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Coronavirus: Debenhams set to appoint administrators

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 08:14

 Debenhams set to appoint administratorsThe department store chain says it is 'making contingency plans' amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Controversial Soviet-era statue removed in Prague

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 08:14

Controversial Soviet-era statue removed in PraguePrague authorities on Friday said they had removed a controversial Soviet-era statue, despite protests from Moscow, to make way for a World War II memorial. The Russian embassy on Friday protested the removal of the bronze statue of Soviet general Ivan Konev, terming it an "unfriendly" act of "vandalism by unhinged municipal representatives." While Konev is regarded as a hero in Russia, many Czechs see him as a symbol of Soviet-era oppression.

NRA Sues New York State Governor Over Closure of Gun Stores

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 08:06

NRA Sues New York State Governor Over Closure of Gun Stores(Bloomberg) -- The National Rifle Association sued New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for closing gun shops during the coronavirus pandemic, saying the restriction is unconstitutional and leaves citizens defenseless while prisoners are being released early as a result of the crisis.Cuomo’s March 20 executive order that included firearms retailers as non-essential businesses which must close is a “pointless and arbitrary attack on the constitutional rights of New York citizens and residents,” the NRA said in a complaint filed late Thursday in Syracuse, New York.New York ordered most businesses to close to prevent the spread of the virus, but deemed grocery stores, liquor stores, pharmacies and restaurants that do take-out as essential and allowed them to remain open. New York City is the center of the outbreak in the U.S., accounting for more than 1,300 of the 5,700 deaths in the country.New York officials are “going out of their way to protect liquor stores and release criminals onto the streets, while ignoring the public’s outcry over the suspension of Second Amendment rights,” the suit says.The New York lawsuit follows similar action the NRA took in Northern California, where it sued several cities including San Jose for ordering gun stores to close. Earlier this week in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy lifted a temporary ban on the sale of guns in the state after the NRA filed suit to block it, and Los Angeles County also backed off an earlier ban.Gun shops around the country have reported surges in sales, and shares of gun and ammunition manufacturers have risen. The final week of February saw the third largest number of background checks since at least 1998, behind the weeks following the Sandy Hook and San Bernardino shootings, according to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, known as NICS.New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, said before the lawsuit was filed that she’d defend the state’s decision.New York’s take on what’s essential is at odds with the Trump administration, according to the complaint. On March 28, the Department of Homeland Security issued a list of critical infrastructure, including: “Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges,” the NRA said. The gun-rights organization also says that law enforcement may not be sufficient to protect citizens during the crisis.New Yorkers “have read about the release of thousands of prisoners by state officials, and they are concerned about the ability of police forces to maintain order when officers fear contact with Covid-19 or have fallen ill themselves,” the complaint says.“Government officials, including Governor Cuomo and Letitia James, are bound by the U.S. Constitution,” William Brewer, counsel to the NRA, said in an email. “The NRA will aggressively defend the Second Amendment freedoms of its members and all New Yorkers.”(Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, helped launch Everytown for Gun Safety and backs candidates who support measures such as universal background checks.)(Updates with rise in gun sales, Los Angeles County sheriff’s statement.)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.

Cuban docs fighting coronavirus around world, defying US

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 08:00

Cuban docs fighting coronavirus around world, defying USFor two years the Trump administration has been trying to stamp out one of Cuba’s signature programs __ state-employed medical workers treating patients around the globe in a show of soft power that also earns billions in badly needed hard currency. Labeling the doctors and nurses as both exploited workers and agents of communist indoctrination, the U.S. has notched a series of victories as Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia sent home thousands after leftist governments allied with Havana were replaced with ones friendlier to Washington. The coronavirus pandemic has brought a reversal of fortune for Cuban medical diplomacy, as doctors have flown off on new missions to battle COVID-19 in at least 14 countries including Italy and the tiny principality of Andorra on the Spanish-French border, burnishing the island's international image in the middle of a global crisis.

Here's How the Army Will Pay New Recruits Who Can’t Get to Basic Training

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 07:21

Here's How the Army Will Pay New Recruits Who Can’t Get to Basic TrainingThe 1,400 recruits on hold because of the novel coronavirus pandemic will likely be paid as privates.

3M Refuses White House Directive to Send Masks from Singapore to U.S., Citing Concern for Asian Medical Workers

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 07:09

3M Refuses White House Directive to Send Masks from Singapore to U.S., Citing Concern for Asian Medical WorkersHealth care manufacturer 3M has resisted pressure from the White House to import about 10 million N95 respirator masks from the company's hub in Singapore originally destined for Asian countries, in part due to concern for health care workers in those countries, the Financial Times reported on Friday.While 3M agreed to import a similar amount from a factory in China, President Trump and his administration have criticized the company for being less than cooperative with the mobilization effort — and Trump announced he would invoke the Defense Production Act to compel 3M to deliver masks to the U.S.“The administration had worked very hard to ease some rules for 3M and other respirator manufacturers because those companies, 3M chief among them, had essentially promised that they would immediately be putting 35m N95s into the US marketplace. It became clear recently that wasn’t happening,” one White House official told the Financial Times."We hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their Masks," Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday night. "'P Act' all the way. Big surprise to many in government as to what they were doing - will have a big price to pay!"Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro, who also serves as the Defense Production Act coordinator for the White House, criticized 3M earlier on Thursday."To be frank, over the last several days we've had some issues, making sure that all of the production that 3M does around the world, enough of it is coming back here to the right places," Navarro said.On Friday, 3M CEO Mike Roman countered that the company was concentrating all its efforts to help fight the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S."The idea that the 3M isn't doing everything it can…is absurd," Roman said on CNBC. "We are doing everything we can to maximize our efforts."In earlier stages of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, Trump was initially reluctant to rely on the DPA, which allows the executive branch to compel companies to produce goods in times of national emergency. However, on March 27 Trump used the legislation to order General Motors to begin production of ventilators, saying negotiations over contracts with the company had dragged on too long."Our negotiations with GM regarding its ability to supply ventilators have been productive, but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course" Trump said at the time. "GM was wasting time."

Congress' second coronavirus package could add $192 billion to federal deficit

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 07:02

Congress' second coronavirus package could add $192 billion to federal deficitThe Congressional Budget Office has not estimated the cost of the much larger $2 trillion package that includes direct payments for Americans.

Coronavirus: 'Tiger King' star now in virus isolation, says husband

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 07:00

 'Tiger King' star now in virus isolation, says husbandJoe 'Exotic' is among the 146,000 federal inmates the US prisons bureau is placing in quarantine.

Countries face 'fights' over facemasks in China: German health minister

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 06:48

 German health ministerCountries' procurement agents are fighting each other in China for access to the protective equipment that must play a key role in stemming the spread of the novel coronavirus, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said. "You hear stories of people fighting in the truest sense of the word over these masks in China," he told reporters on Friday during a visit to a logistics company that is acting for the German government. Germany's mix of lockdown measures and aggressive testing for the novel coronavirus has so far been successful in slowing the spread of the disease, with each patient only infecting one other on average in recent days.

Scramble for virus supplies strains global solidarity

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 06:43

Scramble for virus supplies strains global solidaritySan Marino needed medical masks. The tiny republic, wedged next to what would be two of Italy’s hardest-hit provinces in the COVID-19 outbreak, had already registered 11 deaths by March 17 — a sizeable number in a country of just 33,000, and a harbinger of worse to come.

Singapore to Close Schools, Most Workplaces With Rising Virus Cases

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 06:42

Singapore to Close Schools, Most Workplaces With Rising Virus Cases(Bloomberg) -- Singapore will shutter schools and most workplaces as the city-state unveiled a raft of stricter measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, shifting away from an approach crafted to limit interruptions to daily life and commerce.Most workplaces, except for essential services and key economic sectors, will close starting on Tuesday, while the city-state will move to full home-based learning in its schools from Wednesday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in an address to the nation Friday afternoon. The government will also unveil additional stimulus measures to boost the economy early next week.The action comes as confirmed cases of local transmission and unlinked infections in the country have risen in recent weeks. “We have decided that instead of tightening incrementally over the next few weeks, we should make a decisive move now, to preempt escalating infections,” said Lee.Singapore’s tougher moves signal its current approach -- relying on contact tracing, strict containment measures such as shutting bars, and quarantine -- is no longer tenable. While more than 160 countries have already shut schools, the city-state was one of a handful that did not do so, citing early research that children are not as affected as adults.Here are other details of the stricter measures:Casinos, theme parks to close starting next week.Food establishments, markets and supermarkets, clinics, hospitals, utilities, transport and key banking services will remain open.From April 7, all restaurants, hawker centers, coffee shops, food courts and other food-and-beverage outlets will remain open only for takeaway or delivery.Other economic sectors “that are strategic, or form part of a global supply chain” will not be closed.All preschool and student care centers will be closed, but will provide limited services for children of parents who have to continue working and are unable to make alternative arrangements.Government will stop discouraging the general public from wearing face masks in public, and will distribute reusable masks from April 5.The government also plans on Monday to announce more support aimed at businesses and households. Singapore delivered a second stimulus package worth S$48 billion ($33.4 billion) last week to fight the outbreak, drawing on national reserves for the first time since the global financial crisis to support an economy heading for recession.“Even if more assistance measures are announced on Monday, they are unlikely to offset the economic ramifications of what is akin to an economic immobilization,” Selena Ling, head of treasury research and strategy at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. in Singapore, said in an email. Retail sales plunged 8.6% in February from the same time last year, marking the worst decrease since June and the 13th consecutive decline.‘Very Worrying’ TrendsLee said the spirit of these measures is to get people to minimize physical contact. “If we don’t go out, if we avoid contact with others, then the virus won’t be able to spread. It is as simple as that,” he said.Lawrence Wong, minister for national development who co-chairs a task force to fight the virus, said in a press conference the increase in the number of local and unlinked coronavirus cases are “very, very worrying trends.”The latest set of moves will continue for at least a month, Wong said, adding there’s a chance the government can roll back the measures by the end of the month if the guidelines are upheld. He said the key objective is to reduce the spread of the virus, particularly cutting the number of unlinked cases.“If there’s poor compliance, poor implementation, then we have to be prepared for these measures to continue,” Wong said. “Let’s hunker down and beat the virus together.”Singapore announced Friday a fifth person has died due to complications from the coronavirus. Cases have risen more sharply in March compared to earlier months, and now total more than 1,000.Health Minister Gan said the city-state has yet to reach its highest level of alert, so-called Dorscon Red, and would press on with contact-tracing and widespread efforts to contain the disease. “We’re not yet in Dorscon Red, and we’re quite a distance from Dorscon Red,” he said.(Updates to add detail on prior approach in first, fourth paragraphs)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

South Africa's ruthlessly efficient fight against coronavirus

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 06:28

South Africa's ruthlessly efficient fight against coronavirusThe government seems to have acted faster than many other states to tackle Covid-19, writes Andrew Harding.

Israel locks down ultra-Orthodox city hit hard by coronavirus

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 06:18

Israel locks down ultra-Orthodox city hit hard by coronavirusOne health care expert has told the Israeli Parliament he believed almost 40 percent of Bnei Brak's residents could be infected.

WHO Official Warns Against ‘Profiling’ China, Says Observers ‘Over-Focused’ on Coronavirus Data

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 06:12

WHO Official Warns Against ‘Profiling’ China, Says Observers ‘Over-Focused’ on Coronavirus DataDr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization's Health Emergencies Program, defended China on Thursday against accusations that the country has underreported cases and deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak."I think we need to be very careful also to not to be profiling certain parts of the world as being uncooperative or non-transparent, and we need to look at transparency across the board," Ryan said at a Geneva press conference."We need to be balanced in that, and we need to recognize that systems under pressure find it hard to share everything on a minute-to-minute basis," Ryan continued. "Frankly, at times I think we get over-focused on this issue."Ryan claimed that there was a "lack of precise information from Italy," whose medical system has been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of coronavirus patients. "Are we saying they’re lacking in transparency and not sending WHO all the data every day? No."As of Friday morning, Italy has over 115,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 13,915 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker. However, a Wall Street Journal analysis suggests the Italian coronavirus death toll could be much higher than was reported, because health workers did not have the time or resources to test all the casualties for the illness.The U.S. Intelligence Community has reportedly concluded that China covered up the extent of the outbreak in the country. One recent study found that roughly 95 percent of global cases could have been prevented if China acted earlier to stem the outbreak. Meanwhile, Senator Rick Scott (R, Fla.) has called for a congressional hearing on the WHO's ties to China, while Senator Martha McSally on Thursday called on the director of the WHO to resign.

Dr. Fauci: 'I don't understand' why there's not a stay-at-home order in every state

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 06:09

 'I don't understand' why there's not a stay-at-home order in every stateDr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, thinks every U.S. state should have a stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic.Fauci, member of President Trump's coronavirus task force, spoke to CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday and was asked if it "makes sense to you" that some U.S. states still don't have stay-at-home orders, with Cooper saying, "Doesn't everybody have to be on the same page with this stuff?" Fauci agreed with that notion."I think so, Anderson," Fauci said. "I don't understand why that's not happening."Fauci went on to say he didn't want to get into "the tension between federally mandated vs. states' rights to do what they want" but argued, "if you look at what's going on in this country, I just don't understand why we're not doing that. We really should be."Trump has resisted a nationwide stay-at-home order, saying Wednesday, "we have to have a little bit of flexibility," per CNN. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said earlier this week, though, that the federal government's social distancing guidelines, which Trump recently extended until the end of April, should be looked at as a "national stay-at-home order." > Dr. Anthony Fauci made it clear that he supports all Americans being under a stay-at-home order.> > "If you look at what's going on in this country, I just don't understand why we're not doing that. We really should be." CNNTownHall https://t.co/GTJ5UHnIiH pic.twitter.com/gu1qDaoo3A> > -- Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) April 3, 2020More stories from theweek.com Social distancing is going to get darker 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Jared Kushner suggests voters 'think about who will be a competent manager during the time of crisis'

Reusable respirators protect doctors and nurses against coronavirus. They aren't in the national stockpile.

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 06:00

Reusable respirators protect doctors and nurses against coronavirus. They aren't in the national stockpile.Reusable respirators protect against the coronavirus just as well as N95 face masks. But the feds didn't buy them.

Venezuela navy vessel sinks after 'ramming cruise ship'

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 05:54

Venezuela navy vessel sinks after 'ramming cruise ship'The cruise ship's owners say the naval vessel rammed it, but Venezuela accuses the ship of "piracy".

FEMA said only 3,200 of the 100,000 new coronavirus ventilators it is sourcing will be ready in time for the peak of the pandemic

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 05:42

FEMA said only 3,200 of the 100,000 new coronavirus ventilators it is sourcing will be ready in time for the peak of the pandemicDetails of closed-door briefings by US disaster management officials were made public this week, and paint a bleak picture of US preparedness.

Medical stockpile seized from alleged hoarder to be distributed

Yahoo News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 05:39

Medical stockpile seized from alleged hoarder to be distributedU.S. officials have seized a stockpile of personal protective equipment from an alleged hoarder.


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