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  • Trump now says if 100,000 Americans die from coronavirus he will have done 'a very good job'

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    The president repeatedly cited a projection that as many as 2.2 million people would have died if the administration had “done nothing” to mitigate COVID-19’s spread.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 11:33:53 -0400
  • Are pot and guns essential in a pandemic?

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    As states and cities shut down all nonessential businesses to stop the spread of coronavirus, pot shops and gun stores are staying open in some places. Are they really essential?

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 15:44:57 -0400
  • Suspected SARS virus and flu samples found in luggage: FBI report describes China's 'biosecurity risk'

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    An FBI report about China’s involvement with scientific research in the U.S. has raised alarms. While the report refers broadly to foreign researchers, all three cases cited involve Chinese nationals.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 10:45:26 -0400
  • FBI report describes China’s ‘biosecurity risk’

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    In late November 2018, just over a year before the first coronavirus case was identified in Wuhan, China, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Detroit Metro Airport stopped a Chinese biologist with three vials labeled “Antibodies” in his luggage.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 11:43:33 -0400
  • Rep. Velazquez has presumed COVID-19 infection, was near Pelosi, other lawmakers last week

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    Rep. Nydia Velazquez spoke on the House floor Friday and stood near Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the signing of the $2 trillion stimulus bill.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 15:28:00 -0400
  • Stabbing of Asian-American 2-Year-Old and Her Family Was a Virus-Fueled Hate Crime: Feds

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    The vicious stabbing of an Asian-American family, including a 2-year-old girl, at a Sam’s Club in Texas earlier this month has been deemed a hate crime by the feds, as authorities continue to raise alarm bells about a potential surge in racially motivated crimes amid the coronavirus outbreak.Jose L. Gomez, 19, confessed to authorities that he attempted to murder three Asian-American family members, including the toddler and a 6-year-old, on March 14 at the Midland, Texas store, according to the Midland Police Department. Gomez, who stabbed the individuals and a Sam’s Club employee, is now facing several charges, including three counts of attempted capital murder and one count of aggravated assault. He is being held on several bonds totaling $1 million.“The suspect indicated that he stabbed the family because he thought the family was Chinese, and infecting people with coronavirus,” according to an FBI analysis report obtained by ABC News.Inside the Ugly Uber and Lyft Driver Freakout Over CoronavirusThe Texas incident was used in the report as one example of a recent surge in hate crimes and racially fueled violence targeting Asian-Americans as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the United States. According to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Midland Reporter-Telegram, Gomez attempted to kill the Asian-American family of four inside the wholesale store at about 7:30 p.m. When a Sam’s Club employee and another patron intervened, Gomez allegedly stabbed the patron in the leg and fingers with a knife. At one point, the customer was able to knock the knife away from Gomez during the struggle before the teenager was finally subdued by Border Patrol Agent Bernie Ramiez, who was off-duty and just leaving the store after shopping for groceries, the affidavit states.Ramirez later told CBS7 that during the altercation, he saw the store employee had managed to put Gomez in a chokehold after he had stabbed multiple people.“My initial thought was it was just the shortage of items that they were fighting over,” Ramirez told the local outlet. “So I just started making my way over there to break it up.”The agent added, “I’ve got close to 19 years in law enforcement. It’s crazy and it’s sad the way certain individuals think, their mindset. It’s a sad deal.”When authorities arrived at the Sam’s Club, investigators immediately began to question Gomez. The teenager then admitted to trying to kill the family and assaulting the patron with a knife, the affidavit states. Ramirez did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment and a spokesperson for Midland Mayor Patrick Payton’s office declined to comment, stating that the case has now been turned over to the FBI. According to the intelligence report that was compiled by the FBI’s Houston office and distributed to local law enforcement agencies across the nation, federal officials believe hate crimes will only increase as COVID-19 continues to spread.‘We’re Scared’: Doctors in New Coronavirus Hotspots Brace for ‘Tsunami’ of Patients“The FBI assesses hate crime incidents against Asian Americans likely will surge across the United States, due to the spread of coronavirus disease... endangering Asian American communities,” the report states. “The FBI makes this assessment based on the assumption that a portion of the US public will associate COVID-19 with China and Asian American populations.”To date, more than 3,416 people have died and 174,467 individuals have been infected with the virus nationwide—a death toll that has eclipsed China’s official count and put much of the United States on lockdown.Since then, several political and media commentators, including President Donald Trump, have adopted the practice of calling the pandemic the “China virus” or the “Wuhan virus.”“It did come from China,” Trump said at a March 19 White House briefing. “It is a very accurate term.”Many experts and political figures believe that officials using racial terms for the virus has contributed to discrimination against members of the Asian-American community. “This is a global emergency that should be met with both urgency and also cultural awareness that COVID-19 is not isolated to a single ethnic population,” Jeffrey Caballero, executive director of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “Xenophobic attacks and discrimination towards Asian American communities are unacceptable and will not make our families safer or healthier.”California Gov. Gavin Newsom reiterated the FBI’s report findings, stating he has seen a “huge increase” in assaults targeting the Asian-American community in his state. In New York, Attorney General Leticia James launched a hotline for victims of coronavirus-related bias crimes. Since the surge, even Trump tried to backtrack on his language, tweeting on March 23, “It is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States, and all around the world. They are amazing people, and the spreading of the Virus is NOT their fault in any way, shape, or form. They are working closely with us to get rid of it. WE WILL PREVAIL TOGETHER!”‘This Is a War’: Cuomo Pleads for Help From Doctors Across U.S. as Coronavirus Death Toll SurgesAccording to one New York City medical social worker, racism is also rampant in the health-care system as Asian-American doctors and nurses struggle to care for patients who don’t want to be touched. “I get yelled at down the street coming into work from people in their cars saying all these really nasty things and telling me I should be punished for bringing the virus here,” the social worker told The Daily Beast last week. “Inside the hospital, I have heard from several Asian-American doctors and nurses that some patients don’t want to be treated by them because they think they already have the virus. It’s like we are the virus or something.”“It’s scary and it’s dangerous. We’re already putting ourselves on the line to help others. Don’t make it harder for us than it is,” she added. 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.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 15:03:24 -0400
  • The Justice Department is reportedly investigating actions by US lawmakers who dumped stocks before the market plunged over coronavirus fears

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    The FBI has reportedly reached out to Republican Sen. Richard Burr as part of the investigation, which is in its early stages.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 22:38:58 -0400
  • Senior Italian cardinal, papal vicar for Rome, has coronavirus

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    Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Pope Francis' vicar for the diocese of Rome, on Monday became the highest-ranking Catholic official known to test positive for coronavirus. De Donatis' office said he was tested for the virus after feeling unwell and was admitted to a Rome hospital. A pope is also the bishop of Rome but appoints someone to act as his vicar to administrate the vast diocese.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 15:32:30 -0400
  • Venezuela prosecutor's office summoned Guaido for 'attempted coup'

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    State prosecutors in Venezuela have summoned opposition leader Juan Guaido for an alleged "attempted coup d'etat" and attempted assassination, Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced Tuesday. In a statement broadcast on state television, Saab said Guaido had been summoned to appear before prosecutors next Thursday following an investigation last week into the seizure of a weapons cache in neighboring Colombia that he said was to be smuggled into Venezuela.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 11:16:54 -0400
  • Trump, Cuomo and the mystery of the missing masks

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    Earlier this month, Cuomo said that people were stealing face masks and other equipment needed to fight the coronavirus from area hospitals. On Monday, the New York governor dismissed a similar claim by the president.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 15:08:39 -0400
  • AOC Drifts Away from Activist Left, Toward a More Conventional Staff and Political Strategy

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    Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has taken steps recently to collaborate more with the Democratic establishment, taking a less contentious approach and allying with fellow Democratic members.After urging fellow progressives in 2018 to run for office with the support of the progressive group the Justice Democrats, which supported her, the New York Democrat has declined to endorse most of the candidates the group is backing to oust incumbent Democrats in 2020.Of the six candidates the group is backing this time around, Ocasio-Cortez has endorsed Jessica Cisneros in Texas and Marie Newman in Illinois, both of whom are running against conservative Democrats who oppose abortion and were subsequently supported by several other high-profile Democrats.The move comes as the Justice Democrats are recruiting progressive candidates to run against liberals and moderate Democrats."We don’t usually endorse so far out," Ocasio-Cortez's communications director, Lauren Hitt said of the congresswoman's lack of endorsements for the group of candidates, according to Politico.Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez, who shot to notoriety in 2018 when she ousted powerful Democratic congressman Joe Crowley, is also replacing some of her more radical, progressive top aides with more conventional political professionals, Politico reported.The freshman congresswoman has also struck a more conciliatory tone towards Democratic leadership in recent months, in February calling Pelosi the “mama bear of the Democratic Party.”She also criticized supporters of her progressive ally, 2020 presidential contender Bernie Sanders, for their antagonistic behavior online.“There’s so much emphasis on making outreach as conflict-based as possible,” she said. “And sometimes I even feel miscast and understood. Because it’s about what tools you use, and conflict is one tool but not the only tool.”Nevertheless, Ocasio-Cortez has largely maintained her status as a progressive standard-bearer. Earlier this year, she endorsed a group of progressive women running for Congress on Friday through her political action committee, Courage to Change.In January, she announced that she would not pay dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to the House.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 09:59:52 -0400
  • Syria: Air defenses down missiles from Israeli warplanes

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    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:22:00 -0400
  • Open coffins are left on roads to remind people to stay inside while soldiers shoot disinfectant from water cannons. Here's what lockdown for 57 million people in the Philippines looks like.

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    Despite the lockdown, on Sunday the Philippines reported a daily increase of 343 new coronavirus cases — its highest one day increase yet.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 23:12:43 -0400
  • One country is refusing to shut down to stop the coronavirus

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    “It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees!” Lukashenko, who hit the ice for a weekend hockey game, said.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 12:35:28 -0400
  • Why Taiwan has become a problem for WHO

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    Taiwan is effectively locked out of the World Health Organization - and tensions are rising.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 01:23:24 -0400
  • 12 Buildings That Show the Beauty of Deconstructed Architecture

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    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 18:59:05 -0400
  • 'Sailors do not need to die': Captain of aircraft carrier hit by coronavirus outbreak begs Navy for more help

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    The commanding officer told the Navy that the outbreak was worsening and called for the removal of almost the entire crew as soon as possible.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 11:47:07 -0400
  • No scandal here: Mexico president defends meeting mother of drug lord 'El Chapo'

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    MEXICO CITY/BADIRAGUATO, Mexico (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday defended his weekend handshake with the mother of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, calling her a "respectable old lady" and seeking to cast his critics as the principal menace to the country. In a 30-second video posted on Twitter on Sunday, Lopez Obrador could be seen approaching Maria Consuelo Loera's car, parked on a dirt road on the outskirts of Badiraguato, a mountainous municipality in the northwestern state of Sinaloa. Surrounded by onlookers, Lopez Obrador told Loera she need not get out of the car, they shook hands and after a brief exchange he told her he had "received her letter."

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 14:15:10 -0400
  • Trump says Democrats' push for expanded voting threatens Republicans

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    President Trump on Monday criticized attempts by Democrats in Congress to expand voting access for the presidential election in the fall, saying increased voter turnout would keep Republicans from getting elected.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 13:26:01 -0400
  • Cuomo Says Coronavirus Is ‘More Dangerous’ Than We Thought as N.Y. Cases Jump Overnight

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    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday acknowledged that the coronavirus is “more dangerous” than officials initially thought after more than 300 died across the state overnight.“I’m tired of being behind this virus. We’ve been behind this virus from day one,” Cuomo said at a Tuesday press conference in Albany. “We underestimated this virus. It’s more powerful, it’s more dangerous than we expected.” More than 1,500 people have died and 75,795 more have been infected with the virus in New York State, accounting for a 14 percent increase in the last 24 hours, Cuomo said. About 43,139 of those cases are in New York City, where the daily number of newly infected patients has fortunately dipped below 6,000 across the five boroughs over the last 24 hours.To date, more than 3,416 people have died and 174,467 individuals have been infected with the virus nationwide—a death toll that has eclipsed China’s official count.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Implements ‘Stay at Home’ Order Amid Coronavirus PandemicCuomo said it could be weeks before New York sees the worst of the pandemic, stating that the apex may not be for 21 days. “We’re all anxious, we’re all tired, we’re all fatigued. It’s been all bad news for a long time. Our whole lifestyle has been disrupted. Everybody wants to know one thing, when will it end. Nobody knows,” Cuomo said. “We’re dealing with a war we’ve never dealt with before. We need a totally different mindset and organizational transformation.”  New York City’s hospitals have been struggling over the last week to keep up with the influx of patients. With over 10,900 residents hospitalized with the virus, including 2,700 patients in ICUs, Cuomo said that the health-care system still needs more supplies, space, and personnel. The state has ordered 17,000 ventilators from China to help hospitals, paying about $25,000 per machine.“It’s like being on Ebay with 50 other states bidding on a ventilator. How inefficient,” Cuomo said, noting that he only expects to receive about 2,500 machines from China because other states, the federal government, and Italy have also placed orders from the foreign government. “And then FEMA gets involved and FEMA starts bidding. And now FEMA is bidding on top of the 50. So FEMA is driving up the price. What sense does this make?” Cuomo asked.‘This Is a War’: Cuomo Pleads for Help From Doctors Across U.S. as Coronavirus Death Toll SurgesTo further combat the shortage, Cuomo reiterated his Monday plea to health-care workers across the United States for help with the increasing number of infected patients, promising the Empire State would return the favor whenever it’s over the “bell curve.” The governor said that while the state is working to get ahead of the virus, several projections indicate the “main battle at the apex” will occur anywhere between one week and 21 days from now. “We’re still going up the mountain," Cuomo said, adding that New York is struggling to curtail the surge and “you don’t win by playing catch up.”  “The main battle is at the top of the mountain, the apex of the curve.”So far, government officials have already taken extraordinary steps to combat the pandemic. On Monday, local officials opened the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center as a makeshift, 3,000-bed overflow hospital facility. The same day, a naval hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, arrived in Manhattan to help relieve hospitals of patients not infected with the virus. The ship, which was previously used as a floating base for rescue workers after 9/11, is currently equipped with 1,000 beds, 12 operating rooms, a medical laboratory, and over 1,000 officers.Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, in conjunction with a Christian aid organization, also converted a section of Central Park into a field hospital to help house the influx of COVID-19 patients. The tent-hospital, which holds 68 regular hospital beds, along with 10 ICU beds, opened on Tuesday.Despite the emergency steps that have already been taken, the chair of the department of surgery at Columbia University said Monday the toll of the virus at New York City hospitals is getting so serious that medical professionals could soon be forced to decide who gets treatment—and who doesn’t.One Mask Only: Coronavirus Docs and Nurses Forced to Make Terrifying CompromisesAccording to Dr. Craig Smith, the apex of the virus will be too overwhelming for the amount of beds currently in New York, forcing doctors and nurses to shift to using a triage method as a “fundamental operating principle in field hospitals.”“Triage determines who should be treated first, how they should be treated (surgery, fluid resuscitation, etc), and who should be kept comfortable,” Smith said in an update to Columbia faculty and staff about the pandemic response. “Broadly construed, we will all be operating more and more on field hospital principles as we move through the next few weeks.”NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Smith said, will have to “carefully ” select which COVID-19 patients to send home with oxygen, an oxygen saturation monitor, and a strict follow-up system. “Does this entail incompletely understood risk? It certainly does, but triage is an essential part of the resource/utility-balancing situation in which we find ourselves,” he said.The devastating effects of the pandemic in New York have rippled from health care to law enforcement. New York City Police Commissioner Dermont Shea said Tuesday that the virus has greatly affected the city’s law enforcement, as approximately 15 percent of the 37,000-member force has called out sick. NYC Is on the Brink as Patients Flood Hospitals Already ‘Under Siege’“We have the reserves, we have the contingency plans,” Shea said, stating that while about 5,500 officers are out sick, the NYPD is not extending shifts. He added that 17 NYPD members who tested positive for COVID-19 have since recovered.Seeming to take a jab at President Donald Trump’s failed prediction that the United States would be able to return to normal life by April 21, Cuomo later emphasized that it is unclear when things in his state will return to normal.“It is not going to be soon,” he said, urging residents to stay home and stressing there will not be “an Easter surprise.” “So calibrate yourself and your expectations, so you’re not disappointed every morning you get up.”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.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:04:37 -0400
  • Europe's trade system with Iran finally makes first deal

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    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 05:10:16 -0400
  • US calls on Maduro and Guaidó to stand down in Venezuela transition plan

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    * Plan includes five-member council and sanctions relief * Sceptics see little incentive for government leadersThe US has proposed a political transition plan for Venezuela, offering to lift sanctions if the president, Nicolás Maduro, and his opponent, Juan Guaidó, step aside and pass power to an interim government made up of their supporters.Under the “democratic transition framework”, all political prisoners would be released, and all foreign – principally Cuban – forces would leave. A five-member council of state would be selected, with two members chosen by the opposition, two by Maduro’s Socialist party, and the fifth member picked by the other four. The military high command would remain in place.“The hope is that this set-up promotes the selection of people who are very broadly respected and known as people who can work with the other side,” the US special representative for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, told the Associated Press.The US and EU would then lift sanctions on the current leadership. Broader sanctions on the country’s oil business would be lifted after all foreign forces had left the country. All sanctions would be lifted after free elections, to be held within six to 12 months.The proposal comes five days after the US indicted Maduro and top members of his government and army for drug trafficking and money laundering, and as Venezuela faces blanket sanctions, a collapse in the price of oil, its main export, and the coronavirus pandemic, with a crippled health system.“The United States has long been committed to finding a solution to the manmade crisis in Venezuela,” the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said. “The urgency for this has become all the more serious in light of the Maduro regime’s failure to adequately prepare for and address the global Covid-19 pandemic. This framework demonstrates our commitment to helping Venezuela fully recover and ensures that the voice of the Venezuelan people is respected and included.”Sceptics of the plan said it provided few incentives for the incumbent officials to give up power, days after they were charged with serious offences and multimillion-dollar rewards put on their heads.Eliot Engel, the Democratic chair of the House foreign affairs committee, said: “Essentially, Maduro regime officials are being told on one hand that nothing they do will stop the US [Department of Justice] from pressing charges against them while on the other hand, they are being asked to agree to a transition government for unrelated sanctions relief.”“The people of Venezuela cannot afford such a ham-handed approach. It’s time to get serious about our Venezuela policy,” Engel said.David Smilde, a senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America, said the deal was very similar to what was discussed by Maduro and Guaidó representatives in Oslo and Barbados last summer, with one major difference.“Coming less than a week after indicting all the main figures of the Maduro government it would seem the Trump administration is trying to hardwire in who they think should be part of a transition,” Smilde said on Twitter. “This was a main point of contention during last summer’s negotiations, with the US reluctant to endorse any transition plan that allowed Maduro to preside over new elections.”Briefing journalists on the new plan, a senior administration official said the US was prepared to negotiate with Maduro about the terms of his departure from office.But the official referred to the fate of Gen Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian dictator, who was indicted on drug smuggling charges in 1988 and then removed in a US invasion the next year.“History shows that those who do not cooperate with US law enforcement agencies do not fare well, “ the official said. “Maduro probably regrets not taking the offer six months ago. We urge Maduro not to regret not taking it now.”

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:56:45 -0400
  • India manhunt after Islamic gathering becomes virus hotspot

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    A large religious gathering in New Delhi has sparked a manhunt across India for suspected coronavirus cases after being linked to dozens of infections and several deaths. The gathering emerged as one of India's major virus hotspots after thousands flocked to an Islamic religious centre in the Nizamuddin West neighbourhood of Delhi. Some returned home to other states after the gathering, but many remained in the vicinity, saying they were trapped because public transport had been shut down due to the virus.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 09:08:30 -0400
  • U.S. set to lose title as top oil producer as demand plunges and gas drops below $1 per gallon

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    Gas has dipped below $1 a gallon in Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin — but most people are not driving.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 12:57:27 -0400
  • Saudis Start to Unleash Oil Wave Despite U.S. Pressure

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    (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia has made good on its pledge to ramp up oil exports in April, with a first wave of crude already on its way toward Europe and the U.S., a clear sign the price war remains in full swing.The kingdom has loaded several of the supertankers it hired earlier this month to boost its ability to increase exports, according to ship-tracking data. In addition, Riyadh has used the last few weeks to shuttle large amounts of crude into storage in Egypt, a stepping stone to the European market.The movements suggest that Riyadh is ramping up its oil production toward its target of supplying a record 12.3 million barrels a day in April, up from about 9.7 million in February, despite American pressure to end the price war.Saudi Arabia earlier this month slashed its official selling prices and announced the output hike after Russia refused to join other nations inside the OPEC+ alliance to cut output. The announcement, interpreted in the market as an oil price war, sent Brent and West Texas Intermediate crudes tumbling. Since then, the collapse in oil demand due to lockdowns to stop the spread of the coronavirus has depressed prices even more.In a sign that Riyadh is opening the valves, oil shipments have already surged in late March. For the first three weeks of March, Saudi Arabia was exporting at a rate of around 7 million barrels a day, but that jumped to more than 9 million barrels a day in the fourth week of the month.With oil prices at the lowest in nearly two decades, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo last week directly asked the kingdom to “rise to the occasion and reassure” the energy market, diplomatic language for ending the oil price war.American President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, agreed in a phone call Monday that “current oil prices aren’t in the interests of our countries,” according to a Kremlin spokesman, though he declined to say what might be done to change the situation.Trump earlier indicated that he was concerned about the impact of low oil prices on the American petroleum industry. In an interview on “Fox & Friends,” he said Russia and Saudi Arabia “both went crazy” and started an oil price war.Despite the diplomatic pressure, Saudi Arabia is preparing to export more in the next few days. At least 16 very large crude carriers, collectively able to carry about 32 million barrels, are stationed near the Saudi oil terminals of Ras Tanura and Yanbu, according to shipping data tracked by Bloomberg.“Regardless of the recent headlines about the U.S. pressuring Saudi Arabia, we do not see any change in Saudi or Russian policy for now,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd., a London-based consultant.Riyadh has already loaded three supertankers that are likely to head to the U.S., and it’s loading a fourth right now, according to oil market intelligence firm Vortexa Inc. The tankers, all hired by the Saudi national tanker company in the past few weeks to boost its shipping capacity, include the Dalian, the Agios Sostis I, the Maran Canopus, and the Hong Kong Spirit.Shipments to EgyptAlready through March, Saudi Arabia has exported about 1.3 million barrels a day into Egypt -- the highest level in at least three years -- to pre-position crude for re-export into Europe, according to shipping tracking data compiled by Bloomberg and people familiar with the operation.The surge in shipments to Egypt was so large that the African nation may become the largest destination for Saudi crude in March, displacing China and Japan, which traditionally top the ranking every month.The cargoes have gone to a terminal at the south end of the Suez Canal before getting pumped via pipeline across the country to a storage and export facility called Sidi Kerir on the Mediterranean Sea. From there, the crude will then get re-exported as part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to supply as much as it can, at deep discounts, into a market that doesn’t need the supply. The world’s largest oil tankers, known as VLCCs, cannot sail the Suez Canal fully loaded due to draft limitations.The next sign of whether the oil price war continues will come around April 5, when state-owned Saudi Aramco is expected to release its monthly official selling prices for May. Oil refiners and traders believe that Riyadh will have to deepen its discounts to sell all the oil the kingdom wants. If Aramco does indeed deepen the discounts, it will trigger a fresh round of tit-for-tat actions with other oil producing nations, piling further pressure on prices.(Updates with statement from Kremlin in seventh paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 09:47:56 -0400
  • 28 Texas spring breakers who just returned from Cabo have tested positive for the coronavirus

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    The spring breakers reportedly got on a chartered plane with 70 people. It shows why spring break is such a problem during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 17:28:50 -0400
  • 'Sailors do not need to die,' warns captain of coronavirus-hit U.S. aircraft carrier

    Golocal247.com news

    The captain of the U.S. aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, in a blunt letter, has called on Navy leadership for stronger measures to save the lives of his sailors and stop the spread of the coronavirus aboard the huge ship. The four-page letter, the contents of which were confirmed by U.S. officials to Reuters on Tuesday, described a bleak situation on board the nuclear-powered carrier as more and more sailors test positive for the virus. Captain Brett Crozier, the ship's commanding officer, wrote that the carrier lacked enough quarantine and isolation facilities and warned the current strategy would slow but fail to eradicate the virus.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:00:37 -0400
  • President Trump's Advisors 'Argued Strongly' Against Easing Coronavirus Measures Too Early, Anthony Fauci Says

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    President Trump’s coronavirus advisors “argued strongly” with him against easing social isolation guidelines, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 10:50:43 -0400
  • The coronavirus is spreading quickly through Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities

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    In Israel, the coronavirus is spreading in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities up to eight times faster than anywhere else in the country.Ultra-Orthodox Jews account for 12 percent of Israel's population, but they make up 40 to 60 percent of coronavirus patients at four of the country's largest hospitals, officials told Israeli media. Health experts said the virus is moving so quickly in these communities because the ultra-Orthodox have large families, don't trust the government, and pay little to no attention to secular media. Many are also still gathering for prayers and funerals, despite all Israelis being ordered to stay home.Bnei Brak is a suburb of Tel Aviv, and 95 percent of the population is ultra-Orthodox. On Friday, there were 267 confirmed coronavirus cases, and by Monday, that number climbed to 508. Several hundred mourners gathered in Bnei Brak on Saturday night for the funeral of a rabbi, prompting furious secular Israelis to call on the government to place Bnei Brak under curfew. On Monday, a New York Times journalist and photographer were told to leave a synagogue in the suburb where morning services were being held, and they walked past several groups meeting furtively for prayers.Bnei Brak has just one hospital, and its director general, Dr. Moti Ravid, told the Times he would like authorities to prohibit residents from leaving for at least one week, to slow down the coronavirus' spread. There are lots of small children living in the town, and "if they help to infect others, the result will be that many old people will die," he said.More stories from theweek.com Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is what real coronavirus leadership looks like The case for cautious optimism about the pandemic An NFL playoff game will air on Nickelodeon

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 02:07:00 -0400
  • New coronavirus death rate estimates show how sharply the risk rises with age

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    The fatality rate for people infected with the novel coronavirus is estimated to be less than 1%, according to a new study. It's 1.38% for those with COVID-19.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 17:21:59 -0400
  • 29 Best Closet Organization Ideas to Maximize Space and Style

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    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 19:06:00 -0400
  • Afghan officials say Taliban attacks kill 11 troops, police

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    Taliban attacks in Afghanistan's north and south have killed at least 11Afghan soldiers and policemen, the country's Defense Ministry and a provincial official said Monday. The violence comes even as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani last week announced his 21-member team to negotiate peace with the Taliban, only to have his political opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, reject it as not inclusive enough. The Taliban have not claimed responsibility for the latest attacks.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 04:55:31 -0400
  • Women who left N.Y. for China amid U.S. coronavirus outbreak document their journey

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    “Because we're kind of in between these two cultures, we also understand both. So it feels like our experience could speak to both of the audiences.”

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:20:17 -0400
  • Meet Candy Sterling, a fierce drag queen at night and a corporate professional by day

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    This is Candy Sterling – a fierce drag queen who lights up the New York City nightlife while maintaining a professional day job. Get to know her both in and out of drag on this week's episode of Behind the Drag.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:26:09 -0400
  • Coronavirus: 'I don't want a flight voucher, where's my refund?'

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    The airlines' trade body wants to give vouchers for cancelled flights but passengers are unhappy.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 10:34:23 -0400
  • Saudi king offers to pay for coronavirus patients' treatment

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    Saudi Arabia will finance treatment for anyone infected with the coronavirus in the country, the health minister said on Monday, while the agriculture ministry took steps to boost wheat and livestock supplies amid global fears of a food shortage. Health Minister Tawfiq Al Rabiah said King Salman would cover treatment for citizens and residents diagnosed with the virus, urging people with symptoms to get tested. "We are all in the same boat," he told a news conference, adding that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was overseeing containment efforts "night and day".

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 11:24:35 -0400
  • U.S. Base Workers Set for Furlough in Blow to South Korea Alliance

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    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. military is set to put almost half of its 8,500 South Korean civilian workers on furlough, as the two sides bicker over the Trump administration’s demands for a massive increase in troop funding.About 4,000 workers have been told not to report to American military bases in South Korea as of Wednesday, if the two countries can’t find some way to extend a cost-sharing deal that expired Dec. 31. A breakthrough seems unlikely with President Donald Trump asking for as much as a five-fold increase and South Korea showing no signs of paying anywhere near that much.The furloughs, which the Hankyoreh newspaper said would be the first of their kind, will put new pressure on an alliance that Trump has repeatedly criticized since taking office three years ago. The move comes as the U.S. military struggles to keep coronavirus outbreaks from disrupting operations in South Korea and elsewhere and the allies watch for fresh provocations from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.The two sides have been deadlocked over what’s known as the Special Measures Agreement, with Trump initially demanding about $5 billion a year from South Korea to pay for U.S. security. South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s administration has indicated that it wouldn’t pay much more than the almost $1 billion it agreed to in a one-year stopgap deal in 2019.South Korea’s lead negotiator, Jeong Eun-bo, said in a statement Tuesday that the two sides were in the “final steps” of negotiations and expressed regret that the U.S. government went ahead with the furlough.“If the Trump administration persists in holding to this level of unreasonable demands it will seriously damage the reliability and credibility of our security alliance,” said Daniel Sneider, a lecturer in international policy at Stanford University who has written about how Japanese and Koreans view their shared history. “It feeds a strain of Korean nationalism that would want to effectively end the alliance and perhaps bring Korea, de facto, under the security umbrella of China.”In the short term, the furloughs of workers, who provide services ranging from security to manning food stations, could mean further disruptions to daily life on bases that serve some 28,000 U.S. service personnel in South Korea. In the longer term, the dispute could accelerate a realignment of an alliance that the U.S. relies on to check China, as well as North Korea.Trump has repeatedly insisted that the U.S. gets a raw deal from partners who host American troops around the world, and he’s focused particular ire on the South Korean agreement. Last month, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told his counterpart, Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo, that “as a global economic powerhouse and an equal partner in the preservation of peace on the peninsula, South Korea can and should contribute more to its defense.”South Korea’s National Assembly must sign off on any deal and Trump’s demands have brought about a rare moment of unity from progressives and conservatives in the country who see them as unreasonable. With parliamentary elections set for April 15, siding with Washington could lead to defeat at the ballot box.Missiles Fly“We are currently trying our best to ensure our joint defense posture goes unhindered as well to protect our Korean workers,” South Korean Defense Ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo said. The USFK Korean Employees Union, which represents the workers, said in a statement last week that negotiations “cannot end with the way the U.S. government and President Trump wants.”Negotiators from the U.S. and South Korea met earlier this month in Los Angeles but a wide gap remains between the two sides, according to a State Department spokesman who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations. The official said that South Korea will need to show more focus and flexibility to reach a deal, without specifying what the U.S. is asking or what South Korea is offering.While the U.S. and South Korea have been bargaining, North Korea has been busy testing new types of solid-fuel, nuclear-capable ballistic missiles designed to strike anywhere on the peninsula and evade U.S. interceptors. It has fired off at least nine in March alone, a record for a month.Kim warned on Dec. 31 that bigger provocations could soon come, saying he was no longer bound by a previous promise to halt testing of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles. On Monday, a top diplomat was quoted in a state media report issuing a new threat, saying Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s pressure campaign against Pyongyang will result in North Korea looking “to repay the U.S. with actual horror and unrest for the sufferings it has inflicted upon our people.”North Korea Fires Missiles Off Its East Coast; 4th Volley This Month The negotiations in South Korea could affect other U.S. allies hosting troops, such as Japan, with Esper saying the Trump administration wants them to pay more, too. Japanese officials are watching the South Korea negotiations closely with the approach of talks set to begin later this year for a U.S-Japan cost-sharing deal.Daniel Pinkston, a lecturer in international relations at Troy University in Seoul and a former Korean linguist with the U.S. Air Force, said the difficulty in reaching a troop-funding deal “sends the wrong signal to allies, competitors, and challengers who must be questioning U.S. commitments and resolve.”“It increases the likelihood of miscalculation, arms-racing, WMD proliferation, and even armed conflict,” Pinkston said.(Updates with South Korean statement in fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 06:00:22 -0400
  • India’s coronavirus emergency just beginning as lockdown threatens to turn into human tragedy

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

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 15:08:51 -0400
  • The coronavirus has thick spikes that seem to latch more easily onto human cells than other viruses, according to a 3D map of its structure

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    A study from the University of Minnesota analyzed the structure of the coronavirus and found it latched onto human cells more efficiently than SARS.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 16:48:00 -0400
  • Democrats: Speak out against xenophobic attacks

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    House Democrats are urging Americans to join in solidarity with Asian Americans to push back against xenophobic attacks, which attempt to blame Asians for the pandemic. (March 30)

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 16:26:01 -0400
  • Coronavirus lockdowns are working, according to data from digital thermometer app

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    Three-quarters of Americans have been urged or ordered to stay at home, to the extent possible, to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and those measures appear to be working, The New York Times reports, citing data from internet-connected thermometer company Kinsa. The thermometers and their app upload temperature readings to a centralized database, allowing Kinsa to track fevers across the country. It started mapping fevers to catch flu outbreaks in 2018, and it modified its software to look for "atypical" COVID-19 fevers earlier in March.Kinsa's million-plus thermometers have been recording up to 162,000 readings from around the U.S. each day since the coronavirus started spreading, the Times reports. Only strict social-distancing measures — closing bars and restaurants, asking people to shelter in place — led to a significant drop in fever readings, while declaring a state of emergency or limiting the size of public gatherings had little effect. Data from New York and Washington State's health departments have buttressed Kinsa's findings, showing drops in hospitalizations a few days after Kinsa spotted the falloff in fevers.The Kinsa readings certainly look "like a way to prove that social distancing works," Dr. William Schaffner at Vanderbilt University tells the Times. "But it does shows that it takes the most restrictive measures to make a real difference." Kinsa data appears to show that social distancing is also reducing transmission of the seasonal flu."People need to know their sacrifices are helping," Kinsa founder Inder Singh tells the Times. "I've had friends text or call and say: 'Inder, this seems overblown. I'm sitting at home by myself, I don't know anyone who's sick, why am I doing this?'" Read more about the fever mapping at The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is what real coronavirus leadership looks like The case for cautious optimism about the pandemic An NFL playoff game will air on Nickelodeon

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:36:16 -0400
  • Time to 'revenge shop': China's virus hot spot reopens

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    The city at the center of China's virus outbreak was reopening for business Monday after authorities lifted more of the controls that locked downs tens of millions of people for two months. “I want to revenge shop,” declared an excited customer at one of Wuhan's major shopping streets. A teacher from the eastern city of Nanjing was visiting her family in Wuhan when most access to the city of 11 million was suspended Jan. 23 to stem the coronavirus spread.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 02:56:44 -0400
  • Boy, 5, found dead near hiking trail after mother said they got lost

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    After spending the night outdoors, the boy's mother left him to seek help on her own, authorities said.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 10:24:12 -0400
  • Coronavirus: Anger as migrants sprayed with disinfectant in India

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    Footage shared thousands of times shows a group of workers in India being sprayed with chemicals.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 09:33:59 -0400
  • World's busiest border falls quiet with millions of Mexicans barred from U.S.

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    TIJUANA/CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (Reuters) - The world's busiest land border has fallen quiet as restrictions to contain the coronavirus prevent millions of Mexicans from making daily trips north, including many who work in U.S. businesses. At least 4 million Mexicans residing in cities along the 1,954-mile (3,144-km) border have been hit hard by the restrictions on non-essential travel. The measures effectively invalidate visas allowing short crossings into U.S. cities to visit family, get medical care or shop.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 02:16:27 -0400
  • Mitch McConnell tries to weasel his way back into Trump's good graces — by blaming coronavirus on impeachment

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    Yes, that's right. Mitch McConnell just blamed the coronavirus pandemic on Democrats fulfilling their moral obligation to impeach President Trump.

    Tue, 31 Mar 2020 15:29:33 -0400
  • No, America’s Response to Coronavirus Isn’t the Worst in the World

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    The coronavirus pandemic is already a catastrophe. How we fare in comparison to the rest of the world is hardly of paramount importance. Once the Chinese government hid the outbreak, failed to contain it, and then misled the world, there remained little possibility that any nation, much less an enormous and open society like the United States, was going to be spared its devastation.Yet, when the political media isn’t preoccupied with a gotcha du jour, pundits, partisans, and journalists have seemed downright giddy to let their minions know that the United States now has the most coronavirus cases in the world. It took a six-siren-emoji tweet from MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough to tell us that fact.Here is how the New York Times’ Paul Krugman framed the number:> America's response to the coronavirus is the worst in the world, which is shocking and has a lot to do with a leader who is completely unfit, temperamentally and intellectually, for the job 1/ pic.twitter.com/sGZuFUukgr> > -- Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) March 29, 2020A Nobel Prize–winning economist surely understands that we don’t have enough data to definitively declare the United States the world leader in cases. Even if we did, it doesn’t necessarily follow that this is the fault of public policy. There are plenty of unexplained coronavirus disparities around the world.The Financial Times chart that that is circulated by Krugman and his fellow pundits, and sometimes cynically deployed as a means of attacking the administration’s response, is largely useless as a point of comparison. For one thing, a graph illustrating per capita cases in all the nations that the Financial Times chart includes looks different. A chart that combined all the cases in European nations — the continent has approximately the same population as the United States — would also look dramatically different. The known cases in Spain and Italy alone are nearly twice as many as the United States right now.Cross-country comparisons at a given point in time fail to account for many things, including density and time. Iceland is not like Italy, and New York is not like Alaska. And simply because nations such as Italy and Spain experienced outbreaks earlier and more deadly than nations such as Germany and Sweden does not mean the disparities are destined to last.Moreover, testing in the United States began slowly before being ratcheted up quickly (and criticism of that delay is a fair one). Thus, the curve reflects the reality of expanded testing as much as it reflects reality of the disease. And though I’m not a statistician, I do know that nations have varied criteria for testing, varied standards of testing, and varying effectiveness in the testing they do perform. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese coronavirus tests sent to European nations, for example, have turned out to faulty. The data are incomplete. Krugman’s claim lacks vital context.Speaking of China, accepting the veracity of numbers offered by the ChiCom government without any skepticism might be good enough for The New York Times and other outlets, but it shouldn’t be enough for anyone who values facts.It’s also worth mentioning that the timeline of these charts are also uncertain. It’s unlikely we know when the tenth or hundredth case was actually transmitted in China or Iran or even here -- and it’s possible that some people had died and some others had recovered before most people understood the magnitude of the future pandemic.All of this is worth keeping in mind when as we see journalists harping on the overall case number without context. If you want to continue to utilize this once-in-a-century pandemic as a cudgel against your political adversaries, have fun. But the most important gauges of success right now are flattening the curve so that hospitals aren’t overwhelmed with new patients, ramping up our testing capacity to get a better handle on the virus’s properties, and measuring the number of recoveries from coronavirus. Not owning Donald Trump.The United States has already dealt with coronavirus far better than the Chinese government. The fatality rate in the U.S., so far, is nowhere near that of Italy. Our dynamism is one of the reasons why an early high case count is a not a measure of either national success or failure. It’s not our nature to allow the state to close down borders, travel, or trade, or to stop interactions with the world — or with each other, for that matter. And yet, many of same people who incessantly and cynically warned of the coming Fourth Reich are now blaming the administration for not acting like a dictatorship. It’s difficult to keep up.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 16:02:37 -0400
  • The coronavirus death rate in the US is far higher than that of the flu — here's how the 2 compare across age ranges

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    The coronavirus is far more deadly than the flu across nearly every age bracket. Two charts show how the diseases compare.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 15:46:00 -0400
  • U.S. is swiftly deporting migrant children at the border

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    "Despite everything I experienced along the way, they deported me the next day," one indigenous teenager from Guatemala told CBS News.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 22:23:41 -0400
  • Police commander killed, 2 officers wounded in Phoenix shooting

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    Commander Greg Carnicle, a 31-year police veteran, died after being shot in the line of duty. Two officers were shot and are expected to recover.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 11:07:54 -0400
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