. They acted relatively quickly and decisively to identify cases and close down their borders. That’s not to say that things aren’t going to be bad for Gulf countries—they will—but there will be different shades of bad.  By contrast, Algeria, Iraq, Egypt, and Lebanon are certain to be hit especially hard by the twin blows. Algeria and Iraq’s budgets are so tied to the price of oil that they have no margin to maneuver. The economic crisis will also hit Egypt, especially with the loss of tourism, while Lebanon was in the process of defaulting on its sovereign debt even before the outbreak really took off. Refugee and internally displaced communities across the region also are going to be hit very hard, which is likely to increase refugee flows both within and outside the region—with potential recipients of these flows having another reason to close their doors. As a result, the burden of these new refugees is poised to be borne most by the states that can least afford to do so and those that already are host to massive displaced populations.This widening gap will have an impact on the region’s geopolitics. Desperate people do desperate things, and desperate regimes even more so. The recent escalation in attacks against coalition forces in Iraq which resulted in the killing of two U.S. and UK soldiers in the Taji military base is one example of what could become a trend: namely, the growing need for countries weakened by the outbreak to project strength. Iran has been at the epicenter of the crisis in the region and its lack of transparency and effort to maintain ties with one of its last trading partners, China, turned the crisis into a nightmare—making us, as geopolitical analysts, wonder what does Iran have to lose and where could its proxies strike next?Beyond that, as the crisis shifts America’s focus even more inwards, local actors will test Washington’s willingness to respond to escalation. Given what happened in Iran, and the possible geopolitical consequences, this raises the questions of what would (or more likely will) happen if/when the crisis will reach these levels in areas such as Syria, Yemen, Libya or Gaza? In an already unequal world, the crisis may well make asymmetric warfare even more relevant than it already was.While some regimes struggling against popular protest movements may have perceived a silver lining in the outbreak, a day of reckoning is not far over the horizon. In Algeria and Lebanon the streets are emptying fast. Now that the scale of the outbreak has set in, most if not all protesters won’t be marching for weeks or months to come. But there will be some reluctance to call off the demonstrations. Some protesters view their local regimes as worse than the virus. Those who decide to continue demonstrating will face a crackdown rationalized by the outbreak—Algeria already issued a ban on protests. The pandemic will break the momentum of these popular movements, but, once the dust settles, these may also come back swinging at governments that mishandled the crisis. The Middle East and North Africa were in the middle of a second Arab Spring. There’s every reason to expect the uprisings to regain their momentum when “coronavirus season” is over.On a domestic level, the crisis likely won’t bring people together, at least not in the long term—and not only because of the need for social distancing. Sectarian tensions are liable to increase, particularly as a result of Iran’s catastrophic mishandling of the situation. In the Gulf, where much of the initial outbreak was the result of Iran-related travels—which are difficult to track given that Gulf citizens who travel to Iran don’t get their passports stamped—fear of a broader outbreak due to such travel is already having an impact, with Saudi Arabia closing the Shiite-majority region of Qatif, and other Gulf countries reluctant to repatriate their own citizens from Iran.  The lack of testing capabilities in Sunni areas of Iraq (when compared to Kurdish and Shiite-majority areas), a similar lack of balance between testing numbers among the Jewish and Arab communities in Israel alongside tensions prompted by lockdown measures in Jaffa, all highlight the possibility that the outbreak will widen domestic divides rather than bridge them.In Israel, the crisis has revealed—overnight—the government’s willingness to approve massive spying on its own population at a time when parliament can’t convene to monitor the use of data gathered by the Israeli Security Agency. This is not an isolated case: more broadly, containment measures and the subsequent reaction by their respective populations will widen the gap between governments who managed to gain public trust, and those who didn’t.All of these factors suggest the coronavirus pandemic will turn into a defining moment for the region, not simply because of its magnitude, but because it came at a time when most countries were experiencing their own political crises—and failed to build any immunity to the one that suddenly knocked at their doors.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.


Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated

Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understatedPublic health experts and government officials agree that the U.S. government's coronavirus death toll almost certainly understates how many Americans have actually died from the virus.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only counts deaths where the presence of the coronavirus is confirmed in a lab test, The Washington Post reports, and "we know that it is an underestimation," CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said.There are many reasons why the numbers are underreported. Strict criteria in the beginning of the outbreak kept many people from getting tested for coronavirus, and it's still difficult to get tested in some areas, for example. There's also the matter of false positives, and not all medical examiners have tests or believe they should conduct postmortem testing, even on people who died at home or in nursing homes where there were outbreaks. Experts also believe some February and early March deaths that were attributed to influenza or pneumonia were likely due to coronavirus.The official death count is based on reports sent by states, and as of Sunday night, the CDC reports 304,826 confirmed U.S. cases and 7,616 deaths. The Post, other media outlets, and university researchers update their numbers more frequently, with the Post reporting on Sunday night that 9,633 people have died from coronavirus in the U.S., and at least 337,000 cases have been confirmed.More stories from theweek.com 5 funny cartoons about social distancing 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Fauci, Navarro reportedly got into a heated dispute over unproven coronavirus treatment


Iran's Rouhani says low-risk economic activities to resume from April 11 amid coronavirus

Iran's Rouhani says low-risk economic activities to resume from April 11 amid coronavirusIran's president said on Sunday "low-risk" economic activities would resume from April 11 in the Middle Eastern country worst-affected by the new coronavirus. Iran has been struggling to curb the spread of the highly infectious respiratory disease known as COVID-19 but authorities are also concerned that measures to limit public life to contain the virus could wreck an already sanctions-battered economy. "Under the supervision of the health ministry, all those low-risk economic activities will resume from Saturday," President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised meeting, adding that "those activities will resume in Tehran from April 18".


Two children hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bank

Two children hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bankAt least five children ate candy containing high THC doses after the Utah Food Bank distributed it as part of their food donations, police said.


Jordan becomes latest Mideast country to deploy drones in virus response

Jordan becomes latest Mideast country to deploy drones in virus responseJordan on Sunday started to deploy drones to fight the coronavirus pandemic, joining a host of Middle East countries using the technology to enforce curfews, deliver public health announcements and even monitor people's temperatures. Jordan has declared five deaths and 323 cases of COVID-19 and says it has arrested at least 1,600 people for violating a nationwide curfew in force since last month. "The armed forces and security services will ensure the curfew is being respected by using modern technology such as drones and surveillance cameras," Minister of State for Information, Amjad al-Adayleh, told a press briefing late Saturday.


Here's the biggest news you missed this weekend

Here's the biggest news you missed this weekendMedical professionals are being deployed to New York City. Two Coral Princess cruise passengers have died. Here's the weekend's biggest news.


Photos show China coming to a standstill to mourn everyone who died of coronavirus, including whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang

Photos show China coming to a standstill to mourn everyone who died of coronavirus, including whistleblower doctor Li WenliangAll of China observed a three-minute silence on Saturday, which coincided with Qingming Festival, when people traditionally visit ancestors' graves.


Coronavirus: Australia launches criminal investigation into Ruby Princess

Coronavirus: Australia launches criminal investigation into Ruby PrincessPassengers from the Ruby Princess disembarked in Sydney without knowing the coronavirus was on board.


No Probe on Trump’s Early Virus Response, House Democrat Says

No Probe on Trump’s Early Virus Response, House Democrat Says(Bloomberg) -- House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said it’s unlikely a congressional panel overseeing coronavirus relief will investigate the Trump administration’s initial response to the pandemic that’s claimed thousands of American lives.“This committee will be forward-looking,” Clyburn told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “We’re not going to be looking back on what the president may or may not have done back before this crisis hit. The crisis is with us.”The South Carolina lawmaker said the panel will instead be looking at how $2 trillion stimulus package to address the economic fallout of the spread of Covid-19 is administered.“The American people are now out of work, millions of them out of work,” he said. “The question is whether or not the money that’s appropriated will go to support them and their families, or whether or not this money will end up in the pockets of a few profiteers.”Clyburn’s remarks arrive as some Democratic governors criticize the Trump administration for what they say is a failure to provide adequate supplies or centralized policies to the states to address the crisis, despite having weeks or months of lead time.Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said during a Sunday news conference that the federal government knew about the seriousness of the virus as early as January but failed to act quickly enough.“The idea that the United States federal government did nearly nothing for quite a long time is now being visited upon us,” Pritzker said. “If action had been taken earlier a lot fewer lives would be lost.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Coronavirus: Germany and France accuse US of taking face masks as international tensions rise

Coronavirus: Germany and France accuse US of taking face masks as international tensions riseGermany and France have accused the US of taking face masks already ordered by Europe as the coronavirus pandemic continued to cause rising international tensions.Politicians in Berlin and Paris both said America had been using unfair means to undermine their own attempts to secure personal protective equipment.


Trump warns 'there will be a lot of death' in coming weeks

Trump warns 'there will be a lot of death' in coming weeksFatalities from complications of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus continue to climb in the United States as several major cities are bracing for their caseload apex in the next week.The U.S. reported 1,344 deaths from the new coronavirus Saturday, the country's highest number of fatalities in one day since the outbreak began. There are now more than 300,000 confirmed infections nationwide. In his daily White House briefing Saturday, President Trump warned the next couple of weeks would only get more difficult. "There will be a lot of death unfortunately," he said.Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said the coming weeks were crucial in the fight against the pandemic, urging Americans to adhere to social distancing guidelines. "This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe, and that means everybody doing the six feet distancing, washing your hands," she said.Birx added that modeling shows metro areas like New York, Detroit, and New Orleans will likely reach the peak of their outbreaks in the next six or seven days. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) also said it looks like his state his about a week away from when its health care system will be stretched thinnest. Read more at CNN and The Wall Street Journal.More stories from theweek.com 5 funny cartoons about social distancing 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated


Birx: 'It's giving us hope of what our future can be'

Birx: 'It's giving us hope of what our future can be'Dr. Deborah Birx on Sunday spoke about the declining numbers of new coronavirus cases and deaths in Spain and Italy. She believes it can offer hope to the United States.


1st federal inmate to die of coronavirus wrote heartbreaking letter to judge

1st federal inmate to die of coronavirus wrote heartbreaking letter to judgePatrick Jones "spent the last 12 years contesting a sentence that ultimately killed him," one of his former lawyers said.


Taiwan execution casts pall over coronavirus diplomacy with Europe
Iran to restart 'low-risk' economic activities soon

Iran to restart 'low-risk' economic activities soonIran said Sunday it will allow "low-risk" economic activities to resume from April 11 as its daily coronavirus infection rates slowed for a fifth straight day. "Restarting these activities does not mean we have abandoned the principle of staying at home," President Hassan Rouhani said at a meeting of Iran's anti-coronavirus task force. The president, whose country has been battered by US economic sanctions, did not specify what qualified as "low risk" activities, but said bans would remain on schools and large gatherings.


Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea

Recent developments surrounding the South China SeaThe People’s Liberation Army Daily and other state media reported last week that the Eastern Theater Command responsible for patrols around Taiwan held endurance training with early-warning aircraft last month.


Flight attendants are still working during coronavirus lockdowns and they worry that they're spreading the virus

Flight attendants are still working during coronavirus lockdowns and they worry that they're spreading the virusSome flight attendants are worried that they may be spreading coronavirus because of travel and lack of personal protective equipment.


Spain Virus Cases Pass Italy, Where Daily Deaths Are Falling

Spain Virus Cases Pass Italy, Where Daily Deaths Are Falling(Bloomberg) -- Spain’s Covid-19 cases surpassed Italy as Europe’s two main epicenters continue to struggle to curtail the virus, with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announcing plans to extend the country’s lockdown until April 25.Spain’s confirmed cases increased by 7,026 to 124,736 over the past 24 hours, while deaths rose by 809 to 11,744. Total cases are now higher than Italy’s 124,632, where the country reported the fewest number of new deaths since March 26. In France, the total number of fatalities rose to 7,560 and the U.K. reported its deadliest day yet with an increase of 708 deaths.The virus has crippled Europe at different times with most countries now in some form of lockdown, even as nations like Sweden and the U.K. were more reluctant to take drastic measures earlier. Governments and policy-makers are scrambling to find ways to mitigate the damage with entire economies headed into deep recession and a common approach still elusive.As attention shifts to Spain, Italy has signaled the situation, while still grave, is improving. Angelo Borrelli, the head of the country’s civil protection agency, said the number of patients in intensive care has dropped by 74, the first fall since the country went into a state of emergency.In Spain, a slower pace of fatalities and new cases is also offering some hope that the outbreak may be moving toward a peak. Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Friday that the goal of slowing the epidemic was “within reach.”The government in Madrid has imposed some of the most restrictive lockdown measures in Europe, shuttering most businesses and forcing people to stay in their homes except to buy groceries and seek healthcare.Containment measures across the continent have cut off border crossings and limited air travel, while countries have announced trillions of euros in aid to support businesses and individuals.Italy’s ruling parties and the Treasury reached an agreement to free up an additional 200 billion euros ($216 billion) of liquidity for firms, according to daily newspaper La Stampa. It said the moves, part of a new aid decree, will be approved by Monday and will let companies seek bank loans for as much as 25% of their revenue, most of which will be granted by the state.In Germany the number of coronavirus deaths and confirmed cases climbed further, a day after Robert Koch Institute President Lothar Wieler warned the country might require further intensive-care space. Germany has boosted capacity by more than 40% since the outbreak began.The death rate in Europe’s largest economy has been well below the levels seen in Italy and Spain, but government officials and healthcare experts insist it’s too early to ease social distancing rules and transport restrictions.Swedish QuestionThere are signs in turn that the death rate in Sweden is growing faster than elsewhere in Scandinavia, raising pressure on the government to abandon its controversial hands-off approach -- schools, restaurants and cafes remain open -- in tackling Covid-19.The number of Swedish deaths from the virus rose to 373 on Saturday, up 12% from Friday. That brings the rate per million in Scandinavia’s biggest economy to 36, compared with 29 in Denmark and 9 in Norway, where much tougher lockdowns are in place.Prime Minister Stefan Lofven warned that Sweden may now be facing “thousands” of deaths, and said the crisis is likely to drag on for months rather than weeks.When, and How, Does the Coronavirus Pandemic End?: QuickTakeApart from imposing lockdowns, several European leaders have moved to institute other controls which in some cases could also consolidate their own holds on power.In Hungary, political parties will lose half of their state funding this year, Gergely Gulyas, the minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s office, said in a video briefing. The move comes after Prime Minister Viktor Orban secured the power to rule by decree this week, drawing criticism from European Union members that he staged a power grab under the cover of the Covid-19 crisis.Equipment TensionsMeanwhile another dispute emerged over emergency medical equipment with Madrid accusing Ankara of retaining a shipment of respirators bought by two regional Spanish governments from a Turkish company.Turkey cited the risk of a shortage at home in holding onto the ventilators, Spain’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Spain would insist on reimbursement if the equipment was not released, it added. There was no immediate comment from the Turkish government.It comes after local officials in France and Germany accused unnamed Americans of using unfair means to obtain protective masks. The U.S. embassy in Paris said any suggestion that the federal government was involved in such practices was “completely false.(Updates with context and numbers throughout)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Disney World, Disneyland halt annual passholder payments during coronavirus closures

Disney World, Disneyland halt annual passholder payments during coronavirus closuresDisney World and Disneyland annual passholders will not be charged while the parks are closed due to COVID-19. Payments made from March 14-April 4 will be refunded.


Fauci, Navarro reportedly got into a heated dispute over unproven coronavirus treatment

Fauci, Navarro reportedly got into a heated dispute over unproven coronavirus treatmentA fight broke out in the White House Situation Room on Saturday, after President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro clashed with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, over an unproven COVID-19 coronavirus treatment, Axios reports. Four people with knowledge of the matter told Axios' Jonathan Swan the argument took place near the end of a White House coronavirus task force meeting, after Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn brought up hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug Trump has touted as a possible "game-changer" in the fight against coronavirus. When Hahn was finished giving updates on drug trials, Navarro put folders down on the table where Hahn, Fauci, Vice President Mike Pence, and others were sitting.One person familiar with the conversation told Swan the "first words out of his mouth are that the studies that he's seen, I believe they're mostly overseas, show 'clear therapeutic efficacy.' Those are the exact words out of his mouth." Fauci responded that this was anecdotal evidence, and this "just set Peter off," Swan reports. Navarro pointed to the folders and said, "That's science, not anecdote," a source said, and as his voice continued to get louder, Pence tried to intervene. "It was pretty clear that everyone was just trying to get Peter to sit down and stop being so confrontational," another person told Swan.Fauci and other public health officials have said more data is needed before anyone can say the drug is effective against COVID-19, but based on things he's read, Navarro is convinced it works, Swan reports. The task force ultimately decided that publicly, the White House needs to say that use of hydroxychloroquine is between doctors and patients. Read more at Axios.More stories from theweek.com 5 funny cartoons about social distancing 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated


'We're gonna die': migrants in US jail beg for deportation due to Covid-19 exposure

'We're gonna die': migrants in US jail beg for deportation due to Covid-19 exposureIce detainees isolated after one had Covid-19 symptoms tell the Guardian that cries for help and protection have gone ignored * Coronavirus – latest US updates * Coronavirus – latest global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageDetainees in a US immigration jail are begging to be released after potential Covid-19 exposure, saying the conditions are so brutal that they would rather suffer deportation than remain locked up.Three men incarcerated at the Winn correctional center in a remote part of Louisiana told the Guardian that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has isolated 44 of them together after they were possibly exposed to coronavirus. Some of the detainees are so desperate to leave that they are seeking voluntary deportation. They say their cries for masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and cleaning supplies have gone ignored, including for elderly detainees and those with asthma.In a series of phone calls, the men described a nightmare ordeal over the last two weeks, citing rampant mistreatment and a terrifying lack of information from Ice after they learned they were under some kind of quarantine. They also said that seven of their fellow detainees were deported on a flight to Colombia this week, four days into a 14-day quarantine period, which would appear to violate basic standards of coronavirus containment.Their firsthand accounts escalate concerns that human rights lawyers have been raising for weeks, that Ice jails could become death traps during the pandemic and that the only way to save lives and slow the spread is to release people en masse.“People are writing to the judge that they want to be deported as soon as possible. They don’t want to continue fighting,” said a detainee from El Salvador in his 30s, who declined to give his name. He said he was trying to self-deport and was also helping an asylum seeker seek deportation. “He told me, ‘I’d prefer to go home instead of being in this jail.’ … Ice has to release all the people, immediately.”One of the detainees speaking out and advocating for the release of immigrant prisoners is Dr Sirous Asgari, an Iranian scientist who was exonerated in a US trial last year but continues to face detention. The 59-year-old professor shared his story with the Guardian last week, prompting Iran’s foreign minister to call for his release.The men were first detained at the Alexandria staging facility (ASF) in Louisiana, where Asgari said Ice was continuing to bring in new detainees from around the country in cramped quarters where they were denied masks and basic supplies to protect themselves.Then on 26 March, ASF staff put up a sign outside the pod where they slept, which said the room was under “medical observation” due to the possibility of exposure, saying the risk was “high”, Asgari recounted this week. He heard that a detainee had a fever. But Ice, he alleged, gave the detainees no information and declined to tell them whether it was Covid-19.“Everybody got panicked,” he said, describing a chaotic scene of the detainees yelling for help and information. “We had two elderly people in their 70s, younger people with respiratory problems. One guy is crying, saying, ‘My life is in danger, we have been exposed.’ People were screaming, ‘Give us masks!’ … ‘We’re gonna die!’”One officer suggested there was nothing to worry about, but then staff kept the pod completely isolated from other detainees, suggesting they were under quarantine, Asgari said. Despite what seemed to be a strict quarantine, seven of them were deported to Colombia a few days later, he said.Roughly 30 men who remained behind were then taken to Winn, but were still given no information, the detainees said. But once they had medical visits, he said they confirmed their fears after asking the nurse to look at their records, which all said “possible exposure to Covid-19” and listed as 8 April as a “release date” which would be the end of a 14-day quarantine period. The men joined a dozen other detainees in that facility who were also suspected of having exposure, Asgari said.Bryan Cox, an Ice spokesman, declined to respond to many of their specific claims, but said no detainee has tested positive for Covid-19 at ASF. He did not answer questions about whether the men were given tests or whether there was a direct exposure or quarantine. He said Ice groups detainees in “medical cohorts”, meaning separating potential Covid-19 patients from others, but said that a “cohort for potential exposure does not mean a person has been exposed”.He said the men were spreading “unsubstantiated rumor and false allegations”, but did not offer specifics.“We are just a number to them. They don’t care,” said a detainee in his 30s who is facing deportation to Guatemala, and was also moved from ASF to Winn alongside Asgari. “I’m really afraid … They put you in jail with all these people and you don’t know where they’ve come from. It doesn’t make any sense.”This detainee said he had lived in the US for more than a decade and that he was arrested in New York in mid-March as Ice continued its raids and arrests amid the worsening pandemic. He said he has little information about his case and is fighting to get out: “I’m trying to do something, but I can’t. I haven’t seen a judge, nothing. They are just moving me around.” ‘Disgusting’ conditions and silence from IceThe men said the conditions at Winn were appalling. The detainees are responsible for all cleaning, and there is a single shower and only two toilets for all 44 of them to share. They are also sleeping on beds roughly two feet apart from each other, and the humidity when they first arrived left the sheets wet and beds rusted, they alleged.“When we got inside, everyone was absolutely shocked at the living conditions,” said Asgari, who has a history of respiratory problems and is at risk of death. “It’s frustrating, disgusting and humiliating. We get outside for one hour a day. That’s the only good thing.”By Friday, a majority of the detainees were suffering from some kind of cold, according to Asgari, who said he now has a bad cough and fears it will infect his lungs. They don’t have fevers, and he said he hopes it’s not coronavirus.The man from El Salvador said the staff at Winn were taking their temperatures daily, but otherwise doing little else related to Covid-19 prevention. He said Ice should consider releasing them in the US for their own safety, noting that he didn’t know the status of the outbreak in El Salvador and whether it would be dangerous to return. But ultimately, he said he was desperate to get out, fearing staff could bring the virus to the facility or that he could be moved again and exposed to hundreds more detainees in other jails.One Ice officer told him he could submit a formal request and get a reply in seven or eight days, he said: “I want to know what is happening with us. They don’t answer, nothing.”On Friday, the man from El Salvador was deported, according to Asgari.> People are seeking asylum and they are saying, ‘Just send me back.’ That speaks to the horrific conditions> > Mehrnoush YazdanyarAsgari has also been trying to self-deport to Iran, where there is a massive Covid-19 outbreak.“They are asking to be sent anywhere but there,” said Mehrnoush Yazdanyar, an attorney who has talked to multiple Winn detainees and is helping Asgari’s family. “People are seeking asylum and they are saying, ‘Just send me back.’ That speaks to the horrific conditions.”Cox, the Ice spokesman, said all detainees are screened upon arrival to facilities and that Ice conducts Covid-19 testing in accordance with US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. He said Ice provides soap and “other appropriate cleaning supplies” and “necessary and appropriate medical care” to detainees.Advocates have raised similar complaints about Ice conditions across the country. Karlyn Kurichety, an attorney with immigrant rights group Al Otro Lado, said that at California’s largest Ice jail, detainees lack basic sanitation supplies and that Ice has placed some detainees in quarantine without telling them why.“We’re concerned there’s going to be a massive outbreak in one of these facilities, and literally thousands of people could die,” she said.


Search continues for Arkansas woman who vanished from her home in 2016

Search continues for Arkansas woman who vanished from her home in 2016Mercedes Toliver was last seen leaving her Prescott, Arkansas home on foot just after midnight on December 17, 2016. She was reportedly on her way to her aunt’s house nearby. She never made it. There has been no activity on her social media accounts since. The Prescott Police Department is investigating.


Trump: 'Going to be a lot of death' in U.S. next week from coronavirus

Trump: 'Going to be a lot of death' in U.S. next week from coronavirusPresident Donald Trump told Americans to brace for a big spike in coronavirus fatalities in the coming days, as the country faces what he called the toughest two weeks of the pandemic. "There's going to be a lot of death," Trump said at a briefing with reporters. "Fears of shortages have led to inflated requests," Trump said of submissions his administration has received to dole out equipment from the strategic national stockpile.


Monster storm strengthens in Pacific, lashing Vanuatu

Monster storm strengthens in Pacific, lashing VanuatuA deadly Pacific cyclone intensified as it hit Vanuatu on Monday, threatening a natural disaster that experts fear will undermine the impoverished Pacific nation's battle to remain coronavirus-free. Tropical Cyclone Harold, which claimed 27 lives when it swept through the Solomon Islands last week, strengthened to a scale-topping category five superstorm overnight, Vanuatu's meteorology service said. It made landfall on the remote east coast of Espiritu Santo island on Monday morning and was heading directly for Vanuatu's second-largest town Luganville, which has a population of 16,500.


Do social distancing better, White House doctor tells Americans

Do social distancing better, White House doctor tells AmericansDr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House task force on the coronavirus, had a message for Americans that she shared on Thursday: Do better at social distancing. President Trump disagreed.


Blame the Chinese Communist Party for the coronavirus crisis

Blame the Chinese Communist Party for the coronavirus crisisCoronavirus crisis proves communism is still a grave threat to the entire world. If Beijing had just been honest, the pandemic could be preventable.


'Complete collapse of economies' ahead as Africa faces virus

'Complete collapse of economies' ahead as Africa faces virusSome of Uganda’s poorest people used to work here, on the streets of Kampala, as fruit sellers sitting on the pavement or as peddlers of everything from handkerchiefs to roasted peanuts. Now they're gone and no one knows when they will return, victims of a global economic crisis linked to the coronavirus that could wipe out jobs for millions across the African continent, many who live hand-to-mouth with zero savings.


Is the coronavirus an act of God? Faith leaders debate tough questions amid pandemic

Is the coronavirus an act of God? Faith leaders debate tough questions amid pandemicFaith leaders are fielding questions about whether coronavirus is an act of God and if it's some sort of punishment for sin.


Trump is touting experimental drugs for COVID-19, saying they're 'not going to hurt' people. But the drugs have severe side effects and misuse has led to poisoning and even death.

Trump is touting experimental drugs for COVID-19, saying they're 'not going to hurt' people. But the drugs have severe side effects and misuse has led to poisoning and even death."If it works, that will be great, if it doesn't work ... it doesn't kill people," Trump said of chloroquine. But the drug comes with serious risks.


Japan Won’t Hesitate to Declare Emergency if Needed: Nishimura

Japan Won’t Hesitate to Declare Emergency if Needed: Nishimura(Bloomberg) -- Japan will not hesitate to declare a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic if there is any sign of an explosive spike in infections, Japan’s Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said.“We’ve been saying that we are on the brink of the brink, but it’s becoming a very tense situation,” Nishimura said during a Fuji Television broadcast Sunday. “Nationwide rampancy of virus infections is really approaching just right now.”Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has come under increasing pressure to declare a state of emergency to contain the spread of Covid-19. Tokyo reported more than 110 new coronavirus cases Saturday, the first time the daily toll of confirmed infections has exceeded 100, national broadcaster NHK reported. The were 336 new cases nationwide, the health ministry said.Hiroshi Mikitani, founder of Japan’s e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc., on Friday joined the call for Abe to declare a state of emergency. The prime minister told parliament Friday that the situation didn’t yet warrant an emergency declaration, but said he wouldn’t hesitate to do so when the time comes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


South Korea's return to normal interrupted by uptick in coronavirus cases

South Korea's return to normal interrupted by uptick in coronavirus casesWith many parts of the world wondering what a slow return to normal life will look like, South Korea's situation offers a warning: The curve doesn't necessarily stay flat.


Trump offers competing coronavirus messaging, warning of death but lamenting lockdown

Trump offers competing coronavirus messaging, warning of death but lamenting lockdownTrump repeated a favorite refrain of some conservatives, who have said that the coronavirus “cure”—that is, a nationwide shutdown—cannot be worse than the disease itself.


Why does the coronavirus affect people differently? Yahoo News Explains

Why does the coronavirus affect people differently? Yahoo News ExplainsCoronavirus patients are showing a wide range of symptoms and the exact reason why is still a mystery — but we do have some clues as to what factors can influence the severity of the disease.


Italy's virus deaths plunge to lowest since March 19

Italy's virus deaths plunge to lowest since March 19Italian officials said Sunday they may soon have to consider easing restrictions after seeing the daily coronavirus death toll plunge to its lowest in over two weeks. The 525 official COVID-19 fatalities reported by the civil protection service were the Mediterranean country's lowest since 427 deaths were registered on March 19. "The curve has started its descent and the number of deaths has started to drop," Italy's ISS national health institute director Silvio Brusaferro told reporters.


An Illinois man allegedly shot his wife then himself over coronavirus fears

An Illinois man allegedly shot his wife then himself over coronavirus fearsExperts predicted the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns could lead to an uptick in domestic violence.


Biden says removal of Navy captain who sounded alarm on coronavirus 'close to criminal'

Biden says removal of Navy captain who sounded alarm on coronavirus 'close to criminal'"I think the guy should ... have a commendation rather than be fired," Biden said.


Televangelist Kenneth Copeland 'blows wind of God' at coronavirus and claims pandemic is 'destroyed' in sermon

Televangelist Kenneth Copeland 'blows wind of God' at coronavirus and claims pandemic is 'destroyed' in sermonAmerican televangelist Kenneth Copeland, who recently claimed that the coronavirus pandemic will be "over much sooner you think" because "Christian people all over this country praying have overwhelmed it," has summoned the "wind of God" to destroy the novel coronavirus during a recent sermon.Before blowing at the camera, he said: "I blow the wind of God on you. You are destroyed forever, and you'll never be back. Thank you, God. Let it happen. Cause it to happen."


Revealed: food bank shortages expected to hit Washington state by mid-April

Revealed: food bank shortages expected to hit Washington state by mid-AprilReport obtained by Guardian projects acute demand and supply problem, meaning agencies will struggle to provide for the hungry * Coronavirus – live US updates * Live global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageAgencies and organisations tasked with feeding children, the poor and the elderly in Washington state during the coronavirus crisis will experience shortages of food and supplies as early as mid-April, according to state government emergency planning documents obtained by the Guardian.A 27 March situation report (SitRep) document produced by the Unified Command of Washington’s State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) projects that a combination of acute demand at food banks and schools, supply problems for food and cleaning supplies, plus staffing shortages, will mean government and NGOs will struggle to provide for hungry people whose incomes have disappeared as the state’s economy stutters.This raises the prospect of food bank shortages in Washington but also nationwide, as food banks across the US are being increasingly utilized by unprecedented numbers of people in an economy that has been abruptly slowed to fight the spreading pandemic.Washington state has experienced one of the earliest and most serious outbreaks of Covid-19 in the US. Governor Jay Inslee has received praise in recent days for his decisive response, which is thought to have prevented an even worse crisis.But the document suggests that at the predicted peak of the epidemic, which has already infected at least 4,896 Washingtonians and killed at least 195, the state will need to head off a parallel humanitarian crisis.The SitRep document, produced by the emergency agency coordinated by Washington state’s military department and distributed to state and local agencies involved in the emergency response, details emerging problems and frantic efforts to solve them across a range of numbered emergency support functions (ESF), including communications, firefighting, and energy.Under the heading “ESF11 Agriculture and Natural Resources”, the SitRep details the growing problems in food security. Many of the problems involve food banks – non-governmental organizations that deliver food to needy people.The document says there is already a “shortage of food at food banks”, which is projected to become worse. It says: “NGOs have food on hand. However, burn rate is increasing fast. Demand is growing dramatically so supply is quickly being used up.”It goes on to warn: “Food banks expect a significant gap in the food supply across the whole system by mid-April (April 10-20).”It then offers insight into spiking demand at specific NGOs delivering food in Washington: “Northwest Harvest (a statewide food bank service) reported they are distributing 450,000lbs of food this week.”It continues: “The burn rate and demand are rising sharply. These NGOs are seeing 30 percent to 100% increases in the number of people served.”In a telephone conversation, Northwest Harvest chief executive Thomas Reynolds said of his food banks: “We don’t predict peak demand for another three weeks and then we anticipate peak demand for 12 to 20 weeks.”He added: “I worked for 15 years for Care International. So what it reminds me of is earthquakes in Nepal, the tsunami in Japan, food crises in Yemen. And the difference is there’s a lot more experience in a place like Nepal or Yemen to respond to emergencies.”The document says rural counties are already moving to rationalize food delivery in the face of demand.“Chelan county is moving away from using small distribution centers. Instead they are going to start using a single, mass-distribution site for emergency food,” it says.It continues with a prediction: “It’s a model we will likely see more of in the days and weeks to come.”On Wednesday, Inslee, announced he had mobilized 130 National Guard members to provide support for food banks in Chelan and four other counties, with potentially more to follow.The problems are being compounded by supply problems in other goods necessary for food service, such as supplies used to clean kitchens.As in other states, Washington has closed schools, but many districts have maintained school lunch delivery as a way of feeding needy children.These programs, too, are under strain, according to the SitRep.One issue is in the workforce, which “is a growing issue because schools rely on older people to work in food service and as bus drivers. These are two job categories important to food assistance.”The document says “older workers are opting not to work because of Covid concerns” and that schools are also experiencing supply problems.The document does offer some hope that solutions to shortages are emerging, but leaves open the question of whether they will arrive in time.Chris McGann, a spokesman for the Washington state department of agriculture, said in an email: “The current situation with its rapidly increasing demand and limited resources is putting incredible strain on the social safety net. Hunger relief is no different.”He added: “We have called on the federal government and private industry to identify and commit additional resources to help us make sure families have the nutritional support they need to make it through this crisis.”He also said that the problem was so far confined to food banks. “The food supply chain is otherwise operational and functional. People will still be able to get food at the grocery store.”Reynolds stressed that Northwest Harvest was working well with the state and has “good relationship with our local elected officials”. But he said he hoped food security will become more central to political debate.“I think we should be asking people who are running for office. What is your food policy?”


US sees coronavirus window to push Taiwan's global status

US sees coronavirus window to push Taiwan's global statusThe Trump administration is seizing the opportunity of the coronavirus pandemic to push a cause that has long been an irritant in U.S. relations with China: Taiwan. The virus has added yet another dimension to U.S.-China tensions that were already wracked by a trade war and heated discussions over intellectual property, human rights and Chinese policies in Hong Kong and the South China Sea. As the pandemic has grown, U.S. officials and lawmakers have stepped up alternately bashing China for a lack of transparency over the outbreak and praising Taiwan for its response to the outbreak.


Coronavirus: China mourns Covid-19 victims with three-minute silence

Coronavirus: China mourns Covid-19 victims with three-minute silenceA day of mourning is held for the 3,300 people who died in China, where the Covid-19 pandemic began.


Does Iran's coronavirus crisis raise the risk of war?

Does Iran's coronavirus crisis raise the risk of war?Iran is experiencing on of the worst outbreaks of coronavirus in the world. Will the instability cause the country's leaders to lash out against America?


Trump: U.S. approaching period ‘that is going to be very horrendous’

Trump: U.S. approaching period ‘that is going to be very horrendous’President Trump on Saturday said that the United States is approaching a time that will be “very horrendous” for the nation amid the growing coronavirus outbreak across the country.


Face masks: How the Trump administration went from 'no need' to 'put one on' to fight coronavirus

Face masks: How the Trump administration went from 'no need' to 'put one on' to fight coronavirusJust a little over a month after saying there was no need for the community at large to wear masks in public, the CDC has changed its mind, recommending that all Americans should wear some sort of face covering when venturing outside.


Scots' medical chief resigns after flouting own coronavirus rules

Scots' medical chief resigns after flouting own coronavirus rulesScotland's Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood resigned on Sunday after she broke her own advice to stay at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus by visiting her second home this weekend and last. Calderwood said that during discussions with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Sunday evening they agreed her actions risked distracting from the "hugely important job that government and the medical profession has to do in getting the country through this coronavirus pandemic". Police had earlier issued a warning to Calderwood about her behaviour and Sturgeon had removed her as the public face of the campaign to tackle the coronavirus.


Woman needed stitches after anti-Asian hate crime attack on city bus, NYPD says

Woman needed stitches after anti-Asian hate crime attack on city bus, NYPD saysAn unidentified woman and three teens are alleged to have attacked a 51-year-old Asian woman, hitting her on the head with an umbrella after making anti-Asian remarks.


Asia virus latest: Australia sends away ships, Pakistan hunts worshippers

Asia virus latest: Australia sends away ships, Pakistan hunts worshippersThe largest maritime operation ever undertaken in Sydney Harbour was completed on Sunday with the successful restocking and refuelling of five cruise ships, Australian police said. It was part of government efforts since mid-March to force vessels to leave the country's waters to prevent any further spread of the coronavirus in Australia. Cruise ship guests have so far accounted for almost 10 percent of Australia's more than 5,500 infections.


Japan’s Abe Set to Declare Virus Emergency As Cases Jump

Japan’s Abe Set to Declare Virus Emergency As Cases Jump(Bloomberg) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to declare a state of emergency, media reports said, after coronavirus cases in Tokyo jumped over the weekend to top 1,000, raising worries of a more explosive surge.After last week saying the situation didn’t yet call for such a move, Abe changed course and will announce the plan as soon as Monday, media reports said. The formal declaration for the Tokyo area will be coming as early as Tuesday, the Yomiuri newspaper reported without attribution. The declaration could also cover the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa, as well as Osaka, and be given a time limit of six months, broadcaster TBS said, citing sources close to the matter.The process for making the declaration picked up pace Monday, with Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is handling the virus response, meeting Abe alongside the government’s top expert adviser on the pandemic. The premier may unveil his plan at a meeting of his virus task force after 6 p.m.The declaration could go into effect as Japan’s biggest-ever stimulus package worth 60 trillion yen ($550 billion) is set to be announced Tuesday.No LockdownThe state of emergency, which comes after pressure from local governors and the medical community, doesn’t enable a European-style lockdown.Declaring a state of emergency hands powers to local governments, including to urge residents to stay at home for a certain span of time during the emergency period. By contrast with some other countries though, there is no legal power to enforce such requests due to civil liberties protections in Japanese law.Abe’s government saw its approval rating slip to its lowest since October 2018 in a poll from broadcaster JNN released Monday with a majority of respondents faulting the way the government has managed the virus crisis. The poll taken April 4-5 showed that about 80% of respondents said the declaration should be made.The governors of Tokyo and Osaka have been pushing for the declaration as the recent spike in cases sparked concerns Japan is headed for a crisis on the levels seen in the U.S. and several countries in Europe.Japan was one of the first countries outside of the original epicenter in neighboring China to confirm a coronavirus infection and it has fared better than most, with about 3,650 reported cases as of Monday -- a jump from less than 500 just a month ago. That’s the lowest tally of any Group of Seven country, although Japan might be finding fewer mild cases because it has conducted a relatively small number of tests.Last week, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo advised American citizens who live in the U.S. but are currently in Japan to return home, “unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.” It added Japan’s low testing rate makes it hard to accurately assess the prevalence of the virus. The Japan Medical Association warned last week that the jump in cases in the nation’s most populous cities is putting more pressure on medical resources and that the government should declare a state of emergency.Tokyo reported 143 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, the largest number in a single day. It marked the second straight day the city’s daily infection tally exceeded 100.Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is already pressing residents to avoid unnecessary outings, and television showed many of the capital’s main shopping areas almost deserted over the weekend. The Tokyo local government is set to begin leasing hotels this week to accommodate mild cases, making room in its hospitals for the seriously ill.(Updates with media reports on area, time period)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Leaked memo: Amazon is now recommending the workers sorting and moving your online orders wear face masks, but will only have 'limited' quantities

Leaked memo: Amazon is now recommending the workers sorting and moving your online orders wear face masks, but will only have 'limited' quantitiesAmazon employs some 400,000 warehouse workers across 175-plus facilities. Workers at more than 50 warehouses have tested positive for the coronavirus.


Trump tempers officials' grave assessments with optimism

Trump tempers officials' grave assessments with optimismThe U.S. surgeon general says that Americans should brace for levels of tragedy reminiscent of the Sept. 11 attacks and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, while the nation’s infectious disease chief warned that the new coronavirus may never be completely eradicated from the globe. “We’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel,” Trump said at a Sunday evening White House briefing. Pence added, “We are beginning to see glimmers of progress.”


Trump accused of ‘firing people for telling the truth’ after dismissing man who handled impeachment complaint

Trump accused of ‘firing people for telling the truth’ after dismissing man who handled impeachment complaintDonald Trump has fired the US inspector general for the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, the man who first handled the complaint made by an anonymous CIA whistleblower that became the basis for his impeachment.The president wrote to the House and Senate intelligence committees late on Friday informing them of his decision, saying it was “vital” he had confidence in the independent government watchdog and and “that is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general”.


When Coronavirus Is Over, Middle East Chaos Will Only Be Worse

When Coronavirus Is Over, Middle East Chaos Will Only Be WorseFor a time the Middle East seemed like it just froze, the conflicts of yesterday put in quarantine—as so many of us have been—while various countries strive to contain an epidemic of biblical scale. Don’t expect that to last. The coronavirus outbreak is not the great equalizer, nor is it the crisis in which past rivalries will be forgotten.Trump’s Most Vital Mideast Allies Are Trending Fast Toward TyrannyLike an earthquake, the coronavirus is magnifying the foundational weaknesses of the least prepared countries, exacerbating existing inequalities across the region. And like a particularly lethal aftershock, the crash of the oil price further debilitates petroleum-based economies that lack the financial reserves to weather the secondary blow to their system. For Gulf countries, the “double whammy” of the coronavirus and the oil shock, while major disruptions, can be weathered with mass injections of capital. Moreover, these countries appear to have been some of the best prepared to deal with the pandemic, likely because they already faced the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak. They acted relatively quickly and decisively to identify cases and close down their borders. That’s not to say that things aren’t going to be bad for Gulf countries—they will—but there will be different shades of bad.  By contrast, Algeria, Iraq, Egypt, and Lebanon are certain to be hit especially hard by the twin blows. Algeria and Iraq’s budgets are so tied to the price of oil that they have no margin to maneuver. The economic crisis will also hit Egypt, especially with the loss of tourism, while Lebanon was in the process of defaulting on its sovereign debt even before the outbreak really took off. Refugee and internally displaced communities across the region also are going to be hit very hard, which is likely to increase refugee flows both within and outside the region—with potential recipients of these flows having another reason to close their doors. As a result, the burden of these new refugees is poised to be borne most by the states that can least afford to do so and those that already are host to massive displaced populations.This widening gap will have an impact on the region’s geopolitics. Desperate people do desperate things, and desperate regimes even more so. The recent escalation in attacks against coalition forces in Iraq which resulted in the killing of two U.S. and UK soldiers in the Taji military base is one example of what could become a trend: namely, the growing need for countries weakened by the outbreak to project strength. Iran has been at the epicenter of the crisis in the region and its lack of transparency and effort to maintain ties with one of its last trading partners, China, turned the crisis into a nightmare—making us, as geopolitical analysts, wonder what does Iran have to lose and where could its proxies strike next?Beyond that, as the crisis shifts America’s focus even more inwards, local actors will test Washington’s willingness to respond to escalation. Given what happened in Iran, and the possible geopolitical consequences, this raises the questions of what would (or more likely will) happen if/when the crisis will reach these levels in areas such as Syria, Yemen, Libya or Gaza? In an already unequal world, the crisis may well make asymmetric warfare even more relevant than it already was.While some regimes struggling against popular protest movements may have perceived a silver lining in the outbreak, a day of reckoning is not far over the horizon. In Algeria and Lebanon the streets are emptying fast. Now that the scale of the outbreak has set in, most if not all protesters won’t be marching for weeks or months to come. But there will be some reluctance to call off the demonstrations. Some protesters view their local regimes as worse than the virus. Those who decide to continue demonstrating will face a crackdown rationalized by the outbreak—Algeria already issued a ban on protests. The pandemic will break the momentum of these popular movements, but, once the dust settles, these may also come back swinging at governments that mishandled the crisis. The Middle East and North Africa were in the middle of a second Arab Spring. There’s every reason to expect the uprisings to regain their momentum when “coronavirus season” is over.On a domestic level, the crisis likely won’t bring people together, at least not in the long term—and not only because of the need for social distancing. Sectarian tensions are liable to increase, particularly as a result of Iran’s catastrophic mishandling of the situation. In the Gulf, where much of the initial outbreak was the result of Iran-related travels—which are difficult to track given that Gulf citizens who travel to Iran don’t get their passports stamped—fear of a broader outbreak due to such travel is already having an impact, with Saudi Arabia closing the Shiite-majority region of Qatif, and other Gulf countries reluctant to repatriate their own citizens from Iran.  The lack of testing capabilities in Sunni areas of Iraq (when compared to Kurdish and Shiite-majority areas), a similar lack of balance between testing numbers among the Jewish and Arab communities in Israel alongside tensions prompted by lockdown measures in Jaffa, all highlight the possibility that the outbreak will widen domestic divides rather than bridge them.In Israel, the crisis has revealed—overnight—the government’s willingness to approve massive spying on its own population at a time when parliament can’t convene to monitor the use of data gathered by the Israeli Security Agency. This is not an isolated case: more broadly, containment measures and the subsequent reaction by their respective populations will widen the gap between governments who managed to gain public trust, and those who didn’t.All of these factors suggest the coronavirus pandemic will turn into a defining moment for the region, not simply because of its magnitude, but because it came at a time when most countries were experiencing their own political crises—and failed to build any immunity to the one that suddenly knocked at their doors.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.


Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated

Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understatedPublic health experts and government officials agree that the U.S. government's coronavirus death toll almost certainly understates how many Americans have actually died from the virus.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only counts deaths where the presence of the coronavirus is confirmed in a lab test, The Washington Post reports, and "we know that it is an underestimation," CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said.There are many reasons why the numbers are underreported. Strict criteria in the beginning of the outbreak kept many people from getting tested for coronavirus, and it's still difficult to get tested in some areas, for example. There's also the matter of false positives, and not all medical examiners have tests or believe they should conduct postmortem testing, even on people who died at home or in nursing homes where there were outbreaks. Experts also believe some February and early March deaths that were attributed to influenza or pneumonia were likely due to coronavirus.The official death count is based on reports sent by states, and as of Sunday night, the CDC reports 304,826 confirmed U.S. cases and 7,616 deaths. The Post, other media outlets, and university researchers update their numbers more frequently, with the Post reporting on Sunday night that 9,633 people have died from coronavirus in the U.S., and at least 337,000 cases have been confirmed.More stories from theweek.com 5 funny cartoons about social distancing 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Fauci, Navarro reportedly got into a heated dispute over unproven coronavirus treatment


Iran's Rouhani says low-risk economic activities to resume from April 11 amid coronavirus

Iran's Rouhani says low-risk economic activities to resume from April 11 amid coronavirusIran's president said on Sunday "low-risk" economic activities would resume from April 11 in the Middle Eastern country worst-affected by the new coronavirus. Iran has been struggling to curb the spread of the highly infectious respiratory disease known as COVID-19 but authorities are also concerned that measures to limit public life to contain the virus could wreck an already sanctions-battered economy. "Under the supervision of the health ministry, all those low-risk economic activities will resume from Saturday," President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised meeting, adding that "those activities will resume in Tehran from April 18".


Two children hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bank

Two children hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bankAt least five children ate candy containing high THC doses after the Utah Food Bank distributed it as part of their food donations, police said.


Jordan becomes latest Mideast country to deploy drones in virus response

Jordan becomes latest Mideast country to deploy drones in virus responseJordan on Sunday started to deploy drones to fight the coronavirus pandemic, joining a host of Middle East countries using the technology to enforce curfews, deliver public health announcements and even monitor people's temperatures. Jordan has declared five deaths and 323 cases of COVID-19 and says it has arrested at least 1,600 people for violating a nationwide curfew in force since last month. "The armed forces and security services will ensure the curfew is being respected by using modern technology such as drones and surveillance cameras," Minister of State for Information, Amjad al-Adayleh, told a press briefing late Saturday.


Here's the biggest news you missed this weekend

Here's the biggest news you missed this weekendMedical professionals are being deployed to New York City. Two Coral Princess cruise passengers have died. Here's the weekend's biggest news.


Photos show China coming to a standstill to mourn everyone who died of coronavirus, including whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang

Photos show China coming to a standstill to mourn everyone who died of coronavirus, including whistleblower doctor Li WenliangAll of China observed a three-minute silence on Saturday, which coincided with Qingming Festival, when people traditionally visit ancestors' graves.


Coronavirus: Australia launches criminal investigation into Ruby Princess

Coronavirus: Australia launches criminal investigation into Ruby PrincessPassengers from the Ruby Princess disembarked in Sydney without knowing the coronavirus was on board.


No Probe on Trump’s Early Virus Response, House Democrat Says

No Probe on Trump’s Early Virus Response, House Democrat Says(Bloomberg) -- House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said it’s unlikely a congressional panel overseeing coronavirus relief will investigate the Trump administration’s initial response to the pandemic that’s claimed thousands of American lives.“This committee will be forward-looking,” Clyburn told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “We’re not going to be looking back on what the president may or may not have done back before this crisis hit. The crisis is with us.”The South Carolina lawmaker said the panel will instead be looking at how $2 trillion stimulus package to address the economic fallout of the spread of Covid-19 is administered.“The American people are now out of work, millions of them out of work,” he said. “The question is whether or not the money that’s appropriated will go to support them and their families, or whether or not this money will end up in the pockets of a few profiteers.”Clyburn’s remarks arrive as some Democratic governors criticize the Trump administration for what they say is a failure to provide adequate supplies or centralized policies to the states to address the crisis, despite having weeks or months of lead time.Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said during a Sunday news conference that the federal government knew about the seriousness of the virus as early as January but failed to act quickly enough.“The idea that the United States federal government did nearly nothing for quite a long time is now being visited upon us,” Pritzker said. “If action had been taken earlier a lot fewer lives would be lost.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Coronavirus: Germany and France accuse US of taking face masks as international tensions rise

Coronavirus: Germany and France accuse US of taking face masks as international tensions riseGermany and France have accused the US of taking face masks already ordered by Europe as the coronavirus pandemic continued to cause rising international tensions.Politicians in Berlin and Paris both said America had been using unfair means to undermine their own attempts to secure personal protective equipment.


Trump warns 'there will be a lot of death' in coming weeks

Trump warns 'there will be a lot of death' in coming weeksFatalities from complications of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus continue to climb in the United States as several major cities are bracing for their caseload apex in the next week.The U.S. reported 1,344 deaths from the new coronavirus Saturday, the country's highest number of fatalities in one day since the outbreak began. There are now more than 300,000 confirmed infections nationwide. In his daily White House briefing Saturday, President Trump warned the next couple of weeks would only get more difficult. "There will be a lot of death unfortunately," he said.Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said the coming weeks were crucial in the fight against the pandemic, urging Americans to adhere to social distancing guidelines. "This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe, and that means everybody doing the six feet distancing, washing your hands," she said.Birx added that modeling shows metro areas like New York, Detroit, and New Orleans will likely reach the peak of their outbreaks in the next six or seven days. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) also said it looks like his state his about a week away from when its health care system will be stretched thinnest. Read more at CNN and The Wall Street Journal.More stories from theweek.com 5 funny cartoons about social distancing 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated


Birx: 'It's giving us hope of what our future can be'

Birx: 'It's giving us hope of what our future can be'Dr. Deborah Birx on Sunday spoke about the declining numbers of new coronavirus cases and deaths in Spain and Italy. She believes it can offer hope to the United States.


1st federal inmate to die of coronavirus wrote heartbreaking letter to judge

1st federal inmate to die of coronavirus wrote heartbreaking letter to judgePatrick Jones "spent the last 12 years contesting a sentence that ultimately killed him," one of his former lawyers said.


Taiwan execution casts pall over coronavirus diplomacy with Europe
Iran to restart 'low-risk' economic activities soon

Iran to restart 'low-risk' economic activities soonIran said Sunday it will allow "low-risk" economic activities to resume from April 11 as its daily coronavirus infection rates slowed for a fifth straight day. "Restarting these activities does not mean we have abandoned the principle of staying at home," President Hassan Rouhani said at a meeting of Iran's anti-coronavirus task force. The president, whose country has been battered by US economic sanctions, did not specify what qualified as "low risk" activities, but said bans would remain on schools and large gatherings.


Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea

Recent developments surrounding the South China SeaThe People’s Liberation Army Daily and other state media reported last week that the Eastern Theater Command responsible for patrols around Taiwan held endurance training with early-warning aircraft last month.


Flight attendants are still working during coronavirus lockdowns and they worry that they're spreading the virus

Flight attendants are still working during coronavirus lockdowns and they worry that they're spreading the virusSome flight attendants are worried that they may be spreading coronavirus because of travel and lack of personal protective equipment.


Spain Virus Cases Pass Italy, Where Daily Deaths Are Falling

Spain Virus Cases Pass Italy, Where Daily Deaths Are Falling(Bloomberg) -- Spain’s Covid-19 cases surpassed Italy as Europe’s two main epicenters continue to struggle to curtail the virus, with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announcing plans to extend the country’s lockdown until April 25.Spain’s confirmed cases increased by 7,026 to 124,736 over the past 24 hours, while deaths rose by 809 to 11,744. Total cases are now higher than Italy’s 124,632, where the country reported the fewest number of new deaths since March 26. In France, the total number of fatalities rose to 7,560 and the U.K. reported its deadliest day yet with an increase of 708 deaths.The virus has crippled Europe at different times with most countries now in some form of lockdown, even as nations like Sweden and the U.K. were more reluctant to take drastic measures earlier. Governments and policy-makers are scrambling to find ways to mitigate the damage with entire economies headed into deep recession and a common approach still elusive.As attention shifts to Spain, Italy has signaled the situation, while still grave, is improving. Angelo Borrelli, the head of the country’s civil protection agency, said the number of patients in intensive care has dropped by 74, the first fall since the country went into a state of emergency.In Spain, a slower pace of fatalities and new cases is also offering some hope that the outbreak may be moving toward a peak. Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Friday that the goal of slowing the epidemic was “within reach.”The government in Madrid has imposed some of the most restrictive lockdown measures in Europe, shuttering most businesses and forcing people to stay in their homes except to buy groceries and seek healthcare.Containment measures across the continent have cut off border crossings and limited air travel, while countries have announced trillions of euros in aid to support businesses and individuals.Italy’s ruling parties and the Treasury reached an agreement to free up an additional 200 billion euros ($216 billion) of liquidity for firms, according to daily newspaper La Stampa. It said the moves, part of a new aid decree, will be approved by Monday and will let companies seek bank loans for as much as 25% of their revenue, most of which will be granted by the state.In Germany the number of coronavirus deaths and confirmed cases climbed further, a day after Robert Koch Institute President Lothar Wieler warned the country might require further intensive-care space. Germany has boosted capacity by more than 40% since the outbreak began.The death rate in Europe’s largest economy has been well below the levels seen in Italy and Spain, but government officials and healthcare experts insist it’s too early to ease social distancing rules and transport restrictions.Swedish QuestionThere are signs in turn that the death rate in Sweden is growing faster than elsewhere in Scandinavia, raising pressure on the government to abandon its controversial hands-off approach -- schools, restaurants and cafes remain open -- in tackling Covid-19.The number of Swedish deaths from the virus rose to 373 on Saturday, up 12% from Friday. That brings the rate per million in Scandinavia’s biggest economy to 36, compared with 29 in Denmark and 9 in Norway, where much tougher lockdowns are in place.Prime Minister Stefan Lofven warned that Sweden may now be facing “thousands” of deaths, and said the crisis is likely to drag on for months rather than weeks.When, and How, Does the Coronavirus Pandemic End?: QuickTakeApart from imposing lockdowns, several European leaders have moved to institute other controls which in some cases could also consolidate their own holds on power.In Hungary, political parties will lose half of their state funding this year, Gergely Gulyas, the minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s office, said in a video briefing. The move comes after Prime Minister Viktor Orban secured the power to rule by decree this week, drawing criticism from European Union members that he staged a power grab under the cover of the Covid-19 crisis.Equipment TensionsMeanwhile another dispute emerged over emergency medical equipment with Madrid accusing Ankara of retaining a shipment of respirators bought by two regional Spanish governments from a Turkish company.Turkey cited the risk of a shortage at home in holding onto the ventilators, Spain’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Spain would insist on reimbursement if the equipment was not released, it added. There was no immediate comment from the Turkish government.It comes after local officials in France and Germany accused unnamed Americans of using unfair means to obtain protective masks. The U.S. embassy in Paris said any suggestion that the federal government was involved in such practices was “completely false.(Updates with context and numbers throughout)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Disney World, Disneyland halt annual passholder payments during coronavirus closures

Disney World, Disneyland halt annual passholder payments during coronavirus closuresDisney World and Disneyland annual passholders will not be charged while the parks are closed due to COVID-19. Payments made from March 14-April 4 will be refunded.


Fauci, Navarro reportedly got into a heated dispute over unproven coronavirus treatment

Fauci, Navarro reportedly got into a heated dispute over unproven coronavirus treatmentA fight broke out in the White House Situation Room on Saturday, after President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro clashed with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, over an unproven COVID-19 coronavirus treatment, Axios reports. Four people with knowledge of the matter told Axios' Jonathan Swan the argument took place near the end of a White House coronavirus task force meeting, after Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn brought up hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug Trump has touted as a possible "game-changer" in the fight against coronavirus. When Hahn was finished giving updates on drug trials, Navarro put folders down on the table where Hahn, Fauci, Vice President Mike Pence, and others were sitting.One person familiar with the conversation told Swan the "first words out of his mouth are that the studies that he's seen, I believe they're mostly overseas, show 'clear therapeutic efficacy.' Those are the exact words out of his mouth." Fauci responded that this was anecdotal evidence, and this "just set Peter off," Swan reports. Navarro pointed to the folders and said, "That's science, not anecdote," a source said, and as his voice continued to get louder, Pence tried to intervene. "It was pretty clear that everyone was just trying to get Peter to sit down and stop being so confrontational," another person told Swan.Fauci and other public health officials have said more data is needed before anyone can say the drug is effective against COVID-19, but based on things he's read, Navarro is convinced it works, Swan reports. The task force ultimately decided that publicly, the White House needs to say that use of hydroxychloroquine is between doctors and patients. Read more at Axios.More stories from theweek.com 5 funny cartoons about social distancing 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated


'We're gonna die': migrants in US jail beg for deportation due to Covid-19 exposure

'We're gonna die': migrants in US jail beg for deportation due to Covid-19 exposureIce detainees isolated after one had Covid-19 symptoms tell the Guardian that cries for help and protection have gone ignored * Coronavirus – latest US updates * Coronavirus – latest global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageDetainees in a US immigration jail are begging to be released after potential Covid-19 exposure, saying the conditions are so brutal that they would rather suffer deportation than remain locked up.Three men incarcerated at the Winn correctional center in a remote part of Louisiana told the Guardian that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has isolated 44 of them together after they were possibly exposed to coronavirus. Some of the detainees are so desperate to leave that they are seeking voluntary deportation. They say their cries for masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and cleaning supplies have gone ignored, including for elderly detainees and those with asthma.In a series of phone calls, the men described a nightmare ordeal over the last two weeks, citing rampant mistreatment and a terrifying lack of information from Ice after they learned they were under some kind of quarantine. They also said that seven of their fellow detainees were deported on a flight to Colombia this week, four days into a 14-day quarantine period, which would appear to violate basic standards of coronavirus containment.Their firsthand accounts escalate concerns that human rights lawyers have been raising for weeks, that Ice jails could become death traps during the pandemic and that the only way to save lives and slow the spread is to release people en masse.“People are writing to the judge that they want to be deported as soon as possible. They don’t want to continue fighting,” said a detainee from El Salvador in his 30s, who declined to give his name. He said he was trying to self-deport and was also helping an asylum seeker seek deportation. “He told me, ‘I’d prefer to go home instead of being in this jail.’ … Ice has to release all the people, immediately.”One of the detainees speaking out and advocating for the release of immigrant prisoners is Dr Sirous Asgari, an Iranian scientist who was exonerated in a US trial last year but continues to face detention. The 59-year-old professor shared his story with the Guardian last week, prompting Iran’s foreign minister to call for his release.The men were first detained at the Alexandria staging facility (ASF) in Louisiana, where Asgari said Ice was continuing to bring in new detainees from around the country in cramped quarters where they were denied masks and basic supplies to protect themselves.Then on 26 March, ASF staff put up a sign outside the pod where they slept, which said the room was under “medical observation” due to the possibility of exposure, saying the risk was “high”, Asgari recounted this week. He heard that a detainee had a fever. But Ice, he alleged, gave the detainees no information and declined to tell them whether it was Covid-19.“Everybody got panicked,” he said, describing a chaotic scene of the detainees yelling for help and information. “We had two elderly people in their 70s, younger people with respiratory problems. One guy is crying, saying, ‘My life is in danger, we have been exposed.’ People were screaming, ‘Give us masks!’ … ‘We’re gonna die!’”One officer suggested there was nothing to worry about, but then staff kept the pod completely isolated from other detainees, suggesting they were under quarantine, Asgari said. Despite what seemed to be a strict quarantine, seven of them were deported to Colombia a few days later, he said.Roughly 30 men who remained behind were then taken to Winn, but were still given no information, the detainees said. But once they had medical visits, he said they confirmed their fears after asking the nurse to look at their records, which all said “possible exposure to Covid-19” and listed as 8 April as a “release date” which would be the end of a 14-day quarantine period. The men joined a dozen other detainees in that facility who were also suspected of having exposure, Asgari said.Bryan Cox, an Ice spokesman, declined to respond to many of their specific claims, but said no detainee has tested positive for Covid-19 at ASF. He did not answer questions about whether the men were given tests or whether there was a direct exposure or quarantine. He said Ice groups detainees in “medical cohorts”, meaning separating potential Covid-19 patients from others, but said that a “cohort for potential exposure does not mean a person has been exposed”.He said the men were spreading “unsubstantiated rumor and false allegations”, but did not offer specifics.“We are just a number to them. They don’t care,” said a detainee in his 30s who is facing deportation to Guatemala, and was also moved from ASF to Winn alongside Asgari. “I’m really afraid … They put you in jail with all these people and you don’t know where they’ve come from. It doesn’t make any sense.”This detainee said he had lived in the US for more than a decade and that he was arrested in New York in mid-March as Ice continued its raids and arrests amid the worsening pandemic. He said he has little information about his case and is fighting to get out: “I’m trying to do something, but I can’t. I haven’t seen a judge, nothing. They are just moving me around.” ‘Disgusting’ conditions and silence from IceThe men said the conditions at Winn were appalling. The detainees are responsible for all cleaning, and there is a single shower and only two toilets for all 44 of them to share. They are also sleeping on beds roughly two feet apart from each other, and the humidity when they first arrived left the sheets wet and beds rusted, they alleged.“When we got inside, everyone was absolutely shocked at the living conditions,” said Asgari, who has a history of respiratory problems and is at risk of death. “It’s frustrating, disgusting and humiliating. We get outside for one hour a day. That’s the only good thing.”By Friday, a majority of the detainees were suffering from some kind of cold, according to Asgari, who said he now has a bad cough and fears it will infect his lungs. They don’t have fevers, and he said he hopes it’s not coronavirus.The man from El Salvador said the staff at Winn were taking their temperatures daily, but otherwise doing little else related to Covid-19 prevention. He said Ice should consider releasing them in the US for their own safety, noting that he didn’t know the status of the outbreak in El Salvador and whether it would be dangerous to return. But ultimately, he said he was desperate to get out, fearing staff could bring the virus to the facility or that he could be moved again and exposed to hundreds more detainees in other jails.One Ice officer told him he could submit a formal request and get a reply in seven or eight days, he said: “I want to know what is happening with us. They don’t answer, nothing.”On Friday, the man from El Salvador was deported, according to Asgari.> People are seeking asylum and they are saying, ‘Just send me back.’ That speaks to the horrific conditions> > Mehrnoush YazdanyarAsgari has also been trying to self-deport to Iran, where there is a massive Covid-19 outbreak.“They are asking to be sent anywhere but there,” said Mehrnoush Yazdanyar, an attorney who has talked to multiple Winn detainees and is helping Asgari’s family. “People are seeking asylum and they are saying, ‘Just send me back.’ That speaks to the horrific conditions.”Cox, the Ice spokesman, said all detainees are screened upon arrival to facilities and that Ice conducts Covid-19 testing in accordance with US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. He said Ice provides soap and “other appropriate cleaning supplies” and “necessary and appropriate medical care” to detainees.Advocates have raised similar complaints about Ice conditions across the country. Karlyn Kurichety, an attorney with immigrant rights group Al Otro Lado, said that at California’s largest Ice jail, detainees lack basic sanitation supplies and that Ice has placed some detainees in quarantine without telling them why.“We’re concerned there’s going to be a massive outbreak in one of these facilities, and literally thousands of people could die,” she said.


Search continues for Arkansas woman who vanished from her home in 2016

Search continues for Arkansas woman who vanished from her home in 2016Mercedes Toliver was last seen leaving her Prescott, Arkansas home on foot just after midnight on December 17, 2016. She was reportedly on her way to her aunt’s house nearby. She never made it. There has been no activity on her social media accounts since. The Prescott Police Department is investigating.


Trump: 'Going to be a lot of death' in U.S. next week from coronavirus

Trump: 'Going to be a lot of death' in U.S. next week from coronavirusPresident Donald Trump told Americans to brace for a big spike in coronavirus fatalities in the coming days, as the country faces what he called the toughest two weeks of the pandemic. "There's going to be a lot of death," Trump said at a briefing with reporters. "Fears of shortages have led to inflated requests," Trump said of submissions his administration has received to dole out equipment from the strategic national stockpile.


Monster storm strengthens in Pacific, lashing Vanuatu

Monster storm strengthens in Pacific, lashing VanuatuA deadly Pacific cyclone intensified as it hit Vanuatu on Monday, threatening a natural disaster that experts fear will undermine the impoverished Pacific nation's battle to remain coronavirus-free. Tropical Cyclone Harold, which claimed 27 lives when it swept through the Solomon Islands last week, strengthened to a scale-topping category five superstorm overnight, Vanuatu's meteorology service said. It made landfall on the remote east coast of Espiritu Santo island on Monday morning and was heading directly for Vanuatu's second-largest town Luganville, which has a population of 16,500.


Do social distancing better, White House doctor tells Americans

Do social distancing better, White House doctor tells AmericansDr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House task force on the coronavirus, had a message for Americans that she shared on Thursday: Do better at social distancing. President Trump disagreed.


Blame the Chinese Communist Party for the coronavirus crisis

Blame the Chinese Communist Party for the coronavirus crisisCoronavirus crisis proves communism is still a grave threat to the entire world. If Beijing had just been honest, the pandemic could be preventable.


'Complete collapse of economies' ahead as Africa faces virus

'Complete collapse of economies' ahead as Africa faces virusSome of Uganda’s poorest people used to work here, on the streets of Kampala, as fruit sellers sitting on the pavement or as peddlers of everything from handkerchiefs to roasted peanuts. Now they're gone and no one knows when they will return, victims of a global economic crisis linked to the coronavirus that could wipe out jobs for millions across the African continent, many who live hand-to-mouth with zero savings.


Is the coronavirus an act of God? Faith leaders debate tough questions amid pandemic

Is the coronavirus an act of God? Faith leaders debate tough questions amid pandemicFaith leaders are fielding questions about whether coronavirus is an act of God and if it's some sort of punishment for sin.


Trump is touting experimental drugs for COVID-19, saying they're 'not going to hurt' people. But the drugs have severe side effects and misuse has led to poisoning and even death.

Trump is touting experimental drugs for COVID-19, saying they're 'not going to hurt' people. But the drugs have severe side effects and misuse has led to poisoning and even death."If it works, that will be great, if it doesn't work ... it doesn't kill people," Trump said of chloroquine. But the drug comes with serious risks.


Japan Won’t Hesitate to Declare Emergency if Needed: Nishimura

Japan Won’t Hesitate to Declare Emergency if Needed: Nishimura(Bloomberg) -- Japan will not hesitate to declare a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic if there is any sign of an explosive spike in infections, Japan’s Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said.“We’ve been saying that we are on the brink of the brink, but it’s becoming a very tense situation,” Nishimura said during a Fuji Television broadcast Sunday. “Nationwide rampancy of virus infections is really approaching just right now.”Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has come under increasing pressure to declare a state of emergency to contain the spread of Covid-19. Tokyo reported more than 110 new coronavirus cases Saturday, the first time the daily toll of confirmed infections has exceeded 100, national broadcaster NHK reported. The were 336 new cases nationwide, the health ministry said.Hiroshi Mikitani, founder of Japan’s e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc., on Friday joined the call for Abe to declare a state of emergency. The prime minister told parliament Friday that the situation didn’t yet warrant an emergency declaration, but said he wouldn’t hesitate to do so when the time comes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


South Korea's return to normal interrupted by uptick in coronavirus cases

South Korea's return to normal interrupted by uptick in coronavirus casesWith many parts of the world wondering what a slow return to normal life will look like, South Korea's situation offers a warning: The curve doesn't necessarily stay flat.