There are only three viable presidential candidates, according to Mike Bloomberg's campaign

There are only three viable presidential candidates, according to Mike Bloomberg's campaignOnly three candidates out of the more than half dozen vying for the White House have a viable path to the nomination, a senior official for the Mike Bloomberg campaign told reporters Tuesday.


Some Americans are attempting the journey back home to Wuhan

Some Americans are attempting the journey back home to Wuhan"I was married in Wuhan. I had a son in Wuhan. Wuhan is my home, and I will forever be tied to this city, so I need to be there,” Christopher Suzanne said.


Abbott says top Malaysian leaders suspected pilot of MH370

Abbott says top Malaysian leaders suspected pilot of MH370Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the “top levels” of the Malaysian government long suspected that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 almost six years ago was a mass murder-suicide by the pilot. Australia, working on Malaysia's behalf, coordinated what became the largest search in aviation history, but it failed to find the plane before being ended in 2017. Speaking in a Sky News documentary to air on Wednesday and Thursday, Abbott said high-ranking Malaysian officials believed veteran pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah deliberately downed the jet.


2 socialites have reportedly died after their Mercedes fell off a ferry leaving the most expensive ZIP code in the United States

2 socialites have reportedly died after their Mercedes fell off a ferry leaving the most expensive ZIP code in the United StatesThe only way to get to Miami's exclusive Fisher Island is by a seven minute ferry, and two women inexplicably fell off it and died last night.


Mexico arrests suspects in killing of seven-year-old girl
Hate crimes go unchecked at Syracuse University, students say

Hate crimes go unchecked at Syracuse University, students sayThe black-led movement NotAgainSU launched the sit-in Monday to protest the administration's handling of racial incidents at the university.


Russia raises eyebrows with blanket ban on Chinese visitors

Russia raises eyebrows with blanket ban on Chinese visitorsMoscow is to impose a blanket ban on Chinese visitors over coronavirus fears in a move that will hit its tourism industry as experts question the need for such "draconian" measures. Moscow will ban all Chinese citizens from entering its territory from Thursday. It has already halted visa-free tourism for Chinese nationals and stopped issuing them with work visas and suspended rail links and restricted air travel.


DOJ Denies Coordination between Barr and Giuliani in Letter Detailing Ukraine ‘Intake Process’

DOJ Denies Coordination between Barr and Giuliani in Letter Detailing Ukraine ‘Intake Process’The Justice Department informed House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) in a Tuesday letter that deputy attorney general Jeffrey Rosen had tasked the top prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Pennsylvania to oversee the process of reviewing “unsolicited” information from Ukraine."The Deputy Attorney General implemented this policy to avoid duplication of efforts across Offices and components, to facilitate information sharing, to ensure there are no conflicts among potentially overlapping matters, and to efficiently marshal the resources of the Department," Rosen wrote.He detailed that Brooklyn-based U.S. attorney Richard Donoghue would “assist in coordinating such matters,” while U.S. attorney Scott Brady in Pittsburgh would “assist in the receipt, processing, and preliminary analysis of new information provided by the public that may be relevant to matter relating to Ukraine.”Rosen’s letter also emphasized that attorney general William Barr “has not discussed matters relating to Ukraine with Rudolph Giuliani,” and that the DOJ “remains vigilant against the significant threat of disinformation.”“As always, the Department will reject information it finds to be non-credible while continuing to discharge its duty to pursue all meritorious leads and investigations,” the letter reads, while not elaborating what information is being explored.Attorney general William Barr confirmed on February 10 that the Justice Department has “established an intake process” to handle Ukrainian information, days after Giuliani claimed that he was aware of three Ukrainian witnesses ready to “name names” in a “smoking gun” that will “totally vindicate” Trump, and after Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson obtained financial records from the Treasury Department as part of a probe into Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine.“The DOJ has the obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant,” Barr said during a presser at the Justice Department, but did not explain further. Nadler, who said earlier this month that House Democrats would “likely” continue exploring Trump’s actions with regard to Ukraine by subpoenaing former national security adviser John Bolton, then sent a letter to Barr asking for more information.


9 Rural Farms of the 21st Century Featuring Stunning Modern Design
Michael Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked in his first debate – and he flopped

Michael Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked in his first debate – and he floppedBloomberg was hammered all night over stop-and-frisk, Wall Street, and his opposition to raising the minimum wage. He didn’t take it well Before Wednesday night’s debate, Michael Bloomberg’s critics had been furious with the Democratic National Committee for changing its rules to allow Bloomberg on the debate stage. But it turned out the critics should have been thanking the DNC. Bloomberg was absolutely terrible. His campaign may not literally have ended on the debate stage, but it’s hard to see how any viewer could come away believing his pitch that he is “the best candidate to take on Trump.”Bloomberg was ill-prepared, uncharismatic, and unlikable. The other candidates ran rings around him. Elizabeth Warren sank her teeth in early, interrupting Bloomberg’s opening statement to point out how his long history of sexist comments about women made him a lot like Donald Trump. Warren landed even more brutal blows later in the debate, when she challenged Bloomberg to release women from the non-disclosure agreements his company had forced them to sign in sexual harassment lawsuits. Bloomberg mumbled some lame excuse about how the agreements were consensual, but was clearly caught off-guard, and Warren wouldn’t let the issue go.Bloomberg looked feeble, and after the debate some Democratic bigwigs were already reportedly concluding that “Bloomberg isn’t the answer.”Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked all night by the rest of the candidates over stop-and-frisk, Wall Street, his Republican past, and his opposition to raising the minimum wage. He did not have any idea how to respond to the barrage. On stop-and-frisk, he simply lied, saying that he had tried to end the policy when in fact he had escalated it. Warren was having none of this, and correctly pointed out that Bloomberg was failing to take responsibility for the consequences his policy had for African Americans. Joe Biden echoed the sentiment, saying that Bloomberg’s apologies for stop-and-frisk were insufficient. “It’s not whether he apologized or not. It’s the policy. And the policy was abhorrent.” Biden energetically opposed Bloomberg throughout the night, showing a passion and lucidity that has been missing from the last months of his flagging campaign.It wasn’t just Bloomberg who came under fire. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg have never liked each other, and they became downright nasty. Klobuchar once again took the opportunity to point out that Pete has never won a statewide race, while Buttigieg replied with a canned line about how if Minnesotan senators made good nominees, Walter Mondale would have been president. Buttigieg also seized the opportunity to poke at Klobuchar over forgetting the president of Mexico’s name. Klobuchar struggled, asking Pete if he was calling her “dumb.” Buttigieg is a practiced debater and delivers his lines well, and his polished hokum about how “Washington” doesn’t respect small-city Rust Belt mayors clearly gets on Klobuchar’s nerves to no end.> In terms of who the debate served best, Bernie Sanders was the clear winnerWarren was unusually vicious toward other candidates, making direct attacks on nearly every one of her opponents. She was spirited and articulate, and with her memorable exchanges with Bloomberg, she will widely be seen as the “winner” of the debate. But it also seemed as if she was desperate to strike as many blows in as many directions as possible, conscious that her campaign needs a miracle if it is going to survive.In terms of who the debate served best, Sanders was the clear winner. He went into it the frontrunner, and mostly just needed to avoid embarrassing himself. The debate went far better than he could even have hoped. His chief rival, Bloomberg, flopped completely. The other centrists spent time bickering with each other that could have been spent trying to undermine Sanders. Warren did the “dirty work” of eviscerating Bloomberg, allowing Sanders to make a more elevated pitch and somewhat rise above the fray. He was given plenty of time to talk, and while he stuck close to his usual talking points he had above-average energy and was clearly enjoying himself. He was effective in pointing out how Buttigieg dishonestly presents the costs of Medicare For All without mentioning the benefits, and easily parried Bloomberg’s absurd attempt to conflate Sanders’ democratic socialism with “communism”. Bloomberg was a perfect foil for Sanders; Sanders probably wishes Bloomberg had been there all along, a cartoon of an evil billionaire for Sanders to point to as an example of everything wrong with the country.Sanders went into the debate the frontrunner and he left the frontrunner. If Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar were to stand any chance of overtaking Sanders, they needed to make him look foolish, and they didn’t. Instead, they looked petty, and he survived. Warren was in good form, but she’s simply not going to reclaim the lead over Sanders at this point. Bloomberg was the only serious threat, and he fizzled, showing that the “electability” case for his candidacy is laughable. It’s increasingly clear that Sanders has no serious opposition and Democrats are going to need to start reconciling himself to the inevitability of his nomination.But some clearly aren’t reconciled. One concerning moment in the debate came at the very end, where each candidate was asked if they believed that the candidate with the most delegates should be given the nomination, or the “superdelegates” should be allowed to intervene. Sanders was the only candidate who would say that the nomination should go to the individual with the most delegates. Every other candidate is apparently leaving open the possibility of the Democratic party overriding the popular vote at the convention, presumably in order to deny Sanders the nomination.Alarmingly, even if Sanders is the clear public favorite, there are still those Democrats who think he needs to be stopped at all costs.


Donald Trump Thinks Climate Change Is a Hoax. The U.S. Military Disagrees.

Donald Trump Thinks Climate Change Is a Hoax. The U.S. Military Disagrees.They've been warning pretty loudly about it.


US judge sides with migrants in case against Border Patrol

US judge sides with migrants in case against Border PatrolA U.S. judge in Arizona sided Wednesday with migrants who have long-complained about inhumane and unsanitary conditions in some U.S. Border Patrol facilities in the state. The ruling came weeks after the conclusion of a seven-day trial in which attorneys for migrants who sued in 2015 argued that the agency holds immigrants in extremely cold, overcrowded, unsanitary and inhumane conditions. The order makes permanent a preliminary injunction that U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury issued in 2016 requiring the Tucson Sector to provide clean mats and thin blankets to migrants held for longer than 12 hours and to allow them to clean themselves.


Report: Obama reportedly expects he'll have to play a 'prominent role' in uniting Democrats this summer

Report: Obama reportedly expects he'll have to play a 'prominent role' in uniting Democrats this summerThe New York Magazine reports former president Barack Obama's radio silence on the 2020 Democratic primary is part of a "choreographed strategy" on the part of Obama, who is "increasingly sure he will need to play a prominent role in bringing the party back together and calming its tensions later this summer."


Two women dead after car plunges off ferry into waters off exclusive Miami island

Two women dead after car plunges off ferry into waters off exclusive Miami islandThe ferry shuttles people and their vehicles between Miami Beach and Fisher Island, a "private luxury community ... consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest zip codes in the U.S."


Security guard sentenced to prison for murdering US woman in Costa Rica Airbnb

Security guard sentenced to prison for murdering US woman in Costa Rica AirbnbA security guard for an apartment complex with Airbnb rental units has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for the 2018 murder of an American tourist.Carla Stefaniak, a Venezuelan-American who lived in Miami, was in San Jose, Costa Rica, celebrating her 36th birthday when she was brutally murdered.


China kicked out 3 Wall Street Journal reporters after it published an op-ed using a term that invokes the biggest humiliation in Chinese history

China kicked out 3 Wall Street Journal reporters after it published an op-ed using a term that invokes the biggest humiliation in Chinese historyChina's foreign ministry cited a February 3 headline, titled "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia," as the immediate reason for the expulsions.


ICE says it plans to destroy a trove of detention records, including numbers on detainee deaths and sexual assaults

ICE says it plans to destroy a trove of detention records, including numbers on detainee deaths and sexual assaultsThe ACLU races to retrieve years of ICE detention records that they say are critical to holding ICE accountable for abuses and misconduct.


Hunter Biden Served on Board of Trade Group That Lobbied Obama Admin for Increased Ukraine Aid: Report

Hunter Biden Served on Board of Trade Group That Lobbied Obama Admin for Increased Ukraine Aid: ReportHunter Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden, was on the board of a trade group that lobbied the Obama administration for increased U.S. aid to Ukraine, according to a report Tuesday.From 2012 through 2018, the younger Biden served as a director for the Center for U.S. Global Leadership and was connected as well with its affiliate, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, The Daily Caller reported. The two groups, which include about 400 larger corporations and non-government organizations, lobbied for increased spending abroad by the State Department’s International Affairs Budget, including a special focus on Ukraine.At the time, Joe Biden was also advocating for increased U.S. spending in Ukraine.Hunter Biden's small private equity firm, Rosemont Seneca, featured other well-connected politicos as well, including his partner Devon Archer, who was a former adviser on Obama Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, and another partner, Kerry’s son-in-law Christopher Heinz.“Hunter Biden works for [Archer]. So we’ve got the top level politicos with us. All of my guys, is as top tier as it gets,” a businessman named Bevan Cooney wrote in text messages released in connection with an unrelated criminal case against Archer. “You don’t get more politically connected and make people more comfortable than that.”In 2013, the groups held an event honoring Joe Biden for his work supporting increased spending abroad, an event Hunter Biden was also introduced as having a "very special relationship with our honoree."Biden's separate lucrative position on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings while his father was vice president and in charge of addressing corruption in Ukraine has also drawn scrutiny and featured prominently in the impeachment proceedings against President Trump. That position earned Biden at least $50,000 a month for his advice on “transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities.”During a July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump asked Zelensky to help his administration investigate allegations that Joe Biden used his position as vice president to help the Ukrainian gas company avoid a corruption probe soon after Hunter Biden was appointed to its board of directors. That phone call led to an Intelligence Community whistleblower complaint that ultimately sparked a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump’s actions.Biden has said that in the spring of 2016, during his tenure as vice president, he called on Ukraine to fire the top prosecutor investigating the energy company paying his son. Biden suggested he would withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine if the country did not fire the prosecutor, who was accused by the State Department and U.S. allies in Europe of being soft on corruption.


Michael Bloomberg’s Monumental Failure to Prepare

Michael Bloomberg’s Monumental Failure to PrepareThe mogul had a story to tell, and a few apologies to make. He managed neither.


Secession in the Pacific Northwest? Some Oregon residents petition to join Idaho

Secession in the Pacific Northwest? Some Oregon residents petition to join IdahoFrustrated by liberal policies, some Oregon residents petition to leave the state by moving the border with Idaho.


Lawyer: Assange was offered US pardon if he cleared Russia

Lawyer: Assange was offered US pardon if he cleared RussiaWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to claim during an extradition hearing that the Trump administration offered him a pardon if he agreed to say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, a lawyer for Assange said Wednesday. Assange is being held at a British prison while fighting extradition to the United States on spying charges.


Elizabeth Warren defends Amy Klobuchar for forgetting the name of Mexico's president

Elizabeth Warren defends Amy Klobuchar for forgetting the name of Mexico's presidentLast week, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was asked by a reporter if she could name the president of Mexico, and after thinking about it, responded, "No." This came back to haunt her during Wednesday's Democratic debate, but a fellow candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), had her back.Klobuchar said that she doesn't believe "that momentary forgetfulness actually reflects what I know about Mexico and how much I care about it," and reminded the audience that she is "the one person on this stage that came out first to say I was for the U.S.-Mexico-Canadian trade agreement that is going to be one of the No. 1 duties of the president, to implement that." Forgetting Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's name was "an error," she continued. "I think having a president that is maybe humbled and able to admit that here and there maybe wouldn't be a bad thing."Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg responded that Klobuchar is "staking your presidency on your Washington experience," and not knowing a world leader's name was bad form. "Are you trying to say that I'm dumb?" Klobuchar snapped. "Or you're mocking me?" Buttigieg responded that he is "saying you shouldn't trivialize it."That's when Warren jumped in. "This is not right," she said. "I understand that she forgot a name — it happens. It happens to everybody on this stage. You want to ask about whether or not you understand trade policy with Mexico? Have at it. And if you get it wrong, you ought to be held accountable for that. ... But let's just be clear, missing a name all by itself does not indicate that you do not understand what's going on. I just think this is unfair."More stories from theweek.com Mike Bloomberg is not the lesser of two evils Chuck Todd gets existential with billionaire Michael Bloomberg: 'Should you exist?' Elizabeth Warren's fiery debate performance reportedly inspired her best fundraising hour to date


Virginia lawmakers reject assault weapons ban over fears of potential civil war

Virginia lawmakers reject assault weapons ban over fears of potential civil warVirginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons has failed after members of his own party balked at the proposal. Senators voted to shelve the bill for the year and ask the state crime commission to study the issue, an outcome that drew cheers from a committee room packed with gun advocates.


Former South Korean president jailed after losing appeal

Former South Korean president jailed after losing appealFormer South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was taken to prison Wednesday to begin a 17-year term for bribery and embezzlement after losing an appeal against a lighter sentence. Several South Korean presidents have ended up in prison after leaving office -- often as a result of investigations started by political rivals.


Coronavirus: Self-quarantined family shunned as neighbour calls 911 on them

Coronavirus: Self-quarantined family shunned as neighbour calls 911 on themA California family in self-quarantine over the coronavirus after a visit to China have found themselves shunned, and even had the police called on them.Amy Deng and her eight-year-old daughter, Daisy, have no symptoms, but following a trip to visit family in Guangzhou over Chinese New Year, they are in self-quarantine monitored by local officials in Santa Rosa, The East Bay Times reports.


Pilots aboard Hurricane Hunter plane chasing a winter storm experience strange phenomenon

Pilots aboard Hurricane Hunter plane chasing a winter storm experience strange phenomenonAn experienced hurricane hunting crew chasing a winter storm came across a far different discovery this past weekend. In what is know as St. Elmo's fire, footage of the forking electric discharge was captured on Saturday by pilots as the spectacle flashed throughout the cockpit.The video, captured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aircraft Operations Center (AOC), was taken as pilots flew across the Atlantic Ocean amid thunderstorms. NOAA deployed the hunters to support a project analyzing ocean surface winds in winter storms over the North Atlantic.The flight took place as Storm Dennis chugged along in the North Atlantic approaching Ireland and the United Kingdom.While frightening and shocking on camera, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said the actual charge from the weather phenomenon is harmless, especially for those surrounded by the metal shell of the aircraft."St. Elmo's fire is a phenomena that has occurred throughout human history. Before it was reported on planes, it happened on ships in the open ocean," Samuhel said. "It happens when the charge of an object is much different than the charge of the air. Unlike lightning when huge bolts of electricity jump across a large distance from one charge to another, St. Elmo's fire happens on a very small scale." Sprawling displays of St. Elmo's fire illuminated the cockpit of a crew flying across the Atlantic Ocean. (NOAA Corps) Named after St. Erasmus of Formia, the patron saint of sailors, reports of St. Elmo's fire trace back thousands of years to ancient Greece and tales of the marvel were consistently shared by ship fleets.St. Elmo's fire differs from lightning in that it is simply a glow of electrons in the air, whereas lightning is the movement of electricity from a charged cloud to the ground. In a thunderstorm, where the surrounding environment is electrically charged, the phenomenon is sparked when a charged object, such as a ship mast or airplane nose, causes a dramatic difference in charge, emitting a visual discharge. It can most simply be compared to a continuous spark."The point of the nose of an aircraft gives electricity an easy path to flow, as does the mast of the ship," Samuhel said. "These locations are where St. Elmo's fire is most common."CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPIn historical recounts of St. Elmo's fire, writers such as Julius Caesar and Charles Darwin depict the instances as a steady glow."Everything is in flames: the sky with lightning, the water with luminous particles and even the very masts are pointed with a blue flame," Darwin wrote while aboard the Beagle as he traveled across the Atlantic.For experienced pilots like the Hurricane Hunters, the light show in front of them likely wouldn't have induced any fear or panic, although the event could be a sign of stormy weather ahead."It lasted about three minutes," explained Maria Ines Rubio, a flight attendant who witnessed the phenomenon in 2017, to The Washington Post. "I wasn't nervous, because it a rather normal occurrence when you get into a strong enough storm."The phenomenon, also known as a corona discharge, is "commonly observed on the periphery of propellers and along the wing tips, windshield, and nose of aircraft flying in dry snow, in ice crystals, or near thunderstorms," according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


A Japanese disease expert who inspected the Diamond Princess said he was 'so scared' of catching the coronavirus because hygiene on the cruise ship was so bad

A Japanese disease expert who inspected the Diamond Princess said he was 'so scared' of catching the coronavirus because hygiene on the cruise ship was so badKentaro Iwata said that while he had weathered the Ebola, SARS, and cholera crises, he was scared of catching COVID-19 on the quarantined cruise ship.


Bloomberg referred to trans women as 'some guy in a dress' in second resurfaced video

Bloomberg referred to trans women as 'some guy in a dress' in second resurfaced videoIn a video recorded last year, presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg refers to transgender women as “some guy in a dress.” This is the second time Mr Bloomberg has been recorded making such statements in recent years.The March 2019 video also has Mr Bloomberg referring to transgender people as “he, she or it” in comments aimed at warning 2020 Democratic candidates against emphasising transgender issues, arguing that they would not play well in parts of America.


This purse was lost behind a locker in the 1950s. Its contents reveal what high school was like then

This purse was lost behind a locker in the 1950s. Its contents reveal what high school was like thenThe purse belonged to Patti Rumfola, who graduated from Hoover High School in 1960. The school now currently serves as North Canton Middle School.


Judge finds US in contempt after immigrants in suit deported
Group of more than 1,000 judges calls emergency meeting amid Trump concerns

Group of more than 1,000 judges calls emergency meeting amid Trump concernsJudges will meet to address alarm over the president intervening in politically sensitive casesA national association of federal judges has called an emergency meeting to address growing concerns about the intervention of Donald Trump and justice department officials in politically sensitive cases, according to US media reports.Cynthia Rufe, a Philadelphia US district judge who heads the independent Federal Judges Association, which has more than 1,100 members, told USA Today the group “could not wait” until its spring conference to discuss the matter.“There are plenty of issues that we are concerned about,” Rufe told USA Today. “We’ll talk all of this through.”Megan Cruz, the executive director of the group, told CNN the meeting would take place on Wednesday. She said a nine-member executive committee of the group had decided the emergency meeting was necessary.The meeting comes after more than 2,000 former US justice department officials, including some of the top government lawyers in the country, called on the attorney general, William Barr, to resign in the wake of the Roger Stone scandal.Alumni of the Department of Justice posted to Medium on Sunday a group letter that tore into Barr for “doing the president’s personal bidding” in imposing on prosecutors the recommendation of a reduced sentence for Stone, a longtime friend of Trump who was convicted of lying to and obstructing Congress and threatening a witness in the Russia investigation.Barr, the officials said, had damaged the reputation of the department for “integrity and the rule of law”.The spiralling constitutional crisis began last week when Barr imposed his new sentencing memo, slashing a seven- to nine-year proposed prison term suggested by career prosecutors. In the fallout, the four prosecutors who had handled the case resigned in disgust.US district Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over the Stone’s case, has ordered both sides to participate in a conference call on Tuesday to discuss the status of the case. Following the call, it was confirmed that Stone’s sentencing would go ahead on Thursday.Rufe voiced her strong support for Jackson, according to USA Today.“I am not concerned with how a particular judge will rule,” Rufe said. “We are supportive of any federal judge who does what is required.”It was not clear whether the FJA would issue a statement after the emergency meeting. The Guardian contacted the FJA for comment.


Russia's Su-57 Got A Good Test Run In Syria (But Is It A Threat?)

Russia's Su-57 Got A Good Test Run In Syria (But Is It A Threat?)It's not ready for mass production yet.


26 of the Best Stainless-Steel Bathroom Faucets 
Body of missing college student found in Georgia, boyfriend arrested

Body of missing college student found in Georgia, boyfriend arrestedAnitra Lashay Gunn was a senior studying agriculture at Fort Valley State University. She was found in a wooded area in Crawford County.


South Korea coronavirus cases jump by two-thirds in one day

South Korea coronavirus cases jump by two-thirds in one daySouth Korea reported 20 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday -- increasing its total by nearly two-thirds -- including a cluster of at least 16 centred on the southern city of Daegu. The trade-dependent nation has been hit by the economic fallout from the virus outbreak in neighbouring China, but until Wednesday's jump, its own case numbers had hardly changed for several days. The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a statement that 20 new coronavirus cases had been confirmed, raising its total from 31 to 51.


U.S. Coronavirus Cases Nearly Double With No End in Sight

U.S. Coronavirus Cases Nearly Double With No End in SightConfirmed cases of the new, deadly coronavirus in the United States almost doubled over the holiday weekend thanks to the messy evacuation of Americans from a cruise ship in Japan, while fresh numbers from China suggested the disease might be deadlier than first believed.The U.S. government evacuated 328 American passengers from Tokyo early Monday on two chartered cargo jets, leaving dozens others behind who preferred to stay on the Diamond Princess cruise ship—despite a strong disembarkation recommendation from the federal government. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said over the weekend that it recommended repatriation so that it could take responsibility for care of the Americans and “to reduce the burden on the Japanese healthcare system.”All travelers from Japan were screened before boarding the aircraft “to prevent symptomatic travelers from departing Japan,” according to the CDC. But 14 people who ultimately proved to be infected with the disease were included in the evacuation anyway, with officials later explaining that the positive results came back as passengers were already heading to the airport.Dr. William Walters, managing director of operational medicine at the State Department, told reporters Monday that authorities evacuated passengers without knowing their test results because it was “unpredictable” when the results would come back. None of the diagnosed evacuees were showing symptoms, and they flew home in separate chambers—made of 10-feet-tall plastic sheets—from the other 314 passengers. The government planned to house all uninfected evacuees for 14 days at federal quarantine sites at Travis Air Force Base in California and Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas.‘It Failed’: Cruise Ship Coronavirus Snafus Stoke Fears of Global PandemicInfected evacuees, on the other hand, were sent to hospitals in California and at the University of Nebraska for treatment. Another five passengers on the flights had reportedly been put in isolation after developing fevers, a development that was likely to add to public skepticism of the U.S. and Japanese governments’ response to the virus, even as officials insisted that the risk to the general American public was still “low.”Eiji Kusumi, a doctor specializing in infectious diseases at Navitas Clinic in Tokyo, told The New York Times that the quarantine of the cruise ship, which remained docked in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, was an “unprecedented failure” and that officials should “learn from this lesson that a quarantine on a ship is impossible.”The cruise ship has for weeks housed the largest outbreak outside of China, and Japanese health authorities said Tuesday there were a total of 542 confirmed cases on the Diamond Princess—88 new ones since last count—out of 3,700 passengers and crew members. As of Tuesday, 2,404 people on board had tested negative for the virus.The vessel-wide quarantine, which began on Feb. 3, was set to end on Wednesday, but those who bunked with passengers or crew members who tested positive were slated to remain on board for longer. Only about 500 people were expected to be released on Wednesday, while more than 100 total U.S. citizens remained either on board or in hospitals in Japan, according to the CDC.Dr. Anthony Fauci, of the National Institutes of Health, also admitted on Monday that the quarantine on the cruise ship “failed.” After weeks of debate about the subject, Japan said it would test everyone aboard the ship before allowing them to disembark.Outside of evacuees from the Diamond Princess, the CDC said there remained 15 confirmed cases in the U.S. on Tuesday out of 467 people under investigation for the coronavirus. Some 392 of those patients tested negative, while 60 remained pending on Tuesday. Several Americans who, before being released Tuesday, were stuck in federal quarantine in San Diego after returning from Wuhan earlier this month voiced concern over the effectiveness and thoroughness of the CDC’s response, some going so far as to draft a petition after the government mistakenly reintroduced an infected woman to the general population.Jacob Wilson, a 33-year-old American evacuee who works at a tech start-up in Wuhan, told The Daily Beast that he and his fellow evacuees were “swamped” by press at the airport after they were released.“Now hopefully I can get back to some normalcy,” he said.Meanwhile, as of Tuesday morning, China had reported 72,528 coronavirus cases, including 1,870 related deaths, according to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization. Outside of China, there were 804 cases in 25 countries, he added, with 12 other countries having confirmed instances of human-to-human transmission.“At the moment, we don’t have enough data on cases outside China to make a meaningful comparison on the severity of the disease or the case fatality rate,” said Tedros.But as the Times reported, an analysis by Chinese authorities from data on 44,672 patients suggested that about 2.3 percent of cases of the disease had been fatal as of Feb. 11. Nearly 14 percent of people who tested positive for the infection had severe cases, and about 5 percent had critical illnesses, according to Chinese authorities. The data showed that 30 percent of those who died from the virus were in their 60s, 30 percent were in their 70s, and another 20 percent were 80 or older. Since then, daily figures indicated the virus’s fatality rate had only increased. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Here are the winners and losers of Nevada's heated Democratic debate, where Michael Bloomberg was skewered and Elizabeth Warren schooled the stage

Here are the winners and losers of Nevada's heated Democratic debate, where Michael Bloomberg was skewered and Elizabeth Warren schooled the stageThe debate was combative and punctuated by withering attacks from all sides on the newcomer on stage: billionaire former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.


Cambodia's Coronavirus Complacency May Exact a Global Toll

Cambodia's Coronavirus Complacency May Exact a Global TollSIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia -- When Cambodia's prime minister greeted passengers on a cruise ship amid a coronavirus scare on Valentine's Day, embraces were the order of the day. Protective masks were not.Not only did Prime Minister Hun Sen not wear one, assured that the ship was virus-free, his bodyguards ordered people who had donned masks to take them off. The next day, the U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, W. Patrick Murphy, who brought his own family to greet the passengers streaming off the ship, also went maskless."We are very, very grateful that Cambodia has opened literally its ports and doors to people in need," Murphy said.But after hundreds of passengers had disembarked, one later tested positive for the coronavirus. Now, health officials worry that what Cambodia opened its doors to was the outbreak, and that the world may pay a price as passengers from the cruse ship Westerdam stream home.Before the Westerdam docked in Sihanoukville, fearful governments in other countries had turned the ship away at five ports of call even though the cruise operator, Holland America, assured officials that the ship's passengers had been carefully screened.Hun Sen's decision to allow it entry appeared to be a political calculus as much as anything else. The region's longest-serving ruler and a close ally of China, he is known for his survival skills.But Hun Sen's critics worry that the aging autocrat might have acted rashly."Of course, he had to do the dictator thing: photo op, roses, exploit this for its maximum value," said Sophal Ear, an expert in Cambodian politics at Occidental College. "Whatever is in the best interest of Cambodians is completely irrelevant to him."It is too early to tell whether the decision to let hundreds of passengers from the Westerdam fly off has the makings of an epidemiological disaster. Cambodian health authorities said that 409 of the 2,257 passengers and crew had left Cambodia for their homes scattered across the globe. The rest remain in hotels in Phnom Penh, the capital, or on the ship.But deficiencies in screening for the coronavirus aboard the ship, along with continued complacency about the epidemic in Cambodia, are raising fears this small Southeast Asian nation could prove to be a surprising vector of transmission for a virus that has already killed more than 1,700 people, mostly in China, the epicenter of the outbreak.Many health experts urge people who have been in contact with coronavirus patients to self-quarantine for 14 days, lest they add another spoke to the contagion network.But on Monday, Hun Sen directed officials in Phnom Penh to treat passengers from the Westerdam to a sightseeing jaunt."To tour the city is better than staying in rooms or at the hotel feeling bored or scared," said a post on Hun Sen's Facebook page.The lack of urgency in Cambodia, where officials milled around the ship Monday without protection, points to the obstacles in trying to contain a virus that experts warn is spreading faster than SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome)or MERS, (Middle East respiratory syndrome)."This is influenza-like transmission," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. "It's like trying to stop the wind."Last week, when the Westerdam docked in Sihanoukville, the Cambodian government and the cruise operator deemed the vessel virus-free.The declaration was at a minimum premature.Only 20 people out of the 2,257 onboard were tested for the virus before disembarking, and that was because they had reported themselves to ship medical staff with various ailments.The woman who twice tested positive after traveling on to Malaysia, an 83-year-old American, was not among those 20, Holland America said.Health monitoring for the rest of the passengers was limited to a handful of temperature checks conducted with infrared thermometers, passengers said. In a statement, Holland America said that during one of those screenings, not a single person on board recorded an elevated temperature.On Monday, an announcement broadcast to passengers remaining on the Westerdam warned that they should avoid the ship's hot deck and return to their air-conditioned rooms to avoid falsely high temperature readings.Some health experts have questioned the efficacy of infrared thermometers, also known as temperature guns, saying they measure the heat emanating from the surface of the body, rather than core body temperature.Various environmental factors can distort thermometer gun reading, said Gary Strahan, who runs a small infrared device company in Texas."In Cambodia, you have warmer background temperatures," he said. "It could impact the measurement. That's the issue with any noncontact thermometer."Even if temperatures are accurately gauged, people may be taking medication that lower their temperature, like some arthritis drugs.And in any case, people who are asymptomatic can still pass on the coronavirus, scientists have found."A person who does not present as feverish is not necessarily uninfected with a disease or a virus," said Jim Seffrin, an expert on infrared devices at the Infraspection Institute in New Jersey.In the wake of the positive test in Malaysia, Cambodian health officials said they would be relying on a domestic lab to test all passengers and crew members still in the country for the coronavirus.On Monday evening, passengers celebrated news from Cambodian health officials that a first batch of 406 people in Phnom Penh had tested negative, although there was no certainty they would not later test positive."People on the ship are very grateful to the people of Cambodia," said Tammie Graves, an American from Kansas. "I was a bit worried that they might be afraid of us, even at the hotel, but it hasn't been like that at all."On Monday afternoon, more than 100 Westerdam passengers took up Hun Sen's offer of a capital tour, piling in buses to see the royal palace and other sites.In pictures of the excursion, posted on a government-linked website, only one person can be seen wearing a mask.Despite cases of coronavirus popping up in Southeast Asia, Hun Sen has campaigned against masks, arguing that they are better at spreading fear than stopping germs. At a news conference last month, he announced that he would kick out anyone who dared wear a mask.Even as other governments instituted China travel bans that angered Beijing, Hun Sen traveled to the Chinese capital and met with Xi Jinping, China's leader, in another photo op.And as other countries organized airlifts of people trapped in Wuhan, the city where the virus is believed to have originated, Hun Sen said he would not ferry Cambodian students home because they should be "joining with Chinese to fight this disease."The sense of solidarity makes sense in a country heavily dependent on China for its fortunes, after having turned its back on a West that was demanding progress in human rights in return for aid and investment.A torrent of Chinese cash has remade Cambodia, nowhere more so than in Sihanoukville, a once sleepy beach town that is now a sprawling construction site of gilded casinos and towering residential blocks. More than 90% of businesses in the city are now Chinese owned.On Monday, Oeun Yen, a masseuse here, worried about the massages she had given three female passengers from the Westerdam before the virus case was confirmed by Malaysia. She was not afraid at first, she said, because the prime minister had assured people all was fine."Now I am more concerned," she said.In a country where Hun Sen has dissolved the biggest opposition party and political assassination is not uncommon, such mild concern is as much as many ordinary residents are willing to muster.But there is also widespread skepticism of the government's contention that only one person in Cambodia has tested positive for coronavirus, a Chinese citizen who has since returned home."There is a natural lack of credibility and trust associated with the Cambodian government," said Ou Virak, a human-rights activist and founder of the Future Forum, a local think tank. "This is Hun Sen's Westerdam problem, because even if he was doing the right thing, purely as a humanitarian, he will be seen as the puppet of China instead."On Monday, Hun Sen announced yet another publicity stunt: He wants to invite the passengers of the Westerdam to a party.Masks won't be welcome.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


Pope tenderly kissed on forehead by man in front-row seat

Pope tenderly kissed on forehead by man in front-row seatWell-wishers at Pope Francis' weekly audience have thrust soccer T-shirts, flowers and many a wailing baby into his arms. On Wednesday, Francis seemed to thoroughly enjoy a surprise expression of affection: a long, tender kiss planted on his forehead by a man in one of the front-row seats reserved for ailing or disabled people at the end of his audience. Francis appeared to be smiling when the man, who stood up when the pontiff approached to greet him and others in the front row, pulled the pope's head toward him and gave a kiss lasting several seconds, pressing his nose against Francis' forehead in the process.


Roger Stone judge ignores Trump's taunts, leaves sentencing scheduled for Thursday

Roger Stone judge ignores Trump's taunts, leaves sentencing scheduled for ThursdayRoger Stone will be sentenced on Thursday and President Trump can do nothing about it.That's the message U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who's overseeing the criminal case against Trump's longtime adviser, sent Tuesday when she confirmed the date of Stone's sentencing hearing. Despite receiving threats from Trump to delay the sentencing for a second time, that "would not be a prudent thing to do under all the circumstances," Jackson said.Uproar surrounding Stone's upcoming sentencing arose last week when prosecutors in the case recommended a 7–9 year prison term for Stone's crimes of lying to Congress and witness tampering. Trump tweeted to complain about the suggestion, and Attorney General William Barr intervened, with the DOJ eventually recommending a lighter sentence for Stone. Trump then repeatedly attacked Jackson's handling of the case, including in Twitter threads Tuesday morning where he cited Fox & Friends to call for her to delay Stone's sentencing.> .....existence of these tweets in which you were so harshly negative about the President & the people who support him. Don’t you think we wanted to know that before we put you on this jury.’ Pretty obvious he should (get a new trial). I think almost any judge in the Country.....> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2020Despite the presidential controversy, "I'm willing to make sure there are no consequences that flow from the announcement of the sentence at the sentencing hearing," Jackson said in a Tuesday scheduling call.More stories from theweek.com Has Trump solved his biggest 2016 campaign problem? Mike Bloomberg is not the lesser of two evils White House rejects Julian Assange lawyer's claim Trump offered pardon for denying Russia hacked the DNC


'We don't have a history of murdering our citizens': A Saudi official says reports that the Saudi Crown Prince is connected to the death of Jamal Khashoggi are 'ridiculous'

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America's B-2 Bomber Is Old (But It Keeps Getting Deadlier)

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L.A. announces new strategy for getting homeless into permanent housing

L.A. announces new strategy for getting homeless into permanent housingLos Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government’s response to natural disasters.


Missing 6-year-old South Carolina girl's death ruled homicide by asphyxiation

Missing 6-year-old South Carolina girl's death ruled homicide by asphyxiationA polka dot boot and a soup ladle with fresh dirt on it led police to the body of Faye Swetlik, who officials say was killed by a neighbor who was also found dead.


Death toll from coronavirus surpasses 1,100; US confirms 13th case

Death toll from coronavirus surpasses 1,100; US confirms 13th caseThe one-day death toll of 103 pushed the total past 1,000 and provided an ominous warning that the coronavirus epidemic was accelerating.


Bloomberg's transaction tax sets stage for clash with Wall Street clients

Bloomberg's transaction tax sets stage for clash with Wall Street clientsPresidential candidate Michael Bloomberg's decision to back a tax on trades marks a blow for Wall Street lobbyists which had seen the moderate Democrat as a potential ally, said analysts and lobbyists. On Tuesday, the former New York mayor and Wall Street investment banker, who made his $60 billion fortune in finance, proposed imposing a 0.1% tax on trading stocks, bonds and derivatives as part of a broader financial services agenda. Bloomberg's decision to back the tax is likely to bring him into conflict with Wall Street firms that are fighting the policy, many of which are the very same clients that helped him make the fortune with which he is funding his campaign.


Russia warns Turkey, blocks UN bid to end Syria bloodshed

Russia warns Turkey, blocks UN bid to end Syria bloodshedRussia on Wednesday warned Turkey against intervening in Syria as it blocked a UN bid to end the Damascus regime's brutal assault on the last rebel enclave. Syrian aid workers called urgently for a ceasefire and international help for nearly a million people fleeing the regime onslaught in the country's northwestern Idlib province -- the biggest wave of displaced civilians in the nine-year conflict. Turkey, supporter of some rebel groups in Idlib, has been pushing for a renewed ceasefire in talks with Russia, which backs the Syrian regime.


Maduro accused of "disappearing" US oilmen as trial delayed

Maduro accused of "disappearing" US oilmen as trial delayedFamily members of six American oil executives jailed in Venezuela are accusing Nicolas Maduro’s government of “forced disappearance” after the men were inexplicably missing for the scheduled start of their trial on Wednesday. Veronica Vadell said that lawyers for her father, Tomeu Vadell, and the five other executives from Houston-based Citgo had been waiting at a Caracas courthouse for more than six hours for the men to be transferred by the nation's intelligence police. The arrest took place the same day opposition leader Juan Guaidó met with President Donald Trump at the White House, fueling speculation the detention was politically motivated.


Oracle Employee Speaks Out Against Her Boss Raising Money for Trump

Oracle Employee Speaks Out Against Her Boss Raising Money for TrumpLarry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, one of the largest software companies in the world, hosted a fundraiser for Donald Trump’s re-election on Wednesday at the tech titan’s Southern California estate. The event was expected to bring in some $7 million for the incumbent president. Some of Ellison’s employees were less than pleased about that, signing a protest petition and, according to Recode, planning to walk out on Thursday to demand Ellison and Oracle donate an equivalent amount to humanitarian causes and denounce what they see as the Trump administration’s failings.Kristine Lessard, an Oracle sales account manager based in Massachusetts, signed the first petition with a personal appeal. “As an Oracle employee and mom of a transgender young adult,” she wrote, “I have appreciated the health benefits and HR Diversity and Inclusion support I've received for 8 years working here. I object to [Ellison] enabling this President who has specifically targeted Transgender youth to take away their rights by rescinding Executive Orders covering them.”Lessard’s son is a trans man in his 20s, she explained to the Daily Beast in an interview around the time the fundraiser took place Wednesday. She believes the Trump administration has mounted a broad onslaught against LGBTQ civil rights (she cited a Washington Post editorial titled “Trump has a Devastating Record on LGBT rights.” in a message), and that even if she might not have a history in tech activism—and even if her company is not known for its restive workforce—she had to speak out.The Silicon Valley Giant Bankrolling Devin Nunes“Oracle funds some advocacy and fundraisers on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community,” Lessard said, adding that she herself has participated in LGBTQ affinity groups at Oracle as an ally. “But in one fell swoop, this fundraiser could raise multiple millions that would work against those goals and hard earned gains,” she said.Oracle declined to comment to the Daily Beast, but Recode noted that employees who complained to the company had received a statement saying they could participate in politics on a personal level even as the company itself was not endorsing a candidate. “I’m disoriented. [Ellison] supporting the potential enabling of the president to get reelected doesn’t match up with our corporate values of social responsibility, especially two of the top ones: equality and environmental protection,” Lessard said. Lessard was surprised and disappointed Ellison spoke in favor of Trump now, given that he didn’t appear to support the president in the 2016 election. The co-founder is a registered Democrat, but donated $250,000 to Marco Rubio’s campaign in 2016, according to federal election records. He and other executives also have a history of backing Republican Rep. Devin Nunes. Lessard has discussed her opposition to Ellison’s decision with coworkers, she said, but she did not indicate whether she intended to walk out of work Thursday. “I’m expressing my opinion as an employee about what the company represents,” she said. The discussion within Oracle is not monolithic, she added—some employees feel they can only throw up their hands at Ellison’s behavior, some feel compelled to speak out, and some have said little. Others may support the president.> Do you work at Oracle or another tech company? Do you agree or disagree with Larry Ellison's decision to host a fundraiser for President Trump? Contact this reporter securely at blake.montgomery@protonmail.com.Lessard said she would be watching the Democratic candidates debate onstage in Nevada in the hours after the fundraiser Wednesday, though she said she doesn’t have a favorite candidate. Federal election records show no donations under her name. Oracle’s workforce has not engaged in much public activism. By contrast, Google employees seem to have been in a state of constant revolt for the past three years, advocating for the search giant to drop a contract with the Pentagon, and questioning the ouster of union organizers and an employee protesting the company’s work with immigration officials, among other disputes. Google has told its employees to stop talking about politics at work.The size and scope of a potential walkout remained to be seen late Wednesday. But if Lessard was any indication, some employees were increasingly willing to spar with a boss some feel has gone rogue.“When you have this amount of people signing a petition, it really means it did strike a nerve,” she said.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Police filmed a woman trying to sneak into Shanghai in the trunk of a car to avoid being quarantined for coronavirus

Police filmed a woman trying to sneak into Shanghai in the trunk of a car to avoid being quarantined for coronavirusThe woman had visited her hometown in Hubei Province, the center of the outbreak, and was returning to Shanghai, where she works. She was quarantined.


There are only three viable presidential candidates, according to Mike Bloomberg's campaign

There are only three viable presidential candidates, according to Mike Bloomberg's campaignOnly three candidates out of the more than half dozen vying for the White House have a viable path to the nomination, a senior official for the Mike Bloomberg campaign told reporters Tuesday.


Some Americans are attempting the journey back home to Wuhan

Some Americans are attempting the journey back home to Wuhan"I was married in Wuhan. I had a son in Wuhan. Wuhan is my home, and I will forever be tied to this city, so I need to be there,” Christopher Suzanne said.


Abbott says top Malaysian leaders suspected pilot of MH370

Abbott says top Malaysian leaders suspected pilot of MH370Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the “top levels” of the Malaysian government long suspected that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 almost six years ago was a mass murder-suicide by the pilot. Australia, working on Malaysia's behalf, coordinated what became the largest search in aviation history, but it failed to find the plane before being ended in 2017. Speaking in a Sky News documentary to air on Wednesday and Thursday, Abbott said high-ranking Malaysian officials believed veteran pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah deliberately downed the jet.


2 socialites have reportedly died after their Mercedes fell off a ferry leaving the most expensive ZIP code in the United States

2 socialites have reportedly died after their Mercedes fell off a ferry leaving the most expensive ZIP code in the United StatesThe only way to get to Miami's exclusive Fisher Island is by a seven minute ferry, and two women inexplicably fell off it and died last night.


Mexico arrests suspects in killing of seven-year-old girl
Hate crimes go unchecked at Syracuse University, students say

Hate crimes go unchecked at Syracuse University, students sayThe black-led movement NotAgainSU launched the sit-in Monday to protest the administration's handling of racial incidents at the university.


Russia raises eyebrows with blanket ban on Chinese visitors

Russia raises eyebrows with blanket ban on Chinese visitorsMoscow is to impose a blanket ban on Chinese visitors over coronavirus fears in a move that will hit its tourism industry as experts question the need for such "draconian" measures. Moscow will ban all Chinese citizens from entering its territory from Thursday. It has already halted visa-free tourism for Chinese nationals and stopped issuing them with work visas and suspended rail links and restricted air travel.


DOJ Denies Coordination between Barr and Giuliani in Letter Detailing Ukraine ‘Intake Process’

DOJ Denies Coordination between Barr and Giuliani in Letter Detailing Ukraine ‘Intake Process’The Justice Department informed House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) in a Tuesday letter that deputy attorney general Jeffrey Rosen had tasked the top prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Pennsylvania to oversee the process of reviewing “unsolicited” information from Ukraine."The Deputy Attorney General implemented this policy to avoid duplication of efforts across Offices and components, to facilitate information sharing, to ensure there are no conflicts among potentially overlapping matters, and to efficiently marshal the resources of the Department," Rosen wrote.He detailed that Brooklyn-based U.S. attorney Richard Donoghue would “assist in coordinating such matters,” while U.S. attorney Scott Brady in Pittsburgh would “assist in the receipt, processing, and preliminary analysis of new information provided by the public that may be relevant to matter relating to Ukraine.”Rosen’s letter also emphasized that attorney general William Barr “has not discussed matters relating to Ukraine with Rudolph Giuliani,” and that the DOJ “remains vigilant against the significant threat of disinformation.”“As always, the Department will reject information it finds to be non-credible while continuing to discharge its duty to pursue all meritorious leads and investigations,” the letter reads, while not elaborating what information is being explored.Attorney general William Barr confirmed on February 10 that the Justice Department has “established an intake process” to handle Ukrainian information, days after Giuliani claimed that he was aware of three Ukrainian witnesses ready to “name names” in a “smoking gun” that will “totally vindicate” Trump, and after Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson obtained financial records from the Treasury Department as part of a probe into Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine.“The DOJ has the obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant,” Barr said during a presser at the Justice Department, but did not explain further. Nadler, who said earlier this month that House Democrats would “likely” continue exploring Trump’s actions with regard to Ukraine by subpoenaing former national security adviser John Bolton, then sent a letter to Barr asking for more information.


9 Rural Farms of the 21st Century Featuring Stunning Modern Design
Michael Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked in his first debate – and he flopped

Michael Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked in his first debate – and he floppedBloomberg was hammered all night over stop-and-frisk, Wall Street, and his opposition to raising the minimum wage. He didn’t take it well Before Wednesday night’s debate, Michael Bloomberg’s critics had been furious with the Democratic National Committee for changing its rules to allow Bloomberg on the debate stage. But it turned out the critics should have been thanking the DNC. Bloomberg was absolutely terrible. His campaign may not literally have ended on the debate stage, but it’s hard to see how any viewer could come away believing his pitch that he is “the best candidate to take on Trump.”Bloomberg was ill-prepared, uncharismatic, and unlikable. The other candidates ran rings around him. Elizabeth Warren sank her teeth in early, interrupting Bloomberg’s opening statement to point out how his long history of sexist comments about women made him a lot like Donald Trump. Warren landed even more brutal blows later in the debate, when she challenged Bloomberg to release women from the non-disclosure agreements his company had forced them to sign in sexual harassment lawsuits. Bloomberg mumbled some lame excuse about how the agreements were consensual, but was clearly caught off-guard, and Warren wouldn’t let the issue go.Bloomberg looked feeble, and after the debate some Democratic bigwigs were already reportedly concluding that “Bloomberg isn’t the answer.”Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked all night by the rest of the candidates over stop-and-frisk, Wall Street, his Republican past, and his opposition to raising the minimum wage. He did not have any idea how to respond to the barrage. On stop-and-frisk, he simply lied, saying that he had tried to end the policy when in fact he had escalated it. Warren was having none of this, and correctly pointed out that Bloomberg was failing to take responsibility for the consequences his policy had for African Americans. Joe Biden echoed the sentiment, saying that Bloomberg’s apologies for stop-and-frisk were insufficient. “It’s not whether he apologized or not. It’s the policy. And the policy was abhorrent.” Biden energetically opposed Bloomberg throughout the night, showing a passion and lucidity that has been missing from the last months of his flagging campaign.It wasn’t just Bloomberg who came under fire. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg have never liked each other, and they became downright nasty. Klobuchar once again took the opportunity to point out that Pete has never won a statewide race, while Buttigieg replied with a canned line about how if Minnesotan senators made good nominees, Walter Mondale would have been president. Buttigieg also seized the opportunity to poke at Klobuchar over forgetting the president of Mexico’s name. Klobuchar struggled, asking Pete if he was calling her “dumb.” Buttigieg is a practiced debater and delivers his lines well, and his polished hokum about how “Washington” doesn’t respect small-city Rust Belt mayors clearly gets on Klobuchar’s nerves to no end.> In terms of who the debate served best, Bernie Sanders was the clear winnerWarren was unusually vicious toward other candidates, making direct attacks on nearly every one of her opponents. She was spirited and articulate, and with her memorable exchanges with Bloomberg, she will widely be seen as the “winner” of the debate. But it also seemed as if she was desperate to strike as many blows in as many directions as possible, conscious that her campaign needs a miracle if it is going to survive.In terms of who the debate served best, Sanders was the clear winner. He went into it the frontrunner, and mostly just needed to avoid embarrassing himself. The debate went far better than he could even have hoped. His chief rival, Bloomberg, flopped completely. The other centrists spent time bickering with each other that could have been spent trying to undermine Sanders. Warren did the “dirty work” of eviscerating Bloomberg, allowing Sanders to make a more elevated pitch and somewhat rise above the fray. He was given plenty of time to talk, and while he stuck close to his usual talking points he had above-average energy and was clearly enjoying himself. He was effective in pointing out how Buttigieg dishonestly presents the costs of Medicare For All without mentioning the benefits, and easily parried Bloomberg’s absurd attempt to conflate Sanders’ democratic socialism with “communism”. Bloomberg was a perfect foil for Sanders; Sanders probably wishes Bloomberg had been there all along, a cartoon of an evil billionaire for Sanders to point to as an example of everything wrong with the country.Sanders went into the debate the frontrunner and he left the frontrunner. If Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar were to stand any chance of overtaking Sanders, they needed to make him look foolish, and they didn’t. Instead, they looked petty, and he survived. Warren was in good form, but she’s simply not going to reclaim the lead over Sanders at this point. Bloomberg was the only serious threat, and he fizzled, showing that the “electability” case for his candidacy is laughable. It’s increasingly clear that Sanders has no serious opposition and Democrats are going to need to start reconciling himself to the inevitability of his nomination.But some clearly aren’t reconciled. One concerning moment in the debate came at the very end, where each candidate was asked if they believed that the candidate with the most delegates should be given the nomination, or the “superdelegates” should be allowed to intervene. Sanders was the only candidate who would say that the nomination should go to the individual with the most delegates. Every other candidate is apparently leaving open the possibility of the Democratic party overriding the popular vote at the convention, presumably in order to deny Sanders the nomination.Alarmingly, even if Sanders is the clear public favorite, there are still those Democrats who think he needs to be stopped at all costs.


Donald Trump Thinks Climate Change Is a Hoax. The U.S. Military Disagrees.

Donald Trump Thinks Climate Change Is a Hoax. The U.S. Military Disagrees.They've been warning pretty loudly about it.


US judge sides with migrants in case against Border Patrol

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Report: Obama reportedly expects he'll have to play a 'prominent role' in uniting Democrats this summer

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Two women dead after car plunges off ferry into waters off exclusive Miami island

Two women dead after car plunges off ferry into waters off exclusive Miami islandThe ferry shuttles people and their vehicles between Miami Beach and Fisher Island, a "private luxury community ... consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest zip codes in the U.S."


Security guard sentenced to prison for murdering US woman in Costa Rica Airbnb

Security guard sentenced to prison for murdering US woman in Costa Rica AirbnbA security guard for an apartment complex with Airbnb rental units has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for the 2018 murder of an American tourist.Carla Stefaniak, a Venezuelan-American who lived in Miami, was in San Jose, Costa Rica, celebrating her 36th birthday when she was brutally murdered.


China kicked out 3 Wall Street Journal reporters after it published an op-ed using a term that invokes the biggest humiliation in Chinese history

China kicked out 3 Wall Street Journal reporters after it published an op-ed using a term that invokes the biggest humiliation in Chinese historyChina's foreign ministry cited a February 3 headline, titled "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia," as the immediate reason for the expulsions.


ICE says it plans to destroy a trove of detention records, including numbers on detainee deaths and sexual assaults

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Hunter Biden Served on Board of Trade Group That Lobbied Obama Admin for Increased Ukraine Aid: Report

Hunter Biden Served on Board of Trade Group That Lobbied Obama Admin for Increased Ukraine Aid: ReportHunter Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden, was on the board of a trade group that lobbied the Obama administration for increased U.S. aid to Ukraine, according to a report Tuesday.From 2012 through 2018, the younger Biden served as a director for the Center for U.S. Global Leadership and was connected as well with its affiliate, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, The Daily Caller reported. The two groups, which include about 400 larger corporations and non-government organizations, lobbied for increased spending abroad by the State Department’s International Affairs Budget, including a special focus on Ukraine.At the time, Joe Biden was also advocating for increased U.S. spending in Ukraine.Hunter Biden's small private equity firm, Rosemont Seneca, featured other well-connected politicos as well, including his partner Devon Archer, who was a former adviser on Obama Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, and another partner, Kerry’s son-in-law Christopher Heinz.“Hunter Biden works for [Archer]. So we’ve got the top level politicos with us. All of my guys, is as top tier as it gets,” a businessman named Bevan Cooney wrote in text messages released in connection with an unrelated criminal case against Archer. “You don’t get more politically connected and make people more comfortable than that.”In 2013, the groups held an event honoring Joe Biden for his work supporting increased spending abroad, an event Hunter Biden was also introduced as having a "very special relationship with our honoree."Biden's separate lucrative position on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings while his father was vice president and in charge of addressing corruption in Ukraine has also drawn scrutiny and featured prominently in the impeachment proceedings against President Trump. That position earned Biden at least $50,000 a month for his advice on “transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities.”During a July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump asked Zelensky to help his administration investigate allegations that Joe Biden used his position as vice president to help the Ukrainian gas company avoid a corruption probe soon after Hunter Biden was appointed to its board of directors. That phone call led to an Intelligence Community whistleblower complaint that ultimately sparked a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump’s actions.Biden has said that in the spring of 2016, during his tenure as vice president, he called on Ukraine to fire the top prosecutor investigating the energy company paying his son. Biden suggested he would withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine if the country did not fire the prosecutor, who was accused by the State Department and U.S. allies in Europe of being soft on corruption.


Michael Bloomberg’s Monumental Failure to Prepare

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Secession in the Pacific Northwest? Some Oregon residents petition to join Idaho

Secession in the Pacific Northwest? Some Oregon residents petition to join IdahoFrustrated by liberal policies, some Oregon residents petition to leave the state by moving the border with Idaho.


Lawyer: Assange was offered US pardon if he cleared Russia

Lawyer: Assange was offered US pardon if he cleared RussiaWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to claim during an extradition hearing that the Trump administration offered him a pardon if he agreed to say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, a lawyer for Assange said Wednesday. Assange is being held at a British prison while fighting extradition to the United States on spying charges.


Elizabeth Warren defends Amy Klobuchar for forgetting the name of Mexico's president

Elizabeth Warren defends Amy Klobuchar for forgetting the name of Mexico's presidentLast week, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was asked by a reporter if she could name the president of Mexico, and after thinking about it, responded, "No." This came back to haunt her during Wednesday's Democratic debate, but a fellow candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), had her back.Klobuchar said that she doesn't believe "that momentary forgetfulness actually reflects what I know about Mexico and how much I care about it," and reminded the audience that she is "the one person on this stage that came out first to say I was for the U.S.-Mexico-Canadian trade agreement that is going to be one of the No. 1 duties of the president, to implement that." Forgetting Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's name was "an error," she continued. "I think having a president that is maybe humbled and able to admit that here and there maybe wouldn't be a bad thing."Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg responded that Klobuchar is "staking your presidency on your Washington experience," and not knowing a world leader's name was bad form. "Are you trying to say that I'm dumb?" Klobuchar snapped. "Or you're mocking me?" Buttigieg responded that he is "saying you shouldn't trivialize it."That's when Warren jumped in. "This is not right," she said. "I understand that she forgot a name — it happens. It happens to everybody on this stage. You want to ask about whether or not you understand trade policy with Mexico? Have at it. And if you get it wrong, you ought to be held accountable for that. ... But let's just be clear, missing a name all by itself does not indicate that you do not understand what's going on. I just think this is unfair."More stories from theweek.com Mike Bloomberg is not the lesser of two evils Chuck Todd gets existential with billionaire Michael Bloomberg: 'Should you exist?' Elizabeth Warren's fiery debate performance reportedly inspired her best fundraising hour to date


Virginia lawmakers reject assault weapons ban over fears of potential civil war

Virginia lawmakers reject assault weapons ban over fears of potential civil warVirginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons has failed after members of his own party balked at the proposal. Senators voted to shelve the bill for the year and ask the state crime commission to study the issue, an outcome that drew cheers from a committee room packed with gun advocates.


Former South Korean president jailed after losing appeal

Former South Korean president jailed after losing appealFormer South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was taken to prison Wednesday to begin a 17-year term for bribery and embezzlement after losing an appeal against a lighter sentence. Several South Korean presidents have ended up in prison after leaving office -- often as a result of investigations started by political rivals.


Coronavirus: Self-quarantined family shunned as neighbour calls 911 on them

Coronavirus: Self-quarantined family shunned as neighbour calls 911 on themA California family in self-quarantine over the coronavirus after a visit to China have found themselves shunned, and even had the police called on them.Amy Deng and her eight-year-old daughter, Daisy, have no symptoms, but following a trip to visit family in Guangzhou over Chinese New Year, they are in self-quarantine monitored by local officials in Santa Rosa, The East Bay Times reports.


Pilots aboard Hurricane Hunter plane chasing a winter storm experience strange phenomenon

Pilots aboard Hurricane Hunter plane chasing a winter storm experience strange phenomenonAn experienced hurricane hunting crew chasing a winter storm came across a far different discovery this past weekend. In what is know as St. Elmo's fire, footage of the forking electric discharge was captured on Saturday by pilots as the spectacle flashed throughout the cockpit.The video, captured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aircraft Operations Center (AOC), was taken as pilots flew across the Atlantic Ocean amid thunderstorms. NOAA deployed the hunters to support a project analyzing ocean surface winds in winter storms over the North Atlantic.The flight took place as Storm Dennis chugged along in the North Atlantic approaching Ireland and the United Kingdom.While frightening and shocking on camera, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said the actual charge from the weather phenomenon is harmless, especially for those surrounded by the metal shell of the aircraft."St. Elmo's fire is a phenomena that has occurred throughout human history. Before it was reported on planes, it happened on ships in the open ocean," Samuhel said. "It happens when the charge of an object is much different than the charge of the air. Unlike lightning when huge bolts of electricity jump across a large distance from one charge to another, St. Elmo's fire happens on a very small scale." Sprawling displays of St. Elmo's fire illuminated the cockpit of a crew flying across the Atlantic Ocean. (NOAA Corps) Named after St. Erasmus of Formia, the patron saint of sailors, reports of St. Elmo's fire trace back thousands of years to ancient Greece and tales of the marvel were consistently shared by ship fleets.St. Elmo's fire differs from lightning in that it is simply a glow of electrons in the air, whereas lightning is the movement of electricity from a charged cloud to the ground. In a thunderstorm, where the surrounding environment is electrically charged, the phenomenon is sparked when a charged object, such as a ship mast or airplane nose, causes a dramatic difference in charge, emitting a visual discharge. It can most simply be compared to a continuous spark."The point of the nose of an aircraft gives electricity an easy path to flow, as does the mast of the ship," Samuhel said. "These locations are where St. Elmo's fire is most common."CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPIn historical recounts of St. Elmo's fire, writers such as Julius Caesar and Charles Darwin depict the instances as a steady glow."Everything is in flames: the sky with lightning, the water with luminous particles and even the very masts are pointed with a blue flame," Darwin wrote while aboard the Beagle as he traveled across the Atlantic.For experienced pilots like the Hurricane Hunters, the light show in front of them likely wouldn't have induced any fear or panic, although the event could be a sign of stormy weather ahead."It lasted about three minutes," explained Maria Ines Rubio, a flight attendant who witnessed the phenomenon in 2017, to The Washington Post. "I wasn't nervous, because it a rather normal occurrence when you get into a strong enough storm."The phenomenon, also known as a corona discharge, is "commonly observed on the periphery of propellers and along the wing tips, windshield, and nose of aircraft flying in dry snow, in ice crystals, or near thunderstorms," according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


A Japanese disease expert who inspected the Diamond Princess said he was 'so scared' of catching the coronavirus because hygiene on the cruise ship was so bad

A Japanese disease expert who inspected the Diamond Princess said he was 'so scared' of catching the coronavirus because hygiene on the cruise ship was so badKentaro Iwata said that while he had weathered the Ebola, SARS, and cholera crises, he was scared of catching COVID-19 on the quarantined cruise ship.


Bloomberg referred to trans women as 'some guy in a dress' in second resurfaced video

Bloomberg referred to trans women as 'some guy in a dress' in second resurfaced videoIn a video recorded last year, presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg refers to transgender women as “some guy in a dress.” This is the second time Mr Bloomberg has been recorded making such statements in recent years.The March 2019 video also has Mr Bloomberg referring to transgender people as “he, she or it” in comments aimed at warning 2020 Democratic candidates against emphasising transgender issues, arguing that they would not play well in parts of America.


This purse was lost behind a locker in the 1950s. Its contents reveal what high school was like then

This purse was lost behind a locker in the 1950s. Its contents reveal what high school was like thenThe purse belonged to Patti Rumfola, who graduated from Hoover High School in 1960. The school now currently serves as North Canton Middle School.


Judge finds US in contempt after immigrants in suit deported
Group of more than 1,000 judges calls emergency meeting amid Trump concerns

Group of more than 1,000 judges calls emergency meeting amid Trump concernsJudges will meet to address alarm over the president intervening in politically sensitive casesA national association of federal judges has called an emergency meeting to address growing concerns about the intervention of Donald Trump and justice department officials in politically sensitive cases, according to US media reports.Cynthia Rufe, a Philadelphia US district judge who heads the independent Federal Judges Association, which has more than 1,100 members, told USA Today the group “could not wait” until its spring conference to discuss the matter.“There are plenty of issues that we are concerned about,” Rufe told USA Today. “We’ll talk all of this through.”Megan Cruz, the executive director of the group, told CNN the meeting would take place on Wednesday. She said a nine-member executive committee of the group had decided the emergency meeting was necessary.The meeting comes after more than 2,000 former US justice department officials, including some of the top government lawyers in the country, called on the attorney general, William Barr, to resign in the wake of the Roger Stone scandal.Alumni of the Department of Justice posted to Medium on Sunday a group letter that tore into Barr for “doing the president’s personal bidding” in imposing on prosecutors the recommendation of a reduced sentence for Stone, a longtime friend of Trump who was convicted of lying to and obstructing Congress and threatening a witness in the Russia investigation.Barr, the officials said, had damaged the reputation of the department for “integrity and the rule of law”.The spiralling constitutional crisis began last week when Barr imposed his new sentencing memo, slashing a seven- to nine-year proposed prison term suggested by career prosecutors. In the fallout, the four prosecutors who had handled the case resigned in disgust.US district Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over the Stone’s case, has ordered both sides to participate in a conference call on Tuesday to discuss the status of the case. Following the call, it was confirmed that Stone’s sentencing would go ahead on Thursday.Rufe voiced her strong support for Jackson, according to USA Today.“I am not concerned with how a particular judge will rule,” Rufe said. “We are supportive of any federal judge who does what is required.”It was not clear whether the FJA would issue a statement after the emergency meeting. The Guardian contacted the FJA for comment.


Russia's Su-57 Got A Good Test Run In Syria (But Is It A Threat?)

Russia's Su-57 Got A Good Test Run In Syria (But Is It A Threat?)It's not ready for mass production yet.


26 of the Best Stainless-Steel Bathroom Faucets 
Body of missing college student found in Georgia, boyfriend arrested

Body of missing college student found in Georgia, boyfriend arrestedAnitra Lashay Gunn was a senior studying agriculture at Fort Valley State University. She was found in a wooded area in Crawford County.


South Korea coronavirus cases jump by two-thirds in one day

South Korea coronavirus cases jump by two-thirds in one daySouth Korea reported 20 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday -- increasing its total by nearly two-thirds -- including a cluster of at least 16 centred on the southern city of Daegu. The trade-dependent nation has been hit by the economic fallout from the virus outbreak in neighbouring China, but until Wednesday's jump, its own case numbers had hardly changed for several days. The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a statement that 20 new coronavirus cases had been confirmed, raising its total from 31 to 51.


U.S. Coronavirus Cases Nearly Double With No End in Sight

U.S. Coronavirus Cases Nearly Double With No End in SightConfirmed cases of the new, deadly coronavirus in the United States almost doubled over the holiday weekend thanks to the messy evacuation of Americans from a cruise ship in Japan, while fresh numbers from China suggested the disease might be deadlier than first believed.The U.S. government evacuated 328 American passengers from Tokyo early Monday on two chartered cargo jets, leaving dozens others behind who preferred to stay on the Diamond Princess cruise ship—despite a strong disembarkation recommendation from the federal government. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said over the weekend that it recommended repatriation so that it could take responsibility for care of the Americans and “to reduce the burden on the Japanese healthcare system.”All travelers from Japan were screened before boarding the aircraft “to prevent symptomatic travelers from departing Japan,” according to the CDC. But 14 people who ultimately proved to be infected with the disease were included in the evacuation anyway, with officials later explaining that the positive results came back as passengers were already heading to the airport.Dr. William Walters, managing director of operational medicine at the State Department, told reporters Monday that authorities evacuated passengers without knowing their test results because it was “unpredictable” when the results would come back. None of the diagnosed evacuees were showing symptoms, and they flew home in separate chambers—made of 10-feet-tall plastic sheets—from the other 314 passengers. The government planned to house all uninfected evacuees for 14 days at federal quarantine sites at Travis Air Force Base in California and Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas.‘It Failed’: Cruise Ship Coronavirus Snafus Stoke Fears of Global PandemicInfected evacuees, on the other hand, were sent to hospitals in California and at the University of Nebraska for treatment. Another five passengers on the flights had reportedly been put in isolation after developing fevers, a development that was likely to add to public skepticism of the U.S. and Japanese governments’ response to the virus, even as officials insisted that the risk to the general American public was still “low.”Eiji Kusumi, a doctor specializing in infectious diseases at Navitas Clinic in Tokyo, told The New York Times that the quarantine of the cruise ship, which remained docked in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, was an “unprecedented failure” and that officials should “learn from this lesson that a quarantine on a ship is impossible.”The cruise ship has for weeks housed the largest outbreak outside of China, and Japanese health authorities said Tuesday there were a total of 542 confirmed cases on the Diamond Princess—88 new ones since last count—out of 3,700 passengers and crew members. As of Tuesday, 2,404 people on board had tested negative for the virus.The vessel-wide quarantine, which began on Feb. 3, was set to end on Wednesday, but those who bunked with passengers or crew members who tested positive were slated to remain on board for longer. Only about 500 people were expected to be released on Wednesday, while more than 100 total U.S. citizens remained either on board or in hospitals in Japan, according to the CDC.Dr. Anthony Fauci, of the National Institutes of Health, also admitted on Monday that the quarantine on the cruise ship “failed.” After weeks of debate about the subject, Japan said it would test everyone aboard the ship before allowing them to disembark.Outside of evacuees from the Diamond Princess, the CDC said there remained 15 confirmed cases in the U.S. on Tuesday out of 467 people under investigation for the coronavirus. Some 392 of those patients tested negative, while 60 remained pending on Tuesday. Several Americans who, before being released Tuesday, were stuck in federal quarantine in San Diego after returning from Wuhan earlier this month voiced concern over the effectiveness and thoroughness of the CDC’s response, some going so far as to draft a petition after the government mistakenly reintroduced an infected woman to the general population.Jacob Wilson, a 33-year-old American evacuee who works at a tech start-up in Wuhan, told The Daily Beast that he and his fellow evacuees were “swamped” by press at the airport after they were released.“Now hopefully I can get back to some normalcy,” he said.Meanwhile, as of Tuesday morning, China had reported 72,528 coronavirus cases, including 1,870 related deaths, according to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization. Outside of China, there were 804 cases in 25 countries, he added, with 12 other countries having confirmed instances of human-to-human transmission.“At the moment, we don’t have enough data on cases outside China to make a meaningful comparison on the severity of the disease or the case fatality rate,” said Tedros.But as the Times reported, an analysis by Chinese authorities from data on 44,672 patients suggested that about 2.3 percent of cases of the disease had been fatal as of Feb. 11. Nearly 14 percent of people who tested positive for the infection had severe cases, and about 5 percent had critical illnesses, according to Chinese authorities. The data showed that 30 percent of those who died from the virus were in their 60s, 30 percent were in their 70s, and another 20 percent were 80 or older. Since then, daily figures indicated the virus’s fatality rate had only increased. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Here are the winners and losers of Nevada's heated Democratic debate, where Michael Bloomberg was skewered and Elizabeth Warren schooled the stage

Here are the winners and losers of Nevada's heated Democratic debate, where Michael Bloomberg was skewered and Elizabeth Warren schooled the stageThe debate was combative and punctuated by withering attacks from all sides on the newcomer on stage: billionaire former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.


Cambodia's Coronavirus Complacency May Exact a Global Toll

Cambodia's Coronavirus Complacency May Exact a Global TollSIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia -- When Cambodia's prime minister greeted passengers on a cruise ship amid a coronavirus scare on Valentine's Day, embraces were the order of the day. Protective masks were not.Not only did Prime Minister Hun Sen not wear one, assured that the ship was virus-free, his bodyguards ordered people who had donned masks to take them off. The next day, the U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, W. Patrick Murphy, who brought his own family to greet the passengers streaming off the ship, also went maskless."We are very, very grateful that Cambodia has opened literally its ports and doors to people in need," Murphy said.But after hundreds of passengers had disembarked, one later tested positive for the coronavirus. Now, health officials worry that what Cambodia opened its doors to was the outbreak, and that the world may pay a price as passengers from the cruse ship Westerdam stream home.Before the Westerdam docked in Sihanoukville, fearful governments in other countries had turned the ship away at five ports of call even though the cruise operator, Holland America, assured officials that the ship's passengers had been carefully screened.Hun Sen's decision to allow it entry appeared to be a political calculus as much as anything else. The region's longest-serving ruler and a close ally of China, he is known for his survival skills.But Hun Sen's critics worry that the aging autocrat might have acted rashly."Of course, he had to do the dictator thing: photo op, roses, exploit this for its maximum value," said Sophal Ear, an expert in Cambodian politics at Occidental College. "Whatever is in the best interest of Cambodians is completely irrelevant to him."It is too early to tell whether the decision to let hundreds of passengers from the Westerdam fly off has the makings of an epidemiological disaster. Cambodian health authorities said that 409 of the 2,257 passengers and crew had left Cambodia for their homes scattered across the globe. The rest remain in hotels in Phnom Penh, the capital, or on the ship.But deficiencies in screening for the coronavirus aboard the ship, along with continued complacency about the epidemic in Cambodia, are raising fears this small Southeast Asian nation could prove to be a surprising vector of transmission for a virus that has already killed more than 1,700 people, mostly in China, the epicenter of the outbreak.Many health experts urge people who have been in contact with coronavirus patients to self-quarantine for 14 days, lest they add another spoke to the contagion network.But on Monday, Hun Sen directed officials in Phnom Penh to treat passengers from the Westerdam to a sightseeing jaunt."To tour the city is better than staying in rooms or at the hotel feeling bored or scared," said a post on Hun Sen's Facebook page.The lack of urgency in Cambodia, where officials milled around the ship Monday without protection, points to the obstacles in trying to contain a virus that experts warn is spreading faster than SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome)or MERS, (Middle East respiratory syndrome)."This is influenza-like transmission," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. "It's like trying to stop the wind."Last week, when the Westerdam docked in Sihanoukville, the Cambodian government and the cruise operator deemed the vessel virus-free.The declaration was at a minimum premature.Only 20 people out of the 2,257 onboard were tested for the virus before disembarking, and that was because they had reported themselves to ship medical staff with various ailments.The woman who twice tested positive after traveling on to Malaysia, an 83-year-old American, was not among those 20, Holland America said.Health monitoring for the rest of the passengers was limited to a handful of temperature checks conducted with infrared thermometers, passengers said. In a statement, Holland America said that during one of those screenings, not a single person on board recorded an elevated temperature.On Monday, an announcement broadcast to passengers remaining on the Westerdam warned that they should avoid the ship's hot deck and return to their air-conditioned rooms to avoid falsely high temperature readings.Some health experts have questioned the efficacy of infrared thermometers, also known as temperature guns, saying they measure the heat emanating from the surface of the body, rather than core body temperature.Various environmental factors can distort thermometer gun reading, said Gary Strahan, who runs a small infrared device company in Texas."In Cambodia, you have warmer background temperatures," he said. "It could impact the measurement. That's the issue with any noncontact thermometer."Even if temperatures are accurately gauged, people may be taking medication that lower their temperature, like some arthritis drugs.And in any case, people who are asymptomatic can still pass on the coronavirus, scientists have found."A person who does not present as feverish is not necessarily uninfected with a disease or a virus," said Jim Seffrin, an expert on infrared devices at the Infraspection Institute in New Jersey.In the wake of the positive test in Malaysia, Cambodian health officials said they would be relying on a domestic lab to test all passengers and crew members still in the country for the coronavirus.On Monday evening, passengers celebrated news from Cambodian health officials that a first batch of 406 people in Phnom Penh had tested negative, although there was no certainty they would not later test positive."People on the ship are very grateful to the people of Cambodia," said Tammie Graves, an American from Kansas. "I was a bit worried that they might be afraid of us, even at the hotel, but it hasn't been like that at all."On Monday afternoon, more than 100 Westerdam passengers took up Hun Sen's offer of a capital tour, piling in buses to see the royal palace and other sites.In pictures of the excursion, posted on a government-linked website, only one person can be seen wearing a mask.Despite cases of coronavirus popping up in Southeast Asia, Hun Sen has campaigned against masks, arguing that they are better at spreading fear than stopping germs. At a news conference last month, he announced that he would kick out anyone who dared wear a mask.Even as other governments instituted China travel bans that angered Beijing, Hun Sen traveled to the Chinese capital and met with Xi Jinping, China's leader, in another photo op.And as other countries organized airlifts of people trapped in Wuhan, the city where the virus is believed to have originated, Hun Sen said he would not ferry Cambodian students home because they should be "joining with Chinese to fight this disease."The sense of solidarity makes sense in a country heavily dependent on China for its fortunes, after having turned its back on a West that was demanding progress in human rights in return for aid and investment.A torrent of Chinese cash has remade Cambodia, nowhere more so than in Sihanoukville, a once sleepy beach town that is now a sprawling construction site of gilded casinos and towering residential blocks. More than 90% of businesses in the city are now Chinese owned.On Monday, Oeun Yen, a masseuse here, worried about the massages she had given three female passengers from the Westerdam before the virus case was confirmed by Malaysia. She was not afraid at first, she said, because the prime minister had assured people all was fine."Now I am more concerned," she said.In a country where Hun Sen has dissolved the biggest opposition party and political assassination is not uncommon, such mild concern is as much as many ordinary residents are willing to muster.But there is also widespread skepticism of the government's contention that only one person in Cambodia has tested positive for coronavirus, a Chinese citizen who has since returned home."There is a natural lack of credibility and trust associated with the Cambodian government," said Ou Virak, a human-rights activist and founder of the Future Forum, a local think tank. "This is Hun Sen's Westerdam problem, because even if he was doing the right thing, purely as a humanitarian, he will be seen as the puppet of China instead."On Monday, Hun Sen announced yet another publicity stunt: He wants to invite the passengers of the Westerdam to a party.Masks won't be welcome.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


Pope tenderly kissed on forehead by man in front-row seat

Pope tenderly kissed on forehead by man in front-row seatWell-wishers at Pope Francis' weekly audience have thrust soccer T-shirts, flowers and many a wailing baby into his arms. On Wednesday, Francis seemed to thoroughly enjoy a surprise expression of affection: a long, tender kiss planted on his forehead by a man in one of the front-row seats reserved for ailing or disabled people at the end of his audience. Francis appeared to be smiling when the man, who stood up when the pontiff approached to greet him and others in the front row, pulled the pope's head toward him and gave a kiss lasting several seconds, pressing his nose against Francis' forehead in the process.


Roger Stone judge ignores Trump's taunts, leaves sentencing scheduled for Thursday

Roger Stone judge ignores Trump's taunts, leaves sentencing scheduled for ThursdayRoger Stone will be sentenced on Thursday and President Trump can do nothing about it.That's the message U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who's overseeing the criminal case against Trump's longtime adviser, sent Tuesday when she confirmed the date of Stone's sentencing hearing. Despite receiving threats from Trump to delay the sentencing for a second time, that "would not be a prudent thing to do under all the circumstances," Jackson said.Uproar surrounding Stone's upcoming sentencing arose last week when prosecutors in the case recommended a 7–9 year prison term for Stone's crimes of lying to Congress and witness tampering. Trump tweeted to complain about the suggestion, and Attorney General William Barr intervened, with the DOJ eventually recommending a lighter sentence for Stone. Trump then repeatedly attacked Jackson's handling of the case, including in Twitter threads Tuesday morning where he cited Fox & Friends to call for her to delay Stone's sentencing.> .....existence of these tweets in which you were so harshly negative about the President & the people who support him. Don’t you think we wanted to know that before we put you on this jury.’ Pretty obvious he should (get a new trial). I think almost any judge in the Country.....> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2020Despite the presidential controversy, "I'm willing to make sure there are no consequences that flow from the announcement of the sentence at the sentencing hearing," Jackson said in a Tuesday scheduling call.More stories from theweek.com Has Trump solved his biggest 2016 campaign problem? Mike Bloomberg is not the lesser of two evils White House rejects Julian Assange lawyer's claim Trump offered pardon for denying Russia hacked the DNC


'We don't have a history of murdering our citizens': A Saudi official says reports that the Saudi Crown Prince is connected to the death of Jamal Khashoggi are 'ridiculous'

'We don't have a history of murdering our citizens': A Saudi official says reports that the Saudi Crown Prince is connected to the death of Jamal Khashoggi are 'ridiculous'Saudi Arabia has made "great progress in terms of human rights," Adel al-Jubeir said, urging outsiders to educate themselves better on its state of affairs.


America's B-2 Bomber Is Old (But It Keeps Getting Deadlier)

America's B-2 Bomber Is Old (But It Keeps Getting Deadlier)Back in 2018, the Air Force dropped a B61-12 nuclear weapon (not armed) from a B-2 at Nellis AFB, marking a new developmental flight test phase for the upgraded bomb.


L.A. announces new strategy for getting homeless into permanent housing

L.A. announces new strategy for getting homeless into permanent housingLos Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government’s response to natural disasters.


Missing 6-year-old South Carolina girl's death ruled homicide by asphyxiation

Missing 6-year-old South Carolina girl's death ruled homicide by asphyxiationA polka dot boot and a soup ladle with fresh dirt on it led police to the body of Faye Swetlik, who officials say was killed by a neighbor who was also found dead.


Death toll from coronavirus surpasses 1,100; US confirms 13th case

Death toll from coronavirus surpasses 1,100; US confirms 13th caseThe one-day death toll of 103 pushed the total past 1,000 and provided an ominous warning that the coronavirus epidemic was accelerating.


Bloomberg's transaction tax sets stage for clash with Wall Street clients

Bloomberg's transaction tax sets stage for clash with Wall Street clientsPresidential candidate Michael Bloomberg's decision to back a tax on trades marks a blow for Wall Street lobbyists which had seen the moderate Democrat as a potential ally, said analysts and lobbyists. On Tuesday, the former New York mayor and Wall Street investment banker, who made his $60 billion fortune in finance, proposed imposing a 0.1% tax on trading stocks, bonds and derivatives as part of a broader financial services agenda. Bloomberg's decision to back the tax is likely to bring him into conflict with Wall Street firms that are fighting the policy, many of which are the very same clients that helped him make the fortune with which he is funding his campaign.


Russia warns Turkey, blocks UN bid to end Syria bloodshed

Russia warns Turkey, blocks UN bid to end Syria bloodshedRussia on Wednesday warned Turkey against intervening in Syria as it blocked a UN bid to end the Damascus regime's brutal assault on the last rebel enclave. Syrian aid workers called urgently for a ceasefire and international help for nearly a million people fleeing the regime onslaught in the country's northwestern Idlib province -- the biggest wave of displaced civilians in the nine-year conflict. Turkey, supporter of some rebel groups in Idlib, has been pushing for a renewed ceasefire in talks with Russia, which backs the Syrian regime.


Maduro accused of "disappearing" US oilmen as trial delayed

Maduro accused of "disappearing" US oilmen as trial delayedFamily members of six American oil executives jailed in Venezuela are accusing Nicolas Maduro’s government of “forced disappearance” after the men were inexplicably missing for the scheduled start of their trial on Wednesday. Veronica Vadell said that lawyers for her father, Tomeu Vadell, and the five other executives from Houston-based Citgo had been waiting at a Caracas courthouse for more than six hours for the men to be transferred by the nation's intelligence police. The arrest took place the same day opposition leader Juan Guaidó met with President Donald Trump at the White House, fueling speculation the detention was politically motivated.


Oracle Employee Speaks Out Against Her Boss Raising Money for Trump

Oracle Employee Speaks Out Against Her Boss Raising Money for TrumpLarry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, one of the largest software companies in the world, hosted a fundraiser for Donald Trump’s re-election on Wednesday at the tech titan’s Southern California estate. The event was expected to bring in some $7 million for the incumbent president. Some of Ellison’s employees were less than pleased about that, signing a protest petition and, according to Recode, planning to walk out on Thursday to demand Ellison and Oracle donate an equivalent amount to humanitarian causes and denounce what they see as the Trump administration’s failings.Kristine Lessard, an Oracle sales account manager based in Massachusetts, signed the first petition with a personal appeal. “As an Oracle employee and mom of a transgender young adult,” she wrote, “I have appreciated the health benefits and HR Diversity and Inclusion support I've received for 8 years working here. I object to [Ellison] enabling this President who has specifically targeted Transgender youth to take away their rights by rescinding Executive Orders covering them.”Lessard’s son is a trans man in his 20s, she explained to the Daily Beast in an interview around the time the fundraiser took place Wednesday. She believes the Trump administration has mounted a broad onslaught against LGBTQ civil rights (she cited a Washington Post editorial titled “Trump has a Devastating Record on LGBT rights.” in a message), and that even if she might not have a history in tech activism—and even if her company is not known for its restive workforce—she had to speak out.The Silicon Valley Giant Bankrolling Devin Nunes“Oracle funds some advocacy and fundraisers on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community,” Lessard said, adding that she herself has participated in LGBTQ affinity groups at Oracle as an ally. “But in one fell swoop, this fundraiser could raise multiple millions that would work against those goals and hard earned gains,” she said.Oracle declined to comment to the Daily Beast, but Recode noted that employees who complained to the company had received a statement saying they could participate in politics on a personal level even as the company itself was not endorsing a candidate. “I’m disoriented. [Ellison] supporting the potential enabling of the president to get reelected doesn’t match up with our corporate values of social responsibility, especially two of the top ones: equality and environmental protection,” Lessard said. Lessard was surprised and disappointed Ellison spoke in favor of Trump now, given that he didn’t appear to support the president in the 2016 election. The co-founder is a registered Democrat, but donated $250,000 to Marco Rubio’s campaign in 2016, according to federal election records. He and other executives also have a history of backing Republican Rep. Devin Nunes. Lessard has discussed her opposition to Ellison’s decision with coworkers, she said, but she did not indicate whether she intended to walk out of work Thursday. “I’m expressing my opinion as an employee about what the company represents,” she said. The discussion within Oracle is not monolithic, she added—some employees feel they can only throw up their hands at Ellison’s behavior, some feel compelled to speak out, and some have said little. Others may support the president.> Do you work at Oracle or another tech company? Do you agree or disagree with Larry Ellison's decision to host a fundraiser for President Trump? Contact this reporter securely at blake.montgomery@protonmail.com.Lessard said she would be watching the Democratic candidates debate onstage in Nevada in the hours after the fundraiser Wednesday, though she said she doesn’t have a favorite candidate. Federal election records show no donations under her name. Oracle’s workforce has not engaged in much public activism. By contrast, Google employees seem to have been in a state of constant revolt for the past three years, advocating for the search giant to drop a contract with the Pentagon, and questioning the ouster of union organizers and an employee protesting the company’s work with immigration officials, among other disputes. Google has told its employees to stop talking about politics at work.The size and scope of a potential walkout remained to be seen late Wednesday. But if Lessard was any indication, some employees were increasingly willing to spar with a boss some feel has gone rogue.“When you have this amount of people signing a petition, it really means it did strike a nerve,” she said.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Police filmed a woman trying to sneak into Shanghai in the trunk of a car to avoid being quarantined for coronavirus

Police filmed a woman trying to sneak into Shanghai in the trunk of a car to avoid being quarantined for coronavirusThe woman had visited her hometown in Hubei Province, the center of the outbreak, and was returning to Shanghai, where she works. She was quarantined.


There are only three viable presidential candidates, according to Mike Bloomberg's campaign

There are only three viable presidential candidates, according to Mike Bloomberg's campaignOnly three candidates out of the more than half dozen vying for the White House have a viable path to the nomination, a senior official for the Mike Bloomberg campaign told reporters Tuesday.


Some Americans are attempting the journey back home to Wuhan

Some Americans are attempting the journey back home to Wuhan"I was married in Wuhan. I had a son in Wuhan. Wuhan is my home, and I will forever be tied to this city, so I need to be there,” Christopher Suzanne said.


Abbott says top Malaysian leaders suspected pilot of MH370

Abbott says top Malaysian leaders suspected pilot of MH370Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the “top levels” of the Malaysian government long suspected that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 almost six years ago was a mass murder-suicide by the pilot. Australia, working on Malaysia's behalf, coordinated what became the largest search in aviation history, but it failed to find the plane before being ended in 2017. Speaking in a Sky News documentary to air on Wednesday and Thursday, Abbott said high-ranking Malaysian officials believed veteran pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah deliberately downed the jet.


2 socialites have reportedly died after their Mercedes fell off a ferry leaving the most expensive ZIP code in the United States

2 socialites have reportedly died after their Mercedes fell off a ferry leaving the most expensive ZIP code in the United StatesThe only way to get to Miami's exclusive Fisher Island is by a seven minute ferry, and two women inexplicably fell off it and died last night.


Mexico arrests suspects in killing of seven-year-old girl
Hate crimes go unchecked at Syracuse University, students say

Hate crimes go unchecked at Syracuse University, students sayThe black-led movement NotAgainSU launched the sit-in Monday to protest the administration's handling of racial incidents at the university.


Russia raises eyebrows with blanket ban on Chinese visitors

Russia raises eyebrows with blanket ban on Chinese visitorsMoscow is to impose a blanket ban on Chinese visitors over coronavirus fears in a move that will hit its tourism industry as experts question the need for such "draconian" measures. Moscow will ban all Chinese citizens from entering its territory from Thursday. It has already halted visa-free tourism for Chinese nationals and stopped issuing them with work visas and suspended rail links and restricted air travel.


DOJ Denies Coordination between Barr and Giuliani in Letter Detailing Ukraine ‘Intake Process’

DOJ Denies Coordination between Barr and Giuliani in Letter Detailing Ukraine ‘Intake Process’The Justice Department informed House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) in a Tuesday letter that deputy attorney general Jeffrey Rosen had tasked the top prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Pennsylvania to oversee the process of reviewing “unsolicited” information from Ukraine."The Deputy Attorney General implemented this policy to avoid duplication of efforts across Offices and components, to facilitate information sharing, to ensure there are no conflicts among potentially overlapping matters, and to efficiently marshal the resources of the Department," Rosen wrote.He detailed that Brooklyn-based U.S. attorney Richard Donoghue would “assist in coordinating such matters,” while U.S. attorney Scott Brady in Pittsburgh would “assist in the receipt, processing, and preliminary analysis of new information provided by the public that may be relevant to matter relating to Ukraine.”Rosen’s letter also emphasized that attorney general William Barr “has not discussed matters relating to Ukraine with Rudolph Giuliani,” and that the DOJ “remains vigilant against the significant threat of disinformation.”“As always, the Department will reject information it finds to be non-credible while continuing to discharge its duty to pursue all meritorious leads and investigations,” the letter reads, while not elaborating what information is being explored.Attorney general William Barr confirmed on February 10 that the Justice Department has “established an intake process” to handle Ukrainian information, days after Giuliani claimed that he was aware of three Ukrainian witnesses ready to “name names” in a “smoking gun” that will “totally vindicate” Trump, and after Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson obtained financial records from the Treasury Department as part of a probe into Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine.“The DOJ has the obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant,” Barr said during a presser at the Justice Department, but did not explain further. Nadler, who said earlier this month that House Democrats would “likely” continue exploring Trump’s actions with regard to Ukraine by subpoenaing former national security adviser John Bolton, then sent a letter to Barr asking for more information.


9 Rural Farms of the 21st Century Featuring Stunning Modern Design
Michael Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked in his first debate – and he flopped

Michael Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked in his first debate – and he floppedBloomberg was hammered all night over stop-and-frisk, Wall Street, and his opposition to raising the minimum wage. He didn’t take it well Before Wednesday night’s debate, Michael Bloomberg’s critics had been furious with the Democratic National Committee for changing its rules to allow Bloomberg on the debate stage. But it turned out the critics should have been thanking the DNC. Bloomberg was absolutely terrible. His campaign may not literally have ended on the debate stage, but it’s hard to see how any viewer could come away believing his pitch that he is “the best candidate to take on Trump.”Bloomberg was ill-prepared, uncharismatic, and unlikable. The other candidates ran rings around him. Elizabeth Warren sank her teeth in early, interrupting Bloomberg’s opening statement to point out how his long history of sexist comments about women made him a lot like Donald Trump. Warren landed even more brutal blows later in the debate, when she challenged Bloomberg to release women from the non-disclosure agreements his company had forced them to sign in sexual harassment lawsuits. Bloomberg mumbled some lame excuse about how the agreements were consensual, but was clearly caught off-guard, and Warren wouldn’t let the issue go.Bloomberg looked feeble, and after the debate some Democratic bigwigs were already reportedly concluding that “Bloomberg isn’t the answer.”Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked all night by the rest of the candidates over stop-and-frisk, Wall Street, his Republican past, and his opposition to raising the minimum wage. He did not have any idea how to respond to the barrage. On stop-and-frisk, he simply lied, saying that he had tried to end the policy when in fact he had escalated it. Warren was having none of this, and correctly pointed out that Bloomberg was failing to take responsibility for the consequences his policy had for African Americans. Joe Biden echoed the sentiment, saying that Bloomberg’s apologies for stop-and-frisk were insufficient. “It’s not whether he apologized or not. It’s the policy. And the policy was abhorrent.” Biden energetically opposed Bloomberg throughout the night, showing a passion and lucidity that has been missing from the last months of his flagging campaign.It wasn’t just Bloomberg who came under fire. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg have never liked each other, and they became downright nasty. Klobuchar once again took the opportunity to point out that Pete has never won a statewide race, while Buttigieg replied with a canned line about how if Minnesotan senators made good nominees, Walter Mondale would have been president. Buttigieg also seized the opportunity to poke at Klobuchar over forgetting the president of Mexico’s name. Klobuchar struggled, asking Pete if he was calling her “dumb.” Buttigieg is a practiced debater and delivers his lines well, and his polished hokum about how “Washington” doesn’t respect small-city Rust Belt mayors clearly gets on Klobuchar’s nerves to no end.> In terms of who the debate served best, Bernie Sanders was the clear winnerWarren was unusually vicious toward other candidates, making direct attacks on nearly every one of her opponents. She was spirited and articulate, and with her memorable exchanges with Bloomberg, she will widely be seen as the “winner” of the debate. But it also seemed as if she was desperate to strike as many blows in as many directions as possible, conscious that her campaign needs a miracle if it is going to survive.In terms of who the debate served best, Sanders was the clear winner. He went into it the frontrunner, and mostly just needed to avoid embarrassing himself. The debate went far better than he could even have hoped. His chief rival, Bloomberg, flopped completely. The other centrists spent time bickering with each other that could have been spent trying to undermine Sanders. Warren did the “dirty work” of eviscerating Bloomberg, allowing Sanders to make a more elevated pitch and somewhat rise above the fray. He was given plenty of time to talk, and while he stuck close to his usual talking points he had above-average energy and was clearly enjoying himself. He was effective in pointing out how Buttigieg dishonestly presents the costs of Medicare For All without mentioning the benefits, and easily parried Bloomberg’s absurd attempt to conflate Sanders’ democratic socialism with “communism”. Bloomberg was a perfect foil for Sanders; Sanders probably wishes Bloomberg had been there all along, a cartoon of an evil billionaire for Sanders to point to as an example of everything wrong with the country.Sanders went into the debate the frontrunner and he left the frontrunner. If Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar were to stand any chance of overtaking Sanders, they needed to make him look foolish, and they didn’t. Instead, they looked petty, and he survived. Warren was in good form, but she’s simply not going to reclaim the lead over Sanders at this point. Bloomberg was the only serious threat, and he fizzled, showing that the “electability” case for his candidacy is laughable. It’s increasingly clear that Sanders has no serious opposition and Democrats are going to need to start reconciling himself to the inevitability of his nomination.But some clearly aren’t reconciled. One concerning moment in the debate came at the very end, where each candidate was asked if they believed that the candidate with the most delegates should be given the nomination, or the “superdelegates” should be allowed to intervene. Sanders was the only candidate who would say that the nomination should go to the individual with the most delegates. Every other candidate is apparently leaving open the possibility of the Democratic party overriding the popular vote at the convention, presumably in order to deny Sanders the nomination.Alarmingly, even if Sanders is the clear public favorite, there are still those Democrats who think he needs to be stopped at all costs.


Donald Trump Thinks Climate Change Is a Hoax. The U.S. Military Disagrees.

Donald Trump Thinks Climate Change Is a Hoax. The U.S. Military Disagrees.They've been warning pretty loudly about it.


US judge sides with migrants in case against Border Patrol

US judge sides with migrants in case against Border PatrolA U.S. judge in Arizona sided Wednesday with migrants who have long-complained about inhumane and unsanitary conditions in some U.S. Border Patrol facilities in the state. The ruling came weeks after the conclusion of a seven-day trial in which attorneys for migrants who sued in 2015 argued that the agency holds immigrants in extremely cold, overcrowded, unsanitary and inhumane conditions. The order makes permanent a preliminary injunction that U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury issued in 2016 requiring the Tucson Sector to provide clean mats and thin blankets to migrants held for longer than 12 hours and to allow them to clean themselves.


Report: Obama reportedly expects he'll have to play a 'prominent role' in uniting Democrats this summer

Report: Obama reportedly expects he'll have to play a 'prominent role' in uniting Democrats this summerThe New York Magazine reports former president Barack Obama's radio silence on the 2020 Democratic primary is part of a "choreographed strategy" on the part of Obama, who is "increasingly sure he will need to play a prominent role in bringing the party back together and calming its tensions later this summer."


Two women dead after car plunges off ferry into waters off exclusive Miami island

Two women dead after car plunges off ferry into waters off exclusive Miami islandThe ferry shuttles people and their vehicles between Miami Beach and Fisher Island, a "private luxury community ... consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest zip codes in the U.S."


Security guard sentenced to prison for murdering US woman in Costa Rica Airbnb

Security guard sentenced to prison for murdering US woman in Costa Rica AirbnbA security guard for an apartment complex with Airbnb rental units has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for the 2018 murder of an American tourist.Carla Stefaniak, a Venezuelan-American who lived in Miami, was in San Jose, Costa Rica, celebrating her 36th birthday when she was brutally murdered.


China kicked out 3 Wall Street Journal reporters after it published an op-ed using a term that invokes the biggest humiliation in Chinese history

China kicked out 3 Wall Street Journal reporters after it published an op-ed using a term that invokes the biggest humiliation in Chinese historyChina's foreign ministry cited a February 3 headline, titled "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia," as the immediate reason for the expulsions.


ICE says it plans to destroy a trove of detention records, including numbers on detainee deaths and sexual assaults

ICE says it plans to destroy a trove of detention records, including numbers on detainee deaths and sexual assaultsThe ACLU races to retrieve years of ICE detention records that they say are critical to holding ICE accountable for abuses and misconduct.


Hunter Biden Served on Board of Trade Group That Lobbied Obama Admin for Increased Ukraine Aid: Report

Hunter Biden Served on Board of Trade Group That Lobbied Obama Admin for Increased Ukraine Aid: ReportHunter Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden, was on the board of a trade group that lobbied the Obama administration for increased U.S. aid to Ukraine, according to a report Tuesday.From 2012 through 2018, the younger Biden served as a director for the Center for U.S. Global Leadership and was connected as well with its affiliate, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, The Daily Caller reported. The two groups, which include about 400 larger corporations and non-government organizations, lobbied for increased spending abroad by the State Department’s International Affairs Budget, including a special focus on Ukraine.At the time, Joe Biden was also advocating for increased U.S. spending in Ukraine.Hunter Biden's small private equity firm, Rosemont Seneca, featured other well-connected politicos as well, including his partner Devon Archer, who was a former adviser on Obama Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, and another partner, Kerry’s son-in-law Christopher Heinz.“Hunter Biden works for [Archer]. So we’ve got the top level politicos with us. All of my guys, is as top tier as it gets,” a businessman named Bevan Cooney wrote in text messages released in connection with an unrelated criminal case against Archer. “You don’t get more politically connected and make people more comfortable than that.”In 2013, the groups held an event honoring Joe Biden for his work supporting increased spending abroad, an event Hunter Biden was also introduced as having a "very special relationship with our honoree."Biden's separate lucrative position on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings while his father was vice president and in charge of addressing corruption in Ukraine has also drawn scrutiny and featured prominently in the impeachment proceedings against President Trump. That position earned Biden at least $50,000 a month for his advice on “transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities.”During a July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump asked Zelensky to help his administration investigate allegations that Joe Biden used his position as vice president to help the Ukrainian gas company avoid a corruption probe soon after Hunter Biden was appointed to its board of directors. That phone call led to an Intelligence Community whistleblower complaint that ultimately sparked a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump’s actions.Biden has said that in the spring of 2016, during his tenure as vice president, he called on Ukraine to fire the top prosecutor investigating the energy company paying his son. Biden suggested he would withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine if the country did not fire the prosecutor, who was accused by the State Department and U.S. allies in Europe of being soft on corruption.


Michael Bloomberg’s Monumental Failure to Prepare

Michael Bloomberg’s Monumental Failure to PrepareThe mogul had a story to tell, and a few apologies to make. He managed neither.


Secession in the Pacific Northwest? Some Oregon residents petition to join Idaho

Secession in the Pacific Northwest? Some Oregon residents petition to join IdahoFrustrated by liberal policies, some Oregon residents petition to leave the state by moving the border with Idaho.


Lawyer: Assange was offered US pardon if he cleared Russia

Lawyer: Assange was offered US pardon if he cleared RussiaWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to claim during an extradition hearing that the Trump administration offered him a pardon if he agreed to say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, a lawyer for Assange said Wednesday. Assange is being held at a British prison while fighting extradition to the United States on spying charges.


Elizabeth Warren defends Amy Klobuchar for forgetting the name of Mexico's president

Elizabeth Warren defends Amy Klobuchar for forgetting the name of Mexico's presidentLast week, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was asked by a reporter if she could name the president of Mexico, and after thinking about it, responded, "No." This came back to haunt her during Wednesday's Democratic debate, but a fellow candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), had her back.Klobuchar said that she doesn't believe "that momentary forgetfulness actually reflects what I know about Mexico and how much I care about it," and reminded the audience that she is "the one person on this stage that came out first to say I was for the U.S.-Mexico-Canadian trade agreement that is going to be one of the No. 1 duties of the president, to implement that." Forgetting Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's name was "an error," she continued. "I think having a president that is maybe humbled and able to admit that here and there maybe wouldn't be a bad thing."Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg responded that Klobuchar is "staking your presidency on your Washington experience," and not knowing a world leader's name was bad form. "Are you trying to say that I'm dumb?" Klobuchar snapped. "Or you're mocking me?" Buttigieg responded that he is "saying you shouldn't trivialize it."That's when Warren jumped in. "This is not right," she said. "I understand that she forgot a name — it happens. It happens to everybody on this stage. You want to ask about whether or not you understand trade policy with Mexico? Have at it. And if you get it wrong, you ought to be held accountable for that. ... But let's just be clear, missing a name all by itself does not indicate that you do not understand what's going on. I just think this is unfair."More stories from theweek.com Mike Bloomberg is not the lesser of two evils Chuck Todd gets existential with billionaire Michael Bloomberg: 'Should you exist?' Elizabeth Warren's fiery debate performance reportedly inspired her best fundraising hour to date


Virginia lawmakers reject assault weapons ban over fears of potential civil war

Virginia lawmakers reject assault weapons ban over fears of potential civil warVirginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons has failed after members of his own party balked at the proposal. Senators voted to shelve the bill for the year and ask the state crime commission to study the issue, an outcome that drew cheers from a committee room packed with gun advocates.


Former South Korean president jailed after losing appeal

Former South Korean president jailed after losing appealFormer South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was taken to prison Wednesday to begin a 17-year term for bribery and embezzlement after losing an appeal against a lighter sentence. Several South Korean presidents have ended up in prison after leaving office -- often as a result of investigations started by political rivals.


Coronavirus: Self-quarantined family shunned as neighbour calls 911 on them

Coronavirus: Self-quarantined family shunned as neighbour calls 911 on themA California family in self-quarantine over the coronavirus after a visit to China have found themselves shunned, and even had the police called on them.Amy Deng and her eight-year-old daughter, Daisy, have no symptoms, but following a trip to visit family in Guangzhou over Chinese New Year, they are in self-quarantine monitored by local officials in Santa Rosa, The East Bay Times reports.


Pilots aboard Hurricane Hunter plane chasing a winter storm experience strange phenomenon

Pilots aboard Hurricane Hunter plane chasing a winter storm experience strange phenomenonAn experienced hurricane hunting crew chasing a winter storm came across a far different discovery this past weekend. In what is know as St. Elmo's fire, footage of the forking electric discharge was captured on Saturday by pilots as the spectacle flashed throughout the cockpit.The video, captured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aircraft Operations Center (AOC), was taken as pilots flew across the Atlantic Ocean amid thunderstorms. NOAA deployed the hunters to support a project analyzing ocean surface winds in winter storms over the North Atlantic.The flight took place as Storm Dennis chugged along in the North Atlantic approaching Ireland and the United Kingdom.While frightening and shocking on camera, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said the actual charge from the weather phenomenon is harmless, especially for those surrounded by the metal shell of the aircraft."St. Elmo's fire is a phenomena that has occurred throughout human history. Before it was reported on planes, it happened on ships in the open ocean," Samuhel said. "It happens when the charge of an object is much different than the charge of the air. Unlike lightning when huge bolts of electricity jump across a large distance from one charge to another, St. Elmo's fire happens on a very small scale." Sprawling displays of St. Elmo's fire illuminated the cockpit of a crew flying across the Atlantic Ocean. (NOAA Corps) Named after St. Erasmus of Formia, the patron saint of sailors, reports of St. Elmo's fire trace back thousands of years to ancient Greece and tales of the marvel were consistently shared by ship fleets.St. Elmo's fire differs from lightning in that it is simply a glow of electrons in the air, whereas lightning is the movement of electricity from a charged cloud to the ground. In a thunderstorm, where the surrounding environment is electrically charged, the phenomenon is sparked when a charged object, such as a ship mast or airplane nose, causes a dramatic difference in charge, emitting a visual discharge. It can most simply be compared to a continuous spark."The point of the nose of an aircraft gives electricity an easy path to flow, as does the mast of the ship," Samuhel said. "These locations are where St. Elmo's fire is most common."CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPIn historical recounts of St. Elmo's fire, writers such as Julius Caesar and Charles Darwin depict the instances as a steady glow."Everything is in flames: the sky with lightning, the water with luminous particles and even the very masts are pointed with a blue flame," Darwin wrote while aboard the Beagle as he traveled across the Atlantic.For experienced pilots like the Hurricane Hunters, the light show in front of them likely wouldn't have induced any fear or panic, although the event could be a sign of stormy weather ahead."It lasted about three minutes," explained Maria Ines Rubio, a flight attendant who witnessed the phenomenon in 2017, to The Washington Post. "I wasn't nervous, because it a rather normal occurrence when you get into a strong enough storm."The phenomenon, also known as a corona discharge, is "commonly observed on the periphery of propellers and along the wing tips, windshield, and nose of aircraft flying in dry snow, in ice crystals, or near thunderstorms," according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


A Japanese disease expert who inspected the Diamond Princess said he was 'so scared' of catching the coronavirus because hygiene on the cruise ship was so bad

A Japanese disease expert who inspected the Diamond Princess said he was 'so scared' of catching the coronavirus because hygiene on the cruise ship was so badKentaro Iwata said that while he had weathered the Ebola, SARS, and cholera crises, he was scared of catching COVID-19 on the quarantined cruise ship.


Bloomberg referred to trans women as 'some guy in a dress' in second resurfaced video

Bloomberg referred to trans women as 'some guy in a dress' in second resurfaced videoIn a video recorded last year, presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg refers to transgender women as “some guy in a dress.” This is the second time Mr Bloomberg has been recorded making such statements in recent years.The March 2019 video also has Mr Bloomberg referring to transgender people as “he, she or it” in comments aimed at warning 2020 Democratic candidates against emphasising transgender issues, arguing that they would not play well in parts of America.


This purse was lost behind a locker in the 1950s. Its contents reveal what high school was like then

This purse was lost behind a locker in the 1950s. Its contents reveal what high school was like thenThe purse belonged to Patti Rumfola, who graduated from Hoover High School in 1960. The school now currently serves as North Canton Middle School.


Judge finds US in contempt after immigrants in suit deported
Group of more than 1,000 judges calls emergency meeting amid Trump concerns

Group of more than 1,000 judges calls emergency meeting amid Trump concernsJudges will meet to address alarm over the president intervening in politically sensitive casesA national association of federal judges has called an emergency meeting to address growing concerns about the intervention of Donald Trump and justice department officials in politically sensitive cases, according to US media reports.Cynthia Rufe, a Philadelphia US district judge who heads the independent Federal Judges Association, which has more than 1,100 members, told USA Today the group “could not wait” until its spring conference to discuss the matter.“There are plenty of issues that we are concerned about,” Rufe told USA Today. “We’ll talk all of this through.”Megan Cruz, the executive director of the group, told CNN the meeting would take place on Wednesday. She said a nine-member executive committee of the group had decided the emergency meeting was necessary.The meeting comes after more than 2,000 former US justice department officials, including some of the top government lawyers in the country, called on the attorney general, William Barr, to resign in the wake of the Roger Stone scandal.Alumni of the Department of Justice posted to Medium on Sunday a group letter that tore into Barr for “doing the president’s personal bidding” in imposing on prosecutors the recommendation of a reduced sentence for Stone, a longtime friend of Trump who was convicted of lying to and obstructing Congress and threatening a witness in the Russia investigation.Barr, the officials said, had damaged the reputation of the department for “integrity and the rule of law”.The spiralling constitutional crisis began last week when Barr imposed his new sentencing memo, slashing a seven- to nine-year proposed prison term suggested by career prosecutors. In the fallout, the four prosecutors who had handled the case resigned in disgust.US district Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over the Stone’s case, has ordered both sides to participate in a conference call on Tuesday to discuss the status of the case. Following the call, it was confirmed that Stone’s sentencing would go ahead on Thursday.Rufe voiced her strong support for Jackson, according to USA Today.“I am not concerned with how a particular judge will rule,” Rufe said. “We are supportive of any federal judge who does what is required.”It was not clear whether the FJA would issue a statement after the emergency meeting. The Guardian contacted the FJA for comment.


Russia's Su-57 Got A Good Test Run In Syria (But Is It A Threat?)

Russia's Su-57 Got A Good Test Run In Syria (But Is It A Threat?)It's not ready for mass production yet.


26 of the Best Stainless-Steel Bathroom Faucets 
Body of missing college student found in Georgia, boyfriend arrested

Body of missing college student found in Georgia, boyfriend arrestedAnitra Lashay Gunn was a senior studying agriculture at Fort Valley State University. She was found in a wooded area in Crawford County.


South Korea coronavirus cases jump by two-thirds in one day

South Korea coronavirus cases jump by two-thirds in one daySouth Korea reported 20 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday -- increasing its total by nearly two-thirds -- including a cluster of at least 16 centred on the southern city of Daegu. The trade-dependent nation has been hit by the economic fallout from the virus outbreak in neighbouring China, but until Wednesday's jump, its own case numbers had hardly changed for several days. The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a statement that 20 new coronavirus cases had been confirmed, raising its total from 31 to 51.


U.S. Coronavirus Cases Nearly Double With No End in Sight

U.S. Coronavirus Cases Nearly Double With No End in SightConfirmed cases of the new, deadly coronavirus in the United States almost doubled over the holiday weekend thanks to the messy evacuation of Americans from a cruise ship in Japan, while fresh numbers from China suggested the disease might be deadlier than first believed.The U.S. government evacuated 328 American passengers from Tokyo early Monday on two chartered cargo jets, leaving dozens others behind who preferred to stay on the Diamond Princess cruise ship—despite a strong disembarkation recommendation from the federal government. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said over the weekend that it recommended repatriation so that it could take responsibility for care of the Americans and “to reduce the burden on the Japanese healthcare system.”All travelers from Japan were screened before boarding the aircraft “to prevent symptomatic travelers from departing Japan,” according to the CDC. But 14 people who ultimately proved to be infected with the disease were included in the evacuation anyway, with officials later explaining that the positive results came back as passengers were already heading to the airport.Dr. William Walters, managing director of operational medicine at the State Department, told reporters Monday that authorities evacuated passengers without knowing their test results because it was “unpredictable” when the results would come back. None of the diagnosed evacuees were showing symptoms, and they flew home in separate chambers—made of 10-feet-tall plastic sheets—from the other 314 passengers. The government planned to house all uninfected evacuees for 14 days at federal quarantine sites at Travis Air Force Base in California and Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas.‘It Failed’: Cruise Ship Coronavirus Snafus Stoke Fears of Global PandemicInfected evacuees, on the other hand, were sent to hospitals in California and at the University of Nebraska for treatment. Another five passengers on the flights had reportedly been put in isolation after developing fevers, a development that was likely to add to public skepticism of the U.S. and Japanese governments’ response to the virus, even as officials insisted that the risk to the general American public was still “low.”Eiji Kusumi, a doctor specializing in infectious diseases at Navitas Clinic in Tokyo, told The New York Times that the quarantine of the cruise ship, which remained docked in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, was an “unprecedented failure” and that officials should “learn from this lesson that a quarantine on a ship is impossible.”The cruise ship has for weeks housed the largest outbreak outside of China, and Japanese health authorities said Tuesday there were a total of 542 confirmed cases on the Diamond Princess—88 new ones since last count—out of 3,700 passengers and crew members. As of Tuesday, 2,404 people on board had tested negative for the virus.The vessel-wide quarantine, which began on Feb. 3, was set to end on Wednesday, but those who bunked with passengers or crew members who tested positive were slated to remain on board for longer. Only about 500 people were expected to be released on Wednesday, while more than 100 total U.S. citizens remained either on board or in hospitals in Japan, according to the CDC.Dr. Anthony Fauci, of the National Institutes of Health, also admitted on Monday that the quarantine on the cruise ship “failed.” After weeks of debate about the subject, Japan said it would test everyone aboard the ship before allowing them to disembark.Outside of evacuees from the Diamond Princess, the CDC said there remained 15 confirmed cases in the U.S. on Tuesday out of 467 people under investigation for the coronavirus. Some 392 of those patients tested negative, while 60 remained pending on Tuesday. Several Americans who, before being released Tuesday, were stuck in federal quarantine in San Diego after returning from Wuhan earlier this month voiced concern over the effectiveness and thoroughness of the CDC’s response, some going so far as to draft a petition after the government mistakenly reintroduced an infected woman to the general population.Jacob Wilson, a 33-year-old American evacuee who works at a tech start-up in Wuhan, told The Daily Beast that he and his fellow evacuees were “swamped” by press at the airport after they were released.“Now hopefully I can get back to some normalcy,” he said.Meanwhile, as of Tuesday morning, China had reported 72,528 coronavirus cases, including 1,870 related deaths, according to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization. Outside of China, there were 804 cases in 25 countries, he added, with 12 other countries having confirmed instances of human-to-human transmission.“At the moment, we don’t have enough data on cases outside China to make a meaningful comparison on the severity of the disease or the case fatality rate,” said Tedros.But as the Times reported, an analysis by Chinese authorities from data on 44,672 patients suggested that about 2.3 percent of cases of the disease had been fatal as of Feb. 11. Nearly 14 percent of people who tested positive for the infection had severe cases, and about 5 percent had critical illnesses, according to Chinese authorities. The data showed that 30 percent of those who died from the virus were in their 60s, 30 percent were in their 70s, and another 20 percent were 80 or older. Since then, daily figures indicated the virus’s fatality rate had only increased. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Here are the winners and losers of Nevada's heated Democratic debate, where Michael Bloomberg was skewered and Elizabeth Warren schooled the stage

Here are the winners and losers of Nevada's heated Democratic debate, where Michael Bloomberg was skewered and Elizabeth Warren schooled the stageThe debate was combative and punctuated by withering attacks from all sides on the newcomer on stage: billionaire former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.


Cambodia's Coronavirus Complacency May Exact a Global Toll

Cambodia's Coronavirus Complacency May Exact a Global TollSIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia -- When Cambodia's prime minister greeted passengers on a cruise ship amid a coronavirus scare on Valentine's Day, embraces were the order of the day. Protective masks were not.Not only did Prime Minister Hun Sen not wear one, assured that the ship was virus-free, his bodyguards ordered people who had donned masks to take them off. The next day, the U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, W. Patrick Murphy, who brought his own family to greet the passengers streaming off the ship, also went maskless."We are very, very grateful that Cambodia has opened literally its ports and doors to people in need," Murphy said.But after hundreds of passengers had disembarked, one later tested positive for the coronavirus. Now, health officials worry that what Cambodia opened its doors to was the outbreak, and that the world may pay a price as passengers from the cruse ship Westerdam stream home.Before the Westerdam docked in Sihanoukville, fearful governments in other countries had turned the ship away at five ports of call even though the cruise operator, Holland America, assured officials that the ship's passengers had been carefully screened.Hun Sen's decision to allow it entry appeared to be a political calculus as much as anything else. The region's longest-serving ruler and a close ally of China, he is known for his survival skills.But Hun Sen's critics worry that the aging autocrat might have acted rashly."Of course, he had to do the dictator thing: photo op, roses, exploit this for its maximum value," said Sophal Ear, an expert in Cambodian politics at Occidental College. "Whatever is in the best interest of Cambodians is completely irrelevant to him."It is too early to tell whether the decision to let hundreds of passengers from the Westerdam fly off has the makings of an epidemiological disaster. Cambodian health authorities said that 409 of the 2,257 passengers and crew had left Cambodia for their homes scattered across the globe. The rest remain in hotels in Phnom Penh, the capital, or on the ship.But deficiencies in screening for the coronavirus aboard the ship, along with continued complacency about the epidemic in Cambodia, are raising fears this small Southeast Asian nation could prove to be a surprising vector of transmission for a virus that has already killed more than 1,700 people, mostly in China, the epicenter of the outbreak.Many health experts urge people who have been in contact with coronavirus patients to self-quarantine for 14 days, lest they add another spoke to the contagion network.But on Monday, Hun Sen directed officials in Phnom Penh to treat passengers from the Westerdam to a sightseeing jaunt."To tour the city is better than staying in rooms or at the hotel feeling bored or scared," said a post on Hun Sen's Facebook page.The lack of urgency in Cambodia, where officials milled around the ship Monday without protection, points to the obstacles in trying to contain a virus that experts warn is spreading faster than SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome)or MERS, (Middle East respiratory syndrome)."This is influenza-like transmission," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. "It's like trying to stop the wind."Last week, when the Westerdam docked in Sihanoukville, the Cambodian government and the cruise operator deemed the vessel virus-free.The declaration was at a minimum premature.Only 20 people out of the 2,257 onboard were tested for the virus before disembarking, and that was because they had reported themselves to ship medical staff with various ailments.The woman who twice tested positive after traveling on to Malaysia, an 83-year-old American, was not among those 20, Holland America said.Health monitoring for the rest of the passengers was limited to a handful of temperature checks conducted with infrared thermometers, passengers said. In a statement, Holland America said that during one of those screenings, not a single person on board recorded an elevated temperature.On Monday, an announcement broadcast to passengers remaining on the Westerdam warned that they should avoid the ship's hot deck and return to their air-conditioned rooms to avoid falsely high temperature readings.Some health experts have questioned the efficacy of infrared thermometers, also known as temperature guns, saying they measure the heat emanating from the surface of the body, rather than core body temperature.Various environmental factors can distort thermometer gun reading, said Gary Strahan, who runs a small infrared device company in Texas."In Cambodia, you have warmer background temperatures," he said. "It could impact the measurement. That's the issue with any noncontact thermometer."Even if temperatures are accurately gauged, people may be taking medication that lower their temperature, like some arthritis drugs.And in any case, people who are asymptomatic can still pass on the coronavirus, scientists have found."A person who does not present as feverish is not necessarily uninfected with a disease or a virus," said Jim Seffrin, an expert on infrared devices at the Infraspection Institute in New Jersey.In the wake of the positive test in Malaysia, Cambodian health officials said they would be relying on a domestic lab to test all passengers and crew members still in the country for the coronavirus.On Monday evening, passengers celebrated news from Cambodian health officials that a first batch of 406 people in Phnom Penh had tested negative, although there was no certainty they would not later test positive."People on the ship are very grateful to the people of Cambodia," said Tammie Graves, an American from Kansas. "I was a bit worried that they might be afraid of us, even at the hotel, but it hasn't been like that at all."On Monday afternoon, more than 100 Westerdam passengers took up Hun Sen's offer of a capital tour, piling in buses to see the royal palace and other sites.In pictures of the excursion, posted on a government-linked website, only one person can be seen wearing a mask.Despite cases of coronavirus popping up in Southeast Asia, Hun Sen has campaigned against masks, arguing that they are better at spreading fear than stopping germs. At a news conference last month, he announced that he would kick out anyone who dared wear a mask.Even as other governments instituted China travel bans that angered Beijing, Hun Sen traveled to the Chinese capital and met with Xi Jinping, China's leader, in another photo op.And as other countries organized airlifts of people trapped in Wuhan, the city where the virus is believed to have originated, Hun Sen said he would not ferry Cambodian students home because they should be "joining with Chinese to fight this disease."The sense of solidarity makes sense in a country heavily dependent on China for its fortunes, after having turned its back on a West that was demanding progress in human rights in return for aid and investment.A torrent of Chinese cash has remade Cambodia, nowhere more so than in Sihanoukville, a once sleepy beach town that is now a sprawling construction site of gilded casinos and towering residential blocks. More than 90% of businesses in the city are now Chinese owned.On Monday, Oeun Yen, a masseuse here, worried about the massages she had given three female passengers from the Westerdam before the virus case was confirmed by Malaysia. She was not afraid at first, she said, because the prime minister had assured people all was fine."Now I am more concerned," she said.In a country where Hun Sen has dissolved the biggest opposition party and political assassination is not uncommon, such mild concern is as much as many ordinary residents are willing to muster.But there is also widespread skepticism of the government's contention that only one person in Cambodia has tested positive for coronavirus, a Chinese citizen who has since returned home."There is a natural lack of credibility and trust associated with the Cambodian government," said Ou Virak, a human-rights activist and founder of the Future Forum, a local think tank. "This is Hun Sen's Westerdam problem, because even if he was doing the right thing, purely as a humanitarian, he will be seen as the puppet of China instead."On Monday, Hun Sen announced yet another publicity stunt: He wants to invite the passengers of the Westerdam to a party.Masks won't be welcome.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


Pope tenderly kissed on forehead by man in front-row seat

Pope tenderly kissed on forehead by man in front-row seatWell-wishers at Pope Francis' weekly audience have thrust soccer T-shirts, flowers and many a wailing baby into his arms. On Wednesday, Francis seemed to thoroughly enjoy a surprise expression of affection: a long, tender kiss planted on his forehead by a man in one of the front-row seats reserved for ailing or disabled people at the end of his audience. Francis appeared to be smiling when the man, who stood up when the pontiff approached to greet him and others in the front row, pulled the pope's head toward him and gave a kiss lasting several seconds, pressing his nose against Francis' forehead in the process.


Roger Stone judge ignores Trump's taunts, leaves sentencing scheduled for Thursday

Roger Stone judge ignores Trump's taunts, leaves sentencing scheduled for ThursdayRoger Stone will be sentenced on Thursday and President Trump can do nothing about it.That's the message U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who's overseeing the criminal case against Trump's longtime adviser, sent Tuesday when she confirmed the date of Stone's sentencing hearing. Despite receiving threats from Trump to delay the sentencing for a second time, that "would not be a prudent thing to do under all the circumstances," Jackson said.Uproar surrounding Stone's upcoming sentencing arose last week when prosecutors in the case recommended a 7–9 year prison term for Stone's crimes of lying to Congress and witness tampering. Trump tweeted to complain about the suggestion, and Attorney General William Barr intervened, with the DOJ eventually recommending a lighter sentence for Stone. Trump then repeatedly attacked Jackson's handling of the case, including in Twitter threads Tuesday morning where he cited Fox & Friends to call for her to delay Stone's sentencing.> .....existence of these tweets in which you were so harshly negative about the President & the people who support him. Don’t you think we wanted to know that before we put you on this jury.’ Pretty obvious he should (get a new trial). I think almost any judge in the Country.....> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2020Despite the presidential controversy, "I'm willing to make sure there are no consequences that flow from the announcement of the sentence at the sentencing hearing," Jackson said in a Tuesday scheduling call.More stories from theweek.com Has Trump solved his biggest 2016 campaign problem? Mike Bloomberg is not the lesser of two evils White House rejects Julian Assange lawyer's claim Trump offered pardon for denying Russia hacked the DNC


'We don't have a history of murdering our citizens': A Saudi official says reports that the Saudi Crown Prince is connected to the death of Jamal Khashoggi are 'ridiculous'

'We don't have a history of murdering our citizens': A Saudi official says reports that the Saudi Crown Prince is connected to the death of Jamal Khashoggi are 'ridiculous'Saudi Arabia has made "great progress in terms of human rights," Adel al-Jubeir said, urging outsiders to educate themselves better on its state of affairs.


America's B-2 Bomber Is Old (But It Keeps Getting Deadlier)

America's B-2 Bomber Is Old (But It Keeps Getting Deadlier)Back in 2018, the Air Force dropped a B61-12 nuclear weapon (not armed) from a B-2 at Nellis AFB, marking a new developmental flight test phase for the upgraded bomb.


L.A. announces new strategy for getting homeless into permanent housing

L.A. announces new strategy for getting homeless into permanent housingLos Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government’s response to natural disasters.


Missing 6-year-old South Carolina girl's death ruled homicide by asphyxiation

Missing 6-year-old South Carolina girl's death ruled homicide by asphyxiationA polka dot boot and a soup ladle with fresh dirt on it led police to the body of Faye Swetlik, who officials say was killed by a neighbor who was also found dead.


Death toll from coronavirus surpasses 1,100; US confirms 13th case

Death toll from coronavirus surpasses 1,100; US confirms 13th caseThe one-day death toll of 103 pushed the total past 1,000 and provided an ominous warning that the coronavirus epidemic was accelerating.


Bloomberg's transaction tax sets stage for clash with Wall Street clients

Bloomberg's transaction tax sets stage for clash with Wall Street clientsPresidential candidate Michael Bloomberg's decision to back a tax on trades marks a blow for Wall Street lobbyists which had seen the moderate Democrat as a potential ally, said analysts and lobbyists. On Tuesday, the former New York mayor and Wall Street investment banker, who made his $60 billion fortune in finance, proposed imposing a 0.1% tax on trading stocks, bonds and derivatives as part of a broader financial services agenda. Bloomberg's decision to back the tax is likely to bring him into conflict with Wall Street firms that are fighting the policy, many of which are the very same clients that helped him make the fortune with which he is funding his campaign.


Russia warns Turkey, blocks UN bid to end Syria bloodshed

Russia warns Turkey, blocks UN bid to end Syria bloodshedRussia on Wednesday warned Turkey against intervening in Syria as it blocked a UN bid to end the Damascus regime's brutal assault on the last rebel enclave. Syrian aid workers called urgently for a ceasefire and international help for nearly a million people fleeing the regime onslaught in the country's northwestern Idlib province -- the biggest wave of displaced civilians in the nine-year conflict. Turkey, supporter of some rebel groups in Idlib, has been pushing for a renewed ceasefire in talks with Russia, which backs the Syrian regime.


Maduro accused of "disappearing" US oilmen as trial delayed

Maduro accused of "disappearing" US oilmen as trial delayedFamily members of six American oil executives jailed in Venezuela are accusing Nicolas Maduro’s government of “forced disappearance” after the men were inexplicably missing for the scheduled start of their trial on Wednesday. Veronica Vadell said that lawyers for her father, Tomeu Vadell, and the five other executives from Houston-based Citgo had been waiting at a Caracas courthouse for more than six hours for the men to be transferred by the nation's intelligence police. The arrest took place the same day opposition leader Juan Guaidó met with President Donald Trump at the White House, fueling speculation the detention was politically motivated.


Oracle Employee Speaks Out Against Her Boss Raising Money for Trump

Oracle Employee Speaks Out Against Her Boss Raising Money for TrumpLarry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, one of the largest software companies in the world, hosted a fundraiser for Donald Trump’s re-election on Wednesday at the tech titan’s Southern California estate. The event was expected to bring in some $7 million for the incumbent president. Some of Ellison’s employees were less than pleased about that, signing a protest petition and, according to Recode, planning to walk out on Thursday to demand Ellison and Oracle donate an equivalent amount to humanitarian causes and denounce what they see as the Trump administration’s failings.Kristine Lessard, an Oracle sales account manager based in Massachusetts, signed the first petition with a personal appeal. “As an Oracle employee and mom of a transgender young adult,” she wrote, “I have appreciated the health benefits and HR Diversity and Inclusion support I've received for 8 years working here. I object to [Ellison] enabling this President who has specifically targeted Transgender youth to take away their rights by rescinding Executive Orders covering them.”Lessard’s son is a trans man in his 20s, she explained to the Daily Beast in an interview around the time the fundraiser took place Wednesday. She believes the Trump administration has mounted a broad onslaught against LGBTQ civil rights (she cited a Washington Post editorial titled “Trump has a Devastating Record on LGBT rights.” in a message), and that even if she might not have a history in tech activism—and even if her company is not known for its restive workforce—she had to speak out.The Silicon Valley Giant Bankrolling Devin Nunes“Oracle funds some advocacy and fundraisers on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community,” Lessard said, adding that she herself has participated in LGBTQ affinity groups at Oracle as an ally. “But in one fell swoop, this fundraiser could raise multiple millions that would work against those goals and hard earned gains,” she said.Oracle declined to comment to the Daily Beast, but Recode noted that employees who complained to the company had received a statement saying they could participate in politics on a personal level even as the company itself was not endorsing a candidate. “I’m disoriented. [Ellison] supporting the potential enabling of the president to get reelected doesn’t match up with our corporate values of social responsibility, especially two of the top ones: equality and environmental protection,” Lessard said. Lessard was surprised and disappointed Ellison spoke in favor of Trump now, given that he didn’t appear to support the president in the 2016 election. The co-founder is a registered Democrat, but donated $250,000 to Marco Rubio’s campaign in 2016, according to federal election records. He and other executives also have a history of backing Republican Rep. Devin Nunes. Lessard has discussed her opposition to Ellison’s decision with coworkers, she said, but she did not indicate whether she intended to walk out of work Thursday. “I’m expressing my opinion as an employee about what the company represents,” she said. The discussion within Oracle is not monolithic, she added—some employees feel they can only throw up their hands at Ellison’s behavior, some feel compelled to speak out, and some have said little. Others may support the president.> Do you work at Oracle or another tech company? Do you agree or disagree with Larry Ellison's decision to host a fundraiser for President Trump? Contact this reporter securely at blake.montgomery@protonmail.com.Lessard said she would be watching the Democratic candidates debate onstage in Nevada in the hours after the fundraiser Wednesday, though she said she doesn’t have a favorite candidate. Federal election records show no donations under her name. Oracle’s workforce has not engaged in much public activism. By contrast, Google employees seem to have been in a state of constant revolt for the past three years, advocating for the search giant to drop a contract with the Pentagon, and questioning the ouster of union organizers and an employee protesting the company’s work with immigration officials, among other disputes. Google has told its employees to stop talking about politics at work.The size and scope of a potential walkout remained to be seen late Wednesday. But if Lessard was any indication, some employees were increasingly willing to spar with a boss some feel has gone rogue.“When you have this amount of people signing a petition, it really means it did strike a nerve,” she said.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Police filmed a woman trying to sneak into Shanghai in the trunk of a car to avoid being quarantined for coronavirus

Police filmed a woman trying to sneak into Shanghai in the trunk of a car to avoid being quarantined for coronavirusThe woman had visited her hometown in Hubei Province, the center of the outbreak, and was returning to Shanghai, where she works. She was quarantined.


There are only three viable presidential candidates, according to Mike Bloomberg's campaign

There are only three viable presidential candidates, according to Mike Bloomberg's campaignOnly three candidates out of the more than half dozen vying for the White House have a viable path to the nomination, a senior official for the Mike Bloomberg campaign told reporters Tuesday.


Some Americans are attempting the journey back home to Wuhan

Some Americans are attempting the journey back home to Wuhan"I was married in Wuhan. I had a son in Wuhan. Wuhan is my home, and I will forever be tied to this city, so I need to be there,” Christopher Suzanne said.


Abbott says top Malaysian leaders suspected pilot of MH370

Abbott says top Malaysian leaders suspected pilot of MH370Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the “top levels” of the Malaysian government long suspected that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 almost six years ago was a mass murder-suicide by the pilot. Australia, working on Malaysia's behalf, coordinated what became the largest search in aviation history, but it failed to find the plane before being ended in 2017. Speaking in a Sky News documentary to air on Wednesday and Thursday, Abbott said high-ranking Malaysian officials believed veteran pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah deliberately downed the jet.


2 socialites have reportedly died after their Mercedes fell off a ferry leaving the most expensive ZIP code in the United States

2 socialites have reportedly died after their Mercedes fell off a ferry leaving the most expensive ZIP code in the United StatesThe only way to get to Miami's exclusive Fisher Island is by a seven minute ferry, and two women inexplicably fell off it and died last night.


Mexico arrests suspects in killing of seven-year-old girl
Hate crimes go unchecked at Syracuse University, students say

Hate crimes go unchecked at Syracuse University, students sayThe black-led movement NotAgainSU launched the sit-in Monday to protest the administration's handling of racial incidents at the university.


Russia raises eyebrows with blanket ban on Chinese visitors

Russia raises eyebrows with blanket ban on Chinese visitorsMoscow is to impose a blanket ban on Chinese visitors over coronavirus fears in a move that will hit its tourism industry as experts question the need for such "draconian" measures. Moscow will ban all Chinese citizens from entering its territory from Thursday. It has already halted visa-free tourism for Chinese nationals and stopped issuing them with work visas and suspended rail links and restricted air travel.


DOJ Denies Coordination between Barr and Giuliani in Letter Detailing Ukraine ‘Intake Process’

DOJ Denies Coordination between Barr and Giuliani in Letter Detailing Ukraine ‘Intake Process’The Justice Department informed House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) in a Tuesday letter that deputy attorney general Jeffrey Rosen had tasked the top prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Pennsylvania to oversee the process of reviewing “unsolicited” information from Ukraine."The Deputy Attorney General implemented this policy to avoid duplication of efforts across Offices and components, to facilitate information sharing, to ensure there are no conflicts among potentially overlapping matters, and to efficiently marshal the resources of the Department," Rosen wrote.He detailed that Brooklyn-based U.S. attorney Richard Donoghue would “assist in coordinating such matters,” while U.S. attorney Scott Brady in Pittsburgh would “assist in the receipt, processing, and preliminary analysis of new information provided by the public that may be relevant to matter relating to Ukraine.”Rosen’s letter also emphasized that attorney general William Barr “has not discussed matters relating to Ukraine with Rudolph Giuliani,” and that the DOJ “remains vigilant against the significant threat of disinformation.”“As always, the Department will reject information it finds to be non-credible while continuing to discharge its duty to pursue all meritorious leads and investigations,” the letter reads, while not elaborating what information is being explored.Attorney general William Barr confirmed on February 10 that the Justice Department has “established an intake process” to handle Ukrainian information, days after Giuliani claimed that he was aware of three Ukrainian witnesses ready to “name names” in a “smoking gun” that will “totally vindicate” Trump, and after Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson obtained financial records from the Treasury Department as part of a probe into Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine.“The DOJ has the obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant,” Barr said during a presser at the Justice Department, but did not explain further. Nadler, who said earlier this month that House Democrats would “likely” continue exploring Trump’s actions with regard to Ukraine by subpoenaing former national security adviser John Bolton, then sent a letter to Barr asking for more information.


9 Rural Farms of the 21st Century Featuring Stunning Modern Design
Michael Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked in his first debate – and he flopped

Michael Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked in his first debate – and he floppedBloomberg was hammered all night over stop-and-frisk, Wall Street, and his opposition to raising the minimum wage. He didn’t take it well Before Wednesday night’s debate, Michael Bloomberg’s critics had been furious with the Democratic National Committee for changing its rules to allow Bloomberg on the debate stage. But it turned out the critics should have been thanking the DNC. Bloomberg was absolutely terrible. His campaign may not literally have ended on the debate stage, but it’s hard to see how any viewer could come away believing his pitch that he is “the best candidate to take on Trump.”Bloomberg was ill-prepared, uncharismatic, and unlikable. The other candidates ran rings around him. Elizabeth Warren sank her teeth in early, interrupting Bloomberg’s opening statement to point out how his long history of sexist comments about women made him a lot like Donald Trump. Warren landed even more brutal blows later in the debate, when she challenged Bloomberg to release women from the non-disclosure agreements his company had forced them to sign in sexual harassment lawsuits. Bloomberg mumbled some lame excuse about how the agreements were consensual, but was clearly caught off-guard, and Warren wouldn’t let the issue go.Bloomberg looked feeble, and after the debate some Democratic bigwigs were already reportedly concluding that “Bloomberg isn’t the answer.”Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked all night by the rest of the candidates over stop-and-frisk, Wall Street, his Republican past, and his opposition to raising the minimum wage. He did not have any idea how to respond to the barrage. On stop-and-frisk, he simply lied, saying that he had tried to end the policy when in fact he had escalated it. Warren was having none of this, and correctly pointed out that Bloomberg was failing to take responsibility for the consequences his policy had for African Americans. Joe Biden echoed the sentiment, saying that Bloomberg’s apologies for stop-and-frisk were insufficient. “It’s not whether he apologized or not. It’s the policy. And the policy was abhorrent.” Biden energetically opposed Bloomberg throughout the night, showing a passion and lucidity that has been missing from the last months of his flagging campaign.It wasn’t just Bloomberg who came under fire. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg have never liked each other, and they became downright nasty. Klobuchar once again took the opportunity to point out that Pete has never won a statewide race, while Buttigieg replied with a canned line about how if Minnesotan senators made good nominees, Walter Mondale would have been president. Buttigieg also seized the opportunity to poke at Klobuchar over forgetting the president of Mexico’s name. Klobuchar struggled, asking Pete if he was calling her “dumb.” Buttigieg is a practiced debater and delivers his lines well, and his polished hokum about how “Washington” doesn’t respect small-city Rust Belt mayors clearly gets on Klobuchar’s nerves to no end.> In terms of who the debate served best, Bernie Sanders was the clear winnerWarren was unusually vicious toward other candidates, making direct attacks on nearly every one of her opponents. She was spirited and articulate, and with her memorable exchanges with Bloomberg, she will widely be seen as the “winner” of the debate. But it also seemed as if she was desperate to strike as many blows in as many directions as possible, conscious that her campaign needs a miracle if it is going to survive.In terms of who the debate served best, Sanders was the clear winner. He went into it the frontrunner, and mostly just needed to avoid embarrassing himself. The debate went far better than he could even have hoped. His chief rival, Bloomberg, flopped completely. The other centrists spent time bickering with each other that could have been spent trying to undermine Sanders. Warren did the “dirty work” of eviscerating Bloomberg, allowing Sanders to make a more elevated pitch and somewhat rise above the fray. He was given plenty of time to talk, and while he stuck close to his usual talking points he had above-average energy and was clearly enjoying himself. He was effective in pointing out how Buttigieg dishonestly presents the costs of Medicare For All without mentioning the benefits, and easily parried Bloomberg’s absurd attempt to conflate Sanders’ democratic socialism with “communism”. Bloomberg was a perfect foil for Sanders; Sanders probably wishes Bloomberg had been there all along, a cartoon of an evil billionaire for Sanders to point to as an example of everything wrong with the country.Sanders went into the debate the frontrunner and he left the frontrunner. If Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar were to stand any chance of overtaking Sanders, they needed to make him look foolish, and they didn’t. Instead, they looked petty, and he survived. Warren was in good form, but she’s simply not going to reclaim the lead over Sanders at this point. Bloomberg was the only serious threat, and he fizzled, showing that the “electability” case for his candidacy is laughable. It’s increasingly clear that Sanders has no serious opposition and Democrats are going to need to start reconciling himself to the inevitability of his nomination.But some clearly aren’t reconciled. One concerning moment in the debate came at the very end, where each candidate was asked if they believed that the candidate with the most delegates should be given the nomination, or the “superdelegates” should be allowed to intervene. Sanders was the only candidate who would say that the nomination should go to the individual with the most delegates. Every other candidate is apparently leaving open the possibility of the Democratic party overriding the popular vote at the convention, presumably in order to deny Sanders the nomination.Alarmingly, even if Sanders is the clear public favorite, there are still those Democrats who think he needs to be stopped at all costs.


Donald Trump Thinks Climate Change Is a Hoax. The U.S. Military Disagrees.

Donald Trump Thinks Climate Change Is a Hoax. The U.S. Military Disagrees.They've been warning pretty loudly about it.


US judge sides with migrants in case against Border Patrol

US judge sides with migrants in case against Border PatrolA U.S. judge in Arizona sided Wednesday with migrants who have long-complained about inhumane and unsanitary conditions in some U.S. Border Patrol facilities in the state. The ruling came weeks after the conclusion of a seven-day trial in which attorneys for migrants who sued in 2015 argued that the agency holds immigrants in extremely cold, overcrowded, unsanitary and inhumane conditions. The order makes permanent a preliminary injunction that U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury issued in 2016 requiring the Tucson Sector to provide clean mats and thin blankets to migrants held for longer than 12 hours and to allow them to clean themselves.


Report: Obama reportedly expects he'll have to play a 'prominent role' in uniting Democrats this summer

Report: Obama reportedly expects he'll have to play a 'prominent role' in uniting Democrats this summerThe New York Magazine reports former president Barack Obama's radio silence on the 2020 Democratic primary is part of a "choreographed strategy" on the part of Obama, who is "increasingly sure he will need to play a prominent role in bringing the party back together and calming its tensions later this summer."


Two women dead after car plunges off ferry into waters off exclusive Miami island

Two women dead after car plunges off ferry into waters off exclusive Miami islandThe ferry shuttles people and their vehicles between Miami Beach and Fisher Island, a "private luxury community ... consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest zip codes in the U.S."


Security guard sentenced to prison for murdering US woman in Costa Rica Airbnb

Security guard sentenced to prison for murdering US woman in Costa Rica AirbnbA security guard for an apartment complex with Airbnb rental units has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for the 2018 murder of an American tourist.Carla Stefaniak, a Venezuelan-American who lived in Miami, was in San Jose, Costa Rica, celebrating her 36th birthday when she was brutally murdered.


China kicked out 3 Wall Street Journal reporters after it published an op-ed using a term that invokes the biggest humiliation in Chinese history

China kicked out 3 Wall Street Journal reporters after it published an op-ed using a term that invokes the biggest humiliation in Chinese historyChina's foreign ministry cited a February 3 headline, titled "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia," as the immediate reason for the expulsions.


ICE says it plans to destroy a trove of detention records, including numbers on detainee deaths and sexual assaults

ICE says it plans to destroy a trove of detention records, including numbers on detainee deaths and sexual assaultsThe ACLU races to retrieve years of ICE detention records that they say are critical to holding ICE accountable for abuses and misconduct.


Hunter Biden Served on Board of Trade Group That Lobbied Obama Admin for Increased Ukraine Aid: Report

Hunter Biden Served on Board of Trade Group That Lobbied Obama Admin for Increased Ukraine Aid: ReportHunter Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden, was on the board of a trade group that lobbied the Obama administration for increased U.S. aid to Ukraine, according to a report Tuesday.From 2012 through 2018, the younger Biden served as a director for the Center for U.S. Global Leadership and was connected as well with its affiliate, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, The Daily Caller reported. The two groups, which include about 400 larger corporations and non-government organizations, lobbied for increased spending abroad by the State Department’s International Affairs Budget, including a special focus on Ukraine.At the time, Joe Biden was also advocating for increased U.S. spending in Ukraine.Hunter Biden's small private equity firm, Rosemont Seneca, featured other well-connected politicos as well, including his partner Devon Archer, who was a former adviser on Obama Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, and another partner, Kerry’s son-in-law Christopher Heinz.“Hunter Biden works for [Archer]. So we’ve got the top level politicos with us. All of my guys, is as top tier as it gets,” a businessman named Bevan Cooney wrote in text messages released in connection with an unrelated criminal case against Archer. “You don’t get more politically connected and make people more comfortable than that.”In 2013, the groups held an event honoring Joe Biden for his work supporting increased spending abroad, an event Hunter Biden was also introduced as having a "very special relationship with our honoree."Biden's separate lucrative position on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings while his father was vice president and in charge of addressing corruption in Ukraine has also drawn scrutiny and featured prominently in the impeachment proceedings against President Trump. That position earned Biden at least $50,000 a month for his advice on “transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities.”During a July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump asked Zelensky to help his administration investigate allegations that Joe Biden used his position as vice president to help the Ukrainian gas company avoid a corruption probe soon after Hunter Biden was appointed to its board of directors. That phone call led to an Intelligence Community whistleblower complaint that ultimately sparked a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump’s actions.Biden has said that in the spring of 2016, during his tenure as vice president, he called on Ukraine to fire the top prosecutor investigating the energy company paying his son. Biden suggested he would withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine if the country did not fire the prosecutor, who was accused by the State Department and U.S. allies in Europe of being soft on corruption.


Michael Bloomberg’s Monumental Failure to Prepare

Michael Bloomberg’s Monumental Failure to PrepareThe mogul had a story to tell, and a few apologies to make. He managed neither.


Secession in the Pacific Northwest? Some Oregon residents petition to join Idaho

Secession in the Pacific Northwest? Some Oregon residents petition to join IdahoFrustrated by liberal policies, some Oregon residents petition to leave the state by moving the border with Idaho.


Lawyer: Assange was offered US pardon if he cleared Russia

Lawyer: Assange was offered US pardon if he cleared RussiaWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to claim during an extradition hearing that the Trump administration offered him a pardon if he agreed to say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, a lawyer for Assange said Wednesday. Assange is being held at a British prison while fighting extradition to the United States on spying charges.


Elizabeth Warren defends Amy Klobuchar for forgetting the name of Mexico's president

Elizabeth Warren defends Amy Klobuchar for forgetting the name of Mexico's presidentLast week, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was asked by a reporter if she could name the president of Mexico, and after thinking about it, responded, "No." This came back to haunt her during Wednesday's Democratic debate, but a fellow candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), had her back.Klobuchar said that she doesn't believe "that momentary forgetfulness actually reflects what I know about Mexico and how much I care about it," and reminded the audience that she is "the one person on this stage that came out first to say I was for the U.S.-Mexico-Canadian trade agreement that is going to be one of the No. 1 duties of the president, to implement that." Forgetting Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's name was "an error," she continued. "I think having a president that is maybe humbled and able to admit that here and there maybe wouldn't be a bad thing."Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg responded that Klobuchar is "staking your presidency on your Washington experience," and not knowing a world leader's name was bad form. "Are you trying to say that I'm dumb?" Klobuchar snapped. "Or you're mocking me?" Buttigieg responded that he is "saying you shouldn't trivialize it."That's when Warren jumped in. "This is not right," she said. "I understand that she forgot a name — it happens. It happens to everybody on this stage. You want to ask about whether or not you understand trade policy with Mexico? Have at it. And if you get it wrong, you ought to be held accountable for that. ... But let's just be clear, missing a name all by itself does not indicate that you do not understand what's going on. I just think this is unfair."More stories from theweek.com Mike Bloomberg is not the lesser of two evils Chuck Todd gets existential with billionaire Michael Bloomberg: 'Should you exist?' Elizabeth Warren's fiery debate performance reportedly inspired her best fundraising hour to date


Virginia lawmakers reject assault weapons ban over fears of potential civil war

Virginia lawmakers reject assault weapons ban over fears of potential civil warVirginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons has failed after members of his own party balked at the proposal. Senators voted to shelve the bill for the year and ask the state crime commission to study the issue, an outcome that drew cheers from a committee room packed with gun advocates.


Former South Korean president jailed after losing appeal

Former South Korean president jailed after losing appealFormer South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was taken to prison Wednesday to begin a 17-year term for bribery and embezzlement after losing an appeal against a lighter sentence. Several South Korean presidents have ended up in prison after leaving office -- often as a result of investigations started by political rivals.


Coronavirus: Self-quarantined family shunned as neighbour calls 911 on them

Coronavirus: Self-quarantined family shunned as neighbour calls 911 on themA California family in self-quarantine over the coronavirus after a visit to China have found themselves shunned, and even had the police called on them.Amy Deng and her eight-year-old daughter, Daisy, have no symptoms, but following a trip to visit family in Guangzhou over Chinese New Year, they are in self-quarantine monitored by local officials in Santa Rosa, The East Bay Times reports.


Pilots aboard Hurricane Hunter plane chasing a winter storm experience strange phenomenon

Pilots aboard Hurricane Hunter plane chasing a winter storm experience strange phenomenonAn experienced hurricane hunting crew chasing a winter storm came across a far different discovery this past weekend. In what is know as St. Elmo's fire, footage of the forking electric discharge was captured on Saturday by pilots as the spectacle flashed throughout the cockpit.The video, captured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aircraft Operations Center (AOC), was taken as pilots flew across the Atlantic Ocean amid thunderstorms. NOAA deployed the hunters to support a project analyzing ocean surface winds in winter storms over the North Atlantic.The flight took place as Storm Dennis chugged along in the North Atlantic approaching Ireland and the United Kingdom.While frightening and shocking on camera, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said the actual charge from the weather phenomenon is harmless, especially for those surrounded by the metal shell of the aircraft."St. Elmo's fire is a phenomena that has occurred throughout human history. Before it was reported on planes, it happened on ships in the open ocean," Samuhel said. "It happens when the charge of an object is much different than the charge of the air. Unlike lightning when huge bolts of electricity jump across a large distance from one charge to another, St. Elmo's fire happens on a very small scale." Sprawling displays of St. Elmo's fire illuminated the cockpit of a crew flying across the Atlantic Ocean. (NOAA Corps) Named after St. Erasmus of Formia, the patron saint of sailors, reports of St. Elmo's fire trace back thousands of years to ancient Greece and tales of the marvel were consistently shared by ship fleets.St. Elmo's fire differs from lightning in that it is simply a glow of electrons in the air, whereas lightning is the movement of electricity from a charged cloud to the ground. In a thunderstorm, where the surrounding environment is electrically charged, the phenomenon is sparked when a charged object, such as a ship mast or airplane nose, causes a dramatic difference in charge, emitting a visual discharge. It can most simply be compared to a continuous spark."The point of the nose of an aircraft gives electricity an easy path to flow, as does the mast of the ship," Samuhel said. "These locations are where St. Elmo's fire is most common."CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPIn historical recounts of St. Elmo's fire, writers such as Julius Caesar and Charles Darwin depict the instances as a steady glow."Everything is in flames: the sky with lightning, the water with luminous particles and even the very masts are pointed with a blue flame," Darwin wrote while aboard the Beagle as he traveled across the Atlantic.For experienced pilots like the Hurricane Hunters, the light show in front of them likely wouldn't have induced any fear or panic, although the event could be a sign of stormy weather ahead."It lasted about three minutes," explained Maria Ines Rubio, a flight attendant who witnessed the phenomenon in 2017, to The Washington Post. "I wasn't nervous, because it a rather normal occurrence when you get into a strong enough storm."The phenomenon, also known as a corona discharge, is "commonly observed on the periphery of propellers and along the wing tips, windshield, and nose of aircraft flying in dry snow, in ice crystals, or near thunderstorms," according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


A Japanese disease expert who inspected the Diamond Princess said he was 'so scared' of catching the coronavirus because hygiene on the cruise ship was so bad

A Japanese disease expert who inspected the Diamond Princess said he was 'so scared' of catching the coronavirus because hygiene on the cruise ship was so badKentaro Iwata said that while he had weathered the Ebola, SARS, and cholera crises, he was scared of catching COVID-19 on the quarantined cruise ship.


Bloomberg referred to trans women as 'some guy in a dress' in second resurfaced video

Bloomberg referred to trans women as 'some guy in a dress' in second resurfaced videoIn a video recorded last year, presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg refers to transgender women as “some guy in a dress.” This is the second time Mr Bloomberg has been recorded making such statements in recent years.The March 2019 video also has Mr Bloomberg referring to transgender people as “he, she or it” in comments aimed at warning 2020 Democratic candidates against emphasising transgender issues, arguing that they would not play well in parts of America.


This purse was lost behind a locker in the 1950s. Its contents reveal what high school was like then

This purse was lost behind a locker in the 1950s. Its contents reveal what high school was like thenThe purse belonged to Patti Rumfola, who graduated from Hoover High School in 1960. The school now currently serves as North Canton Middle School.


Judge finds US in contempt after immigrants in suit deported
Group of more than 1,000 judges calls emergency meeting amid Trump concerns

Group of more than 1,000 judges calls emergency meeting amid Trump concernsJudges will meet to address alarm over the president intervening in politically sensitive casesA national association of federal judges has called an emergency meeting to address growing concerns about the intervention of Donald Trump and justice department officials in politically sensitive cases, according to US media reports.Cynthia Rufe, a Philadelphia US district judge who heads the independent Federal Judges Association, which has more than 1,100 members, told USA Today the group “could not wait” until its spring conference to discuss the matter.“There are plenty of issues that we are concerned about,” Rufe told USA Today. “We’ll talk all of this through.”Megan Cruz, the executive director of the group, told CNN the meeting would take place on Wednesday. She said a nine-member executive committee of the group had decided the emergency meeting was necessary.The meeting comes after more than 2,000 former US justice department officials, including some of the top government lawyers in the country, called on the attorney general, William Barr, to resign in the wake of the Roger Stone scandal.Alumni of the Department of Justice posted to Medium on Sunday a group letter that tore into Barr for “doing the president’s personal bidding” in imposing on prosecutors the recommendation of a reduced sentence for Stone, a longtime friend of Trump who was convicted of lying to and obstructing Congress and threatening a witness in the Russia investigation.Barr, the officials said, had damaged the reputation of the department for “integrity and the rule of law”.The spiralling constitutional crisis began last week when Barr imposed his new sentencing memo, slashing a seven- to nine-year proposed prison term suggested by career prosecutors. In the fallout, the four prosecutors who had handled the case resigned in disgust.US district Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over the Stone’s case, has ordered both sides to participate in a conference call on Tuesday to discuss the status of the case. Following the call, it was confirmed that Stone’s sentencing would go ahead on Thursday.Rufe voiced her strong support for Jackson, according to USA Today.“I am not concerned with how a particular judge will rule,” Rufe said. “We are supportive of any federal judge who does what is required.”It was not clear whether the FJA would issue a statement after the emergency meeting. The Guardian contacted the FJA for comment.


Russia's Su-57 Got A Good Test Run In Syria (But Is It A Threat?)

Russia's Su-57 Got A Good Test Run In Syria (But Is It A Threat?)It's not ready for mass production yet.


26 of the Best Stainless-Steel Bathroom Faucets 
Body of missing college student found in Georgia, boyfriend arrested

Body of missing college student found in Georgia, boyfriend arrestedAnitra Lashay Gunn was a senior studying agriculture at Fort Valley State University. She was found in a wooded area in Crawford County.


South Korea coronavirus cases jump by two-thirds in one day

South Korea coronavirus cases jump by two-thirds in one daySouth Korea reported 20 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday -- increasing its total by nearly two-thirds -- including a cluster of at least 16 centred on the southern city of Daegu. The trade-dependent nation has been hit by the economic fallout from the virus outbreak in neighbouring China, but until Wednesday's jump, its own case numbers had hardly changed for several days. The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a statement that 20 new coronavirus cases had been confirmed, raising its total from 31 to 51.


U.S. Coronavirus Cases Nearly Double With No End in Sight

U.S. Coronavirus Cases Nearly Double With No End in SightConfirmed cases of the new, deadly coronavirus in the United States almost doubled over the holiday weekend thanks to the messy evacuation of Americans from a cruise ship in Japan, while fresh numbers from China suggested the disease might be deadlier than first believed.The U.S. government evacuated 328 American passengers from Tokyo early Monday on two chartered cargo jets, leaving dozens others behind who preferred to stay on the Diamond Princess cruise ship—despite a strong disembarkation recommendation from the federal government. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said over the weekend that it recommended repatriation so that it could take responsibility for care of the Americans and “to reduce the burden on the Japanese healthcare system.”All travelers from Japan were screened before boarding the aircraft “to prevent symptomatic travelers from departing Japan,” according to the CDC. But 14 people who ultimately proved to be infected with the disease were included in the evacuation anyway, with officials later explaining that the positive results came back as passengers were already heading to the airport.Dr. William Walters, managing director of operational medicine at the State Department, told reporters Monday that authorities evacuated passengers without knowing their test results because it was “unpredictable” when the results would come back. None of the diagnosed evacuees were showing symptoms, and they flew home in separate chambers—made of 10-feet-tall plastic sheets—from the other 314 passengers. The government planned to house all uninfected evacuees for 14 days at federal quarantine sites at Travis Air Force Base in California and Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas.‘It Failed’: Cruise Ship Coronavirus Snafus Stoke Fears of Global PandemicInfected evacuees, on the other hand, were sent to hospitals in California and at the University of Nebraska for treatment. Another five passengers on the flights had reportedly been put in isolation after developing fevers, a development that was likely to add to public skepticism of the U.S. and Japanese governments’ response to the virus, even as officials insisted that the risk to the general American public was still “low.”Eiji Kusumi, a doctor specializing in infectious diseases at Navitas Clinic in Tokyo, told The New York Times that the quarantine of the cruise ship, which remained docked in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, was an “unprecedented failure” and that officials should “learn from this lesson that a quarantine on a ship is impossible.”The cruise ship has for weeks housed the largest outbreak outside of China, and Japanese health authorities said Tuesday there were a total of 542 confirmed cases on the Diamond Princess—88 new ones since last count—out of 3,700 passengers and crew members. As of Tuesday, 2,404 people on board had tested negative for the virus.The vessel-wide quarantine, which began on Feb. 3, was set to end on Wednesday, but those who bunked with passengers or crew members who tested positive were slated to remain on board for longer. Only about 500 people were expected to be released on Wednesday, while more than 100 total U.S. citizens remained either on board or in hospitals in Japan, according to the CDC.Dr. Anthony Fauci, of the National Institutes of Health, also admitted on Monday that the quarantine on the cruise ship “failed.” After weeks of debate about the subject, Japan said it would test everyone aboard the ship before allowing them to disembark.Outside of evacuees from the Diamond Princess, the CDC said there remained 15 confirmed cases in the U.S. on Tuesday out of 467 people under investigation for the coronavirus. Some 392 of those patients tested negative, while 60 remained pending on Tuesday. Several Americans who, before being released Tuesday, were stuck in federal quarantine in San Diego after returning from Wuhan earlier this month voiced concern over the effectiveness and thoroughness of the CDC’s response, some going so far as to draft a petition after the government mistakenly reintroduced an infected woman to the general population.Jacob Wilson, a 33-year-old American evacuee who works at a tech start-up in Wuhan, told The Daily Beast that he and his fellow evacuees were “swamped” by press at the airport after they were released.“Now hopefully I can get back to some normalcy,” he said.Meanwhile, as of Tuesday morning, China had reported 72,528 coronavirus cases, including 1,870 related deaths, according to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization. Outside of China, there were 804 cases in 25 countries, he added, with 12 other countries having confirmed instances of human-to-human transmission.“At the moment, we don’t have enough data on cases outside China to make a meaningful comparison on the severity of the disease or the case fatality rate,” said Tedros.But as the Times reported, an analysis by Chinese authorities from data on 44,672 patients suggested that about 2.3 percent of cases of the disease had been fatal as of Feb. 11. Nearly 14 percent of people who tested positive for the infection had severe cases, and about 5 percent had critical illnesses, according to Chinese authorities. The data showed that 30 percent of those who died from the virus were in their 60s, 30 percent were in their 70s, and another 20 percent were 80 or older. Since then, daily figures indicated the virus’s fatality rate had only increased. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Here are the winners and losers of Nevada's heated Democratic debate, where Michael Bloomberg was skewered and Elizabeth Warren schooled the stage

Here are the winners and losers of Nevada's heated Democratic debate, where Michael Bloomberg was skewered and Elizabeth Warren schooled the stageThe debate was combative and punctuated by withering attacks from all sides on the newcomer on stage: billionaire former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.


Cambodia's Coronavirus Complacency May Exact a Global Toll

Cambodia's Coronavirus Complacency May Exact a Global TollSIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia -- When Cambodia's prime minister greeted passengers on a cruise ship amid a coronavirus scare on Valentine's Day, embraces were the order of the day. Protective masks were not.Not only did Prime Minister Hun Sen not wear one, assured that the ship was virus-free, his bodyguards ordered people who had donned masks to take them off. The next day, the U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, W. Patrick Murphy, who brought his own family to greet the passengers streaming off the ship, also went maskless."We are very, very grateful that Cambodia has opened literally its ports and doors to people in need," Murphy said.But after hundreds of passengers had disembarked, one later tested positive for the coronavirus. Now, health officials worry that what Cambodia opened its doors to was the outbreak, and that the world may pay a price as passengers from the cruse ship Westerdam stream home.Before the Westerdam docked in Sihanoukville, fearful governments in other countries had turned the ship away at five ports of call even though the cruise operator, Holland America, assured officials that the ship's passengers had been carefully screened.Hun Sen's decision to allow it entry appeared to be a political calculus as much as anything else. The region's longest-serving ruler and a close ally of China, he is known for his survival skills.But Hun Sen's critics worry that the aging autocrat might have acted rashly."Of course, he had to do the dictator thing: photo op, roses, exploit this for its maximum value," said Sophal Ear, an expert in Cambodian politics at Occidental College. "Whatever is in the best interest of Cambodians is completely irrelevant to him."It is too early to tell whether the decision to let hundreds of passengers from the Westerdam fly off has the makings of an epidemiological disaster. Cambodian health authorities said that 409 of the 2,257 passengers and crew had left Cambodia for their homes scattered across the globe. The rest remain in hotels in Phnom Penh, the capital, or on the ship.But deficiencies in screening for the coronavirus aboard the ship, along with continued complacency about the epidemic in Cambodia, are raising fears this small Southeast Asian nation could prove to be a surprising vector of transmission for a virus that has already killed more than 1,700 people, mostly in China, the epicenter of the outbreak.Many health experts urge people who have been in contact with coronavirus patients to self-quarantine for 14 days, lest they add another spoke to the contagion network.But on Monday, Hun Sen directed officials in Phnom Penh to treat passengers from the Westerdam to a sightseeing jaunt."To tour the city is better than staying in rooms or at the hotel feeling bored or scared," said a post on Hun Sen's Facebook page.The lack of urgency in Cambodia, where officials milled around the ship Monday without protection, points to the obstacles in trying to contain a virus that experts warn is spreading faster than SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome)or MERS, (Middle East respiratory syndrome)."This is influenza-like transmission," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. "It's like trying to stop the wind."Last week, when the Westerdam docked in Sihanoukville, the Cambodian government and the cruise operator deemed the vessel virus-free.The declaration was at a minimum premature.Only 20 people out of the 2,257 onboard were tested for the virus before disembarking, and that was because they had reported themselves to ship medical staff with various ailments.The woman who twice tested positive after traveling on to Malaysia, an 83-year-old American, was not among those 20, Holland America said.Health monitoring for the rest of the passengers was limited to a handful of temperature checks conducted with infrared thermometers, passengers said. In a statement, Holland America said that during one of those screenings, not a single person on board recorded an elevated temperature.On Monday, an announcement broadcast to passengers remaining on the Westerdam warned that they should avoid the ship's hot deck and return to their air-conditioned rooms to avoid falsely high temperature readings.Some health experts have questioned the efficacy of infrared thermometers, also known as temperature guns, saying they measure the heat emanating from the surface of the body, rather than core body temperature.Various environmental factors can distort thermometer gun reading, said Gary Strahan, who runs a small infrared device company in Texas."In Cambodia, you have warmer background temperatures," he said. "It could impact the measurement. That's the issue with any noncontact thermometer."Even if temperatures are accurately gauged, people may be taking medication that lower their temperature, like some arthritis drugs.And in any case, people who are asymptomatic can still pass on the coronavirus, scientists have found."A person who does not present as feverish is not necessarily uninfected with a disease or a virus," said Jim Seffrin, an expert on infrared devices at the Infraspection Institute in New Jersey.In the wake of the positive test in Malaysia, Cambodian health officials said they would be relying on a domestic lab to test all passengers and crew members still in the country for the coronavirus.On Monday evening, passengers celebrated news from Cambodian health officials that a first batch of 406 people in Phnom Penh had tested negative, although there was no certainty they would not later test positive."People on the ship are very grateful to the people of Cambodia," said Tammie Graves, an American from Kansas. "I was a bit worried that they might be afraid of us, even at the hotel, but it hasn't been like that at all."On Monday afternoon, more than 100 Westerdam passengers took up Hun Sen's offer of a capital tour, piling in buses to see the royal palace and other sites.In pictures of the excursion, posted on a government-linked website, only one person can be seen wearing a mask.Despite cases of coronavirus popping up in Southeast Asia, Hun Sen has campaigned against masks, arguing that they are better at spreading fear than stopping germs. At a news conference last month, he announced that he would kick out anyone who dared wear a mask.Even as other governments instituted China travel bans that angered Beijing, Hun Sen traveled to the Chinese capital and met with Xi Jinping, China's leader, in another photo op.And as other countries organized airlifts of people trapped in Wuhan, the city where the virus is believed to have originated, Hun Sen said he would not ferry Cambodian students home because they should be "joining with Chinese to fight this disease."The sense of solidarity makes sense in a country heavily dependent on China for its fortunes, after having turned its back on a West that was demanding progress in human rights in return for aid and investment.A torrent of Chinese cash has remade Cambodia, nowhere more so than in Sihanoukville, a once sleepy beach town that is now a sprawling construction site of gilded casinos and towering residential blocks. More than 90% of businesses in the city are now Chinese owned.On Monday, Oeun Yen, a masseuse here, worried about the massages she had given three female passengers from the Westerdam before the virus case was confirmed by Malaysia. She was not afraid at first, she said, because the prime minister had assured people all was fine."Now I am more concerned," she said.In a country where Hun Sen has dissolved the biggest opposition party and political assassination is not uncommon, such mild concern is as much as many ordinary residents are willing to muster.But there is also widespread skepticism of the government's contention that only one person in Cambodia has tested positive for coronavirus, a Chinese citizen who has since returned home."There is a natural lack of credibility and trust associated with the Cambodian government," said Ou Virak, a human-rights activist and founder of the Future Forum, a local think tank. "This is Hun Sen's Westerdam problem, because even if he was doing the right thing, purely as a humanitarian, he will be seen as the puppet of China instead."On Monday, Hun Sen announced yet another publicity stunt: He wants to invite the passengers of the Westerdam to a party.Masks won't be welcome.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


Pope tenderly kissed on forehead by man in front-row seat

Pope tenderly kissed on forehead by man in front-row seatWell-wishers at Pope Francis' weekly audience have thrust soccer T-shirts, flowers and many a wailing baby into his arms. On Wednesday, Francis seemed to thoroughly enjoy a surprise expression of affection: a long, tender kiss planted on his forehead by a man in one of the front-row seats reserved for ailing or disabled people at the end of his audience. Francis appeared to be smiling when the man, who stood up when the pontiff approached to greet him and others in the front row, pulled the pope's head toward him and gave a kiss lasting several seconds, pressing his nose against Francis' forehead in the process.


Roger Stone judge ignores Trump's taunts, leaves sentencing scheduled for Thursday

Roger Stone judge ignores Trump's taunts, leaves sentencing scheduled for ThursdayRoger Stone will be sentenced on Thursday and President Trump can do nothing about it.That's the message U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who's overseeing the criminal case against Trump's longtime adviser, sent Tuesday when she confirmed the date of Stone's sentencing hearing. Despite receiving threats from Trump to delay the sentencing for a second time, that "would not be a prudent thing to do under all the circumstances," Jackson said.Uproar surrounding Stone's upcoming sentencing arose last week when prosecutors in the case recommended a 7–9 year prison term for Stone's crimes of lying to Congress and witness tampering. Trump tweeted to complain about the suggestion, and Attorney General William Barr intervened, with the DOJ eventually recommending a lighter sentence for Stone. Trump then repeatedly attacked Jackson's handling of the case, including in Twitter threads Tuesday morning where he cited Fox & Friends to call for her to delay Stone's sentencing.> .....existence of these tweets in which you were so harshly negative about the President & the people who support him. Don’t you think we wanted to know that before we put you on this jury.’ Pretty obvious he should (get a new trial). I think almost any judge in the Country.....> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2020Despite the presidential controversy, "I'm willing to make sure there are no consequences that flow from the announcement of the sentence at the sentencing hearing," Jackson said in a Tuesday scheduling call.More stories from theweek.com Has Trump solved his biggest 2016 campaign problem? Mike Bloomberg is not the lesser of two evils White House rejects Julian Assange lawyer's claim Trump offered pardon for denying Russia hacked the DNC


'We don't have a history of murdering our citizens': A Saudi official says reports that the Saudi Crown Prince is connected to the death of Jamal Khashoggi are 'ridiculous'

'We don't have a history of murdering our citizens': A Saudi official says reports that the Saudi Crown Prince is connected to the death of Jamal Khashoggi are 'ridiculous'Saudi Arabia has made "great progress in terms of human rights," Adel al-Jubeir said, urging outsiders to educate themselves better on its state of affairs.


America's B-2 Bomber Is Old (But It Keeps Getting Deadlier)

America's B-2 Bomber Is Old (But It Keeps Getting Deadlier)Back in 2018, the Air Force dropped a B61-12 nuclear weapon (not armed) from a B-2 at Nellis AFB, marking a new developmental flight test phase for the upgraded bomb.


L.A. announces new strategy for getting homeless into permanent housing

L.A. announces new strategy for getting homeless into permanent housingLos Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government’s response to natural disasters.


Missing 6-year-old South Carolina girl's death ruled homicide by asphyxiation

Missing 6-year-old South Carolina girl's death ruled homicide by asphyxiationA polka dot boot and a soup ladle with fresh dirt on it led police to the body of Faye Swetlik, who officials say was killed by a neighbor who was also found dead.


Death toll from coronavirus surpasses 1,100; US confirms 13th case

Death toll from coronavirus surpasses 1,100; US confirms 13th caseThe one-day death toll of 103 pushed the total past 1,000 and provided an ominous warning that the coronavirus epidemic was accelerating.


Bloomberg's transaction tax sets stage for clash with Wall Street clients

Bloomberg's transaction tax sets stage for clash with Wall Street clientsPresidential candidate Michael Bloomberg's decision to back a tax on trades marks a blow for Wall Street lobbyists which had seen the moderate Democrat as a potential ally, said analysts and lobbyists. On Tuesday, the former New York mayor and Wall Street investment banker, who made his $60 billion fortune in finance, proposed imposing a 0.1% tax on trading stocks, bonds and derivatives as part of a broader financial services agenda. Bloomberg's decision to back the tax is likely to bring him into conflict with Wall Street firms that are fighting the policy, many of which are the very same clients that helped him make the fortune with which he is funding his campaign.


Russia warns Turkey, blocks UN bid to end Syria bloodshed

Russia warns Turkey, blocks UN bid to end Syria bloodshedRussia on Wednesday warned Turkey against intervening in Syria as it blocked a UN bid to end the Damascus regime's brutal assault on the last rebel enclave. Syrian aid workers called urgently for a ceasefire and international help for nearly a million people fleeing the regime onslaught in the country's northwestern Idlib province -- the biggest wave of displaced civilians in the nine-year conflict. Turkey, supporter of some rebel groups in Idlib, has been pushing for a renewed ceasefire in talks with Russia, which backs the Syrian regime.


Maduro accused of "disappearing" US oilmen as trial delayed

Maduro accused of "disappearing" US oilmen as trial delayedFamily members of six American oil executives jailed in Venezuela are accusing Nicolas Maduro’s government of “forced disappearance” after the men were inexplicably missing for the scheduled start of their trial on Wednesday. Veronica Vadell said that lawyers for her father, Tomeu Vadell, and the five other executives from Houston-based Citgo had been waiting at a Caracas courthouse for more than six hours for the men to be transferred by the nation's intelligence police. The arrest took place the same day opposition leader Juan Guaidó met with President Donald Trump at the White House, fueling speculation the detention was politically motivated.


Oracle Employee Speaks Out Against Her Boss Raising Money for Trump

Oracle Employee Speaks Out Against Her Boss Raising Money for TrumpLarry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, one of the largest software companies in the world, hosted a fundraiser for Donald Trump’s re-election on Wednesday at the tech titan’s Southern California estate. The event was expected to bring in some $7 million for the incumbent president. Some of Ellison’s employees were less than pleased about that, signing a protest petition and, according to Recode, planning to walk out on Thursday to demand Ellison and Oracle donate an equivalent amount to humanitarian causes and denounce what they see as the Trump administration’s failings.Kristine Lessard, an Oracle sales account manager based in Massachusetts, signed the first petition with a personal appeal. “As an Oracle employee and mom of a transgender young adult,” she wrote, “I have appreciated the health benefits and HR Diversity and Inclusion support I've received for 8 years working here. I object to [Ellison] enabling this President who has specifically targeted Transgender youth to take away their rights by rescinding Executive Orders covering them.”Lessard’s son is a trans man in his 20s, she explained to the Daily Beast in an interview around the time the fundraiser took place Wednesday. She believes the Trump administration has mounted a broad onslaught against LGBTQ civil rights (she cited a Washington Post editorial titled “Trump has a Devastating Record on LGBT rights.” in a message), and that even if she might not have a history in tech activism—and even if her company is not known for its restive workforce—she had to speak out.The Silicon Valley Giant Bankrolling Devin Nunes“Oracle funds some advocacy and fundraisers on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community,” Lessard said, adding that she herself has participated in LGBTQ affinity groups at Oracle as an ally. “But in one fell swoop, this fundraiser could raise multiple millions that would work against those goals and hard earned gains,” she said.Oracle declined to comment to the Daily Beast, but Recode noted that employees who complained to the company had received a statement saying they could participate in politics on a personal level even as the company itself was not endorsing a candidate. “I’m disoriented. [Ellison] supporting the potential enabling of the president to get reelected doesn’t match up with our corporate values of social responsibility, especially two of the top ones: equality and environmental protection,” Lessard said. Lessard was surprised and disappointed Ellison spoke in favor of Trump now, given that he didn’t appear to support the president in the 2016 election. The co-founder is a registered Democrat, but donated $250,000 to Marco Rubio’s campaign in 2016, according to federal election records. He and other executives also have a history of backing Republican Rep. Devin Nunes. Lessard has discussed her opposition to Ellison’s decision with coworkers, she said, but she did not indicate whether she intended to walk out of work Thursday. “I’m expressing my opinion as an employee about what the company represents,” she said. The discussion within Oracle is not monolithic, she added—some employees feel they can only throw up their hands at Ellison’s behavior, some feel compelled to speak out, and some have said little. Others may support the president.> Do you work at Oracle or another tech company? Do you agree or disagree with Larry Ellison's decision to host a fundraiser for President Trump? Contact this reporter securely at blake.montgomery@protonmail.com.Lessard said she would be watching the Democratic candidates debate onstage in Nevada in the hours after the fundraiser Wednesday, though she said she doesn’t have a favorite candidate. Federal election records show no donations under her name. Oracle’s workforce has not engaged in much public activism. By contrast, Google employees seem to have been in a state of constant revolt for the past three years, advocating for the search giant to drop a contract with the Pentagon, and questioning the ouster of union organizers and an employee protesting the company’s work with immigration officials, among other disputes. Google has told its employees to stop talking about politics at work.The size and scope of a potential walkout remained to be seen late Wednesday. But if Lessard was any indication, some employees were increasingly willing to spar with a boss some feel has gone rogue.“When you have this amount of people signing a petition, it really means it did strike a nerve,” she said.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Police filmed a woman trying to sneak into Shanghai in the trunk of a car to avoid being quarantined for coronavirus

Police filmed a woman trying to sneak into Shanghai in the trunk of a car to avoid being quarantined for coronavirusThe woman had visited her hometown in Hubei Province, the center of the outbreak, and was returning to Shanghai, where she works. She was quarantined.


There are only three viable presidential candidates, according to Mike Bloomberg's campaign

There are only three viable presidential candidates, according to Mike Bloomberg's campaignOnly three candidates out of the more than half dozen vying for the White House have a viable path to the nomination, a senior official for the Mike Bloomberg campaign told reporters Tuesday.


Some Americans are attempting the journey back home to Wuhan

Some Americans are attempting the journey back home to Wuhan"I was married in Wuhan. I had a son in Wuhan. Wuhan is my home, and I will forever be tied to this city, so I need to be there,” Christopher Suzanne said.


Abbott says top Malaysian leaders suspected pilot of MH370

Abbott says top Malaysian leaders suspected pilot of MH370Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the “top levels” of the Malaysian government long suspected that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 almost six years ago was a mass murder-suicide by the pilot. Australia, working on Malaysia's behalf, coordinated what became the largest search in aviation history, but it failed to find the plane before being ended in 2017. Speaking in a Sky News documentary to air on Wednesday and Thursday, Abbott said high-ranking Malaysian officials believed veteran pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah deliberately downed the jet.


2 socialites have reportedly died after their Mercedes fell off a ferry leaving the most expensive ZIP code in the United States

2 socialites have reportedly died after their Mercedes fell off a ferry leaving the most expensive ZIP code in the United StatesThe only way to get to Miami's exclusive Fisher Island is by a seven minute ferry, and two women inexplicably fell off it and died last night.


Mexico arrests suspects in killing of seven-year-old girl
Hate crimes go unchecked at Syracuse University, students say

Hate crimes go unchecked at Syracuse University, students sayThe black-led movement NotAgainSU launched the sit-in Monday to protest the administration's handling of racial incidents at the university.


Russia raises eyebrows with blanket ban on Chinese visitors

Russia raises eyebrows with blanket ban on Chinese visitorsMoscow is to impose a blanket ban on Chinese visitors over coronavirus fears in a move that will hit its tourism industry as experts question the need for such "draconian" measures. Moscow will ban all Chinese citizens from entering its territory from Thursday. It has already halted visa-free tourism for Chinese nationals and stopped issuing them with work visas and suspended rail links and restricted air travel.


DOJ Denies Coordination between Barr and Giuliani in Letter Detailing Ukraine ‘Intake Process’

DOJ Denies Coordination between Barr and Giuliani in Letter Detailing Ukraine ‘Intake Process’The Justice Department informed House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) in a Tuesday letter that deputy attorney general Jeffrey Rosen had tasked the top prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Pennsylvania to oversee the process of reviewing “unsolicited” information from Ukraine."The Deputy Attorney General implemented this policy to avoid duplication of efforts across Offices and components, to facilitate information sharing, to ensure there are no conflicts among potentially overlapping matters, and to efficiently marshal the resources of the Department," Rosen wrote.He detailed that Brooklyn-based U.S. attorney Richard Donoghue would “assist in coordinating such matters,” while U.S. attorney Scott Brady in Pittsburgh would “assist in the receipt, processing, and preliminary analysis of new information provided by the public that may be relevant to matter relating to Ukraine.”Rosen’s letter also emphasized that attorney general William Barr “has not discussed matters relating to Ukraine with Rudolph Giuliani,” and that the DOJ “remains vigilant against the significant threat of disinformation.”“As always, the Department will reject information it finds to be non-credible while continuing to discharge its duty to pursue all meritorious leads and investigations,” the letter reads, while not elaborating what information is being explored.Attorney general William Barr confirmed on February 10 that the Justice Department has “established an intake process” to handle Ukrainian information, days after Giuliani claimed that he was aware of three Ukrainian witnesses ready to “name names” in a “smoking gun” that will “totally vindicate” Trump, and after Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson obtained financial records from the Treasury Department as part of a probe into Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine.“The DOJ has the obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant,” Barr said during a presser at the Justice Department, but did not explain further. Nadler, who said earlier this month that House Democrats would “likely” continue exploring Trump’s actions with regard to Ukraine by subpoenaing former national security adviser John Bolton, then sent a letter to Barr asking for more information.


9 Rural Farms of the 21st Century Featuring Stunning Modern Design
Michael Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked in his first debate – and he flopped

Michael Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked in his first debate – and he floppedBloomberg was hammered all night over stop-and-frisk, Wall Street, and his opposition to raising the minimum wage. He didn’t take it well Before Wednesday night’s debate, Michael Bloomberg’s critics had been furious with the Democratic National Committee for changing its rules to allow Bloomberg on the debate stage. But it turned out the critics should have been thanking the DNC. Bloomberg was absolutely terrible. His campaign may not literally have ended on the debate stage, but it’s hard to see how any viewer could come away believing his pitch that he is “the best candidate to take on Trump.”Bloomberg was ill-prepared, uncharismatic, and unlikable. The other candidates ran rings around him. Elizabeth Warren sank her teeth in early, interrupting Bloomberg’s opening statement to point out how his long history of sexist comments about women made him a lot like Donald Trump. Warren landed even more brutal blows later in the debate, when she challenged Bloomberg to release women from the non-disclosure agreements his company had forced them to sign in sexual harassment lawsuits. Bloomberg mumbled some lame excuse about how the agreements were consensual, but was clearly caught off-guard, and Warren wouldn’t let the issue go.Bloomberg looked feeble, and after the debate some Democratic bigwigs were already reportedly concluding that “Bloomberg isn’t the answer.”Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked all night by the rest of the candidates over stop-and-frisk, Wall Street, his Republican past, and his opposition to raising the minimum wage. He did not have any idea how to respond to the barrage. On stop-and-frisk, he simply lied, saying that he had tried to end the policy when in fact he had escalated it. Warren was having none of this, and correctly pointed out that Bloomberg was failing to take responsibility for the consequences his policy had for African Americans. Joe Biden echoed the sentiment, saying that Bloomberg’s apologies for stop-and-frisk were insufficient. “It’s not whether he apologized or not. It’s the policy. And the policy was abhorrent.” Biden energetically opposed Bloomberg throughout the night, showing a passion and lucidity that has been missing from the last months of his flagging campaign.It wasn’t just Bloomberg who came under fire. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg have never liked each other, and they became downright nasty. Klobuchar once again took the opportunity to point out that Pete has never won a statewide race, while Buttigieg replied with a canned line about how if Minnesotan senators made good nominees, Walter Mondale would have been president. Buttigieg also seized the opportunity to poke at Klobuchar over forgetting the president of Mexico’s name. Klobuchar struggled, asking Pete if he was calling her “dumb.” Buttigieg is a practiced debater and delivers his lines well, and his polished hokum about how “Washington” doesn’t respect small-city Rust Belt mayors clearly gets on Klobuchar’s nerves to no end.> In terms of who the debate served best, Bernie Sanders was the clear winnerWarren was unusually vicious toward other candidates, making direct attacks on nearly every one of her opponents. She was spirited and articulate, and with her memorable exchanges with Bloomberg, she will widely be seen as the “winner” of the debate. But it also seemed as if she was desperate to strike as many blows in as many directions as possible, conscious that her campaign needs a miracle if it is going to survive.In terms of who the debate served best, Sanders was the clear winner. He went into it the frontrunner, and mostly just needed to avoid embarrassing himself. The debate went far better than he could even have hoped. His chief rival, Bloomberg, flopped completely. The other centrists spent time bickering with each other that could have been spent trying to undermine Sanders. Warren did the “dirty work” of eviscerating Bloomberg, allowing Sanders to make a more elevated pitch and somewhat rise above the fray. He was given plenty of time to talk, and while he stuck close to his usual talking points he had above-average energy and was clearly enjoying himself. He was effective in pointing out how Buttigieg dishonestly presents the costs of Medicare For All without mentioning the benefits, and easily parried Bloomberg’s absurd attempt to conflate Sanders’ democratic socialism with “communism”. Bloomberg was a perfect foil for Sanders; Sanders probably wishes Bloomberg had been there all along, a cartoon of an evil billionaire for Sanders to point to as an example of everything wrong with the country.Sanders went into the debate the frontrunner and he left the frontrunner. If Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar were to stand any chance of overtaking Sanders, they needed to make him look foolish, and they didn’t. Instead, they looked petty, and he survived. Warren was in good form, but she’s simply not going to reclaim the lead over Sanders at this point. Bloomberg was the only serious threat, and he fizzled, showing that the “electability” case for his candidacy is laughable. It’s increasingly clear that Sanders has no serious opposition and Democrats are going to need to start reconciling himself to the inevitability of his nomination.But some clearly aren’t reconciled. One concerning moment in the debate came at the very end, where each candidate was asked if they believed that the candidate with the most delegates should be given the nomination, or the “superdelegates” should be allowed to intervene. Sanders was the only candidate who would say that the nomination should go to the individual with the most delegates. Every other candidate is apparently leaving open the possibility of the Democratic party overriding the popular vote at the convention, presumably in order to deny Sanders the nomination.Alarmingly, even if Sanders is the clear public favorite, there are still those Democrats who think he needs to be stopped at all costs.


Donald Trump Thinks Climate Change Is a Hoax. The U.S. Military Disagrees.

Donald Trump Thinks Climate Change Is a Hoax. The U.S. Military Disagrees.They've been warning pretty loudly about it.


US judge sides with migrants in case against Border Patrol

US judge sides with migrants in case against Border PatrolA U.S. judge in Arizona sided Wednesday with migrants who have long-complained about inhumane and unsanitary conditions in some U.S. Border Patrol facilities in the state. The ruling came weeks after the conclusion of a seven-day trial in which attorneys for migrants who sued in 2015 argued that the agency holds immigrants in extremely cold, overcrowded, unsanitary and inhumane conditions. The order makes permanent a preliminary injunction that U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury issued in 2016 requiring the Tucson Sector to provide clean mats and thin blankets to migrants held for longer than 12 hours and to allow them to clean themselves.


Report: Obama reportedly expects he'll have to play a 'prominent role' in uniting Democrats this summer

Report: Obama reportedly expects he'll have to play a 'prominent role' in uniting Democrats this summerThe New York Magazine reports former president Barack Obama's radio silence on the 2020 Democratic primary is part of a "choreographed strategy" on the part of Obama, who is "increasingly sure he will need to play a prominent role in bringing the party back together and calming its tensions later this summer."


Two women dead after car plunges off ferry into waters off exclusive Miami island

Two women dead after car plunges off ferry into waters off exclusive Miami islandThe ferry shuttles people and their vehicles between Miami Beach and Fisher Island, a "private luxury community ... consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest zip codes in the U.S."


Security guard sentenced to prison for murdering US woman in Costa Rica Airbnb

Security guard sentenced to prison for murdering US woman in Costa Rica AirbnbA security guard for an apartment complex with Airbnb rental units has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for the 2018 murder of an American tourist.Carla Stefaniak, a Venezuelan-American who lived in Miami, was in San Jose, Costa Rica, celebrating her 36th birthday when she was brutally murdered.


China kicked out 3 Wall Street Journal reporters after it published an op-ed using a term that invokes the biggest humiliation in Chinese history

China kicked out 3 Wall Street Journal reporters after it published an op-ed using a term that invokes the biggest humiliation in Chinese historyChina's foreign ministry cited a February 3 headline, titled "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia," as the immediate reason for the expulsions.


ICE says it plans to destroy a trove of detention records, including numbers on detainee deaths and sexual assaults

ICE says it plans to destroy a trove of detention records, including numbers on detainee deaths and sexual assaultsThe ACLU races to retrieve years of ICE detention records that they say are critical to holding ICE accountable for abuses and misconduct.


Hunter Biden Served on Board of Trade Group That Lobbied Obama Admin for Increased Ukraine Aid: Report

Hunter Biden Served on Board of Trade Group That Lobbied Obama Admin for Increased Ukraine Aid: ReportHunter Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden, was on the board of a trade group that lobbied the Obama administration for increased U.S. aid to Ukraine, according to a report Tuesday.From 2012 through 2018, the younger Biden served as a director for the Center for U.S. Global Leadership and was connected as well with its affiliate, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, The Daily Caller reported. The two groups, which include about 400 larger corporations and non-government organizations, lobbied for increased spending abroad by the State Department’s International Affairs Budget, including a special focus on Ukraine.At the time, Joe Biden was also advocating for increased U.S. spending in Ukraine.Hunter Biden's small private equity firm, Rosemont Seneca, featured other well-connected politicos as well, including his partner Devon Archer, who was a former adviser on Obama Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, and another partner, Kerry’s son-in-law Christopher Heinz.“Hunter Biden works for [Archer]. So we’ve got the top level politicos with us. All of my guys, is as top tier as it gets,” a businessman named Bevan Cooney wrote in text messages released in connection with an unrelated criminal case against Archer. “You don’t get more politically connected and make people more comfortable than that.”In 2013, the groups held an event honoring Joe Biden for his work supporting increased spending abroad, an event Hunter Biden was also introduced as having a "very special relationship with our honoree."Biden's separate lucrative position on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings while his father was vice president and in charge of addressing corruption in Ukraine has also drawn scrutiny and featured prominently in the impeachment proceedings against President Trump. That position earned Biden at least $50,000 a month for his advice on “transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities.”During a July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump asked Zelensky to help his administration investigate allegations that Joe Biden used his position as vice president to help the Ukrainian gas company avoid a corruption probe soon after Hunter Biden was appointed to its board of directors. That phone call led to an Intelligence Community whistleblower complaint that ultimately sparked a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump’s actions.Biden has said that in the spring of 2016, during his tenure as vice president, he called on Ukraine to fire the top prosecutor investigating the energy company paying his son. Biden suggested he would withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine if the country did not fire the prosecutor, who was accused by the State Department and U.S. allies in Europe of being soft on corruption.


Michael Bloomberg’s Monumental Failure to Prepare

Michael Bloomberg’s Monumental Failure to PrepareThe mogul had a story to tell, and a few apologies to make. He managed neither.


Secession in the Pacific Northwest? Some Oregon residents petition to join Idaho

Secession in the Pacific Northwest? Some Oregon residents petition to join IdahoFrustrated by liberal policies, some Oregon residents petition to leave the state by moving the border with Idaho.


Lawyer: Assange was offered US pardon if he cleared Russia

Lawyer: Assange was offered US pardon if he cleared RussiaWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to claim during an extradition hearing that the Trump administration offered him a pardon if he agreed to say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, a lawyer for Assange said Wednesday. Assange is being held at a British prison while fighting extradition to the United States on spying charges.


Elizabeth Warren defends Amy Klobuchar for forgetting the name of Mexico's president

Elizabeth Warren defends Amy Klobuchar for forgetting the name of Mexico's presidentLast week, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was asked by a reporter if she could name the president of Mexico, and after thinking about it, responded, "No." This came back to haunt her during Wednesday's Democratic debate, but a fellow candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), had her back.Klobuchar said that she doesn't believe "that momentary forgetfulness actually reflects what I know about Mexico and how much I care about it," and reminded the audience that she is "the one person on this stage that came out first to say I was for the U.S.-Mexico-Canadian trade agreement that is going to be one of the No. 1 duties of the president, to implement that." Forgetting Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's name was "an error," she continued. "I think having a president that is maybe humbled and able to admit that here and there maybe wouldn't be a bad thing."Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg responded that Klobuchar is "staking your presidency on your Washington experience," and not knowing a world leader's name was bad form. "Are you trying to say that I'm dumb?" Klobuchar snapped. "Or you're mocking me?" Buttigieg responded that he is "saying you shouldn't trivialize it."That's when Warren jumped in. "This is not right," she said. "I understand that she forgot a name — it happens. It happens to everybody on this stage. You want to ask about whether or not you understand trade policy with Mexico? Have at it. And if you get it wrong, you ought to be held accountable for that. ... But let's just be clear, missing a name all by itself does not indicate that you do not understand what's going on. I just think this is unfair."More stories from theweek.com Mike Bloomberg is not the lesser of two evils Chuck Todd gets existential with billionaire Michael Bloomberg: 'Should you exist?' Elizabeth Warren's fiery debate performance reportedly inspired her best fundraising hour to date


Virginia lawmakers reject assault weapons ban over fears of potential civil war

Virginia lawmakers reject assault weapons ban over fears of potential civil warVirginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons has failed after members of his own party balked at the proposal. Senators voted to shelve the bill for the year and ask the state crime commission to study the issue, an outcome that drew cheers from a committee room packed with gun advocates.


Former South Korean president jailed after losing appeal

Former South Korean president jailed after losing appealFormer South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was taken to prison Wednesday to begin a 17-year term for bribery and embezzlement after losing an appeal against a lighter sentence. Several South Korean presidents have ended up in prison after leaving office -- often as a result of investigations started by political rivals.


Coronavirus: Self-quarantined family shunned as neighbour calls 911 on them

Coronavirus: Self-quarantined family shunned as neighbour calls 911 on themA California family in self-quarantine over the coronavirus after a visit to China have found themselves shunned, and even had the police called on them.Amy Deng and her eight-year-old daughter, Daisy, have no symptoms, but following a trip to visit family in Guangzhou over Chinese New Year, they are in self-quarantine monitored by local officials in Santa Rosa, The East Bay Times reports.


Pilots aboard Hurricane Hunter plane chasing a winter storm experience strange phenomenon

Pilots aboard Hurricane Hunter plane chasing a winter storm experience strange phenomenonAn experienced hurricane hunting crew chasing a winter storm came across a far different discovery this past weekend. In what is know as St. Elmo's fire, footage of the forking electric discharge was captured on Saturday by pilots as the spectacle flashed throughout the cockpit.The video, captured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aircraft Operations Center (AOC), was taken as pilots flew across the Atlantic Ocean amid thunderstorms. NOAA deployed the hunters to support a project analyzing ocean surface winds in winter storms over the North Atlantic.The flight took place as Storm Dennis chugged along in the North Atlantic approaching Ireland and the United Kingdom.While frightening and shocking on camera, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said the actual charge from the weather phenomenon is harmless, especially for those surrounded by the metal shell of the aircraft."St. Elmo's fire is a phenomena that has occurred throughout human history. Before it was reported on planes, it happened on ships in the open ocean," Samuhel said. "It happens when the charge of an object is much different than the charge of the air. Unlike lightning when huge bolts of electricity jump across a large distance from one charge to another, St. Elmo's fire happens on a very small scale." Sprawling displays of St. Elmo's fire illuminated the cockpit of a crew flying across the Atlantic Ocean. (NOAA Corps) Named after St. Erasmus of Formia, the patron saint of sailors, reports of St. Elmo's fire trace back thousands of years to ancient Greece and tales of the marvel were consistently shared by ship fleets.St. Elmo's fire differs from lightning in that it is simply a glow of electrons in the air, whereas lightning is the movement of electricity from a charged cloud to the ground. In a thunderstorm, where the surrounding environment is electrically charged, the phenomenon is sparked when a charged object, such as a ship mast or airplane nose, causes a dramatic difference in charge, emitting a visual discharge. It can most simply be compared to a continuous spark."The point of the nose of an aircraft gives electricity an easy path to flow, as does the mast of the ship," Samuhel said. "These locations are where St. Elmo's fire is most common."CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPIn historical recounts of St. Elmo's fire, writers such as Julius Caesar and Charles Darwin depict the instances as a steady glow."Everything is in flames: the sky with lightning, the water with luminous particles and even the very masts are pointed with a blue flame," Darwin wrote while aboard the Beagle as he traveled across the Atlantic.For experienced pilots like the Hurricane Hunters, the light show in front of them likely wouldn't have induced any fear or panic, although the event could be a sign of stormy weather ahead."It lasted about three minutes," explained Maria Ines Rubio, a flight attendant who witnessed the phenomenon in 2017, to The Washington Post. "I wasn't nervous, because it a rather normal occurrence when you get into a strong enough storm."The phenomenon, also known as a corona discharge, is "commonly observed on the periphery of propellers and along the wing tips, windshield, and nose of aircraft flying in dry snow, in ice crystals, or near thunderstorms," according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


A Japanese disease expert who inspected the Diamond Princess said he was 'so scared' of catching the coronavirus because hygiene on the cruise ship was so bad

A Japanese disease expert who inspected the Diamond Princess said he was 'so scared' of catching the coronavirus because hygiene on the cruise ship was so badKentaro Iwata said that while he had weathered the Ebola, SARS, and cholera crises, he was scared of catching COVID-19 on the quarantined cruise ship.


Bloomberg referred to trans women as 'some guy in a dress' in second resurfaced video

Bloomberg referred to trans women as 'some guy in a dress' in second resurfaced videoIn a video recorded last year, presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg refers to transgender women as “some guy in a dress.” This is the second time Mr Bloomberg has been recorded making such statements in recent years.The March 2019 video also has Mr Bloomberg referring to transgender people as “he, she or it” in comments aimed at warning 2020 Democratic candidates against emphasising transgender issues, arguing that they would not play well in parts of America.


This purse was lost behind a locker in the 1950s. Its contents reveal what high school was like then

This purse was lost behind a locker in the 1950s. Its contents reveal what high school was like thenThe purse belonged to Patti Rumfola, who graduated from Hoover High School in 1960. The school now currently serves as North Canton Middle School.


Judge finds US in contempt after immigrants in suit deported
Group of more than 1,000 judges calls emergency meeting amid Trump concerns

Group of more than 1,000 judges calls emergency meeting amid Trump concernsJudges will meet to address alarm over the president intervening in politically sensitive casesA national association of federal judges has called an emergency meeting to address growing concerns about the intervention of Donald Trump and justice department officials in politically sensitive cases, according to US media reports.Cynthia Rufe, a Philadelphia US district judge who heads the independent Federal Judges Association, which has more than 1,100 members, told USA Today the group “could not wait” until its spring conference to discuss the matter.“There are plenty of issues that we are concerned about,” Rufe told USA Today. “We’ll talk all of this through.”Megan Cruz, the executive director of the group, told CNN the meeting would take place on Wednesday. She said a nine-member executive committee of the group had decided the emergency meeting was necessary.The meeting comes after more than 2,000 former US justice department officials, including some of the top government lawyers in the country, called on the attorney general, William Barr, to resign in the wake of the Roger Stone scandal.Alumni of the Department of Justice posted to Medium on Sunday a group letter that tore into Barr for “doing the president’s personal bidding” in imposing on prosecutors the recommendation of a reduced sentence for Stone, a longtime friend of Trump who was convicted of lying to and obstructing Congress and threatening a witness in the Russia investigation.Barr, the officials said, had damaged the reputation of the department for “integrity and the rule of law”.The spiralling constitutional crisis began last week when Barr imposed his new sentencing memo, slashing a seven- to nine-year proposed prison term suggested by career prosecutors. In the fallout, the four prosecutors who had handled the case resigned in disgust.US district Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over the Stone’s case, has ordered both sides to participate in a conference call on Tuesday to discuss the status of the case. Following the call, it was confirmed that Stone’s sentencing would go ahead on Thursday.Rufe voiced her strong support for Jackson, according to USA Today.“I am not concerned with how a particular judge will rule,” Rufe said. “We are supportive of any federal judge who does what is required.”It was not clear whether the FJA would issue a statement after the emergency meeting. The Guardian contacted the FJA for comment.


Russia's Su-57 Got A Good Test Run In Syria (But Is It A Threat?)

Russia's Su-57 Got A Good Test Run In Syria (But Is It A Threat?)It's not ready for mass production yet.


26 of the Best Stainless-Steel Bathroom Faucets 
Body of missing college student found in Georgia, boyfriend arrested

Body of missing college student found in Georgia, boyfriend arrestedAnitra Lashay Gunn was a senior studying agriculture at Fort Valley State University. She was found in a wooded area in Crawford County.


South Korea coronavirus cases jump by two-thirds in one day

South Korea coronavirus cases jump by two-thirds in one daySouth Korea reported 20 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday -- increasing its total by nearly two-thirds -- including a cluster of at least 16 centred on the southern city of Daegu. The trade-dependent nation has been hit by the economic fallout from the virus outbreak in neighbouring China, but until Wednesday's jump, its own case numbers had hardly changed for several days. The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a statement that 20 new coronavirus cases had been confirmed, raising its total from 31 to 51.


U.S. Coronavirus Cases Nearly Double With No End in Sight

U.S. Coronavirus Cases Nearly Double With No End in SightConfirmed cases of the new, deadly coronavirus in the United States almost doubled over the holiday weekend thanks to the messy evacuation of Americans from a cruise ship in Japan, while fresh numbers from China suggested the disease might be deadlier than first believed.The U.S. government evacuated 328 American passengers from Tokyo early Monday on two chartered cargo jets, leaving dozens others behind who preferred to stay on the Diamond Princess cruise ship—despite a strong disembarkation recommendation from the federal government. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said over the weekend that it recommended repatriation so that it could take responsibility for care of the Americans and “to reduce the burden on the Japanese healthcare system.”All travelers from Japan were screened before boarding the aircraft “to prevent symptomatic travelers from departing Japan,” according to the CDC. But 14 people who ultimately proved to be infected with the disease were included in the evacuation anyway, with officials later explaining that the positive results came back as passengers were already heading to the airport.Dr. William Walters, managing director of operational medicine at the State Department, told reporters Monday that authorities evacuated passengers without knowing their test results because it was “unpredictable” when the results would come back. None of the diagnosed evacuees were showing symptoms, and they flew home in separate chambers—made of 10-feet-tall plastic sheets—from the other 314 passengers. The government planned to house all uninfected evacuees for 14 days at federal quarantine sites at Travis Air Force Base in California and Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas.‘It Failed’: Cruise Ship Coronavirus Snafus Stoke Fears of Global PandemicInfected evacuees, on the other hand, were sent to hospitals in California and at the University of Nebraska for treatment. Another five passengers on the flights had reportedly been put in isolation after developing fevers, a development that was likely to add to public skepticism of the U.S. and Japanese governments’ response to the virus, even as officials insisted that the risk to the general American public was still “low.”Eiji Kusumi, a doctor specializing in infectious diseases at Navitas Clinic in Tokyo, told The New York Times that the quarantine of the cruise ship, which remained docked in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, was an “unprecedented failure” and that officials should “learn from this lesson that a quarantine on a ship is impossible.”The cruise ship has for weeks housed the largest outbreak outside of China, and Japanese health authorities said Tuesday there were a total of 542 confirmed cases on the Diamond Princess—88 new ones since last count—out of 3,700 passengers and crew members. As of Tuesday, 2,404 people on board had tested negative for the virus.The vessel-wide quarantine, which began on Feb. 3, was set to end on Wednesday, but those who bunked with passengers or crew members who tested positive were slated to remain on board for longer. Only about 500 people were expected to be released on Wednesday, while more than 100 total U.S. citizens remained either on board or in hospitals in Japan, according to the CDC.Dr. Anthony Fauci, of the National Institutes of Health, also admitted on Monday that the quarantine on the cruise ship “failed.” After weeks of debate about the subject, Japan said it would test everyone aboard the ship before allowing them to disembark.Outside of evacuees from the Diamond Princess, the CDC said there remained 15 confirmed cases in the U.S. on Tuesday out of 467 people under investigation for the coronavirus. Some 392 of those patients tested negative, while 60 remained pending on Tuesday. Several Americans who, before being released Tuesday, were stuck in federal quarantine in San Diego after returning from Wuhan earlier this month voiced concern over the effectiveness and thoroughness of the CDC’s response, some going so far as to draft a petition after the government mistakenly reintroduced an infected woman to the general population.Jacob Wilson, a 33-year-old American evacuee who works at a tech start-up in Wuhan, told The Daily Beast that he and his fellow evacuees were “swamped” by press at the airport after they were released.“Now hopefully I can get back to some normalcy,” he said.Meanwhile, as of Tuesday morning, China had reported 72,528 coronavirus cases, including 1,870 related deaths, according to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization. Outside of China, there were 804 cases in 25 countries, he added, with 12 other countries having confirmed instances of human-to-human transmission.“At the moment, we don’t have enough data on cases outside China to make a meaningful comparison on the severity of the disease or the case fatality rate,” said Tedros.But as the Times reported, an analysis by Chinese authorities from data on 44,672 patients suggested that about 2.3 percent of cases of the disease had been fatal as of Feb. 11. Nearly 14 percent of people who tested positive for the infection had severe cases, and about 5 percent had critical illnesses, according to Chinese authorities. The data showed that 30 percent of those who died from the virus were in their 60s, 30 percent were in their 70s, and another 20 percent were 80 or older. Since then, daily figures indicated the virus’s fatality rate had only increased. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Here are the winners and losers of Nevada's heated Democratic debate, where Michael Bloomberg was skewered and Elizabeth Warren schooled the stage

Here are the winners and losers of Nevada's heated Democratic debate, where Michael Bloomberg was skewered and Elizabeth Warren schooled the stageThe debate was combative and punctuated by withering attacks from all sides on the newcomer on stage: billionaire former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.


Cambodia's Coronavirus Complacency May Exact a Global Toll

Cambodia's Coronavirus Complacency May Exact a Global TollSIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia -- When Cambodia's prime minister greeted passengers on a cruise ship amid a coronavirus scare on Valentine's Day, embraces were the order of the day. Protective masks were not.Not only did Prime Minister Hun Sen not wear one, assured that the ship was virus-free, his bodyguards ordered people who had donned masks to take them off. The next day, the U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, W. Patrick Murphy, who brought his own family to greet the passengers streaming off the ship, also went maskless."We are very, very grateful that Cambodia has opened literally its ports and doors to people in need," Murphy said.But after hundreds of passengers had disembarked, one later tested positive for the coronavirus. Now, health officials worry that what Cambodia opened its doors to was the outbreak, and that the world may pay a price as passengers from the cruse ship Westerdam stream home.Before the Westerdam docked in Sihanoukville, fearful governments in other countries had turned the ship away at five ports of call even though the cruise operator, Holland America, assured officials that the ship's passengers had been carefully screened.Hun Sen's decision to allow it entry appeared to be a political calculus as much as anything else. The region's longest-serving ruler and a close ally of China, he is known for his survival skills.But Hun Sen's critics worry that the aging autocrat might have acted rashly."Of course, he had to do the dictator thing: photo op, roses, exploit this for its maximum value," said Sophal Ear, an expert in Cambodian politics at Occidental College. "Whatever is in the best interest of Cambodians is completely irrelevant to him."It is too early to tell whether the decision to let hundreds of passengers from the Westerdam fly off has the makings of an epidemiological disaster. Cambodian health authorities said that 409 of the 2,257 passengers and crew had left Cambodia for their homes scattered across the globe. The rest remain in hotels in Phnom Penh, the capital, or on the ship.But deficiencies in screening for the coronavirus aboard the ship, along with continued complacency about the epidemic in Cambodia, are raising fears this small Southeast Asian nation could prove to be a surprising vector of transmission for a virus that has already killed more than 1,700 people, mostly in China, the epicenter of the outbreak.Many health experts urge people who have been in contact with coronavirus patients to self-quarantine for 14 days, lest they add another spoke to the contagion network.But on Monday, Hun Sen directed officials in Phnom Penh to treat passengers from the Westerdam to a sightseeing jaunt."To tour the city is better than staying in rooms or at the hotel feeling bored or scared," said a post on Hun Sen's Facebook page.The lack of urgency in Cambodia, where officials milled around the ship Monday without protection, points to the obstacles in trying to contain a virus that experts warn is spreading faster than SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome)or MERS, (Middle East respiratory syndrome)."This is influenza-like transmission," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. "It's like trying to stop the wind."Last week, when the Westerdam docked in Sihanoukville, the Cambodian government and the cruise operator deemed the vessel virus-free.The declaration was at a minimum premature.Only 20 people out of the 2,257 onboard were tested for the virus before disembarking, and that was because they had reported themselves to ship medical staff with various ailments.The woman who twice tested positive after traveling on to Malaysia, an 83-year-old American, was not among those 20, Holland America said.Health monitoring for the rest of the passengers was limited to a handful of temperature checks conducted with infrared thermometers, passengers said. In a statement, Holland America said that during one of those screenings, not a single person on board recorded an elevated temperature.On Monday, an announcement broadcast to passengers remaining on the Westerdam warned that they should avoid the ship's hot deck and return to their air-conditioned rooms to avoid falsely high temperature readings.Some health experts have questioned the efficacy of infrared thermometers, also known as temperature guns, saying they measure the heat emanating from the surface of the body, rather than core body temperature.Various environmental factors can distort thermometer gun reading, said Gary Strahan, who runs a small infrared device company in Texas."In Cambodia, you have warmer background temperatures," he said. "It could impact the measurement. That's the issue with any noncontact thermometer."Even if temperatures are accurately gauged, people may be taking medication that lower their temperature, like some arthritis drugs.And in any case, people who are asymptomatic can still pass on the coronavirus, scientists have found."A person who does not present as feverish is not necessarily uninfected with a disease or a virus," said Jim Seffrin, an expert on infrared devices at the Infraspection Institute in New Jersey.In the wake of the positive test in Malaysia, Cambodian health officials said they would be relying on a domestic lab to test all passengers and crew members still in the country for the coronavirus.On Monday evening, passengers celebrated news from Cambodian health officials that a first batch of 406 people in Phnom Penh had tested negative, although there was no certainty they would not later test positive."People on the ship are very grateful to the people of Cambodia," said Tammie Graves, an American from Kansas. "I was a bit worried that they might be afraid of us, even at the hotel, but it hasn't been like that at all."On Monday afternoon, more than 100 Westerdam passengers took up Hun Sen's offer of a capital tour, piling in buses to see the royal palace and other sites.In pictures of the excursion, posted on a government-linked website, only one person can be seen wearing a mask.Despite cases of coronavirus popping up in Southeast Asia, Hun Sen has campaigned against masks, arguing that they are better at spreading fear than stopping germs. At a news conference last month, he announced that he would kick out anyone who dared wear a mask.Even as other governments instituted China travel bans that angered Beijing, Hun Sen traveled to the Chinese capital and met with Xi Jinping, China's leader, in another photo op.And as other countries organized airlifts of people trapped in Wuhan, the city where the virus is believed to have originated, Hun Sen said he would not ferry Cambodian students home because they should be "joining with Chinese to fight this disease."The sense of solidarity makes sense in a country heavily dependent on China for its fortunes, after having turned its back on a West that was demanding progress in human rights in return for aid and investment.A torrent of Chinese cash has remade Cambodia, nowhere more so than in Sihanoukville, a once sleepy beach town that is now a sprawling construction site of gilded casinos and towering residential blocks. More than 90% of businesses in the city are now Chinese owned.On Monday, Oeun Yen, a masseuse here, worried about the massages she had given three female passengers from the Westerdam before the virus case was confirmed by Malaysia. She was not afraid at first, she said, because the prime minister had assured people all was fine."Now I am more concerned," she said.In a country where Hun Sen has dissolved the biggest opposition party and political assassination is not uncommon, such mild concern is as much as many ordinary residents are willing to muster.But there is also widespread skepticism of the government's contention that only one person in Cambodia has tested positive for coronavirus, a Chinese citizen who has since returned home."There is a natural lack of credibility and trust associated with the Cambodian government," said Ou Virak, a human-rights activist and founder of the Future Forum, a local think tank. "This is Hun Sen's Westerdam problem, because even if he was doing the right thing, purely as a humanitarian, he will be seen as the puppet of China instead."On Monday, Hun Sen announced yet another publicity stunt: He wants to invite the passengers of the Westerdam to a party.Masks won't be welcome.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


Pope tenderly kissed on forehead by man in front-row seat

Pope tenderly kissed on forehead by man in front-row seatWell-wishers at Pope Francis' weekly audience have thrust soccer T-shirts, flowers and many a wailing baby into his arms. On Wednesday, Francis seemed to thoroughly enjoy a surprise expression of affection: a long, tender kiss planted on his forehead by a man in one of the front-row seats reserved for ailing or disabled people at the end of his audience. Francis appeared to be smiling when the man, who stood up when the pontiff approached to greet him and others in the front row, pulled the pope's head toward him and gave a kiss lasting several seconds, pressing his nose against Francis' forehead in the process.


Roger Stone judge ignores Trump's taunts, leaves sentencing scheduled for Thursday

Roger Stone judge ignores Trump's taunts, leaves sentencing scheduled for ThursdayRoger Stone will be sentenced on Thursday and President Trump can do nothing about it.That's the message U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who's overseeing the criminal case against Trump's longtime adviser, sent Tuesday when she confirmed the date of Stone's sentencing hearing. Despite receiving threats from Trump to delay the sentencing for a second time, that "would not be a prudent thing to do under all the circumstances," Jackson said.Uproar surrounding Stone's upcoming sentencing arose last week when prosecutors in the case recommended a 7–9 year prison term for Stone's crimes of lying to Congress and witness tampering. Trump tweeted to complain about the suggestion, and Attorney General William Barr intervened, with the DOJ eventually recommending a lighter sentence for Stone. Trump then repeatedly attacked Jackson's handling of the case, including in Twitter threads Tuesday morning where he cited Fox & Friends to call for her to delay Stone's sentencing.> .....existence of these tweets in which you were so harshly negative about the President & the people who support him. Don’t you think we wanted to know that before we put you on this jury.’ Pretty obvious he should (get a new trial). I think almost any judge in the Country.....> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2020Despite the presidential controversy, "I'm willing to make sure there are no consequences that flow from the announcement of the sentence at the sentencing hearing," Jackson said in a Tuesday scheduling call.More stories from theweek.com Has Trump solved his biggest 2016 campaign problem? Mike Bloomberg is not the lesser of two evils White House rejects Julian Assange lawyer's claim Trump offered pardon for denying Russia hacked the DNC


'We don't have a history of murdering our citizens': A Saudi official says reports that the Saudi Crown Prince is connected to the death of Jamal Khashoggi are 'ridiculous'

'We don't have a history of murdering our citizens': A Saudi official says reports that the Saudi Crown Prince is connected to the death of Jamal Khashoggi are 'ridiculous'Saudi Arabia has made "great progress in terms of human rights," Adel al-Jubeir said, urging outsiders to educate themselves better on its state of affairs.


America's B-2 Bomber Is Old (But It Keeps Getting Deadlier)

America's B-2 Bomber Is Old (But It Keeps Getting Deadlier)Back in 2018, the Air Force dropped a B61-12 nuclear weapon (not armed) from a B-2 at Nellis AFB, marking a new developmental flight test phase for the upgraded bomb.


L.A. announces new strategy for getting homeless into permanent housing

L.A. announces new strategy for getting homeless into permanent housingLos Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government’s response to natural disasters.


Missing 6-year-old South Carolina girl's death ruled homicide by asphyxiation

Missing 6-year-old South Carolina girl's death ruled homicide by asphyxiationA polka dot boot and a soup ladle with fresh dirt on it led police to the body of Faye Swetlik, who officials say was killed by a neighbor who was also found dead.


Death toll from coronavirus surpasses 1,100; US confirms 13th case

Death toll from coronavirus surpasses 1,100; US confirms 13th caseThe one-day death toll of 103 pushed the total past 1,000 and provided an ominous warning that the coronavirus epidemic was accelerating.


Bloomberg's transaction tax sets stage for clash with Wall Street clients

Bloomberg's transaction tax sets stage for clash with Wall Street clientsPresidential candidate Michael Bloomberg's decision to back a tax on trades marks a blow for Wall Street lobbyists which had seen the moderate Democrat as a potential ally, said analysts and lobbyists. On Tuesday, the former New York mayor and Wall Street investment banker, who made his $60 billion fortune in finance, proposed imposing a 0.1% tax on trading stocks, bonds and derivatives as part of a broader financial services agenda. Bloomberg's decision to back the tax is likely to bring him into conflict with Wall Street firms that are fighting the policy, many of which are the very same clients that helped him make the fortune with which he is funding his campaign.


Russia warns Turkey, blocks UN bid to end Syria bloodshed

Russia warns Turkey, blocks UN bid to end Syria bloodshedRussia on Wednesday warned Turkey against intervening in Syria as it blocked a UN bid to end the Damascus regime's brutal assault on the last rebel enclave. Syrian aid workers called urgently for a ceasefire and international help for nearly a million people fleeing the regime onslaught in the country's northwestern Idlib province -- the biggest wave of displaced civilians in the nine-year conflict. Turkey, supporter of some rebel groups in Idlib, has been pushing for a renewed ceasefire in talks with Russia, which backs the Syrian regime.


Maduro accused of "disappearing" US oilmen as trial delayed

Maduro accused of "disappearing" US oilmen as trial delayedFamily members of six American oil executives jailed in Venezuela are accusing Nicolas Maduro’s government of “forced disappearance” after the men were inexplicably missing for the scheduled start of their trial on Wednesday. Veronica Vadell said that lawyers for her father, Tomeu Vadell, and the five other executives from Houston-based Citgo had been waiting at a Caracas courthouse for more than six hours for the men to be transferred by the nation's intelligence police. The arrest took place the same day opposition leader Juan Guaidó met with President Donald Trump at the White House, fueling speculation the detention was politically motivated.


Oracle Employee Speaks Out Against Her Boss Raising Money for Trump

Oracle Employee Speaks Out Against Her Boss Raising Money for TrumpLarry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, one of the largest software companies in the world, hosted a fundraiser for Donald Trump’s re-election on Wednesday at the tech titan’s Southern California estate. The event was expected to bring in some $7 million for the incumbent president. Some of Ellison’s employees were less than pleased about that, signing a protest petition and, according to Recode, planning to walk out on Thursday to demand Ellison and Oracle donate an equivalent amount to humanitarian causes and denounce what they see as the Trump administration’s failings.Kristine Lessard, an Oracle sales account manager based in Massachusetts, signed the first petition with a personal appeal. “As an Oracle employee and mom of a transgender young adult,” she wrote, “I have appreciated the health benefits and HR Diversity and Inclusion support I've received for 8 years working here. I object to [Ellison] enabling this President who has specifically targeted Transgender youth to take away their rights by rescinding Executive Orders covering them.”Lessard’s son is a trans man in his 20s, she explained to the Daily Beast in an interview around the time the fundraiser took place Wednesday. She believes the Trump administration has mounted a broad onslaught against LGBTQ civil rights (she cited a Washington Post editorial titled “Trump has a Devastating Record on LGBT rights.” in a message), and that even if she might not have a history in tech activism—and even if her company is not known for its restive workforce—she had to speak out.The Silicon Valley Giant Bankrolling Devin Nunes“Oracle funds some advocacy and fundraisers on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community,” Lessard said, adding that she herself has participated in LGBTQ affinity groups at Oracle as an ally. “But in one fell swoop, this fundraiser could raise multiple millions that would work against those goals and hard earned gains,” she said.Oracle declined to comment to the Daily Beast, but Recode noted that employees who complained to the company had received a statement saying they could participate in politics on a personal level even as the company itself was not endorsing a candidate. “I’m disoriented. [Ellison] supporting the potential enabling of the president to get reelected doesn’t match up with our corporate values of social responsibility, especially two of the top ones: equality and environmental protection,” Lessard said. Lessard was surprised and disappointed Ellison spoke in favor of Trump now, given that he didn’t appear to support the president in the 2016 election. The co-founder is a registered Democrat, but donated $250,000 to Marco Rubio’s campaign in 2016, according to federal election records. He and other executives also have a history of backing Republican Rep. Devin Nunes. Lessard has discussed her opposition to Ellison’s decision with coworkers, she said, but she did not indicate whether she intended to walk out of work Thursday. “I’m expressing my opinion as an employee about what the company represents,” she said. The discussion within Oracle is not monolithic, she added—some employees feel they can only throw up their hands at Ellison’s behavior, some feel compelled to speak out, and some have said little. Others may support the president.> Do you work at Oracle or another tech company? Do you agree or disagree with Larry Ellison's decision to host a fundraiser for President Trump? Contact this reporter securely at blake.montgomery@protonmail.com.Lessard said she would be watching the Democratic candidates debate onstage in Nevada in the hours after the fundraiser Wednesday, though she said she doesn’t have a favorite candidate. Federal election records show no donations under her name. Oracle’s workforce has not engaged in much public activism. By contrast, Google employees seem to have been in a state of constant revolt for the past three years, advocating for the search giant to drop a contract with the Pentagon, and questioning the ouster of union organizers and an employee protesting the company’s work with immigration officials, among other disputes. Google has told its employees to stop talking about politics at work.The size and scope of a potential walkout remained to be seen late Wednesday. But if Lessard was any indication, some employees were increasingly willing to spar with a boss some feel has gone rogue.“When you have this amount of people signing a petition, it really means it did strike a nerve,” she said.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Police filmed a woman trying to sneak into Shanghai in the trunk of a car to avoid being quarantined for coronavirus

Police filmed a woman trying to sneak into Shanghai in the trunk of a car to avoid being quarantined for coronavirusThe woman had visited her hometown in Hubei Province, the center of the outbreak, and was returning to Shanghai, where she works. She was quarantined.