Saturday, 29 February 2020

Virus fears keep hundreds of cruise passengers at sea

Virus fears keep hundreds of cruise passengers at seaOperators of a British cruise ship that was turned away from its destination due to fears of the new coronavirus said Saturday they have chartered planes to ferry passengers home — but don't yet have permission to dock anywhere. The Braemar, which had been scheduled to disembark its hundreds of passengers in the Dominican Republic on Friday, was still cruising through the Caribbean more than a day later, with no immediate word on where it might wind up. Olsen Cruise Lines issued statements insisting that nobody aboard had symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 illness.




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Biden wins South Carolina primary: Live updates

Biden wins South Carolina primary: Live updatesFormer Vice President Joe Biden won Saturday’s Democratic primary in South Carolina, where voters delivered his struggling campaign a much-needed boost heading into Super Tuesday.




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South Korea reported a record 800 new cases of coronavirus in a single day — and the vast majority are linked to a religious cult

South Korea reported a record 800 new cases of coronavirus in a single day — and the vast majority are linked to a religious cultVice health minister Kim Kang-lip told a briefing that it was a "critical moment" in the country's COVID-19 crisis.




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Pope tells scandal-marred Legion they still haven't reformed

Pope tells scandal-marred Legion they still haven't reformedPope Francis told the Legion of Christ religious order Saturday it still has a long road of reform ahead, making clear that 10 years of Vatican-mandated rehabilitation hadn't purged it of the toxic influences of its pedophile founder. In a prepared speech, Francis told the Legion’s new superiors a “very vast field” of work was needed to correct the Legion's problems and create a healthy order. “A change of mentality requires a lot of time to assimilate in individuals and in an institution, so it’s a continual conversion,” Francis said.




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Why is Iran's reported mortality rate for coronavirus higher than in other countries?

Why is Iran's reported mortality rate for coronavirus higher than in other countries?Iran has now suspended parliament indefinitely due to the outbreak. Secretary of State Pompeo says the U.S. has offered to help Iran respond to the virus.




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Trump moves to calm virus fears after first death on US soil

Trump moves to calm virus fears after first death on US soilUS President Donald Trump moved to quell fears about the novel coronavirus after the first death on US soil was confirmed Saturday. The US fatality occurred in Washington State's King county, which includes Seattle, a city of more than 700,000 people, said health officials. The victim was not immediately identified, but Trump told reporters that the victim was a woman in her late 50s.




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Greece pushes back migrants after Turkish border 'onslaught'

Greece pushes back migrants after Turkish border 'onslaught'Greek police fired teargas to push back hundreds of stone-throwing migrants trying to cross the border from Turkey on Saturday, as a crisis over Syria shifted onto the European Union's doorstep. Greece, which has tense relations with Turkey, accused Ankara of sending the migrants to the border post in an organized "onslaught" and said it would keep them out. Turkey said on Thursday it would stop keeping hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers in its territory after an air strike on Idlib in neighboring Syria killed 33 Turkish soldiers.




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Trump Wait-in-Mexico Asylum Policy Blocked as Too Dangerous

Trump Wait-in-Mexico Asylum Policy Blocked as Too Dangerous(Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration is blocked from making thousands of Central American migrants wait out the result of their asylum applications to the U.S. in Mexico.The San Francisco-based appeals court on Friday upheld a judge’s order barring the Homeland Security Department’s policy, which prevents migrants from countries like Guatemala and Honduras from living in the U.S. during the yearslong review process.The administration was allowed in May by a three-judge panel to implement the Migrant Protections Protocols policy -- one of its major initiatives to stem immigration across the U.S. southern border -- but Friday’s ruling halts it while the legal fight continues. The administration is expected to appeal again, possibly asking the Supreme Court to intervene.Read More: Trump Barred From Forcing Asylum Seekers to Wait in Mexico”Uncontested evidence” shows that non-Mexicans returned to Mexico under Trump’s policy “risk substantial harm, even death, while they await adjudication of their applications for asylum,” U.S. Circuit Judge William Fletcher wrote for the majority in the 2-1 ruling.As of January, more than 57,000 asylum seekers and migrants had been returned to Mexico to wait for their court dates, according to Human Rights First, a New York-based international nonprofit. The organization said Friday it has collected more than 1,000 public reports of kidnappings, torture, rape and assaults against asylum seekers, including at least 228 kidnapping incidents involving children.The Justice Department said the administration has “acted faithfully to implement a statutory authority provided by Congress over two decades ago and signed into law by President Clinton.”The court’s decision “not only ignores the constitutional authority of Congress and the administration for a policy in effect for over a year, but also extends relief beyond the parties before the court,” a department spokesman said in an emailed statement.An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union called on the administration to stop “putting asylum seekers in harm’s way.”“The court forcefully rejected the Trump administration’s assertion that it could strand asylum seekers in Mexico and subject them to grave danger,” Judy Rabinovitz said in a statement.Fletcher, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, was joined in his opinion by Richard Paez, another Clinton appointee.In a dissent, Circuit Judge Ferdinand Fernandez, an appointee of George H.W. Bush, said the lower-court order should have been struck down because the migrants challenging the policy weren’t likely to prevail on their claims.In a separate ruling Friday, the same three-judge panel upheld a San Francisco judge’s 2018 order blocking the Trump administration’s policy of automatically denying asylum applications of migrants who cross the U.S. border outside official ports of entry.The case is Innovation Law Lab v. McAleenan, 19-15716, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (San Francisco).(Updates with Justice Department comment in sixth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Malathi Nayak and Jordan Fabian.To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Blumberg at pblumberg1@bloomberg.net, Joe SchneiderFor 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.




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With no insurance and deep medical debt, South Carolina voters swayed by health care

With no insurance and deep medical debt, South Carolina voters swayed by health care"People are dying, and so many more are hurting. This has to be fixed," one woman said of the health care coverage gaps in South Carolina.




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Billionaire Tom Steyer shakes up primary with slavery reparations plan

Billionaire Tom Steyer shakes up primary with slavery reparations planFor centuries, South Carolina’s Charleston was the largest port of entry for the transatlantic slave trade. Now, billionaire presidential candidate Tom Steyer is shaking up the state’s Democratic primary by advocating slavery reparations for African-Americans.




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At least 4 of the dozens of US coronavirus cases are not linked to overseas travel but are likely the result of 'community spread'

At least 4 of the dozens of US coronavirus cases are not linked to overseas travel but are likely the result of 'community spread'"Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown," the CDC said.




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South Koreans told to stay home as coronavirus infections surpass 3,100

South Koreans told to stay home as coronavirus infections surpass 3,100South Korea urged citizens on Saturday to stay indoors as it warned of a "critical moment" in its battle on the coronavirus after recording the biggest daily jump in infections, as 813 new cases took the tally to 3,150. South Korea is grappling with the largest outbreak of the virus outside China, as a new death took the toll to 17, amid a record daily increase in infections since the country confirmed its first patient on Jan. 20. It was a "critical moment" in reining in the spread of the virus, he said, adding, "Please stay at home and refrain from going outside and minimize contact with other people."




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Man whose son was found encased in cement sentenced to 72 years in prison

Man whose son was found encased in cement sentenced to 72 years in prisonA Colorado man whose seven-year-old son was repeatedly abused before being found encased in concrete in a Denver storage unit has been sentenced to 72 years in prison for the death.Leland Pankey received the sentence on Friday, with one count of child abuse landing him 48 years in prison and 24 years for tampering with the body.




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The FDA just announced the first drug shortage caused by the coronavirus, but wouldn't identify the drug

The FDA just announced the first drug shortage caused by the coronavirus, but wouldn't identify the drugChina is a critical player in the global supply chain for drugs, as many ingredients in the medicines we take are manufactured there.




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Turkey Will Allow Up to One Million Syrian Refugees to Breach Its Borders to Reach Europe

Turkey Will Allow Up to One Million Syrian Refugees to Breach Its Borders to Reach EuropeTurkey will allow up to one million Syrian refugees to pass through its territory to reach Europe ahead of a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive on the last rebel-held territory in the war-torn country."We have decided, effectively immediately, not to stop Syrian refugees from reaching Europe by land or sea," a Turkish official told Reuters. "All refugees, including Syrians, are now welcome to cross into the European Union."Footage of Syrian refugees boarding boats attempting to reach the islands of Greece was broadcast on CNN Turkey, while a reporter for Middle East Eye shared a picture of a bus placed by Greek authorities in front of its Pazarkule border crossing with Turkey, to prevent refugees from entering.Syria's offensive on Idlib province, targeting the last remnants of the rebellion including several Al-Qaeda groups, has forced one million people to flee their homes. International aid groups have struggled to provide food and shelter to refugees, some of whom have frozen to death after repeated cold winter nights.The Turkish army, stationed along the country's border with Syria, has repeatedly come into conflict with Syrian government forces. Syria killed 33 Turkish soldiers on Thursday in a series of air strikes.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a phone conversation Friday told Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who backs Syrian government forces, that any Syrian military position was a legitimate target for Turkish forces. Erdogan is scheduled to speak with President Trump on Friday regarding the attacks on the Turkish military and the refugee issue.The nine-year Syrian civil war has produced one of the world's largest refugee crises, with millions of migrants fleeing to Europe throughout the conflict.




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Trump Team Testing ‘Off-the-Shelf’ Drugs to Cure Coronavirus

Trump Team Testing ‘Off-the-Shelf’ Drugs to Cure Coronavirus(Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration is testing existing “off-the-shelf” drugs to combat the coronavirus, a cabinet official said Saturday.A national lab in Tennessee recently made “an important discovery” involving existing drugs, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland.“The scientists at our Oak Ridge National Laboratory were able to look at the protein strains and determine -- perhaps, it’s still early -- that we can find some off-the-shelf drugs that can help us not only cure the disease but stop the spread of the infection,” Brouillette said.Brouillette was responding to a question about what his agency is doing to help combat the virus, which has caused markets to plunge and killed nearly 3,000 people across the globe. In the U.S., where 22 cases have been reported, the virus has killed one person -- a woman from Washington state -- and more cases are likely, President Donald Trump said Saturday.In addition to the laboratory tests, Brouillette said he’s harnessing the power of his agency’s “super computers” as well as artificial intelligence capabilities to assist organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and the World Heath Organization to conduct modeling on the virus.“We want to know how far is this going to spread and at what point might it peak,” he said.To contact the reporter on this story: Ari Natter in Washington at anatter5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net, Matthew G. Miller, Virginia Van NattaFor 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.




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Rejected by Jamaica, Caymans over virus fears, cruise ship docks in Mexico

Rejected by Jamaica, Caymans over virus fears, cruise ship docks in MexicoA cruise ship turned away from Jamaica and the Cayman Islands after a crew member tested positive for flu has docked in Mexico and passengers will be allowed to disembark as long as "health standards" are met, the country's president said Thursday. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters that the Meraviglia, which has been anchored off Cozumel island in the Caribbean since Wednesday, "is being allowed to dock" and those aboard may be allowed off. The operator, MSC Cruises, lashed out at authorities for refusing to allow it to dock at its previous destinations for "acting out of fears" over the new coronavirus.




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Trump Nominates John Ratcliffe to Be Director of National Intelligence—Again

Trump Nominates John Ratcliffe to Be Director of National Intelligence—AgainPresident Trump announced late Friday that he is nominating Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) to be his next director of national intelligence. That’s despite the former Texas prosecutor withdrawing his nomination last year.Ratcliffe, a large Trump donor, dropped out of the nomination process in July 2019, blaming unfair media coverage. But The Daily Beast reported that before Racliffe announced his withdrawal, an email revealing his alleged involvement in a contentious whistleblowing case made its way to the White House. On Friday, Trump tweeted that he “would have completed [the] process earlier” but “John wanted to wait until after IG Report was finished,” an apparent reference to the inspector general’s report on how the FBI handled its counterintelligence probe of Trump campaign associates.“John is an outstanding man of great talent!” he wrote.Just last week, Trump appointed U.S. Ambassador to Germany and longtime Trumpworld loyalist Richard Grenell, who has no intelligence experience, as his acting DNI. A former intelligence official told The Daily Beast at the time that the announcement “blindsided” career officials in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.Ratcliffe, who himself has little national security experience, is in for a rocky confirmation process. His nomination last year drew swift opposition from Senate Democrats and lukewarm support from key Republicans.Senate Intelligence chair Richard Burr told White House officials Ratcliffe, a outspoken supporter of the president, was too partisan, The New York Times reported. On the Senate floor, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called him “a three-term tea party congressman who, when he goes on television, appeals to the president’s sense of stridency and partisanship.”Even if there’s little chance Ratcliffe will be confirmed by the Senate, his nomination allows Grenell to continue to serve past March 11, University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck pointed out on Twitter. Federal law also stipulates that an acting DNI can stay in place for another 210 days after the Senate either rejects a nomination or the nominee withdraws.Grenell was brought in last week to replace acting DNI Joseph Maguire, whom Trump replaced over what he felt was disloyalty by one of Maguire’s aides, according to multiple reports. The aide had briefed the House Intelligence Committee that Russia was once again interfering in the election in Trump’s favor.After former DNI Dan Coats announced his resignation last summer, Trump tweeted that he intended to nominate Ratcliffe to replace him, a move that surprised White House aides, who had not vetted the congressman, The Washington Post reported. Ratcliffe, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, had been a vocal critic of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe and had seized on text messages between FBI agents Lisa Page and Peter Strzok as evidence of bias within the FBI. He even claimed to have seen texts between the pair that suggested the existence of a “secret society” working against Trump—an easily debunked conspiracy theory that he played a part in spreading far and wide.But Ratcliffe’s nomination fell apart in just a few weeks. An investigation by The Washington Post found he had embellished how many immigrants he rounded up in one day as a U.S. attorney. Another investigation found he’d embellished his national security credentials by claiming he’d prosecuted two major terrorism cases, despite court records showing he had no involvement.His July 2019 withdrawal prompted Trump to complain he was being treated unfairly.“Rather than going through months of slander and libel, I explained to John how miserable it would be for him and his family to deal with these people,” Trump said at the time. “John has therefore decided to stay in Congress where he has done such an outstanding job representing the people of Texas, and our Country.”Trump said last year it didn’t bother him that Ratcliffe lacked much national security expertise. “I think he would’ve picked it up very quickly,” he said.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.




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South Carolina primary results in full – county by county

South Carolina primary results in full – county by countyGet the results in the crucial early voting state * South Carolina Democrats vote as Biden looks for win to boost flagging campaign * Help us cover the critical issues of 2020. Consider making a contributionSouth Carolina is the first state in the deep south to cast its vote in the primary race, where African American voters form a majority of the electorate. Democrats and Republicans will be voting, but because Donald Trump faces no serious opposition, all eyes will be on the Democratic contest.default What is a primary?The primaries and caucuses are a series of contests, in all 50 US states plus Washington DC and US territories, by which the party selects its presidential nominee. Most US states hold primary elections, in which voters go to a polling place, mail in their ballots or otherwise vote remotely. A handful of states hold caucuses – complicated, hours-long meetings, which continue until one candidate emerges as victor. And the process is different for Democrats and Republicans. Why is the South Carolina primary important?The goal for the candidates is to amass a majority of pledged delegates whose job it is to nominate the candidate at the party’s convention. In all states, delegates are awarded proportionally among top winners.To become the Democratic presidential nominee, the candidate must secure 1,991 pledged delegates before the Democratic Party’s convention in Wisconsin in July. If there is no outright majority then so-called super delegates, unpledged senior party members, could decide who secures the presidential nomination.There are 54 delegates in play in South Carolina. Only 101 so far allotted after the first three primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. South Carolina serves as a launchpad for the vital Super Tuesday election in just three days time, when 16 states and territories will vote and over 1,300 delegates, around a third of the total in the entire election, will be up for grabs. Sanders so far leads the pack with 45 delegates. He is followed by former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg on 26, while Biden lags behind with 15. Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren holds 8 with Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar on 7.




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Sub-Saharan Africa just recorded its first coronavirus case. The WHO and Bill Gates have warned that Africa can't deal with an outbreak.

Sub-Saharan Africa just recorded its first coronavirus case. The WHO and Bill Gates have warned that Africa can't deal with an outbreak.The World Health Organization fears Africa's "fragile healthcare systems" may not be able to cope with a serious outbreak of COVID-19.




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Americans of all parties agree: Joe Biden is old, Michael Bloomberg is rich

Americans of all parties agree: Joe Biden is old, Michael Bloomberg is richPollsters at The Associated Press and NORC gave the public a chance to describe presidential candidates in one word or short phrase. The results were... telling.Democrats described former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg as nearly equal parts "smart," "young," and "gay." Independents and Republicans were far more likely to describe him as "gay," as well as "inexperienced," and "centrist." Philanthropist Tom Steyer was more overwhelmingly described as "rich" by Democrats, while independents and Republicans opted for "inexperienced."While former Vice President Joe Biden scored some mentions of "good person" among Democrats, he mostly got "old." Independents and Republicans also mostly called him "old," followed by "corrupt" and "creepy."Democrats and independents similarly described Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as "old" at the highest rate, though Republicans went straight for "socialist," followed by "old," and "communist."> How poll respondents described 2020 candidates in one (or a few more) words. https://t.co/I53LZ1dSR1 pic.twitter.com/GbcahfoHCl> > — Philip Bump (@pbump) February 28, 2020Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is older than Biden and just months younger than Sanders, is universally regarded as "rich" (a fair assessment), and Republicans said he's "buying the election."Democrats were split in describing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as "smart" and "strong," though independents and Republicans view her primarily as a "liar," as well as "crazy" and a "woman," which is hardly up for debate.While the Democratic candidates were generally regarded more positively by members of their own party, surveyed Republicans didn't come up with great words for President Trump. Most Republicans simply said "president," followed by "bumbling" and "jerk."The AP-NORC poll was conducted Feb. 12-16 via phone interviews with 1,074 adults. The margin of error is ±4.2 percentage points. View the full results at AP-NORC.More stories from theweek.com Stock markets are headed for a 40 percent plunge, says economist who predicted financial crisis Trump mocks Bloomberg's height, Biden's age in wild CPAC speech The growing viral threat




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Number of coronavirus cases from unknown source growing in U.S.

Number of coronavirus cases from unknown source growing in U.S.Three new presumptive cases were reported Friday on the West Coast, with patients in Oregon, Washington and California, but it's not clear how they were infected.




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Coronavirus US: Quarantine across America is 'inevitable' top doctor warns as stocks take record plunge

Coronavirus US: Quarantine across America is 'inevitable' top doctor warns as stocks take record plungeAs more cases of the flu-like respiratory illness are reported across the US, Mike Pence - recently appointed by Donald Trump to lead the administration's response - has insisted the government is in control of the virus despite thousands of people under medical monitoring and officials' scepticism of the vice president's abilities to handle the outbreak.Market analysts predict record lows for the Dow Jones, seeing one of its worst weeks since the financial crisis, amid fears of a global pandemic, as the president downplays the threat and his allies claim that criticism of the response has been "weaponised" to attack Trump.




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Friday, 28 February 2020

'I guess I wasn't arrested': Joe Biden reverses on claim of an arrest in South Africa

'I guess I wasn't arrested': Joe Biden reverses on claim of an arrest in South AfricaJoe Biden has previously told of being arrested in South Africa while traveling with black lawmakers. He reversed himself Friday in a CNN interview.




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Patient's dog tests positive for coronavirus

Patient's dog tests positive for coronavirusDogs, cats and other mammals owned as pets by confirmed coronavirus patients must now undergo a 14-day quarantine.




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Trump complains Democrats are blaming him for coronavirus



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Tucker Carlson Turns to AOC Creepshot Guy for Coronavirus Expertise

Tucker Carlson Turns to AOC Creepshot Guy for Coronavirus ExpertiseAmid growing fears of a coronavirus outbreak and U.S. financial markets hitting a record drop on Thursday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson turned to a conservative columnist best known for taking creepy photos of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) as his expert on the crisis on Thursday night.It should perhaps come as no surprise that Carlson’s guest, Washington Examiner columnist Eddie Scarry, used his primetime cable news appearance to talk about the “Commie cough” and to claim that Chinese people eating skunks are responsible for the rise of the virus.In kicking off his Fox News program, Carlson argued that it is liberals’ “attitude” towards diversity that has “left us vulnerable to the coronavirus” before welcoming on Scarry to enlighten viewers on the health crisis horrors caused by political correctness. “You spent a lot of time thinking about this mindset,” the Fox News host asked Scarry. “Here we are facing what could become a pandemic. Thousands have died. Yet a certain segment of well-educated America is more concerned that people might say insensitive things. Explain the mindset.”Scarry, who is hawking a new book that argues rape victims and trans people are the most privileged in American society, went on to praise Carlson for his monologue before saying the left cares “more about ideology” than what’s happening with the virus.“It turns out most people in America, even the Chinese, don’t want the Commie cough but all we’re hearing about who is the privileged and who is the victim,” Scarry asserted. “In this case it’s supposed to be — the victims are everyone else who is spreading this disease, where it’s coming from, coming from China obviously. But we’re the privileged so we’re just supposed to accept it, we’re just supposed to be okay with what’s going on.”Carlson, meanwhile, told Scarry that “everything” he said “is true,” further asking him if he is surprised to see this attitude from liberals even when “facing a question of life and death.” Scarry took that opportunity to bemoan Democrats calling on Americans to not “perpetuate racist stereotypes” amid coronavirus fears.“We’re worried about the racial implications of blaming this on anybody,” the right-wing provocateur stated. “Well, no, I’m sorry. If it turns out, which I did read this time in The New York Times no less, this may have come from eating skunks in China. Maybe we should consider the idea that, all right, either food or something or somebody should not be coming from China.”The Daily Beast was unable to find any reference in The New York Times to the disease being linked to Chinese people eating skunks. It would appear, however, that Scarry likely got his information from a fellow Examiner columnist’s piece that cited a former Trump official’s tweet claiming civet cats in China are skunks. (The Times’ Maggie Haberman tweeted on Thursday that a top U.S. health official said the disease jumped from bats to civet cats, which are eaten by Chinese at feasts.)Scarry’s primetime appearance appears to mark his first major return to the limelight after he sparked backlash and gained a reputation as a “creep” in Nov. 2018 after tweeting out a surreptitiously shot photo of Ocasio-Cortez. Scarry was moved from his position as media reporter to commentary by the Examiner. The paper claimed at the time that the move had been in the works prior to the infamous tweet.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.




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Bill Gates says the coronavirus is a pandemic and a 'once-in-a-century pathogen.' Here are the solutions he's proposing to fight it.

Bill Gates says the coronavirus is a pandemic and a 'once-in-a-century pathogen.' Here are the solutions he's proposing to fight it."COVID-19 has started behaving a lot like the once-in-a-century pathogen we've been worried about," Gates wrote in a new op-ed.




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More than 30,000 pounds of yogurt spilled on New York highway after accident

More than 30,000 pounds of yogurt spilled on New York highway after accidentA tractor trailer carrying more than 30,000 pounds of yogurt in western New York jackknifed on a highway Thursday afternoon.




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Top Democrat signals Sanders needs majority to claim nomination

Top Democrat signals Sanders needs majority to claim nominationUS House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday signaled to Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders that he would need an outright majority of delegates, not just a plurality, to win the party's presidential nomination. Washington's top Democrat declined to say whether she would support the candidacy of Sanders -- flagbearer for the left-wing -- if he arrived at the party convention in July with the most delegates among the candidates, but still short of a majority.




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Hong Kong pets face coronavirus quarantine after dog tests positive

Hong Kong pets face coronavirus quarantine after dog tests positiveAll pets of people in Hong Kong infected with the coronavirus will be quarantined, with one dog already in isolation, the city's authorities said Friday. The canine has been placed in quarantine for 14 days as a precaution but has no "relevant symptoms", Hong Kong officials said Friday. "Nasal and oral cavity samples tested weak positive for COVID-19," a government spokesman said without explaining why they tested the animal in the first place.




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Trump 'could suck coronavirus out of 60,000 people' and he'd still be criticized – Huckabee

Trump 'could suck coronavirus out of 60,000 people' and he'd still be criticized – Huckabee* Top Republican on Fox News defends Trump and Mike Pence * Vice-president leading coronavirus containment effort in US * Whistleblower: US coronavirus staff were untrained and unprotectedDonald Trump could “personally suck” the coronavirus “out of every one of the 60,000 people in the world, suck it out of their lungs, swim to the bottom of the ocean and spit it out, and he would be accused of pollution for messing up the ocean”, a top Republican has claimed.Former Republican Arkansas governor and ex-presidential candidate Mike Huckabee made the outlandish statement on Twitter on Thursday night and on Fox News’ Fox & Friends show on Friday morning.> Mike Huckabee says Trump "could personally sick the virus out of every one of the 60,000 people in the world, suck it out of their lungs, swim to the bottom of the ocean and spit it out, and he would be accused of pollution for messing up the ocean." pic.twitter.com/X7xbC5ebDz> > — Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 28, 2020According to the World Health Organization (WHO) more than 82,000 cases of the coronavirus have in fact been confirmed worldwide, with about 2,800 deaths. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 60 confirmed cases in the US.In the US, Huckabee’s widely ridiculed comment followed the publication of a column for Fox News in which he took aim at criticism of Trump’s choice of Vice-President Mike Pence to lead US containment efforts.Critics have said Pence’s religious faith, plus the decisions he took as governor of Indiana on scientific and public health matters, make him a poor choice to lead efforts undermined by budget cuts and poor organization.Huckabee said Pence was “a proven leader who knows how to get people with different perspectives working together effectively” on public health matters including the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) outbreak of 2014.“Instead of calling for bipartisan cooperation in this life-or-death effort,” he wrote, “liberals reacted with collective outrage, even going so far as to ridicule the vice-president’s Christian faith as a way of suggesting that he’s not qualified for the role.“Numerous media outlets have also published and broadcast one-sided reports trashing Pence’s handling of an HIV outbreak as governor of Indiana, but such criticisms are both inaccurate and irrelevant.”The outbreak in question happened in 2015. Pence declared a public health emergency but many said faith-driven cuts to sexual health programs made the situation worse.Huckabee, the father of the former Trump press secretary Sarah Sanders, is not the first rightwing commentator to claim Democrats and the media are using concerns over the coronavirus outbreak to attack and undermine the president.Earlier this week, the conservative shock jock and presidential medal of freedom honoree Rush Limbaugh claimed “the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump” and said “the coronavirus is the common cold”.Some experts have criticised media coverage of the outbreak as inaccurate and potentially alarmist.According to the Guardian’s guide to the coronavirus, sufferers report “coughs, fever and breathing difficulties. In severe cases there can be organ failure. As this is viral pneumonia, antibiotics are of no use … Recovery depends on the strength of the immune system. Many of those who have died were already in poor health.”The outbreak began in China. The WHO has not yet declared it a pandemic but international markets, trade, travel and sporting events have been severely affected. In the US on Friday the Dow Jones Index plunged again, at the end of the markets’ worst week since the financial crisis of 2008.In Geneva, a WHO spokesman said: “The outbreak is getting bigger. The scenario of the coronavirus reaching multiple countries, if not all countries around the world, is something we have been looking at and warning against since quite a while.”




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McDonald’s is giving away free Egg McMuffins for 1 day only

McDonald’s is giving away free Egg McMuffins for 1 day onlyNational Egg McMuffin Day is officially a thing.




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38 killed in Delhi religious violence as India balks at U.S. reaction

38 killed in Delhi religious violence as India balks at U.S. reactionA U.S. government commission urged Indian leaders to stop the "unchecked violence" as mobs attack people, including journalists, in the capital.




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Ex-Phoenix area sheriff declares victory despite court loss

Ex-Phoenix area sheriff declares victory despite court lossFormer Phoenix-area Sheriff Joe Arpaio lost a bid to erase his criminal conviction for disobeying a 2011 court order, but claimed victory Thursday after an appeal's court said the verdict no longer has any legal consequence because of President Donald Trump's pardon. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals explained Arpaio was pardoned before he could be sentenced and that the final judgment in the case ended up dismissing the contempt charge. “They can’t use that conviction against me in a court of law,” Arpaio said.




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The Sinister Sanders Child-Care Plan

The Sinister Sanders Child-Care PlanBernie Sanders announced a “universal child care” proposal at the end of his wide-ranging 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper. The plan would guarantee “every child in America free full-day, full-week, high-quality child care from infancy through age three,” and the campaign estimates that it would cost taxpayers 1.5 trillion dollars over ten years. But aside from being prohibitively expensive and distressingly vague, the plan looks an awful lot like social engineering.Start with the price tag. After failing to explain how he would pay for his expansive agenda — “I can't rattle off to you every nickel and every dime,” Sanders told Anderson Cooper in a disastrous moment of candor — the Sanders campaign released a partial list of pay-fors the day after the interview, laying out the cost of the senator’s major proposals alongside the tax hikes a Sanders administration would pursue to finance its domestic agenda. The campaign pegged the child-care proposal at a $150 billion annual price tag, more expensive than current federal outlays on unemployment insurance and the SNAP program combined.Add the child-care initiative to the bevy of programs Sanders has already promised to enact as president, and the fiscal feasibility of a child-care proposal grows more uncertain.The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget released their analysis of Sanders’s universal child-care plan yesterday, and raised concerns that the Sanders campaign was overestimating federal receipts from its proposed “tax on extreme wealth”:> Based on the work of economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the Sanders campaign estimates this wealth tax would raise $4.35 trillion. This would be enough to finance Senator Sanders's $1.5 trillion universal child care and pre-K plan, his $2.5 trillion housing plan, and $350 billion of his Medicare for All plan (note that our analysis previously assumed he would dedicate $800 billion, not $350 billion, to Medicare for All).> > In our assessment, however, Senators Sanders’s wealth tax is likely to raise significantly less than advertised due to high levels of tax avoidance and the erosion of taxable wealth over time. We believe the wealth tax is likely to raise roughly $3.3 trillion. Assuming the proceeds are distributed evenly, that would leave the universal child care and pre-K plan nearly $400 billion short.As a point of reference, that $400 billion shortfall is larger than the sum total currently allotted to all federal welfare programs combined.While Sanders’s innumeracy was perhaps to be expected, the senator’s defense of the child-care plan on the merits was surprising. For a candidate with well-documented disdain for corporate America, it was strange to see how much of Sanders’s child-care proposal was concerned with the “career outcomes” of “mothers” who — heaven forfend — make “career sacrifices in order to care for their children.” The Sanders campaign presents female labor participation growth as one of the central selling points for its child-care scheme: “Mothers,” the campaign proclaims, “are 40 percent more likely than fathers to report a negative impact on their career outcomes due to child care considerations,” making the institution of a government-funded child-care scheme a “moral responsibility.” The campaign presents the welfare of the children whose stay-at-home parents enter the workforce as an ancillary concern.The Sanders campaign hardly seemed to consider — or, worse, seemed to have considered and proceeded to ignore — the possibility that those mothers making “career sacrifices” might want to raise their own children. As a 2015 Gallup poll found, 56 percent of mothers with children under the age of 18 said they would rather remain at home than enter the workforce, if given the choice. Instead, the socialist appears eager to incentivize more mothers to join the workforce, whereupon they will be presumably “exploited” by the “greedy” corporations the senator has spent a lifetime deriding.Most alarming is the power the senator’s plan vests in the federal government to insert itself into the child-rearing process. Sanders proposes a one-size-fits-all, government-funded child-care model, with no provision for those parents who wish to remain at home. If the Sanders campaign were simply concerned about the costs associated with raising children — both in the home and at a day-care center — it could have proposed a subsidy that also conferred benefits to stay-at-home parents or to relatives providing child care. But the social-engineering component of the plan is unmistakable, as Sanders would essentially create a scheme to augment the “career outcomes” of mothers who might otherwise raise their children at home, thereby boosting enrollment in government-funded child-care centers. Of course, all of those child-care centers will be subject to “quality standards” concocted in Washington.The implications of Sanders’s child-care agenda are clear enough. Right in the heart of the proposal, the Sanders campaign acknowledges that “ages 0 through 4 are the most important years of human life intellectually and emotionally.” Parents ought to be the ones to impart their values to their children in such a formative window, not a Sanders-administration functionary.




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Central Park Five's Kevin Richardson slams Bloomberg campaign

Central Park Five's Kevin Richardson slams Bloomberg campaignKevin Richardson, a member of the Central Park Five, has hit out at Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s presidential run and his blocking of a multimillion-dollar settlement over the group’s wrongful persecution.Mr Richardson, one of the five teenagers wrongfully convicted for the shocking assault of Trishia Meili in 1989, was reported to have criticised Mr Bloomberg at an event outside his campaign office in Manhattan.




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Inside the 'horrifying' 4-star hotel in Tenerife, where hundreds of guests have been quarantined after coronavirus cases in the resort

Inside the 'horrifying' 4-star hotel in Tenerife, where hundreds of guests have been quarantined after coronavirus cases in the resortHundreds of tourists at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace in Tenerife are on lockdown for the next two weeks. One guest called it the "holiday from hell."




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Court won't let Trump pardon void guilty verdict against Arpaio



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Used to giving orders, Kansas abortion foes can't cut a deal

Used to giving orders, Kansas abortion foes can't cut a dealAbortion opponents who've become used to giving orders to Kansas lawmakers on the exact wording of new restrictions are stymied now that they face compromising to get a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution on the ballot. After falling short in a House vote three weeks ago, abortion opponents have pressured a dozen members who voted no, moderate Republicans and Democrats who are Catholic or who represent relatively conservative or heavily Catholic districts. Kansans for Life, the state's most influential anti-abortion group and a GOP power-broker, has for years told lawmakers what proposals to pursue and has watched them approve the group's language and echo its talking points.




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Laurene Powell Jobs says she won't pass down her and Steve Jobs' billions to their children: 'It ends with me'

Laurene Powell Jobs says she won't pass down her and Steve Jobs' billions to their children: 'It ends with me'Powell Jobs, who is worth an estimated $24 billion, said she believes a massive accumulation of wealth is "dangerous for a society."




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China reports rise in new coronavirus cases, warns of risk of rebound

China reports rise in new coronavirus cases, warns of risk of reboundSHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - China reported 433 new cases of coronavirus infections on Feb. 26, the National Health Commission said on Thursday, up from 406 a day earlier, with a cluster of new cases in Beijing raising concerns about the management of employees returning to work. The total number of confirmed cases on mainland China has now reached 78,497, the Commission said, though the number of new deaths on Wednesday stood at 29, the lowest daily rate since Jan. 28. The outbreak has now killed a total of 2,744 people in China.




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Why is Iran's reported mortality rate for coronavirus higher than in other countries?

Why is Iran's reported mortality rate for coronavirus higher than in other countries?Iran has now suspended parliament indefinitely due to the outbreak. Secretary of State Pompeo says the U.S. has offered to help Iran respond to the virus.




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A man convicted for killing his high school girlfriend was freed by decades-old DNA evidence. Now he's on a mission to find the real killer.

A man convicted for killing his high school girlfriend was freed by decades-old DNA evidence. Now he's on a mission to find the real killer.Leah Freeman's shoes were the only clue police had in her murder — and the only evidence that her high school boyfriend Nick McGuffin wasn't her killer.




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Mike Huckabee goes on bizarre rant about Trump 'sucking' coronavirus out of Americans' lungs

Mike Huckabee goes on bizarre rant about Trump 'sucking' coronavirus out of Americans' lungsIn Donald Trump’s America, very few national figures are as loyal to the president as Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and father of the former White House press secretary.And, as criticism has mounted regarding Mr Trump’s reaction to the deadly coronavirus, Mr Huckabee got a chance to display that obedience once again — and took the bait, hook line and sinker, by delivering a bizarre defence of the man.




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Anti-Greta Blasts ‘Climate Alarmism’ to Conservative Gathering



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Thursday, 27 February 2020

South Africa Raises Funds for State Airline to $1.1 Billion



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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says it was 'horrifying' the debate didn't have any climate change questions. Bernie Sanders agrees.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says it was 'horrifying' the debate didn't have any climate change questions. Bernie Sanders agrees.Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) watched Tuesday night's Democratic debate, and one thing stood out to her."Not a single climate change question," she tweeted. "Horrifying." One of the participants, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), agreed, responding, "A disgrace." The Democratic candidates don't shy away from talking about climate change on the campaign trail; billionaire investor and environmentalist Tom Steyer told voters in South Carolina on Tuesday that climate change is his "No. 1 priority," and if elected, he will declare a climate emergency on his first day in office.Poll after poll has shown that climate change is a key issue for voters; last week, the Pew Research Center released a survey showing that for the first time in two decades, a majority of Americans believe that tackling climate change should be a main priority for the president and Congress.Another poll released last week by the nonpartisan nonprofit Climate Nexus found that for Democrats, climate change is one of the two most important issues facing the country right now. "This is the first time in American political history where climate change is not just a top-tier issue, it is the top-tier issue," Anthony Leiserowitz, a senior research scientist at Yale who helped conduct the poll, told The Atlantic.More stories from theweek.com Harvard scientist predicts coronavirus will infect up to 70 percent of humanity Naming Mike Pence coronavirus czar with 'zero experience in the medical area' is 'a total joke,' says 2014 Trump Israel is the first country to warn its citizens not to travel abroad over coronavirus fears




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Pete Buttigieg called Mike Bloomberg's stop-and-frisk record 'racist' before admitting he had a 'lot of issues' with policing in South Bend

Pete Buttigieg called Mike Bloomberg's stop-and-frisk record 'racist' before admitting he had a 'lot of issues' with policing in South BendThe two candidates have faced scrutiny over their records on policing and racial bias as mayors of New York and South Bend, Indiana.




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The six largest coronavirus outbreaks outside of China

The six largest coronavirus outbreaks outside of ChinaMore new coronavirus cases were reported outside of China than inside the country on Wednesday — the first time since global health officials began tracking the virus.




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13 Years in the Making: Joe Biden Is Heading to Fox News

13 Years in the Making: Joe Biden Is Heading to Fox NewsThis Sunday former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden have scheduled an exclusive interview with Fox News host Chris Wallace. This will be Biden’s first interview with Wallace since 2007.




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Democratic candidates' drilling ban would cost U.S. economy $7 trillion: oil group

Democratic candidates' drilling ban would cost U.S. economy $7 trillion: oil groupBanning hydraulic fracturing and halting new drilling on federal land would cost the U.S. economy $7 trillion in the next decade and kill millions of jobs, the U.S. oil industry’s main lobby group said on Thursday in a report targeting the climate plans of top Democratic presidential candidates. The report from the American Petroleum Institute underscores mounting concern in the U.S. drilling industry over the possibility a candidate in favor of rapidly ending the fossil fuel economy to fight global warming will win the Democratic Party's nomination to face Republican President Donald Trump in the November election.




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Gambia Admits ‘Shortcomings’ After Lifting Ban on Media Outlets



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Right-wing extremists killed 330 in the US in last decade, figures show

Right-wing extremists killed 330 in the US in last decade, figures showA new report shows that right-wing extremists were responsible for 330 murders in the United States in the past decade, or 76 percent of all domestic extremist-related murders in that time.The annual Murder and Extremism report published by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) shows that out of the 42 extremist-related murders in the US in 2019, 38 were committed by individuals subscribing to various far-right ideologies, including white supremacy.




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Fourth Diamond Princess passenger dead after coronavirus quarantine, reports

Fourth Diamond Princess passenger dead after coronavirus quarantine, reportsFour passengers from the Diamond Princess have died after being quarantined for coronavirus according to reports.




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