From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter Eight
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved
"KING OF THE WEST 2020 MAY"

    This file is attached to http://www.mazzaroth.com/ChapterEight/BeastThatCameOutOfTheSea.htm from “Beast That Came Out Of The Sea” - Chapter Eight by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved.
    This link will return you to Astronomical Events To Appear Between 2014 Through 2017 A.D..
    This link will return you to King Of The West 2020 April or continue to King Of The West 2020 June.

KING OF THE WEST 2020 MAY

5/1/2020 Oil up $3.72 to $19.07, DOW down 288 to 24,346.

5/1/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

5/1/2020 Trump confident that coronavirus may have originated in Chinese lab by Jeff Mason
U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a presidential proclamation declaring a "Older Americans Month 2020"
during an event about senior citizens and the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the East Room
at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was confident the coronavirus may have originated in a Chinese virology lab, but declined to describe the evidence, ratcheting up tensions with Beijing over the origins of the deadly outbreak.
    Trump did not mince words at a White House event on Thursday, when asked if he had seen evidence that gave him a “high degree of confidence” the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
    “Yes, yes I have,” he said, declining to give specifics.    “I can’t tell you that.    I’m not allowed to tell you that.”
    The Chinese state-backed Wuhan Institute of Virology has dismissed the allegations, and other U.S. officials have downplayed their likelihood.    Most experts believe the virus originated in a market selling wildlife in Wuhan and jumped from animals to people.
    Trump has shown increasing frustration with China in recent weeks over the pandemic, which has cost tens of thousands of lives in the United States alone, sparked an economic contraction and threatened his chances of re-election in November.
    The Republican president said previously his administration was trying to determine whether the coronavirus emanated from the Wuhan lab, following media reports it may have been artificially synthesized at a China state-backed laboratory or perhaps escaped from such a facility.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday it was not known whether the virus came from the lab.     “We don’t know if it came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.    We don’t know if it emanated from the wet market or yet some other place.    We don’t know those answers,” Pompeo said in an interview with Newsradio 1040.
    The spread of the coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19, has contributed to a deepening rift between the Trump administration and China.    Beijing has suggested the U.S. military might have brought the virus to China and Trump has said China failed to alert the world to the risks in a timely and transparent fashion.
    Trump also said on Thursday it was possible that China either could not stop the spread of the coronavirus or let it spread.    He declined to say whether he held Chinese President Xi Jinping responsible for what he feels is misinformation about the emergence of the coronavirus.
    Trump said of China’s efforts to get to the bottom of how the virus emerged: “At least they seem to be trying to be somewhat transparent with us.”
    “But we’re going to find out.    You’ll be learning in the not-too-distant future.    But it’s a terrible thing that happened – whether they made a mistake or whether it started off as a mistake and then they made another one.    Or did somebody do something on purpose?” he said.
    Trump told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday that he was looking at different options in terms of consequences for Beijing over the virus.    “I can do a lot,” he said.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom; Writing by Steve Holland and Alexandra Alper; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney)

5/1/2020 Spain’s coronavirus death toll climbs to 24,824: health ministry
A worker wearing a protective gear checks the temperature of a customer before entering a Chinese supermarket,
amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Madrid, Spain April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
    (Reuters) – Spain’s coronavirus death toll rose to 24,824 on Friday as 281 more people died from causes related to the disease overnight, the health ministry said.
    The number of new coronavirus cases diagnosed in the country rose to a total 215,216 on Friday from 213,435 the day before, the ministry said on its website.
    The previous day’s death toll was 268.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

5/1/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 1,639; deaths up 193: RKI
A cashier with a protective mask is seen at an Edeka grocery store, as the spread of coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) continues in Duesseldorf, Germany, April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,639 to 160,758, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday.     The death toll rose by 193 to 6,481.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; editing; by John Stonestreet)

5/1/2020 Trump threatens new tariffs on China in retaliation for coronavirus by Jeff Mason, Matt Spetalnick and Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus response during a meeting with New Jersey Governor
Phil Murphy in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday his hard-fought trade deal with China was now of secondary importance to the coronavirus pandemic and he threatened new tariffs on Beijing, as his administration crafted retaliatory measures over the outbreak.
    Trump’s sharpened rhetoric against China reflected his growing frustration with Beijing over the pandemic, which has cost tens of thousands of lives in the United States alone, sparked an economic contraction and threatened his chances of re-election in November.
    Two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a range of options against China were under discussion, but cautioned that efforts were in the early stages.    Recommendations have not yet reached the level of Trump’s top national security team or the president, one official told Reuters.
    “There is a discussion as to how hard to hit China and how to calibrate it properly,” one of the sources said as Washington walks a tightrope in its ties with Beijing while it imports personal protection equipment (PPE) from there and is wary of harming a sensitive trade deal.
    Trump made clear, however, that his concerns about China’s role in the origin and spread of the coronavirus were taking priority for now over his efforts to build on an initial trade agreement with Beijing that long dominated his dealings with the world’s second-largest economy.
    “We signed a trade deal where they’re supposed to buy, and they’ve been buying a lot, actually.    But that now becomes secondary to what took place with the virus,” Trump told reporters.    “The virus situation is just not acceptable.”
    The Washington Post, citing two people with knowledge of internal discussions, reported on Thursday that some officials had discussed the idea of canceling some of the massive U.S. debt held by China as a way to strike at Beijing for perceived shortfalls in its candidness on the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Trump’s top economic adviser denied the report.    “The full faith and credit of U.S. debt obligations is sacrosanct.    Period.    Full stop,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Reuters.
    Asked whether he would consider having the United States stop payment of its debt obligations as a way to punish Beijing, Trump said: “Well, I can do it differently.    I can do the same thing, but even for more money, just by putting on tariffs.    So, I don’t have to do that.”
WAR OF WORDS
    Seeking to quell a damaging trade war, Trump signed a first phase of a multibillion-dollar trade deal with China in January that cut some U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for Chinese pledges to purchase more American farm, energy and manufactured goods and address some U.S. complaints about intellectual property practices.
    Tariffs of up to 25% remain on some $370 billion worth of Chinese goods imports annually.
    Trump has touted his tough stance on China trade as a key differentiator from Democratic challengers in the presidential race.    Keeping tariffs in place on Chinese goods allows him to say he is maintaining leverage over China for a Phase 2 trade deal.
Speaking to reporters, Trump declined to say whether he held Chinese President Xi Jinping responsible for what he feels is misinformation from China when the virus emerged from Wuhan, China, and quickly spread around the world.
    A senior Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday that an informal “truce” in the war of words that Trump and Xi essentially agreed to in a phone call in late March appeared to be over.
    Washington and Beijing have traded increasingly bitter recriminations over the origin of the virus and the response to it.
    Trump and his top aides, while stepping up their anti-China rhetoric, have stopped short of directly criticizing Xi, whom the U.S. president has repeatedly called his “friend.”
    Some of Trump’s domestic critics say that although China performed poorly at the start of the outbreak, he now appears to be trying to use Beijing to help deflect from the shortcomings of his own response.
    While saying China should ultimately be held to account, Daniel Russel, who served as the State Department’s top Asia adviser until early in Trump’s term, said in a tweet: “You would be hard pressed to find a political leader in Asia or Europe who does not believe this anti-China push by the Trump administration is an entirely a political move.”
    Among the other ideas under consideration for retaliation against China are sanctions, new non-tariff trade restrictions and a possible effort to lift China’s sovereign immunity, two sources familiar with the matter said.
    Lifting sovereign immunity could allow the U.S. government and American citizens to file lawsuits seeking damages from Beijing in U.S. courts.
    The options are being discussed, informally for now, across government agencies including the State Department, White House National Security Council, Treasury Department and Pentagon, two of the sources said.
    The strongest pressure for action is coming from the National Security Council, including deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger, while Treasury officials are advising caution, the sources said.
    Conversations are at a very preliminary stage and significant action is not considered imminent, the sources said.    When asked, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has repeatedly said Washington’s priority at the moment is to fight the virus but that the time to hold China accountable would come.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Matt Spetalnick, Jeff Mason, David Brunnstrom, Andrea Shalal and Tim Ahmann; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney)

5/1/2020 President Trump: I would certainly consider bringing Flynn back into White House by OAN Newsroom
Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves federal courthouse in Washington,
Tuesday, July 10, 2018, following a status hearing. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    General Michael Flynn may be welcomed back to the White House.    President Trump said Thursday he would certainly consider bringing Flynn back into his administration.
    Flynn served as the president’s first national security adviser.    He later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation.    However, the president said he expects Flynn will now be exonerated.
    “But I think he’ll be fully exonerated one way or the other,” he stated.    “And so certainly he’d be capable of coming back, he suffered greatly.”
    President Trump was also asked if he would pardon Flynn.    He said he doesn’t think he will need to because he believes an exoneration is imminent.
    One America’s Salina Arredondo has the latest regarding evidence in the case surrounding Flynn.

5/1/2020 U.S. Intel Community: COVID-19 spread naturally by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Justin Jacob with the D.C. Department of Forensic Sciences runs a sample COVID-19 test inside a mobile testing lab unit that
will begin testing in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, Tuesday, April 28, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    The Office of the Director of National Intelligence recently issued a press release, saying it agrees with the widely held scientific stance on the origins of COVID-19.    The Intelligence Community’s first definitive statement was released Thursday and asserted the virus was not purposefully made in a lab.
    This came in contrast to several allegations put forward, which claimed China intentionally created and released the virus as a bioweapon.
    Trump administration officials have reportedly been pushing intelligence agencies to look into the matter.    They specifically wanted to focus on the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
    Despite the intelligence and research communities’ lack of support for the theory, President Trump has said there’s substantial evidence supporting the theory the virus originated in the Wuhan lab.
    “It came out of China and it’s not acceptable what happened.    Now what we’re doing, Jim, is we’re finding out how it came out.    Different forms, you know, you’ve heard all different things.    You’ve heard three or four different concepts as to how it came out.    We should have the answer to that in the not too distant future.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020
shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. (NIAID-RML via AP)
    When asked about evidence supporting the theory, the president claimed he could not speak on classified information.
    Intelligence and scientific leaders believe the virus was spread in a natural way from animals to humans via farming, hunting or the transportation of wild animals.
    However, the Department of National Intelligence has stated it will continue to “rigorously” examine emerging information to determine whether the virus emerged through transmission from an animal or an accident in a Chinese lab.

5/1/2020 NYC man arrested for stealing $12K in stimulus checks by OAN Newsroom
President Donald J.Trump’s name is printed on a stimulus check issued by the IRS to help combat the adverse
economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, Thursday, April 23, 2020, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    A New York man is facing mail theft charges after he allegedly stole stimulus checks from mailboxes.    31-year-old Feng Chen appeared in court Wednesday after prosecutors claimed he stole nine checks, which in total amounted to around $12,000.
    Officers reportedly watched Chen gather mail from doorsteps in Sunset Park Tuesday, then drop it on the sidewalk after he noticed he was being watched.
    The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has asked law enforcement to be on the lookout for the possibility of increased mail theft during the pandemic.
    “Bad actors, criminals, they look for opportunity and this is an opportunity like we’ve never seen before,” explained spokesperson Donna Harris.    “What we say is, when you get your mail, don’t leave it in the mailbox.”
    According to the official complaint, Chen was unable to keep his story straight.    He first said he was delivering food and later told police he lived at the address he allegedly stole from.    If convicted, Chen will face up to five years in prison.

5/1/2020 Mich. Gov. Whitmer extends emergency declaration until May 28th by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this this April 22, 2020, file photo, provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov.
Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool)
    Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order to extend Michigan’s state of emergency.    In a statement Thursday, Whitmer extended the state’s emergency and disaster declaration after it was originally set to expire on Friday.
    “Although we are beginning to see the curve flatten, we are not out of the woods yet.    We must all continue to be diligent, observe social distancing and limit in-person interactions and services to slow the spread of COVID-19.    Michigan now has more than 40,000 cases of COVID-19.    The virus has killed more Michiganders than we lost during the Vietnam War.    Extending this order is vital to the health and safety of every Michigander.    If we work together and do our part, we can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.” – Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan
    The move came despite major pushback from GOP legislators, who voted to authorize a lawsuit challenging Whitmer’s recent actions.    A state judge recently cleared the way for Whitmer by shooting down their lawsuit, which claimed the restrictions were unconstitutional.
    The Democrat governor defended her decision and called out Republican lawmakers for “putting more lives and livelihoods at risk.”
    “It doesn’t matter what crisis there is, you only have the power that you have and you can’t take more,” she stated.    “If people are going to die, I’m sorry, you only have as much power as you have.”
    Michigan’s stay-at-home order has been extended until May 28th.
Protesters rally at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, April 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
    A local Republican leader slammed the governor on social media following this announcement.    In a Facebook post, Sen. Mike Shirkey (R-Mich.) claimed Governor Whitmer is “drunk on the addiction of unfettered power” and acted “unilaterally” to lock down Michigan’s economy culture and society.
    Shirkey went on to say Whitmer has a complete disregard for the law and will mark April 30th as a day that will “last in infamy.”
    President Trump has since called on Governor Whitmer to ease up on some of her state’s coronavirus restrictions amid lockdown protests.    On Twitter, the president said she “should give a little and put out the fire.”
    He added the protesters are “very good people, but they are angry and they want their lives back again safely!”    The president then called on the governor to “see them, talk to them and make a deal.”
    These remarks came after armed protesters stormed Michigan’s capitol building Thursday, while lawmakers were debating whether to extend the state’s emergency order.

Protesters rally at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, April 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
[And this female governor of Michigan was the person who gave the Democrat speech after Trump's State Of The Union and as you see above I see the State of Michigan is in an uproar over her policies which was her speech of the Democrats future.].

5/1/2020 Ga. goes back to work, sets example for U.S. by OAN Newsroom
Mary Spoto, general manager of Madison Chop House Grille, places a sign outside the restaurant as she and her staff prepare to
shift from take out only to dine-in service Monday, April 27, 2020, in Madison, Ga. Some Georgia restaurants were reopening
for limited dine-in service as more restrictions against the coronavirus are loosened in the state. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
    The state of Georgia is lifting coronavirus-related restrictions in what could be a blueprint for a comeback of the broader U.S. economy.
    On Thursday, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced a plan to reopen most of Georgia’s businesses, while social distancing and measures to protect vulnerable demographics remain in place.    The move drew criticism by mainstream media, which has claimed Georgia may see a rise in COVID-19 cases.
    “I knew we were gonna be under scrutiny when when people started opening,” said Gov. Kemp.    “I knew the media would be out trying to find bad actors, which they were at 7 a.m. last Friday, but thankfully what they found was people had really taken these measures very seriously.”
    The reopening of Georgia is taking place as a rising number of doctors have said the government should quarantine the sick instead of locking up the healthy.    Gov. Kemp said that’s exactly what he’s doing by extending shelter-in-place for the medically fragile people through June 12.
Shannon Stafford styles the hair of Ebony Housey at her salon on Friday, April 24, 2020, in Savannah,
Ga. Gov. Brian Kemp announced this week the resumption of elective medical procedures, as well as the
reopening of certain close-contact businesses like gyms, barbershops and tattoo parlors. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum)
    Additionally and contrary to media projections, doctors have said such a reopening will allow Georgia to develop a herd immunity among its population and prevent a resurgence of the virus.
    “We have massive data, it is not statistically significant whether you lock down or not, so why are we doing it?” asked Dr. Dan Erickson, co-owner of Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield, California.    “We also need to put measures in place so economic shutdowns like this does not happen again…we wanna make sure we understand that quarantining the sick is what we do, not quarantining the healthy.”
    President Trump was initially skeptical of Georgia’s plan to reopen and said it may be happening too soon.    However, the president stressed it’s up to governors of states to decide and federal overreaches are unacceptable when handling the coronavirus.
    “And I’m very much in favor of what they’re doing,” he stated.    “They’re getting it going and we’re opening our country again.
    Georgia is now opening most of its businesses and public places, but some venues such as bars and nightclubs will remain shut until May 14.    Many business owners hope this will allow them to gradually recover from the financial damage inflicted by the lockdown.
    “It’s heartbreaking, but you know it’s gonna take time to overcome this and to get people to come back and support us,” said James Smith, location owner of Chronic Tacos in Alpharetta, Georgia.
    Meanwhile, a rising number of Americans are protesting ongoing lockdowns in other parts of the country.    Many protesters are now pointing to Georgia as an example by saying it’s about time America gets back to work in a safe and gradual manner.
Corey Brooks, right, orders food at a Waffle House restaurant in Savannah, Georgia, on Monday, April 27, 2020. Restaurants statewide were allowed to resume
dine-in service with restrictions after a month of being limited to takeout orders because of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum)
[Now Georgia’s governor has given his people their constitutional right and is not acting like a Michigan dictator.].

5/1/2020 Kellyanne Conway speaks out on Biden interview regarding Reade allegations by OAN Newsroom
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway talks to reporters about the coronavirus,
at the White House, Monday, April 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Kellyanne Conway recently addressed Joe Biden’s response to the Tara Reade sexual misconduct allegations.    While speaking to reporters Friday, the White House counselor said she felt a “big chill” when she saw the Biden interview where he denied any sexual misconduct toward Reade.
    Conway called his remarks “troublesome” and then called for Reade to speak publicly on the matter, so there are more definitive answers.    She went on to call out “the hypocrisy” of high-ranking politicians who claim to stand by women only when its convenient.
    “I felt a big chill when I saw Vice President Biden’s response to that because you only see him shrug his shoulders,” she explained.    “He said it didn’t happen — end of story — and I’m really disappointed in so called prominent powerful politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Amy Klobuchar basically saying something…some variation of ‘it’s Joe Biden, we know Joe Biden, it didn’t happen.'
    Conway reiterated that “we cant lose sight of these allegations” and said its crucial that Reade full lay out her side of the story.
[Even if Joe Biden is proven guilty of sexual assault when he was in his 50's as he is 79 years old now and would still be a touchy feely horny old man and he would not stop his campaign for the president and all his supporters would not care since they are Democrats.    I rest my case in that former president Bill Clinton was banging a female in the Oval office and lied until he was forced to admit it and even after being impeached he did not step down so why would anyone would think that Sleepy Joe would also.    And as you have seen he cannot remember this incident just like he cannot remember that he got a Ukraine attorney fired by holding back a billion dollars to protect his son Hunter from future prosecution and he did a QUID PRO QUO JOE who has a history of doing shady things.    SO CAN YOU REALLY BELIEVE HIM WHEN HE DENIES SITUATIONS.].

5/1/2020 Britain hits coronavirus testing target as death toll leaps again by Paul Sandle and Alistair Smout
Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaks during a daily news conference to update on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
outbreak, at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain May 1, 2020. Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has hit its target of carrying out 100,000 COVID-19 tests a day, health minister Matt Hancock said on Friday, stressing that the programme was crucial to helping ease a national lockdown.
    Hancock also announced that the British death toll had risen by 739 to 27,510 deaths – just below that of Italy which was one of the first and worst-hit European states.
    Hancock set the target of reaching 100,000 tests by the end of April after being criticised for moving too slowly on mass testing compared to other countries like Germany.
    Since then, the government has increased the number of drive-through testing sites, begun sending out home tests and has rapidly expanded the number of people eligible to apply for a test.
    At a news conference on Friday, Hancock said 122,347 tests were conducted in the 24 hours to 0800 GMT.
    “This unprecedented expansion in British testing capability is an incredible achievement,” he said.    “Testing is crucial to suppress the virus … It helps remove the worry.    It helps keep people safe, and it will help us to unlock the lockdown.”
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday that Britain had passed through the coronavirus peak, and promised to set out next week how the country will start returning to normal life.
    Nearly six weeks into the most stringent restrictions on daily life in Britain’s peacetime history, Hancock was asked whether people could plan family gatherings and holidays for late summer.
    “It’s still too early to say and I’m really sorry to have to give that answer, but it is,” he replied.
TESTING QUESTIONS
    A mass testing programme to gauge the spread of the virus through the population is seen as key to any easing of the social distancing measures that have all but shut down the economy and forced millions to stay at home.
    The number of tests carried out has increased rapidly in recent days, and has risen from levels of around 10,000 per day in early April.
    But political opponents immediately accused Hancock of manipulating the data.
    Testing programme coordinator John Newton said that home testing and some other testing kits were being included in the number of tests completed at the point they were sent out, not when they were analysed.    These accounted for around 40,000 of the latest total.
    “Tonight’s headline figure shouldn’t count tests that hadn’t been used, or indeed, might never be used as a completed test,” said Labour Party health spokesman Jon Ashworth.
    Johnson and his government have been criticised not only for not quickly stepping up testing, but also for moving slowly on bringing in the lockdown and for a lack of protective equipment for health workers.
    Opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer renewed his criticism of the prime minister in an interview with the Evening Standard newspaper, saying Johnson had been “slow, slow at every turn.”
    He called for testing to be ramped up to a quarter of a million tests every 24 hours and for 50,000 contact-tracers to be deployed to keep the nation safe.
(Reporting by Kate Holton, Elizabeth Piper, Paul Sandle; writing by William James, editing by Michael Holden, William Maclean, Toby Chopra and Stephen Addison)

5/1/2020 Thousands of Californians protest Gov. Newsom’s stay-at-home order, beach closures by OAN Newsroom
Law enforcement personnel on horseback keep protestors on the sidewalk during a May Day demonstration at the
pier Friday, May 1, 2020, in Huntington Beach, Calif., during the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
    Thousands of Californians have taken to the streets of Huntington Beach to protest the state’s “stay-at-home” orders.    On Friday, more than 2,000 demonstrators demanded Governor Gavin Newsom lift lockdowns and his new beach closure order, which went into effect this week.
    This came after the city announced it would pursue legal action against Newsom for his order to close beaches.    Several in the crowd appeared to be defying the six-foot distancing guidelines issued by the state, but went on to explain their disdain for the governor.
    “Shocked, unbelievable. We’ve been doing a great separation here.    The police department’s backed us, Newport’s backed us.    The governor’s on some kind of power trip, we don’t understand this.    We have to fight for our rights.” – Unnamed protester
A line of California Highway Patrol officers keep watch on protesters calling for the end of Gov Gavin Newsom’s
stay-at-home orders at the state Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, May 1, 2020. Several people were taken into custody
during the protest calling for Newsom to end the restrictions and allow people return to work. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
    Huntington Beach was not the only city to condemn the orders put forth by Newsom.    On Friday, hundreds of Californians gathered outside the state capitol in Sacramento to demand the reopening of schools, businesses and churches.
    Residents are criticizing the state’s list of “permissible” outdoor activities amid strict coronavirus lockdown restrictions.    State officials released a list Thursday, which explained where residents can and can’t go.    This triggered widespread backlash from residents and business owners alike.
    According to reports, at least 11 cities around the state saw lockdown related protests.
    “I think businesses should have the choice to open and customers should have the choice to go out or not go out,” stated one business owner.    “So, you got to be careful about the people who are very vocal about not reopening, because are they sincerely scared or are they really enjoying the unemployment benefits.”
People hold signs and flags during a protest against measures aimed at slowing the spread
of the new coronavirus Friday, May 1, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
    Many Californians have expressed disapproval over Newsom’s measures to stop the spread of the virus and argued actions like closing beaches are an overreach.
    The governor has said he feels the pressure from protesters to reopen, but stressed he is basing his decisions on science.    He added the state is getting closer to lifting restrictions on businesses, including retail hospitality and restaurant sectors.
    “If we have kind of weekend that I hope and expect, where we don’t see those huge crowds descend, we’re going to be in a position as early as Monday (or) Tuesday, I hope, to make some announcements of new strategies and partnerships that we’re working on in real time to address these large crowds,” stated Newsom.
    Meanwhile, residents are calling for the governor to focus more on addressing economic and social challenges ahead for the Golden State.

5/1/2020 President Trump: Tara Reade’s accusations ‘very credible’ by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he departs the White House, Friday, May 1, 2020,
in Washington. Trump is en route to Camp David, Md.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump commented on Joe Biden’s sexual assault allegations Friday, calling the claims “very credible.”    While speaking on Dan Bongino’s radio show, the president remarked the claims appear to hold more weight than the allegations made against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
    Earlier in the day, the former vice president publicly denied the allegations made by his former staffer, Tara Reade, and claimed the incident never happened.
    President Trump has advised Biden to fight the allegations if they are untrue and added he’s been on the other end of what he called “false accusations.”
    According to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, the administration was “pleased” that Biden addressed Reade’s assault claim.    During her first White House press briefing, McEnany stated she’s glad Biden took President Trump’s advice to clear the air.
This video framegrab image from MSNBC’s Morning Joe, shows Democratic presidential candidate former Vice
President Joe Biden speaking to co-host Mika Brzezinski, Friday, May 1, 2020. (MSNBC’s Morning Joe via AP)
    McEnany also spoke out about the false equivalency between Reade’s story and Christine Blasey Ford’s when prompted by a question about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
    “You know, that’s the president’s assessment, so I would point you back to his words. I think it was a grave miscarriage of justice, what happened with Justice Brett Kavanaugh.    There’s no need for me to bring up some of the salacious, awful and verifiably false allegations that were made against Justice Kavanaugh.” – Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary
    The secretary went on to say what the Democrats did to attack the reputation of Justice Kavanaugh in 2018 was an “embarrassment.”
    Meanwhile, Joe Biden has formally asked the secretary of the Senate to publicly disclose Tara Reade’s 1993 complaint.    Biden sent a letter on Friday and requested the necessary steps be taken to determine the location of those records, should they exist.
    He’s also requested all documents pertaining to the allegation be made public.

5/1/2020 Press Secy. McEnany weighs in on Flynn case, Biden scandal, COVID-19 origins by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Friday, May 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany weighed in on the case surrounding General Michael Flynn during her first formal briefing at the White House.    On Friday, she stated Americans should be scared by the recent revelations surrounding Flynn’s case, specifically the FBI’s alleged misconduct.
    McEnany also addressed the sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden.    She noted President Trump was pleased the former vice president took his advice and spoke out on the matter.
    She went on to say that despite recent findings, which claimed COVID-19 was not manmade, the president is still not convinced and the U.S. will continue investigating its true origin.
    “Current assessments indicated that President Trump’s statement is consistent with what some analysts believe is the epicenter of where the virus began.    I would note, that Intelligence statement you’re referring to really made two points: this virus originated in China, that it began through contact with infected animals, or was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.    So, I consider that consistent with what the president said, that he’s seen intelligence suggesting it could be in the Wuhan laboratory.” – Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary
    She also noted the administration is on the fast track to provide a coronavirus vaccine.    She quoted Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has said clinical trials have never gone this fast before.
    The secretary went on to say the White House will be conducting more press briefings moving forward.

5/1/2020 Wall Street sinks on renewed tariff threat
FILE PHOTO: The Wall Street sign is pictured at the New York Stock exchange (NYSE) in the
Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street sold off sharply on Friday as investor risk appetite was soured by the revived specter of tariffs against China, threatened anew by U.S. President Donald Trump in retaliation for the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought global economies to a grinding halt.
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 617.09 points, or 2.53%, to 23,728.63, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 81.13 points, or 2.79%, to 2,831.3 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 284.60 points, or 3.2%, to 8,604.95.
(Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Chris Reese)

5/2/2020 Oil up $0.66 to $19.75, DOW down 622 to 23,724.

5/2/200 More information on coronavirus deaths

5/2/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 945 to 161,703: RKI
FILE PHOTO: An empty street is pictured as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
continues, in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, Germany May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
    (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany rose by 945 to 161,703, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday.
    The death toll rose by 94 to 6,575.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing; by Tom Hogue)

5/2/2020 UK shadows Italy as worst hit in Europe: virus death toll passes 28,000 by Guy Faulconbridge and Costas Pitas
An employee takes the temperature of a customer at the entrance of a super market in China Town in London, following
the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 2, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville
    LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom’s COVID-19 death toll rose 621 to 28,131 as of May 1, just short of Italy which has so far had the world’s second most deadly outbreak of the disease after the United States.
    As Britain shadows Italy for the grim status of being the worst hit country in Europe, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing criticism from opposition parties who say his government stumbled in the early stages of the outbreak.
    Housing minister Robert Jenrick gave the latest UK figures at a Downing Street briefing on Saturday.
    The United States has had 64,740 deaths, followed by Italy with 28,710 and the United Kingdom on 28,131 and then Spain on 25,100, according to a Reuters tally.
    Italy, which has a population of 60 million, said its death toll rose 474 as of Saturday.    The United Kingdom has a population of about 67 million.
    Johnson, 55, initially resisted introducing a lockdown to restrict economic and public activity, but changed course when projections showed a quarter of a million people could die.
    himself battled COVID-19 last month, spending three days in intensive care.    He returned to work on Monday, telling the nation that people around the world were looking at the United Kingdom’s “apparent success.”
TESTS FOR EASING LOCKDOWN
    He has said the country is over the peak but that it is still to early to relax the lockdown he imposed on March 23 because there could be a second peak that he fears might overwhelm hospitals.
    The $3.0 trillion British economy, the world’s fifth largest, is stalling and Johnson is due next week to present a possible way to get the country back to work without triggering a second spike in cases.
    He has set five tests that must be met before he can lift the lockdown – with a reduction in the daily death toll and prevention of a second deadly peak among the key ones.
    Government scientists say that while the daily death tolls show a downward trend they expect them to plateau for a while.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Costas Pitas)

5/2/2020 Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll jumps, new cases stable
Medical staff is seen in an ambulance as they transfer a patient from a nursing home to a hospital, as the
spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Rome, Italy, May 2, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    ROME (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy jumped by 474 on Saturday, against 269 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, posting the largest daily toll of fatalities since April 21.
    The steep increase in deaths followed a long, gradual declining trend and was due largely to Lombardy, the country’s worst affected region, where there were 329 deaths in the last 24 hours compared with just 88 the day before.
    The daily tally of new infections was broadly stable for a third day running at 1,900 against 1,965 on Friday.
    The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 28,710, the agency said, the second highest in the world after that of the United States.
    The number of confirmed cases amounts to 209,328, the third highest global tally behind those of the United States and Spain.
    People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 100,704 from 100,943 on Friday.
    There were 1,539 people in intensive care on Saturday, slightly down from 1,578 on Friday and maintaining a long-running decline.    Of those originally infected, 79,914 were declared recovered against 78,249 a day earlier.
    The agency said 1.430 million people had been tested for the virus against 1.399 million the day before, out of a population of around 60 million.
(Reporting by Gavin Jones)

5/2/2020 Adios, indoor jogging! Spaniards rush outside to exercise after 49 days of lockdown by Nathan Allen and Graham Keeley
People wear protective face masks as they walk on the Bridge of Segovia, during the hours
allowed for individual exercise, for the first time since the lockdown was announced on March 14,
amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Madrid, Spain, May 2, 2020. REUTERS/Juan Medina
    MADRID (Reuters) – Joggers, cyclists and surfers across Spain hurried out of their homes on Saturday, allowed to exercise outdoors for the first time in seven weeks as the government began easing tough coronavirus restrictions.
    In Madrid, cyclists and skateboarders streamed along the city’s wide boulevards.    Barcelona’s beachside was packed with runners, while surfers and paddle-boarders were out enjoying the waves.
    “We are reaping the rewards of the sacrifices we have made during these long weeks,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said, but stressed that as the country opens up people will need to show self-control and personal responsibility to minimize the risk of any resurgence.
    “Until we have a vaccine there will be new outbreaks.    The most important thing is making sure these outbreaks do not put pressure on our national health system,” he told a news conference, adding it will be mandatory to wear masks on public transport from Monday.
    Hit by one of the world’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks, Spain imposed a strict lockdown in March, confining most of the population to their homes for all but essential trips.
    Sports and recreational walks were banned.
    Charlotte Fraser-Prynne, 41, a British government affairs consultant, was among the first to savour the new freedom to exercise – out for an early morning run near Madrid’s Retiro Park, which remains shut.
    “I have been looking forward to this for weeks.    I was joking with my friends that I would be the first out in Madrid,” she said.
    Health emergency chief Fernando Simon said parks would be opened “when the time is right.”    He told a news conference that the idea behind the latest easing was for people to exercise, not to socialise in groups.
    As the rate of infection has fallen and hospitals have regained their footing, Sanchez’s government has shifted its focus towards gradually reopening the country and reviving a badly battered economy.
    Sanchez said his government would approve a 16 billion euros ($17.57 billion) reconstruction fund to help regional authorities rebuild in the wake of the pandemic.
    The prime minister announced a four-phase plan this week to return the country to what he termed “the new normality” by the end of June.
    Last weekend, children under 14 were allowed out for an hour a day of supervised activity.
‘LITTLE BY LITTLE’
    Madrid resident Susana Piego, 52, was out cycling in the city centre on Saturday.
    “The easing out plan is good,” she said.    “We have to go little by little, like the WHO says, so that there is not another spike,” she said.
    The World Health Organization said on Friday that countries must lift lockdowns gradually, while being ready to restore restrictions if the virus jumps back.
    Spain has recorded a coronavirus death toll of 25,100, according to health ministry data on Saturday, and more than 216,582 cases.
    In Barcelona, there were throngs of people outdoors on Saturday.
    “Here on the beach promenade there are as many people as in summer,” said a publicist in the Catalan capital who gave her name only as Samara.
    To avoid overcrowding as people get outside, the government has implemented a shift system, allocating different time slots to different age groups.
    Businesses that operate by appointment, such as hairdressers, will be allowed to open from Monday.    Bars and restaurants will remain closed for at least another week.
    The lockdown has hammered the economy and the government expects gross domestic product (GDP) to contract 9.2% in 2020. ($1 = 0.9105 euros)
(Reporting by Graham Keeley, Michael Gore, Julien Hennequin; Writing by Nathan Allen; Editing by Frances Kerry)

5/2/2020 Protesters in Calif. call for statewide rent strike by OAN Newsroom
A sign with the message to cancel rent is displayed from a vehicle as a caravan of May Day protesters drives up 2nd Avenue outside
the offices of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Friday, May 1, 2020, in the Manhattan borough of New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
    Renters in California have joined hundreds of thousands across the country in a rent strike.    On Friday, protesters in San Francisco called for a rent strike to stand with residents, who were unable to pay their rent due to the financial burden of coronavirus lockdowns and layoffs.
    The state has enacted a moratorium on evictions due to nonpayment, but protesters are demanding rent and mortgage payments be completely canceled.
    “Even though we have a moratorium on payment of rent right now, six months after this ends, tenants will have to pay all of that rent and people are not going to be able to pay it,” explained one protester.    “So we’re going to look at the greatest eviction crisis we’ve ever had in this country.”
A sign with the message to “CANCEL THE RENT” is displayed in a vehicle windshield as a caravan of May Day protesters drives up 2nd Avenue
outside the offices of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Friday, May 1, 2020, in the Manhattan borough of New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
    Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced more than 4 million people had filed for unemployment since the pandemic began in the state.    According to reports, nearly 200,000 people across the country have signed up to join their local rent strike.
    According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 911,000 active cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. As of Saturday, nearly 65,000 people have died, while more than 164,000 have recovered.
    This comes as many states begin to slowly reopen businesses and testing ramps up. More than 6.5 million tests have been administered.
A sign with the message to cancel rent is displayed from a vehicle as a caravan of May Day protesters drives up 2nd Avenue outside
the offices of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Friday, May 1, 2020, in the Manhattan borough of New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
    Renters in California have joined hundreds of thousands across the country in a rent strike.    On Friday, protesters in San Francisco called for a rent strike to stand with residents, who were unable to pay their rent due to the financial burden of coronavirus lockdowns and layoffs.
    The state has enacted a moratorium on evictions due to nonpayment, but protesters are demanding rent and mortgage payments be completely canceled.
    “Even though we have a moratorium on payment of rent right now, six months after this ends, tenants will have to pay all of that rent and people are not going to be able to pay it,” explained one protester.    “So we’re going to look at the greatest eviction crisis we’ve ever had in this country.”
A sign with the message to “CANCEL THE RENT” is displayed in a vehicle windshield as a caravan of May Day protesters drives up 2nd Avenue
outside the offices of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Friday, May 1, 2020, in the Manhattan borough of New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
    Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced more than 4 million people had filed for unemployment since the pandemic began in the state.    According to reports, nearly 200,000 people across the country have signed up to join their local rent strike.
    According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 911,000 active cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.    As of Saturday, nearly 65,000 people have died, while more than 164,000 have recovered.
    This comes as many states begin to slowly reopen businesses and testing ramps up. More than 6.5 million tests have been administered.

5/2/2020 Anti-lockdown protesters gather around N.Y. state capitol by OAN Newsroom
Protesters upset with state coronavirus lockdown measures rally outside the Capitol on
Friday, May, 1, 2020, in Albany, N.Y. (Will Waldron/The Albany Times Union via AP)
    Large crowds gathered in front of the state capitol in Albany, New York, on Friday to protest Governor Andrew Cuomo’s lockdown orders.
    Hundreds of New Yorkers were heard chanting “USA,” while others waved American flags and held up signs.
    According to demonstrators, the lockdown goes beyond “flattening the curve.”    Attendees have said it’s about the government taking more and more control.
    “We are fighting for our constitutional rights and our rights given to us by God,” stated one protester.    “For every life that’s lost for COVID, I am sad, but for all the lives that have been changed or ruined because of the shutdown, I am more fearful.”
    Counter-protesters, who also demonstrated at the capitol, claimed the lockdown orders are saving American lives.    They suggested those protesting should be more focused on the health of the nation.
Protesters upset with state coronavirus lockdown measures rally outside the Capitol on
Friday, May, 1, 2020, in Albany, N.Y. (Will Waldron/The Albany Times Union via AP)
    This came after the governor was criticized for overspending taxpayer dollars on unnecessary hospitals in his state.    According to new reports, many field hospitals set up for treating coronavirus patients went unused in the peak of the pandemic.
    Last month, President Trump tweeted to Cuomo, “We built you thousands of hospital beds that you didn’t need or use.”
    The governor reportedly spent nearly $260 million on two hospital sites and aid from the USNS Comfort.
    The hospitals will reportedly remain on standby in case of a potential second wave of the virus.

5/2/2020 Dr. Fauci set to speak in front of the Senate by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus
in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Dr. Anthony Fauci is set to speak in front of the Senate next week.    Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released a statement on Saturday confirming this news.
    The senator added he’s looking forward to hearing from Fauci and other administration officials for a Senate Health Committee hearing on Tuesday.    The meeting will take place in front of the chamber’s Health Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee.
    However, this came one day after the White House shot down a different speaking opportunity for Fauci in front of the House.    According to Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere, it would be “counterproductive” for Dr. Fauci to appear before the lower chamber.
    “While the Trump administration continues its whole of government response to COVID-19, including safely opening up America again and expediting vaccine development, it’s not worthwhile to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at congressional hearings,” stated Deere.
    This came in response to House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing next week, which will focus on the administration’s response to the coronavirus.
    Deere argued the White House is not muzzling or blocking Fauci, but rather trying to ensure lawmakers able balance the need for oversight with their responsibility to handle COVID-19 work.    Moving forward, he added the administration is “committed to working with Congress to offer testimony, just only at appropriate times.”

5/2/2020 Poll: More than half of Democrats ‘mildly’ or ‘not that excited’ to vote for Biden by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 9, 2020, file photo Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden
speaks during a campaign rally at Renaissance High School in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
    According to a new poll, Democrats are not that excited to be voting for former Vice President Joe Biden in November. Emerson College’s survey of 1,200 voters showed more than half of Democrats are “mildly excited” or “not that excited” to support Biden.
    Voters cited his continued gaffes as a reason why they’re hesitant to support him.
    Nearly two thirds of Republicans are either “very or extremely excited” to reelect President Trump, while 57 percent of all voters believe he will win the election.    Several remained largely disappointed in Democrat leadership, due to their apparent double standard in handling Tara Reade’s claim and allegations against other politicians.
President Donald Trump smiles during an event about reopening the country, with industry executives, in the
State Dinning Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump has since highlighted his approval rating among Republicans and the nation as a whole.    On Saturday, he announced over Twitter that he has a “96 percent approval rating in the Republican Party.”
    He also cited a new Gallup poll, which reportedly showed he now has the highest ever approval rating overall and that he’s ahead of Biden.
    Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) began ramping up its online campaigning efforts this week.    The DCCC announced the launch of their Virtual Action Center on Friday, which will encourage volunteers to host and attend virtual campaign events near them.
    “Right now in communities across America, we are building an army of digital organizers and connecting them directly with our campaigns,” explained Executive Director Lucinda Guinn.    “Democrats are going to need all hands on deck if we’re going to protect and expand our House majority.”
    Democrats took control of the House in 2018 by 15 seats and are looking to maintain that strong hold.

5/2/2020 France set to impose 14-day coronavirus quarantine for travellers
FILE PHOTO - A view shows a deserted Nice international airport, as a lockdown is imposed to slow the
rate of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Nice, France April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
    PARIS (Reuters) – Travellers to France, including French citizens returning home, will face a compulsory two-week quarantine and possible isolation when they arrive in the country to help slow the spread of coronavirus, the health minister said on Saturday.
    France, which has been the fifth-hardest hit country with 24,594 deaths from COVID-19, is preparing to gradually lift lockdown measures from May 11.
    The new quarantine rules, however, will be included in a decree specifying measures laid out in a bill extending a state of emergency until July 24, a move that allows the government to restrict freedom of movement.
    “This quarantine will be imposed on any person returning on French soil,” Health Minister Olivier Veran told a press briefing after the weekly cabinet meeting.
    He said the duration and conditions of both quarantine for asymptomatic people and isolation for those showing symptoms of COVID-19, the flu-like disease caused by the new coronavirus, would be defined in a decree to be published.
    Decisions to isolate people would be scrutinised by judges to ensure they are justified and fair, he added.
    It was not immediately clear whether the quarantine would only apply to people arriving from outside Europe’s open-border Schengen area, whether they would need to self-isolate at home or in hotels, and for how long the measures would be in place.
(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Helen Popper)

5/3/2020 CORONAVIRUS IN KENTUCKY - ‘Prisoners in your own homes’ - 1,000 protesters gather at Capitol to oppose COVID-19 restrictions by Bailey Loosemore, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    On the steps of the Kentucky state Capitol, Lee Watts issued a command to a tightly packed crowd: Take off your masks.
    Few in the audience had chosen to wear one.    But as Watts kicked off a rally Saturday against Kentucky’s coronavirus restrictions, he asked the outliers to remove any coverings from their noses and mouths.
    “Sunshine destroys the virus,” said Watts, though a federal study on sunlight’s effects is still under review.    “So one of the most healthy things you can be doing today is coming out here in the sunshine.”
    Carrying American and Confederate flags, around 1,000 demonstrators gathered at the rally in Frankfort, where they denounced Gov. Andy Beshear’s “arbitrary” and “unconstitutional” response to the coronavirus pandemic.
    Speakers at the event — including four state representatives and one state senator, all Republicans — criticized the governor for hurting workers and businesses by refusing to immediately reopen the economy.
    Beshear has introduced Phase 1 of his plan, which calls for some businesses to resume activity on May 11.
    But protesters said Kentucky’s coronavirus outbreak has not warranted the extended closures of local businesses and public gathering places.
    “I’ve said for many weeks, most businesses and many of the medical service providers here in the commonwealth could have honored the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s) recommended guidelines and stayed open from day one,” said Rep. Kim King of Harrodsburg.
    “But this governor would rather choose winners and losers.”
    Ahead of the rally, demonstrators lined the steps of the building, where a bluegrass band played in front of the main entrance.
    Several protesters wore military-style gear and carried guns, while others held signs that read “My rights > your fears” and referred to the governor as “Adolf Beshear.”
    Below a podium, an X-ray technician wearing scrubs and a mask stood in silent protest of the gathering.    Several attendees holding signs moved to block her as speeches began, while others screamed insults at her.
    The technician, who is from Louisville but declined to give her name or place of work, said she came to Frankfort because “there are so many things that people don’t understand about what’s going on around them at a biological level.”
    “This mask isn’t protecting me.    It’s protecting you,” she said.    “And their rights don’t include the right to kill their neighbors.    I want the country to open up, too, but I want it to be safe.”
    State Rep. Savannah Maddox, a Republican from Dry Ridge, disagreed.
    Maddox said Kentucky’s government has made residents “prisoners in your own homes” by restricting where they can and can’t go.
    “It’s your health.    You have every right to be here, and don’t let anyone tell you differently,” she said, adding that “nobody’s ever going to force me to get a vaccine.”
    Maddox also defended fellow speaker Jack Roberts, pastor of Maryville Baptist Church, who has continued to host in-person Sunday services in Bullitt County.
    At the rally, Roberts energized the crowd by announcing that a judge had ruled in his favor in a case against Beshear, saying the governor could not prevent his congregation from meeting together.
    He told the audience not to believe what local media reported on the judgment.
    On Saturday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled state officials cannot prevent Maryville Baptist from holding drive-in worship services during the coronavirus pandemic. But the three-judge panel declined to extend the injunction to in-person services at the church, noting it was not comfortable doing so after being given the case 24 hours earlier.
    “The government cannot tell you that you can’t have church,” Roberts said Saturday.
    Lexington Rep. Stan Lee echoed Roberts’ sentiments, calling Beshear a “hypocrite” for deeming abortion clinics essential businesses, but not churches.
    “It’s distressing and disappointing that we have a governor that will shut down the state to quote save lives, then will veto the born-alive bill,” Lee said, referring to an abortion bill the governor vetoed last month.
    Todd Calvert, 54, of Louisville, said he attended the rally because he felt like Beshear’s actions have been “unconstitutional.”
    “He does not have the right to keep us from working and making a living, especially since he can’t get the unemployment system fixed,” the fashion stylist said.    “There are thousands of people across the commonwealth that are not getting paid these days because he can’t get them paid.”
    Protesters have gathered in Frankfort on multiple occasions to object to Beshear’s orders, including most recently on April 25.
    That day, demonstrators also put pressure on Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to rein in what they said was Beshear’s grasp on the state.
    Maddox said the protests have been the first time Kentuckians’ voices were heard during one of Beshear’s nightly briefings.
    And though Beshear had announced earlier in the week that he would not hold a press conference that night, Maddox said he’d have to listen to the group’s concerns.
    “He may not be here and he may not be hearing you in this moment, but he’s going to hear what you have to say,” she said.
    Reporters Ben Tobin and Joe Sonka contributed to this report.    Reach reporter Bailey Loosemore atbloosemore@courier-journal.com, 502-582-4646 or on Twitter @bloosemore. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/baileyl.
An estimated 1,000 people attended a rally at the Kentucky Capitol in Frankfort
to protest state restrictions. PHOTOS BY PAT MCDONOGH/COURIER JOURNAL
A woman prays while a young girl watches the speakers at the rally Saturday evening.
An estimated 1,000 people took part in a rally on the steps of the Kentucky state Capitol in Frankfort to protest
restrictions placed on citizens over the COVID-19 pandemic. PHOTOS BY PAT MCDONOGH/COURIER JOURNAL
Shannon Cila stands on the Capitol steps holding her protest signs.
A protester at the rally Saturday encourages the state to open for business.

5/3/2020 Spaniards head outdoors for first time in 7 weeks as coronavirus deaths fall by Graham Keeley and Nathan Allen
FILE PHOTO: Women wearing protective face masks walk through Madrid during the hours allowed
for elderly people to walk, for the first time since the lockdown was announced on March 14, amid the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Madrid, Spain, May 2, 2020. REUTERS/Juan Medina
    GAVÀ, Spain (Reuters) – Spaniards revelled in their new-found freedom this weekend after coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased to allow healthy adults out to play sports and take walks for the first time in seven weeks.
    Sigrid Cervera, 44, was heading for the sea on Sunday with her surfboard in Gavà, a town outside Barcelona whose council has permitted access to the beach.
    “Yahoo!” she cried as she entered the waves.    “I have not been able to go surfing for ages so I am very excited this morning,” she said.
    Under the new system, different age groups are assigned specific time slots to go out, while everyone must adhere to social-distancing guidelines, staying at least 2 metres apart.
    While Spain remains one of the countries worst hit by the pandemic, with more than 217,000 confirmed cases, data released on Sunday showed 164 people had died in the previous 24 hours, the lowest one-day increase since March 18.
    Jordi Jornet, 45, a musician who has been out of work since the start of the lockdown in March, was out jogging along the shore in Gavà.
    “Last night I was running in the mountains where there were less people but here there are more people out today,” he said.
    In an effort to prevent overcrowding, Barcelona’s city council has barred entry to its urban beaches, which can fill up even in spring, but instead thousands of people converged on the boardwalk that runs alongside the beachfront on Saturday.
    Similar scenes occurred in the capital Madrid, where parks and other large public spaces remain closed, forcing runners and walkers to share narrow pavements and walkways.
    The relaxation of exercise restrictions is one of the first steps in a four-phase plan to gradually reopen the country by the end of June.
    Last weekend, children under 14 were allowed out for an hour a day of supervised activity.    From Monday, businesses that operate by appointment, such as hairdressers and beauty salons, will resume limited services.
    In the next stage, outdoor seating areas of bars and restaurants will be allowed to open at 50% occupancy, while groups of up to 10 people will be allowed to gather in public places and in their homes.
    Environment Minister Teresa Ribera, who heads the committee responsible for unwinding the lockdown said the country must prepare to live with the virus for a long time.
    “Until at least the beginning of October we will have to be very careful,” she said in an interview with newspaper El Pais.
    Health Emergency Chief Fernando Simon echoed her sentiment and warned that containing the virus would depend on all Spaniards sticking to the rules.
    “There is a high probability of a new outbreak.    We don’t have any guarantees,” he told a daily press conference in Madrid.
(Reporting by Nathan Allen and Graham Keeley; Editing by David Goodman and Elaine Hardcastle)

5/3/2020 UK shadows Italy as worst hit in Europe: virus death toll passes 28,000 by Guy Faulconbridge and Costas Pitas
An employee takes the temperature of a customer at the entrance of a super market in China Town in London, following
the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 2, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville
    LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom’s COVID-19 death toll rose 621 to 28,131 as of May 1, just short of Italy which has so far had the world’s second most deadly outbreak of the disease after the United States.
    As Britain shadows Italy for the grim status of being the worst hit country in Europe, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing criticism from opposition parties who say his government stumbled in the early stages of the outbreak.
    Housing minister Robert Jenrick gave the latest UK figures at a Downing Street briefing on Saturday.
    The United States has had 64,740 deaths, followed by Italy with 28,710 and the United Kingdom on 28,131 and then Spain on 25,100, according to a Reuters tally.
    Italy, which has a population of 60 million, said its death toll rose 474 as of Saturday.    The United Kingdom has a population of about 67 million.
    Johnson, 55, initially resisted introducing a lockdown to restrict economic and public activity, but changed course when projections showed a quarter of a million people could die.
    Johnson himself battled COVID-19 last month, spending three days in intensive care.    He returned to work on Monday, telling the nation that people around the world were looking at the United Kingdom’s “apparent success.”
TESTS FOR EASING LOCKDOWN
    He has said the country is over the peak but that it is still to early to relax the lockdown he imposed on March 23 because there could be a second peak that he fears might overwhelm hospitals.
    The $3.0 trillion British economy, the world’s fifth largest, is stalling and Johnson is due next week to present a possible way to get the country back to work without triggering a second spike in cases.
    He has set five tests that must be met before he can lift the lockdown – with a reduction in the daily death toll and prevention of a second deadly peak among the key ones.
    Government scientists say that while the daily death tolls show a downward trend they expect them to plateau for a while.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Costas Pitas)

5/3/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 793 to 162,496: RKI
FILE PHOTO: People with a protective masks wait in line to enter a shop, as the spread of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Munich, Germany, April 27, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 793 to 162,496, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.
    The reported death toll rose by 74 to 6,649, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

5/3/2020 Trump admin. to give $12B to hospitals ‘hardest hit’ by virus by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing
at the White House, Friday, May 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump has directed $12 billion to hospitals across the nation that are currently treating the most coronavirus patients.    White     House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced the plan on Saturday, saying the money will be distributed among certain medical centers based on how many patients they’ve cared for with COVID-19.
    According to the secretary, only 395 hospitals have been dealing with more than 70 percent of virus hospitalizations.
    “These hospitals have collectively cared for over 70 percent of the 184,000 Americans that required hospital inpatient care,” stated McEnany.    “$10 billion of the $12 billion will go towards hospitals treating 100 or more COVID-19 admissions.”
    She went on to say $2 billion will also be divided among hospitals, according to how many low-income and uninsured patients they treated.
    The Department of Health and Human Services is currently processing those payments and promised to distribute the funds “as quickly as possible.”
A nurse gestures from inside the hospital as others hold a demonstration outside Jacobi Medical Center to protest a new policy by
the hospital requiring a doctor’s note for paid sick leave, in the Bronx borough of New York, April 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

5/3/2020 Truckers protest low rates in D.C. ‘May Day’ demonstration by OAN Newsroom
Truck owner Nir Udi, left, and truck driver Yasmani Ferrera join other truck drivers and small truck owners
during a rally along Constitution Avenue Northwest near the White House Friday, May 1, 2020, in Washington,
to gather support on the plight of the trucks drivers and small truck owners. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    Independent truck drivers parked their big rigs along the road in Washington, D.C., in protest, calling for the president to make trucking great again.    According to reports, self-employed truckers staged demonstrations in the nation’s capital and a slew of other states on Friday in what they called the ‘May Day’ protest.
    “We’re calling this May Day, ‘Mayday, mayday, mayday,’” said Disrespected Trucker Founder Shawn McIntosh.    “This is a call to arms for all the truckers, we got a problem out here.”
    Front line workers, who are keeping the supply chain going amid the pandemic, have urged Congress to enact laws to protect their pay against brokers, who they claimed are gouging the system.
    “It’s outrageous.    We’re just small carriers that is trying to make it and ensure that we can make money just to survive.    Then you turn around and, you know, you got guys out here that are gouging the system.    I’m sure that the federal government is giving the guys the work, are giving them the money to do whatever needs to be done, and then they are sticking it to the average Joe out here.” – Unnamed protester
Truck driver Osmany Almeida from Orlando, Fla., joins other truck drivers and small truck owners
during a rally along Constitution Avenue Northwest near the White House Friday, May 1, 2020, in Washington, to gather
support on the plight of the trucks drivers and small truck owners. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    The organizer of the event, Shawn Mcintosh, stated that drivers are growing weary of social distancing orders while on the road for days, sometimes weeks, at a time.    According to him, coronavirus lockdowns have restricted dine-in access at restaurants and limited bathrooms opportunities.
    Drivers have also been told they cannot remain in their trucks during the loading and unloading process, but they have nowhere else to go.
    “We need to have access to a break room, like their employees, where we can go, sit down, get a soda pop out of the machine and wait, not sit on a bench in a cage,” added McIntosh.    “There’s guys that are sitting in a cage on a bench to wait for their load to be loaded (up to) three hours, they don’t let you back in your truck.”
    Moving forward, independent truckers are urging lawmakers to create federal laws to protect against the transportation of cargo at unfair prices, in addition to a cap on the brokers’ cut of their pay.
    “We’re going to let President Trump know that we’re here, we’re not moving,” said one protester.    “We want our fair share, and we need laws to protect these drivers.”

5/3/2020 Gilead CEO: Remdesivir to be delivered in coming days by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 2020 photo provided by Gilead Sciences, rubber stoppers are placed onto filled vials
of the investigational drug remdesivir at a Gilead manufacturing site in the United States. Given through an IV, the
medication is designed to interfere with an enzyme that reproduces viral genetic material. (Gilead Sciences via AP)
    According to the head of Gilead Sciences, doses of Remdesivir will be delivered in the days to come.    On Sunday, CEO Daniel O’Day announced the drug should be delivered to coronavirus patients by the early part of next week.
    He also said his company will be working with the government to determine which cities are the most vulnerable and where the patients need the medicine the most.    The treatment has been shown to cut virus recovery time up to four days.
    “I think I speak on behalf of all of us at Gilead that we are grateful and really humbled that everything has moved so quickly,” stated O’Day.    “You know, it’s only been three months since the first case was diagnosed in the United States, to the emergency use authorization use that was provided this past Friday.”
    This came after a report by Stanford Medicine revealed the results of two clinical trials of the medicine, which showed its effectiveness against coronavirus.
FILE – In this March 2020 photo provided by Gilead Sciences, a vial of the investigational drug remdesivir is visually inspected at a
Gilead manufacturing site in the United States. On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, the company says its experimental antiviral drug has
proved effective against the new coronavirus in a major U.S. government study that put it to a strict test. (Gilead Sciences via AP)
    Meanwhile, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has reaffirmed the U.S. may create several potential cures and vaccines for COVID-19 in the coming few months.    During a recent interview, he noted economic shutdowns are not working well to contain the spread of the virus.
    He added up to 100,000 people could die of the illness by June.    The former commissioner also stressed the FDA must streamline the trials and approvals of potential cures.
    “I know companies are working on protocols, designing trials, to engage in that kind of deployment of vaccines.    What we need right now is more than one manufacturer to be successful. We need multiple manufacturers, U.S. based manufacturers, to have vaccines ready to deploy in time for the fall.” – Scott Gottlieb, former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration
    According to Gottlieb, President Trump’s plan to deploy 300 million doses of a vaccine by January is feasible and well within reach.
    “There’s also the antibody drugs that we talked about that could be available by the fall,” he said.    “Vaccines may be available by the fall in doses sufficient to ring fence infections in cities.”

5/3/2020 Ohio, Mich. governors respond to policy pushback by OAN Newsroom
In a pool photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses
the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., Friday, May 1, 2020. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool)
    The governors of Ohio and Michigan have responded to backlash from their citizens over strict social distancing policies.    On Sunday, Governors Mike DeWine of Ohio and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan participated in interviews, where they addressed the protests in their respective states.
    Whitmer stated she understood the concerns of residents and wanted to help. She also condemned those who she claimed used the pandemic to share hatred.
    “Displays like the one that we saw at our capitol is not representative of who we are in Michigan.    There were swastikas, confederate flags, nooses and people with assault rifles.    That’s a small group of people, when you think about the fact that this is a state of almost 10 million people, the vast majority of whom are doing the right thing.” – Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan

FILE – In this Jan. 14, 2019, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks during a public inauguration
ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, Pool, File)
    Meanwhile, residents in Ohio were angry after DeWine announced wearing face masks would be mandatory for both retail employees and customers.    However, after intense backlash, the governor reversed his position.
    “After we put out the order that everyone in retail who walked into a store as a customer would have to do that, it became clear to me that was just a bridge too far,” he explained.    “The people were not going to accept the government telling them what to do.”
    DeWine has unveiled his economic plan, titled ‘Responsible Restart Ohio,’ which will allow business to resume in phases.    Both states have been under lockdowns since late March with stay-at-home orders extending through most of May.

5/3/2020 Kudlow: 2021 could be one of the fastest growth rebound years in American history by OAN Newsroom
White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow talks to reporters about the coronavirus,
at the White House, Monday, April 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The director of the National Economic Council has said the U.S. will likely see a “very strong economic rebound” next year.    On Sunday, Larry Kudlow noted although the economy doesn’t look great now, experts are optimistic it will soon bounce back.     However, he refrained from saying whether states should receive additional funding from the federal government for COVID-19 related financial woes.    The adviser instead suggested we look to see how states are doing once we reopen the economy.
    “We’re trying to get from one side to the other, we’re trying to work through this.    I don’t want to rule in or out anything right now.    We are in discussions internally and with leading members of Congress.” – Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council
    He added economic forecasters have been looking ahead to 2021, saying it “could be one of the fastest growth rebounds in American history.”
A man walks past a closed business, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
    In the meantime, Senior Economic Adviser Kevin Hassett has said the White House is waiting to see the economic impact of states reopening to determine what the next phase of relief will be. According to Hassett, if the economy is strong enough, Paycheck Protection funds won’t need to be revisited and the administration will move on to a ‘phase four’ deal on “growth and recovery.”
    He confirmed President Trump is willing to negotiate this deal, but noted fixing long-term problems for states is off the table.
    “He’s absolutely opposed to bailouts.    He doesn’t want to fix 25-year-old problems and use the COVID disaster, really, as an excuse to do that.    I think he’s going to be completely open to looking at what the costs are that people incur because of COVID, like the extra costs to first responders and so on, and to make sure that the states are helped with those things.” – Kevin Hassett, White House Economic Adviser
    Hassett added a 16 to 19 percent unemployment rate is expected, but he believes this is only temporary because of the shutdown and could reverse “relatively quickly.”

5/3/2020 Pompeo says ‘significant’ evidence new coronavirus emerged from Chinese lab
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference at the State
Department, in Washington, U.S., April 29, 2020. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday there was “a significant amount of evidence” that the new coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory, but did not dispute U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that it was not man-made.
    “There is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan,” Pompeo told ABC’s “This Week,” referring to the virus that emerged late last year in China and has killed about 240,000 people around the world, including more than 67,000 in the United States.
    Pompeo then briefly contradicted a statement issued this week by the top U.S. spy agency that said the virus did not appear to be man-made or genetically modified.    That statement undercut conspiracy theories promoted by anti-China activists and some supporters of President Donald Trump who suggest it was developed in a Chinese government biological weapons laboratory.
    “The best experts so far seem to think it was man-made.    I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point,” Pompeo said.    When the interviewer pointed out that was not the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies, Pompeo backtracked, saying, “I’ve seen what the intelligence community has said.    I have no reason to believe that they’ve got it wrong.”
    The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for clarification on Pompeo’s comments.
    Thursday’s report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said it concurred with “the wide scientific consensus” that the disease was not man-made.
    U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reporting and analysis have said for weeks that they do not believe Chinese scientists developed the coronavirus in a government biological weapons lab from which it then escaped.
    Rather, they have said they believe it was either introduced through human contact with animals at a meat market in the central city of Wuhan, or could have escaped from one of two Wuhan government laboratories believed to be conducting civilian research into possible biological hazards.
(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Scott Malone and Daniel Wallis)

5/3/2020 WHO’s Ryan says world is in ‘fight of our lives’, but there is hope by Kate Kelland and Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: Executive Director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) emergencies program Mike Ryan speaks at a news
conference on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) – Parts of the world are starting to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and to cautiously resume some sort of normal life, but the new coronavirus will pose significant risks until vaccines are developed, the WHO’s top emergencies expert said on Sunday.
    Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergencies programme, said while many countries are still in the eye of the storm, others were beginning to show it is possible to contain the disease to some extent.
    “In that sense, there’s hope,” Ryan told Reuters in an online interview from Geneva.
    “At a global level the situation is still very, very serious but the pattern of the disease and the trajectory of the virus is very different in different parts of the world right now,” he said.
    “What we’re learning is that it is possible to get this disease under control and it is possible to begin resuming normal economic and social life, with a new way of having to do that, and with extreme caution and vigilance.”
    However, some countries in Africa and in central and South America are still seeing “an upwards trajectory in cases” and although they may not appear to have a big problem yet, the availability of tests remains an issue, Ryan added.
    More than 3.44 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 243,015 have died, according to a Reuters tally as of Sunday.
    Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December.
    “We’re in the middle of the fight of our lives – all of us around the world,” Ryan said.    “There’s going to be a significant and extended risk until we reach a point where we have a safe and effective vaccine available to all.”
    Ryan said some countries, including China, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand and others, had reached what he described as “a steady state” with regard to the spread of COVID-19.
    Meanwhile Europe and North America are beginning to emerge from “very intense epidemics” of the disease and are now trying to navigate a safe exit from severe restrictions on economic and social activities imposed in the past few months, he said.
    After months of severe lockdown, people in Italy and Spain were starting to enjoy a little more freedom on Sunday.    Israel has opened some schools, while South Korea said it would further relax social distancing rules from May 6, allowing a phased re-opening of businesses.
    Ryan said this showed “not that the virus can be beaten absolutely, but that we can reach a point where we have enough control over the virus that our social and economic lives can begin again.”
    He reiterated, however, that any government seeking to relax restrictions should do so with extreme caution.
    The WHO warned on Friday that countries must lift lockdowns gradually, while still being “on the look-out” for COVID-19 and ready to restore restrictions if the virus jumps back.
(Reporting by Kate Kelland and Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Frances Kerry)

5/3/2020 Venezuela government says eight killed in foiled mercenary ‘incursion’
A member of the La Guaira state police gestures at a road checkpoint, after Venezuela's government
announced a failed "mercenary" incursion, in Macuto, Venezuela, May 3, 2020. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
    CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s government said it foiled a marine incursion on Sunday by “terrorist mercenaries” who attempted to enter the country on speedboats from neighboring Colombia, which opposition leaders dismissed as a staged incident.
    President Nicolas Maduro frequently accuses political adversaries of attempting to overthrow him with the backing of Washington, which has vowed to force him from office through sanctions that have crippled the OPEC nation’s oil exports.
    Critics of the ruling Socialist Party often dismiss such accusations as stunts used as an excuse to detain opponents of the government.
    The group landed early on Sunday on the coast of La Guaira, about 20 miles (32 km) from the capital Caracas, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said in a televised address.
    “They tried to carry out an invasion by sea, a group of terrorist mercenaries from Colombia, in order to commit terrorist acts in the country, murdering leaders of the revolutionary government,” he said.
    Opposition leader Juan Guaido said the government was seeking to distract from recent violent events including a deadly prison riot on Friday and bloody Caracas gang battle on Saturday night.
    “The regime is seeking to divert attention with a supposed incident (in La Guaira) plagued with inconsistencies, doubts and contradictions,” the press team for Guaido, who is recognized by more than 50 countries as Venezuela’s legitimate leader, said in a statement.
    Socialist Party leader Diosdado Cabello said eight people were killed and two detained.
    Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said one of the speedboats had sunk, and that military vessels were searching the coast for survivors.
    Maduro has overseen a six-year economic crisis that has left many citizens unable to obtain basic food and medicine and forced nearly five million people to emigrate.
    The United States and dozens of other countries disavowed Maduro after his disputed 2018 election, which they say was rigged.    They instead recognize Guaido, who is head of the country’s legislature.
    But Maduro retains the backing of the country’s armed forces as well as countries including China and Russia, which have harshly criticized the U.S. sanctions.
(Reporting Vivian Sequera; Writing by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

5/3/2020 Colombia’s military chief vows to root out army officials linked to spy scandal by Luis Jaime Acosta
FILE PHOTO: Commander of the Colombian Military Forces, General Luis Fernando Navarro speaks during a
news conference about Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro's support for illegal Colombian armed groups operating
from Venezuelan territory, in Bogota, Colombia, September 30, 2019. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez/File Photo
    BOGOTA (Reuters) – The chief of Colombia’s armed forces vowed on Sunday to get to the bottom of an ongoing scandal over spying on journalists, politicians and judges by what he described as rogue elements within the country’s army.
    In an interview with Reuters, General Luis Fernando Navarro said he was committed to finding and punishing those responsible for any hacking, which came to light in a January report by magazine Semana.
    The defense ministry on Friday announced the ouster of 11 unnamed military officials and the resignation of a general related to the scandal.
    There have been repeated hacking scandals involving the Colombian military in recent years, including accusations negotiators at peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels were spied on.
    Previous investigations have not yet led to convictions.
    “Colombia’s intelligence system is under total and absolute control,” Navarro said in a phone interview.    Changes had been made to command structures and strict security protocols were implemented after the scandal came to light, he said.
    Illegal spying is not an institutional policy but reflects the individual actions of a few officials who have not just lost their jobs but could face jail time, Navarro said.
    Semana published more details on Friday including the names of some alleged victims.    It said more than 130 people, among them foreign and domestic journalists, had been hacked and information about their contacts, families and addresses collected.
    Semana said it had dozens of documents connected to the case and some of the units involved had received funding and equipment from a foreign intelligence agency.
    Navarro would not confirm the alleged illegal use of foreign resources, saying only he was confident Colombia would continue receiving help to fight drug trafficking and armed groups.
    “The investigations have to move forward and find those responsible,” he said.
    “Our cooperation has to continue to be strong, we need it to combat transnational organized crime and we guarantee to our strategic allies that we are investigating, making decisions and any person who has gone outside the law will have to answer for it.”
    The United States has long been Colombia’s principal ally in the battle against guerrillas and drug trafficking gangs and intelligence has been key to attacks on rebel leadership and cocaine confiscations.
    One of the alleged hacking victims is a former secretary of the presidency who worked closely with President Ivan Duque.
    Duque and his defense minister have rejected the alleged spying and said illegal conduct within the military will not be tolerated.
(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Tom Brown)

5/3/2020 Dutch coronavirus cases rise 335 to 40,571 with 69 new deaths: health authorities
FILE PHOTO - A woman wearing a mask crosses an empty square in central Maastricht, Netherlands March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
    THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the Netherlands has increased by 335 to 40,471, Dutch health authorities said on Sunday.
    The National Institute for Public Health reported 69 new deaths, taking total COVID-19 fatalities to 5,056.    The authorities stress that the actual number of infections is likely higher because not all suspected COVID-19 patients are being tested.
(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

5/3/2020 Businesses open despite state lockdown orders by OAN Newsroom
Viki Milliken puts out open signs at Martin’s Family Clothing as state restrictions loosen amid the coronavirus outbreak,
allowing retail stores to reopen, Thursday, April 30, 2020, in Decatur, Ala. (Dan Busey/The Decatur Daily via AP)
    A handful of businesses across the country have opened back up, despite active lockdown measures.    Several states have been in lockdown for more than a month, leaving many small businesses unable to collect a sufficient income.
    “Time to reopen for sure.    We flattened the curve, we haven’t overwhelmed the hospitals.    …We can’t crush the economy.” – Jim Scarr, business owner
    California diner Cafe El Dorado opened its full service dining room Friday after getting an eviction notice, which came after the owner failed to pay rent amid the pandemic.    Supporters of the decision argued it’s time for California to open back up.
    The cafe, along with a number of other restaurants, has stopped limiting its service to take out and delivery this weekend in defiance of government orders.
JoAnn Zimpher hangs an open sign outside Trader J’s Gift Shop Friday, May 1, 2020, in Wickenburg, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
    President Trump has voiced support for a restaurant owner in Maine, whose health license was taken away after he opened his business amid stay-at-home orders.
    A California gym owner has also decided to reopen.    He argued his business is essential to people’s health and well-being.
    “I started doing research and I found out that depression, anxiety, suicide and divorce… (are) all over in this short time frame, and nobody wants to do anything about it,” stated Jacob Lewis.    “That’s including our governor.”

A “covid kills businesses too” sign is shown outside Euro Treasures Antiques
Friday, April 24, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
    A hair salon in Alabama has also defied the state’s business regulations, which spurred calls to reopen salons across the state.    Several business owners were threatened by city officials with fines if they chose to remain open.
    This comes as thousands across the nation have engaged in demonstrations against the lockdown measures, which they argued violate citizens’ constitutional rights.
    However, most governors appear hesitant to reopen.

5/4/2020 Global coronavirus cases surpass 3.5 million amid underreporting fears by Jane Wardell
FILE PHOTO: A health worker walks around the NYU Langone Hospital, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., May 3, 2020. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo
    SYDNEY (Reuters) – Global coronavirus cases surpassed 3.5 million on Monday and deaths neared a quarter of a million, according to a Reuters tally, concerning experts who fear substantial underreporting even as the rate of fatalities and new cases slows.
    North America and European countries, where growth rates are easing, still accounted for most of the new infections reported in recent days.
    But case numbers were rising from smaller bases in Latin America, Africa and Russia, and experts expressed concern that the overall data falls well short of the true impact of the pandemic.
    Globally, there were 74,779 new cases over the past 24 hours, according to the Reuters tally that is based on official government data, taking total cases to around 3.52 million.
    That compares with around 3 million to 5 million cases of severe illness caused annually by seasonal influenza, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), but falls far short of the Spanish flu, which began in 1918 and infected an estimated 500 million people.
    “We still have to be skeptical about the numbers we get,” Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases physician and microbiologist at Canberra Hospital, told Reuters.    “That’s a huge problem.”
    “The mortality rate is also 10 times higher than for influenza in all age groups.”
    Cases may cause only mild symptoms and not everyone with symptoms is tested, while most countries only record hospital deaths, meaning many deaths in private homes and nursing homes have not yet been included.
    Deaths related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new virus, stood at 246,920.    The first death was reported on Jan. 10 in Wuhan, China, after the virus emerged there in December.
LIFTING LOCKDOWNS?
    The daily rate of new cases worldwide has been sitting in a 2%-3% range over the past week, versus a peak of around 13% in mid-March, prompting many countries to begin easing lockdown measures that have upended businesses and crippled the global economy.
    The loosening of restrictions has proved controversial, however, as experts debate the best strategy to ensure there is no large “second wave” outbreak.
    “We could easily have a second or a third wave because a lot of places aren’t immune,” Collignon said, noting the world was well short of herd immunity, which requires around 60% of the population to have recovered from the disease.
    Health officials have also expressed concern about the rising case numbers in countries where there is a shortage of testing and a lack of medical facilities.
    While the number of new cases has come off a peak of 104,495 reported in a single day last week, it is still at around 75,000 to 90,000 cases per day globally.
    In the United States, around half the country’s state governors partially reopened their economies over the weekend, while others, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, declared the move was premature.
    In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who battled COVID-19 last month, said on Sunday the country was over the peak but it was still too early to relax lockdown measures.
    Even in countries where the suppression of the disease has been considered successful, such as Australia and New Zealand which have recorded daily rates of new infections in the low single digits for weeks, officials have been cautious.
    Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has predicated a full lifting of curbs on widespread public adoption of a mobile phone tracing app and increased testing levels.
(Reporting By Jane Wardell; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Richard Pullin)

5/4/2020 Trump administration pushing to rip global supply chains from China: officials by Humeyra Pamuk and Andrea Shalal
FILE PHOTO: Containers of Chinese companies China Shipping and COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company) are loaded
on a container as it is leaving the port in Hamburg, Germany March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration is “turbocharging” an initiative to remove global industrial supply chains from China as it weighs new tariffs to punish Beijing for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, according to officials familiar with U.S. planning.
    President Donald Trump, who has stepped up recent attacks on China ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election, has long pledged to bring manufacturing back from overseas.
    Now, economic destruction and the massive U.S. coronavirus death toll are driving a government-wide push to move U.S. production and supply chain dependency away from China, even if it goes to other more friendly nations instead, current and former senior U.S. administration officials said.
    “We’ve been working on [reducing the reliance of our supply chains in China] over the last few years but we are now turbo-charging that initiative,” Keith Krach, undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment at the U.S. State Department told Reuters.
    “I think it is essential to understand where the critical areas are and where critical bottlenecks exist,” Krach said, adding that the matter was key to U.S. security and one the government could announce new action on soon.
    The U.S. Commerce Department, State and other agencies are looking for ways to push companies to move both sourcing and manufacturing out of China.    Tax incentives and potential re-shoring subsidies are among measures being considered to spur changes, the current and former officials told Reuters.
    “There is a whole of government push on this,” said one.    Agencies are probing which manufacturing should be deemed “essential” and how to produce these goods outside of China.
    Trump’s China policy has been defined by behind-the-scenes tussles between pro-trade advisers and China hawks; now the latter say their time has come.
    “This moment is a perfect storm; the pandemic has crystallized all the worries that people have had about doing business with China,” said another senior U.S. official.
    “All the money that people think they made by making deals with China before, now they’ve been eclipsed many fold by the economic damage” from the coronavirus, the official said.
ECONOMIC PROSPERITY NETWORK
    Trump has said repeatedly that he could put new tariffs on top of the up to 25% tax on $370 billion in Chinese goods currently in place.
    U.S. companies, which pay the tariffs, are already groaning https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-tariffs/trumps-tariffs-add-to-pandemic-induced-turmoil-of-u-s-manufacturers-idUSKBN22C1MY under the existing ones, especially as sales plummet during coronavirus lockdowns.
    But that does not mean Trump will balk at new ones, officials say. Other ways to punish China may include sanctions on officials or companies, and closer relations with Taiwan, the self-governing island China considers a province.
    But discussions about moving supply chains are concrete, robust, and, unusually for the Trump administration, multi-lateral.
    The United States is pushing to create an alliance of “trusted partners” dubbed the “Economic Prosperity Network,” one official said.    It would include companies and civil society groups operating under the same set of standards on everything from digital business, energy and infrastructure to research, trade, education and commerce, he said.
    The U.S. government is working with Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Vietnam to “move the global economy forward,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said April 29.
    These discussions include “how we restructure … supply chains to prevent something like this from ever happening again,” Pompeo said.
    Latin America may play a role, too.
    Colombian Ambassador Francisco Santos last month said he was in discussions with the White House, National Security Council, U.S. Treasury Department and U.S. Chamber of Commerce about a drive to encourage U.S. companies to move some supply chains out of China and bring them closer to home.
    China overtook the United States as the world’s top manufacturing country in 2010, and was responsible for 28% of global output in 2018, according to United Nations data.
    The pandemic has highlighted China’s key role in the supply chain for generic drugs https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-pharmaceuticals-ap/chinas-coronavirus-induced-supply-chain-woes-fan-concerns-of-possible-drug-shortages-idUSKBN20Y1C7 that account for the majority of prescriptions in the United States.    It has also shown China’s dominance in goods like https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-amazon-com-cameras/exclusive-amazon-turns-to-chinese-firm-on-u-s-blacklist-to-meet-thermal-camera-needs-idUSKBN22B1AL the thermal cameras needed to test workers for fevers, and its importance in food supplies.
HARD SELL FOR COMPANIES
    Many U.S. companies have invested heavily in Chinese manufacturing and rely on China’s 1.4 billion people for a big chunk of their sales.
    “Diversification and some redundancy in supply chains will make sense given the level of risk that the pandemic has uncovered,” said Doug Barry, spokesman for the U.S.-China Business Council.    “But we don’t see a wholesale rush for the exits by companies doing business in China.”
    John Murphy, senior vice president for international policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said that U.S. manufacturers already meet 70% of current pharmaceutical demand.
    Building new facilities in the United States could take five to eight years, he said.    “We’re concerned that officials need to get the right fact sets before they start looking at alternatives,” Murphy said.
    Trump White House pledges to punish China have not always been followed by action.
    A move to block global exports of chips to blacklisted Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, for example, favored by hawks in the administration and under consideration since November, has not yet been finalized.
(Additional reporting by Alex Alper, David Lawder, Matt Spetalnick and David Brunnstrom; Writing by Heather Timmons; Editing by Tom Brown)

5/4/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 679 to 163,175: RKI
FILE PHOTO: The cyclist rides past the skyline with its banking district during sunset in Frankfurt, Germany,
April 29, 2020, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 679 to 163,175, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday.     The reported death toll rose by 43 to 6,692, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

5/4/2020 RNC chairwoman optimistic of Trump campaign, slams media for lack of coverage over Biden allegations by OAN Newsroom
File- Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel speaks during a Donald Trump
campaign rally on Nov. 5, 2018, in Cape Girardeau, Mo. (Jeff Roberson/AP Photo)
    The Republican National Committee chairwoman recently sat down to discuss the state of the electorate just six-months away from the general election.    Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel weighed in on the potential match-up between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden by saying she isn’t relying on polling this far out.
    McDaniel said she’s taking recent polling data giving Biden an edge over President Trump with a grain of salt.    She argued they may not be accurate like several polls predicting a Hillary Clinton victory in 2016.
    She added that there are several indicators showing American support for the president and cited a relatively high approval rating before taking on the coronavirus pandemic.
    “Voters approve of the president’s handling of the economy heading into this pandemic and they recognize that he’s going to be the leader to restore the economy coming out of this,” said McDaniel.    “He did it once with seven million new jobs, record low unemployment, and they trust him as the leader who’s going to get these jobs back and get our economy humming again.”
FILE – In this April 7, 2020, file photo voters line up at Riverside High School for Wisconsin’s primary election in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)
    The RNC chairwoman also commented on the sexual assault allegations against Biden by comparing the stark contrast of media attention to accusations made against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.    McDaniel claimed the treatment of the two cases shows the hypocrisy of the media and Democrat Party.    She believes the media grilled Kavanaugh yet is ignoring Biden.
    She also noted that there was constant wall-to-wall news coverage of Kavanaugh’s accusations and there was even an FBI investigation into the issue.    However, she said coverage of Biden’s allegations went dark after gaining traction, leaving the issue alone for five-weeks.
    “Nineteen interviews without a single question, he won’t let people go into his records in the University of Delaware,” explained McDaniel.    “They’re calling on the DNC to do the investigation..it went from MeToo, MeToo, MeToo, to Move on, Move on, Move on in a nanosecond because he’s a Democrat.”
    Meanwhile, Biden’s primary victories in Ohio and Kansas are bringing him closer to clinching the Democrat nomination.    Additionally, President Trump’s campaign team is looking to adapt to the slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic as officials look to ramp up its digital content.

5/4/2020 Orange County, Calif. restaurant ignores stay-at-home order, reopens doors to public by OAN Newsroom
    A restaurant in Orange County, California reopened its doors to the public despite the state’s stay-at-home order.    Jeff Gourey, owner of the Nomads Canteen in San Clemente, opened his business to patrons for the first time in over six-weeks over the weekend.
    According to reports, the move was well received by locals as the restaurant was full to capacity shortly after reopening. Gourey said he reached out to city and county officials to let them know his plans and claimed no one stopped him.
    When citing his reason to reopen, the restaurant owner said he had 25 employees on payroll and the canteen was just bringing in 10 percent of its normal profits through take-out orders.
    “I’m emotional, its a bigger fight than for my restaurant, its for my people,” he stated.    “How long do we hide from it regardless? I mean, we cant stop working, we cant stop living.”
    Meanwhile, local reports said Gourey has been issued a warning for violating the governor’s order, which could lead to a permit suspension if he continues to keep his doors open.
[WOW AS PRINCE WOULD SING THEY WILL PARTY UNTIL IT IS 1999 AND I AM SURPRISED THAT GOV. NEWSOM JOINED THEM TO GIVE THEM SOME GOOD ADVICE.].

5/4/2020 Rep. Jordan questions timing of Sen. Schumer’s remarks’ about intel officials during Flynn investigation by OAN Newsroom
In this image from video, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives
at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2020. (House Television via AP)
    Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has raised concerns over the timing of key dates during General Michael Flynn’s investigation.
    During an interview Sunday, he brought attention to a January 2017 interview where Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said intelligence officials have ways of “getting back at you” if you anger them.
    This comment from Schumer came just one day before the FBI stopped the bureau from closing its investigation into General Flynn.
    Flynn’s lawyers have argued he was treated unfairly.    They cited newly unsealed documents, which reveal handwritten notes from FBI officials.
    “You take on the Intelligence Community, they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at ya, so even for a practical, sometimes hard-nosed business man he’s being really dumb to do this,” Schumer stated.    “What do you think the Intelligence Community would do?    I don’t know, but I know they are very upset with the way he has talked about them.”
    Jordan believes Schumer’s comments serve as further evidence that intelligence officials were “out to get the president” and they were willing to do “whatever it took to get him,” ‘including going after Flynn.

5/4/2020 Maduro regime claims it captured DEA agent, alleges U.S.-backed ‘incursion’ of Venezuela by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 12, 2020 file photo, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro givesa press conference
at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela. When hints of a cross border conspiracy staged from Colombia
to raid military bases and ignite a popular rebellion that would end in Maduro’s arrest surfaced in March 2020, Venezuelan
state media portrayed it as a Bay of Pigs redux ginned up by the CIA. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix, File)
    The Maduro regime claimed it has detained a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent in an alleged “mercenary attack” on Venezuela.
    On Sunday, top allies of embattled leader Nicolas Maduro said the regime’s security forces killed eight mercenaries and captured two others in what they claimed was a foiled attempt to overthrow the government.    Regime officials also said they seized weapons, trucks, a speedboat and other equipment.
    Maduro officials claimed they were tipped off about the operation by their allies in Colombia.
    “We had information that was sent to us from Colombia about this incursion,” stated Diosdado Cabello, president of the constituent assembly loyal to Maduro regime.    “We did not have the details where, but today we could see why these boats, you know that they have a GPS, and with the GPS one can trace all the path from where they left, where did they go and those boats left from Colombia.”
    Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. Navy has continued its anti-drugs and anti-terror operation off the Venezuelan coast.

5/4/2020 Study: Most imported N95 face masks are ineffective by OAN Newsroom
In this photo provided by the Turkish Defense Ministry, Turkish soldiers load a military cargo plane
with Personal Protection Equipment donated by Turkey to help United States combat the new coronavirus outbreak,
at the Etimesgut airport outside Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, April 28, 2020. (Turkish Defence Ministry via AP)
    With an international shortage of personal protection equipment, the United States has been importing masks and gloves from abroad.     However, the CDC’s National Personal Protective Laboratory determined a number of imported masks may be ineffective at protecting against coronavirus.
    In a random study of N95 style masks coming in from Europe and Asia, 60 percent of mask styles were not able to filter at least 95 percent of airborne particulates.    The study found a significant number of KN95 masks, which is the Chinese equivalent of the N95, performed far below the standard with some only filtering 30 percent of airborne particulates.
    Many U.S. states and other countries have discovered similar irregularities during their own tests and have begun returning medical equipment sent from China.
    “In a public health emergency, you have to have PPE,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).    “..You can’t be dependent on China to have the basic equipment to save lives in the United States, that’s what this came down to.”
FILE – In this May 1, 2009 file photo, a 3M N95 mask is modeled in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
    Chinese officials have said any ineffectiveness detected was the fault of the countries who used the masks and not the manufacturers.
    “There are many of the quality problems that occur in the export of anti-epidemic materials caused by different quality standards at home and abroad, and differences in using habits,” said Geng Shuang, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.    “Some countries didn’t strictly follow the product usage rules.”
    Reports have estimated millions of faulty masks have been sent to the U.S. in recent months.    The CDC and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are urging people to check to see that their N95 style masks have the proper marks of approval.
    Every respirator approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety has an approval number either on the mask or within the packaging that can be authenticated using their certified equipment list.

5/4/2020 Masked and standing apart, the world creeps out of lockdown by Crispian Balmer and Susan Heavey
More movement is seen on the Constitution bridge, as the country begins relaxing restrictions as it prepares a staged end to Europe's
longest coronavirus lockdown due to spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Venice, Italy, May 4, 2020. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri
    ROME/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Italy and the United States were among a slew of countries easing lockdown restrictions on Monday to resurrect economies, but officials cautioned against moving too swiftly as global deaths from the coronavirus neared a quarter of a million.
    Italy, among the world’s hardest-hit countries, started to relax the longest lockdown in Europe, allowing about 4.5 million people to return to work after nearly two months at home.    Construction work can resume and relatives can reunite.
    “I woke up at 5.30 a.m.    I was so excited,” said Maria Antonietta Galluzzo, a grandmother taking her three-year-old grandson for a walk in Rome’s Villa Borghese park, the first time they had seen each other in eight weeks.
    In the United States, where there have been the most infections and deaths globally, Ohio and other states prepared to ease more curbs on businesses on Monday.
    About half of states partially reopened economies over the weekend, in what has become a highly charged political issue, as President Donald Trump warned the national death toll – now at almost 68,000 – could rise as high as 100,000.
    “We can’t stay closed as a country,” Trump said on Fox News.    “We’re not gonna have a country left.”
    Spain, Portugal, Nigeria, India, Malaysia, Israel and Lebanon were also among countries lifting some restrictions, variously reopening factories, construction sites, parks, hairdressers and libraries.
    The easing comes as the daily rate of new COVID-19 cases worldwide has been sitting in a 2%-3% range over the past week, down from a peak of around 13% in mid-March.
    Global cases have risen to around 3.52 million, according to a Reuters tally based on government data.    However, cases may cause only mild symptoms and not everyone with symptoms is tested, while most countries only record hospital deaths.
    “We still have to be sceptical about the numbers we get,” said Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases physician and microbiologist at Canberra Hospital.    “We could easily have a second or a third wave because a lot of places aren’t immune.”
‘IGNITE AT ANY TIME’
    Scott Gottlieb, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner said the United States was seeing a “mixed bag” of results from virus mitigation efforts.    He said about 20 states had experienced a rising number of new cases.
    “We expected that we would start seeing more significant declines in new cases and deaths,” he told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.    “If we don’t snuff this out more and you have this slow burn of infection, it can ignite at any time.”
    Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said his country, where the novel coronavirus has killed almost 29,000 people and over a thousand new cases are reported daily, was still in the “full throes of the pandemic.”
    Friends are still barred from meeting up in Italy, most shops must stay shut until May 18, and schools, cinemas and theatres remain closed indefinitely.
    “It is good to be back, but the world has totally changed,” said Gianluca Martucci, pulling up the shutters on the small warehouse of a catering business in the backstreets of Rome.
    “I worry that we might be starting up a little too soon … I don’t know if the country could survive a second wave.”
    Hairdressers, ironmongers and other shops tentatively opened as Spain too began a multi-phase plan to reopen.    Red Cross workers handed out masks at Madrid metro stations, now mandatory on pubic transport.
    Similar phased steps were taken in other countries, from Portugal and Belgium to India and Israel.
MASK, GLOVES, DISTANCE
    People around the world are adjusting to a new normal.
    A hum of cars, buses and motorbikes pointed to an increase in morning commuting in Rome, but traffic was lighter than before the virus and those out appeared to be following the guidelines on social distancing.
    In Ohio, where construction and manufacturing are allowed to reopen and office staff return, workers must wear face coverings and stay at least six feet apart.
    In Beirut, restaurants began to reopen but were removing chairs and tables in compliance with government rules that they do not fill beyond 30% of their capacity.
    “It’s very good for the staff to start to get motivated again, to come back to work, and for the economy to start moving,” said Ralph Malak, a bar owner.
    Iran, which has reported more than 6,000 deaths, was due to reopen mosques in 132 cities.    Worshippers must maintain social distancing, wear masks and gloves and not stay for more than half an hour, the ISNA news agency reported.
WAR OF WORDS ON VIRUS
    While stringent measures to curb the outbreak have often been broadly backed by the public, governments are counting the economic cost.
    Factory activity was ravaged across the world in April, business surveys showed, and the outlook looked bleak as shutdowns froze global production and hammered demand.    The global economy is expected to suffer its steepest contraction on record this year.
    Escalating tensions between the United States and China over the origin of the pandemic drove down stock markets and oil prices on Monday as investors feared a new trade war.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday there was “a significant amount of evidence” that the virus emerged from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan. He did not provide evidence or dispute an earlier U.S. intelligence conclusion that the virus was not man-made.
    An editorial in China’s Global Times, run by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said he was “bluffing” and called on Washington to present its evidence.
(Additional reporting by Gavin Jones in Rome, Steven Scheer in Tel Aviv, Tarek Amara in Tunis, Tom Perry in Beirut, Jonathan Cable in London, Sam Holmes and Jane Wardell in Sydney, Jonathan Allen in New York and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Writing by Pravin Char; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

5/4/2020 Apps cannot replace ‘boots-on-the-ground’ in virus fight: WHO
FILE PHOTO: Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference
on the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization on Monday stressed that contact-tracing apps and other technology cannot replace old-fashioned “boots-on-the-ground” surveillance measures as many countries begin easing lockdowns imposed to curb the new coronavirus.
    “We are very, very keen to stress that IT tools do not replace the basic public health workforce that is going to be needed to trace, test, isolate and quarantine,” the WHO’s top emergencies expert, Mike Ryan, told journalists at an online briefing in Geneva.
    He stressed the need for “shoe-leather epidemiology” and praised the success of places like South Korea and Singapore for their strategy.
    Many countries are easing lockdown restrictions to resurrect economies and contact-tracing apps are expected to play a role in helping identify new cases and contain clusters.
    In the same briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged the world to unite to defeat the new coronavirus.
    “This virus will be with us for a long time and we must come together to develop and share the tools to defeat it,” he said.
    “We will prevail through national unity and global solidarity,” he added, praising pledges of $8 billion from world leaders for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. [ID:nL8N2CM2QP]
    The Geneva-based body will launch this week its updated strategic preparedness and response plan, which will provide an update of its funding needs in order to support the international and national plans to fight the virus, Tedros said.
    Ryan said the WHO welcomed recent clinical trial data for Gilead Sciences Inc’s remdesivir drug, saying “there are signals of hope there for the potential use of the drug” in COVID-19 patients.
(Reporting by Emma Farge and Stephanie Nebehay, Editing by Michael Shields)

5/4/2020 Trump administration pushing to rip global supply chains from China: officials by Humeyra Pamuk and Andrea Shalal
FILE PHOTO: Containers of Chinese companies China Shipping and COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company) are loaded
on a container as it is leaving the port in Hamburg, Germany March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration is “turbocharging” an initiative to remove global industrial supply chains from China as it weighs new tariffs to punish Beijing for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, according to officials familiar with U.S. planning.
    President Donald Trump, who has stepped up recent attacks on China ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election, has long pledged to bring manufacturing back from overseas.
    Now, economic destruction and the massive U.S. coronavirus death toll are driving a government-wide push to move U.S. production and supply chain dependency away from China, even if it goes to other more friendly nations instead, current and former senior U.S. administration officials said.
    “We’ve been working on [reducing the reliance of our supply chains in China] over the last few years but we are now turbo-charging that initiative,” Keith Krach, undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment at the U.S. State Department told Reuters.
    “I think it is essential to understand where the critical areas are and where critical bottlenecks exist,” Krach said, adding that the matter was key to U.S. security and one the government could announce new action on soon.
    The U.S. Commerce Department, State and other agencies are looking for ways to push companies to move both sourcing and manufacturing out of China.    Tax incentives and potential re-shoring subsidies are among measures being considered to spur changes, the current and former officials told Reuters.
    “There is a whole of government push on this,” said one.    Agencies are probing which manufacturing should be deemed “essential” and how to produce these goods outside of China.
    Trump’s China policy has been defined by behind-the-scenes tussles between pro-trade advisers and China hawks; now the latter say their time has come.
    “This moment is a perfect storm; the pandemic has crystallized all the worries that people have had about doing business with China,” said another senior U.S. official.
    “All the money that people think they made by making deals with China before, now they’ve been eclipsed many fold by the economic damage” from the coronavirus, the official said.
ECONOMIC PROSPERITY NETWORK
    Trump has said repeatedly that he could put new tariffs on top of the up to 25% tax on $370 billion in Chinese goods currently in place.
    U.S. companies, which pay the tariffs, are already groaning https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-tariffs/trumps-tariffs-add-to-pandemic-induced-turmoil-of-u-s-manufacturers-idUSKBN22C1MY under the existing ones, especially as sales plummet during coronavirus lockdowns.
    But that does not mean Trump will balk at new ones, officials say.    Other ways to punish China may include sanctions on officials or companies, and closer relations with Taiwan, the self-governing island China considers a province.
    But discussions about moving supply chains are concrete, robust, and, unusually for the Trump administration, multi-lateral.
    The United States is pushing to create an alliance of “trusted partners” dubbed the “Economic Prosperity Network,” one official said.    It would include companies and civil society groups operating under the same set of standards on everything from digital business, energy and infrastructure to research, trade, education and commerce, he said.
    The U.S. government is working with Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Vietnam to “move the global economy forward,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said April 29.
    These discussions include “how we restructure … supply chains to prevent something like this from ever happening again,” Pompeo said.
    Latin America may play a role, too.
    Colombian Ambassador Francisco Santos last month said he was in discussions with the White House, National Security Council, U.S. Treasury Department and U.S. Chamber of Commerce about a drive to encourage U.S. companies to move some supply chains out of China and bring them closer to home.
    China overtook the United States as the world’s top manufacturing country in 2010, and was responsible for 28% of global output in 2018, according to United Nations data.
    The pandemic has highlighted China’s key role in the supply chain for generic drugs https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-pharmaceuticals-ap/chinas-coronavirus-induced-supply-chain-woes-fan-concerns-of-possible-drug-shortages-idUSKBN20Y1C7 that account for the majority of prescriptions in the United States.    It has also shown China’s dominance in goods like https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-amazon-com-cameras/exclusive-amazon-turns-to-chinese-firm-on-u-s-blacklist-to-meet-thermal-camera-needs-idUSKBN22B1AL the thermal cameras needed to test workers for fevers, and its importance in food supplies.
HARD SELL FOR COMPANIES
    Many U.S. companies have invested heavily in Chinese manufacturing and rely on China’s 1.4 billion people for a big chunk of their sales.
    “Diversification and some redundancy in supply chains will make sense given the level of risk that the pandemic has uncovered,” said Doug Barry, spokesman for the U.S.-China Business Council.    “But we don’t see a wholesale rush for the exits by companies doing business in China.”
    John Murphy, senior vice president for international policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said that U.S. manufacturers already meet 70% of current pharmaceutical demand.
    Building new facilities in the United States could take five to eight years, he said.    “We’re concerned that officials need to get the right fact sets before they start looking at alternatives,” Murphy said.
    Trump White House pledges to punish China have not always been followed by action.
    A move to block global exports of chips to blacklisted Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, for example, favored by hawks in the administration and under consideration since November, has not yet been finalized.
(Additional reporting by Alex Alper, David Lawder, Matt Spetalnick and David Brunnstrom; Writing by Heather Timmons; Editing by Tom Brown)

5/4/2020 Italy starts slow return to normality, fears resurgence of coronavirus by Crispian Balmer
Men get out of the water after coast guards told them to stop surfing, amid the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Fregene, near Rome, Italy, May 3, 2020. REUTERS/Alberto Lingria
    ROME (Reuters) – Grandparents hugged their grandchildren, toddlers rushed excitedly through parks and factories revived their long-stalled production lines as Italy started the slow process of unwinding Europe’s longest coronavirus lockdown.
    Nearly two months after ordering Italians to stay home in an effort to slow one of the worst outbreaks of the new coronavirus in the world, the government on Monday cautiously eased a few restrictions, while keeping many others in place.
    Despite more than 29,000 Italians dying of COVID-19 since the outbreak emerged on Feb. 21, some people have nonetheless complained that the rollback is too timid, while others worry that complacency will lead to a fresh wave of infections.
    Many are simply overjoyed to get some of their old life back.
    “I woke up at 5.30 a.m.    I was so excited,” said Maria Antonietta Galluzzo, a grandmother taking her 3-year-old grandson for a walk in Rome’s Villa Borghese park — the first time they had seen each other in eight weeks.
    The unkempt grass towered above the boy’s head and the air was full of the sound of lawnmowers as park staff began to restore some order to one of Italy’s most elegant gardens.
    “He has grown by this much,” she said, holding up three horizontal fingers to show the spurt.    “It is wonderful.”
    Under the new rules, 4.5 million Italians can clock back in, construction work can resume and relatives can reunite.    More importantly for some, cafes were allowed to reopen for takeaways, with customers sipping their coffees on the pavement.
    “This is my first proper coffee for eight weeks,” said Riccardo Monti, the CEO of an e-commerce company.    “Perhaps it is the thing I missed most.    The bar is the focal point of our social life so to see them closed was a trauma.”
    While some old rituals returned, many curbs stayed in place to try to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 in the country with the world’s second highest death toll after the United States.
    There were 195 new deaths on Monday, up from 174 the day before and twice as many as the daily tally on March 9, when Italy’s lockdown began.
    Friends are still barred from meeting up, the cause of much grumbling on social media, most shops must stay shut until May 18, and schools, cinemas and theatres remain closed indefinitely.
RESPONSIBILITY
    Despite facing the worst recession since World War Two, the government has said it can only lift restrictions gradually.    Well over a thousand new cases of the highly infectious coronavirus are still being reported daily.
    In a reminder of the risks involved in easing the lockdown, 14 out of 60 people randomly stopped by police at they entered Naples by car from the north on Monday tested positive, Corriere della Sera daily reported. None of them had symptoms.
    “If we want to avoid painful backward steps now more than ever, we need cooperation, a sense of responsibility, respect for the rules by all,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in an interview with the same newspaper.
    A continuous hum of cars, buses and motorbikes pointed to an increase in early morning commuting, but traffic was noticeably lighter than before the virus struck and those out appeared to be following the guidelines on social distancing.
    “Common sense is prevailing in this beginning phase,” said Massimo Improta, a police officer in Rome.    “We have not seen people without masks, we are not seeing gatherings.”
    Gianluca Martucci joined the ranks of those returning to work for the first time since March 12, pulling up the shutters on a small warehouse in the backstreets of Rome.
    “It is good to be back, but the world has totally changed,” he said.    The company he works for normally organises weddings and corporate events, but these have long since been cancelled.    The firm is adjusting by offering a catering service.
    Although he was happy to see business resume, Martucci was anxious that infections might spread again.
The government has been very wise so far, but I worry that we might be starting up a little too soon,” he said.    “I don’t know if the country could survive a second wave.”
(Additional reporting by Gavin Jones, Angelo Amante, Antonio Denti and Cristiano Corvino; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

5/4/2020 Spaniards enjoy flowers and haircuts as coronavirus lockdown eases by Elena Rodriguez and Raul Cadenas
FILE PHOTO: A hairdresser wearing a protective mask and gloves cuts the hair of a customer at Madrid's oldest barber's shop, on the first
day of opening during the lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, May 4, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
    MADRID (Reuters) – Hairdressers, ironmongers and florists opened for business with restrictions on Monday as Spain began a four-phase plan to reopen by end-June, while the 24-hour death tally from the coronavirus pandemic stayed under 200 for the second day in a row.
    Red Cross workers handed out masks at Madrid’s metro stations as wearing face protection on pubic transport became mandatory.    Passengers crossing from the holiday islands of Ibiza to Formentera were tested for the virus before boarding.
    “The first three days are fully booked,” said barber Alfonso Sanchidrian, as he brushed hair from a customer’s forehead at a hairdresser’s in the capital.
    Also in Madrid, florist Fernando Ramos wore a plastic shield over his face and sprayed down the counter with disinfectant between clients who entered the shop one at a time.
    “I’m buying a gift for a sister’s birthday, and one for me – for my house’s Virgin (statue),” said customer Maria Antonieta Roda, who carried a spray of white lilies out of the shop.
    Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday that six million masks were due to be distributed in Spain, one of the nations worst hit by the global pandemic.
    But his fragile coalition government is facing opposition to its plans to extend the state of emergency which allows Madrid to centralise the response to the crisis and co-ordinate the country’s exit from its strict lockdown.
    On Wednesday, Sanchez must seek parliamentary approval to extend the state of emergency which ends on May 9 for another two weeks in an increasingly hostile political environment.
    Over the weekend, people across Spain were allowed out of their homes for the first time in seven weeks as the government began easing tough restrictions.    Joggers, cyclists and walkers took to the streets in droves and some beaches were packed.
    Spain imposed a strict lockdown mid-March, confining most of the population to their homes for all but essential trips.
    As the rate of infection has fallen and hospitals have regained their footing, the government has shifted its focus towards reopening the country and reviving a battered economy.
    The Bank of Spain on Monday said it expected a significantly sharper contraction of the economy in the second quarter from the first – already a quarterly record.
    On Friday, the government predicted the economy would shrink 9.2% this year.
    Showing how Spaniards have kept their hands in their pockets as they hunkered down at home under the lockdown, new car sales practically evaporated in April, with new car registrations down 97% from the same month a year earlier, official data showed.
    The death toll climbed by 164 in the previous 24 hours to 25,428 and cases reached 218,011, according to health ministry data on Monday.    However, in a sign of how the rate of infection is abating, several regions registered no new cases.
    In the next stage, outdoor areas of bars and restaurants can open at half occupancy, while groups of up to 10 people will be allowed in public places and in homes.
    Three of the Canary Islands – La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa – and the Balearic island of Formentera which have had no new COVID-19 cases in 28 days entered this second phase on Monday and opened outdoor terraces for bars.
    “I have taken all the measures that the council has advised me to do with customers coming in one by one and sitting out on the terrace,” said Juan Manuel Benitez, who opened his bar on El Hierro on Monday.
(Additional reporting by Inti Landauro, Emma Pinedo, Nathan Allen, Belen Carreno, Paola Luelmo and Jesus Aguado; Writing by Sonya Dowsett, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

5/4/2020 France may ease coronavirus curbs on worship earlier than planned: premier
FILE PHOTO - French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe reacts at a news conference at Hotel Matignon, amid the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Paris, France April 19, 2020. Thibault Camus/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) – Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Monday said France might allow religious services to resume before the end of May if a gradual easing of lockdown rules from May 11 did not result in the rate of coronavirus infections increasing.
    In a week’s time, secular France plans to join countries such as Italy, Spain and Germany in relaxing unprecedented curbs on public life as it seeks to reboot its economy and ease the frustration of citizens cooped up in their homes.
    The government had indicated religious ceremonies would be banned until June 2 at the earliest, but Philippe told the Senate this might be advanced by four days.
    “Many faiths have made proposals to reconcile how their meetings are held with social distancing rules,” the prime minister told the Senate.    “I know the May 29 – June 1 period is for several faiths an important date on the religious calendar.”
    The Christian holy day of Pentecost, celebrated 50 days after Easter Sunday, falls on June 1.    A week earlier, and before the government has said it might allow religious festivities, Muslims mark Eid, the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
    Last week, Philippe said the lockdown had saved tens of thousands of lives but that now was the time to ease it.
Schools will progressively reopen and businesses will be free to resume operations, though restaurants, cafes and beaches will remain closed until at least June.
    It will be preferable for people to wear a mask when they leave their homes, and mandatory when travelling on public transport or in a taxi, Philippe said.
    Philippe sought on Monday to defuse a dispute between parts of the medical profession and big retailers after several medical associations accused supermarkets of hoarding face masks early in the crisis while doctors on the frontline went short.
    The supermarket chains have denied hiding tens of millions of masks and say it is only now that orders are arriving on shelves.
    “I struggle to understand what interest the supermarkets would have hiding stocks of masks instead of selling them at a time of shortage,” Philippe told senators.
    “There were never any hidden stocks.    There were massive orders and it takes time for these orders to materialise into millions of masks on sale in stores for citizens.”
(Reporting by Marine Pennetier; Editing by Richard Lough and Grant McCool)

5/4/2020 World leaders pledge $8 billion in fight against coronavirus, EU says
FILE PHOTO: The President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen holds a news conference on the European Union response to
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis at the EU headquarters in Brussels, April 15, 2020. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – World leaders promised $8 billion on Monday for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said at the end of a pledging event that she chaired.
    “In the space of just few hours we have collectively pledged 7.4 billion euros ($8.07 billion) for vaccine, diagnostics and treatment” against COVID-19, von der Leyen said.
    “This will help kick-start unprecedented global cooperation,” she added.
($1 = 0.9168 euros)
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

5/4/2020 Italy’s coronavirus death toll far higher than reported: stats office by Gavin Jones
A person cycles in Valentino Park in Turin after it reopened to the public after about two months of closure as Italy begins a staged end
to a nationwide lockdown, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Turin, Italy, May 4, 2020. REUTERS/Massimo Pinca
    ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s coronavirus death toll is much higher than reported, statistics bureau ISTAT said on Monday in an analysis pointing to thousands of fatalities that have never been officially attributed to COVID-19.
    In its first report of the epidemic’s impact on Italy’s mortality rate, covering 86% of the population, ISTAT said that from Feb. 21, when the first COVID-19 deaths occurred, until March 31, nationwide deaths were up 39% compared with the average of the previous five years.
    Of the 25,354 “excess deaths,” the coronavirus was registered by the Civil Protection Agency as the official cause for 13,710, leaving around 11,600 deaths unaccounted for.    These occurred overwhelmingly in the northern part of Italy most heavily hit by the virus.
    The statistics bureau said it was reasonable to assume these people either died of COVID-19 without being tested or that the extra stress on the health system due to the epidemic meant they died of other causes they were not treated for.
    Officially, up to May 3, the Civil Protection Agency recorded 28,884 coronavirus deaths, the second highest toll in the world after the United States.    The tally only includes people who tested positive.
    The agency compiles data from the regions on deaths of people who tested positive for the virus and issues them in a bulletin at 6 p.m. every day.    The agency normally manages the response to natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes.
    ISTAT’s report, drawn up with Italy’s National Health Institute, confirmed the massive concentration of the epidemic in the country’s northern regions, where the vast majority of unreported deaths have also taken place.
    In March, deaths were up 49% nationwide compared with the average of the previous five years, ISTAT said.
    In the north they rose 95%, compared with an increase of 9% in the centre and an uptick of just 2% in the south.
    In the northern region of Lombardy, which includes the financial capital Milan and has been most ravaged by the disease, deaths were up 186% in March from 2015-2019.
    They increased by 47% in neighbouring Piedmont to the west and by 24% in Veneto to the east, a region where the outbreak first surfaced alongside Lombardy but which got it under control thanks to an effective testing and tracing policy.
    In Lazio, around the capital Rome, deaths in March were down 8% compared with the previous five years.    The southern regions of Sicily and Campania, around Naples, also saw a decline in the death rate, though much smaller than Lazio’s.
    Looking at individual cities, the worst-hit was Bergamo, near Milan, where deaths were up 568% in March compared with the 2015-2019 average.    The nearby cities of Cremona and Lodi saw increases of 391% and 370% respectively.    In Milan they rose 93%.
    In Rome, Italy’s most populous city, which has been relatively lightly hit by COVID-19, overall fatalities were down 9% from the previous five years.    The Sicilian capital Palermo also posted a 9% decline.
(Editing by Nick Macfie)

5/4/2020 EU to provide one billion euros for global vaccine search: Von der Leyen
FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a news conference
after a video conferenced EU summit with European heads of state to discuss measures related to the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Brussels, Belgium April 23, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union pledged on Monday 1 billion euros ($1.09 billion) for the global search for vaccines and treatment for the novel coronavirus, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told a pledging conference.
    United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for any treatment developed to be available to everyone, something the World Health Organization said would be a challenge.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott, Francesco Guarascio; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

5/4/2020 Macron: France to pledge 500 million euros for global coronavirus vaccine hunt
French President Emmanuel Macron attends an international videoconference on vaccination at the Elysee Palace in
Paris during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France, May 4, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool
    PARIS (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday France would contribute 500 million euros ($550 million) to a global fund-raising push to finance research into a vaccine and treatments against the novel coronavirus.
    “France will commit an additional 500 million euros for the ACT-A initiative,” Macron said in a video call hosted by the European Commission during which world leaders are expected to raise at least 7.5 billion euros.
(Reporting by Michel Rose; editing by Richard Lough)

5/4/2020 U.N. calls for COVID vaccine, treatment available for all
FILE PHOTO: Small bottles labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe are
seen in this illustration taken taken April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – United Nations leaders called on Monday for a global effort to develop and distribute to all at affordable prices vaccines, treatments and testing kits against COVID-19.
    “These new tools will help us to fully control the pandemic and must be treated as global public goods available and affordable for all,” the U.N. secretary general Antonio Guterres said at the start of a global pledging conference which aims to raise at least 8 billion dollars for the fight against the coronavirus.
    The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the same event: “The ultimate measure of success will not be how fast we can develop tools.    It will be how equally we can distribute them.    None of us can accept a world in which some people are protected while others remain exposed.”
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; editing by Robin Emmott)
[TOO LITTLE TO LATE TO STOP THE VIRUS BUT WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IS MAKE CHINA COP TO THEIR CRIME TO HUMANITY.].

5/4/2020 U.S. Intel: China hid extent of COVID-19 outbreak in order to stockpile medical supplies by OAN Newsroom
A crew gets ready to unload medical supplies from an Antonov AN-225 cargo transporter upon arriving from China at Mirabel
Airport in Mirabel, Quebec, Friday, May 1, 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
    According to U.S. officials, China withheld critical information regarding the coronavirus outbreak in order to give itself time to hoard medical supplies.
    Reports Monday cited Department of Homeland Security intelligence documents, which stated Chinese leaders “intentionally concealed the severity” of the pandemic in early January.
    This followed comments by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Sunday who confirmed China did “all that it could” to make sure the world didn’t learn about the pandemic “in a timely fashion.”
    “This is an enormous crisis created by the fact that the Chinese Communist Party reverted to form, reverted to the kinds of disinformation, the kinds of concealment that authoritarian regimes do,” said the State Department chief.
    According to the analysis, while China was concealing the extent of the virus, it was simultaneously increasing imports and decreasing exports of vital medical supplies.
    The report said Chinese officials tried to cover this up by “denying there were export restrictions, and obfuscating and delaying provision of its trade data.”    China then went on to order medical supplies abroad, noting imports of face masks, gloves and surgical gowns “increased sharply.”
    White House trade advisor Peter Navarro made similar accusations in mid-April.    He said for six weeks China used its influence at the World Health Organization to hide the nature of the coronavirus, while buying up the world’s supply of medical equipment.
FILE – In this April 29, 2020, file photo Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference at the State Department in
Washington. Chinese leaders “intentionally concealed the severity” of the pandemic from the world in early January, according to
a 4-page, Department of Homeland Security report dated May 1 and obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    Pompeo also noted that the U.S. still hasn’t been granted the access it needs in order to effectively fight the pandemic.
    “We tried to get a team in there, the World Health Organization tried to get a team in there and they have failed,” he explained.    “No one’s been allowed to go to this lab or any of the other laboratories; there are many labs inside of China.”
    The secretary went on to stress that “this is an ongoing threat, an ongoing pandemic, and the Chinese Communist Party continues to block access to the western world.”

5/4/2020 Secretary of Senate turns down Biden’s request to disclose info. about Reade’s alleged complaint by OAN Newsroom
In this April 4, 2019, photo Tara Reade poses for a photo during an interview
with The Associated Press in Nevada City, Calif. (AP Photo/Donald Thompson)
    Possible evidence corroborating sexual misconduct at the hands of Joe Biden against one of his former staffers may never see the light of day.    The Secretary of the Senate turned down Biden’s request on Monday to make Tara Reade’s complaint public.
    The office said in a statement it was advised by the Senate legal counsel it has no discretion to disclose the information.    The letter did not explain the reasoning behind its decision.
    This all came after Reade claimed to have filed a complaint in 1993 about alleged sexual misconduct by Biden.    He later spoke out for the first time to address the accusations and called for the public release of that complaint.
    “I’m confident there’s nothing…no one ever brought it to the attention of me, 27 years ago…no one that I’m aware of in my campaign, in my Senate office at the time, is aware of any such request or any such complaint and so, I’m not worried about it at all,” Biden stated.
File- Former Vice President Joe Biden is pictured. (Ashlee Rezin/Sun Times via AP)
    Some Democrats have since come to Biden’s defense by claiming the accusations never came up when he was being vetted for vice president.
    However, several people are now speaking out to say Reade disclosed details of that alleged incident to them years before she publicly came forward.    Among the latest is one of her former neighbors and two of her friends.
    It’s unclear what the next steps will be for Reade.    She was expected to sit down for an interview to tell her side of the story this past weekend.    After receiving a slew of death threats, however, she said she plans to speak out at a later time.
    In the meantime, the attention is now shifting to records being held at the University of Delaware and the possibility Reade’s complaint may be held there under seal.    However, the university said senatorial papers will not be released until two-years after Biden retires from public life.

5/5/2020 Oil up $1.28 to $20.97, DOW up 26 to 23,750.
.
5/5/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

5/5/2020 Reported cases in the United States.

5/5/2020 UK COVID-19 death toll rises above 32,000, highest in Europe: data
A person wearing a protective face mask walks past streetart ‘NHS Dedication Mural’ by The Artful Dodger (A.Dee) in
Elephant & Castle, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 5, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
    LONDON (Reuters) – More than 32,000 people in the United Kingdom have died with suspected COVID-19, the highest official toll yet reported in Europe, according to data published on Tuesday.
    The Office for National Statistics said 29,648 deaths had taken place as of April 24 in England and Wales with COVID-19 mentioned in death certificates.
    Including deaths for Scotland and Northern Ireland, the official toll now stands at 32,313.    That is more than Italy, previously Europe’s worst hit country, though its toll does not include suspected cases.
    Ministers dislike comparisons of the headline death toll, saying that excess mortality – the number of deaths from all causes that exceed the average for the time of year – is a more meaningful metric.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

5/5/2020 Spain reports coronavirus daily death toll of 185
A cyclist uses his smartphone at Barceloneta beach, amid the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) outbreak, in Barcelona, Spain, May 4, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
    MADRID (Reuters) – The daily number of coronavirus deaths registered in Spain remained below 200 on Tuesday for a third consecutive day, the country’s health ministry said, as it reported 185 deaths in 24 hours.
    The overall coronavirus death toll in the country rose to 25,613 on Tuesday up from 25,428, the ministry said, while the overall number of diagnosed cases rose to 219,329 up from 218,011 the day before.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro and Paola Luelmo; Editing by Sonya Dowsett)

5/5/2020 Ireland sees crisis point in Brexit talks if no progress soon: Coveney
FILE PHOTO: Irish Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Simon Coveney holds a reception for Britain's Prince William
and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in Dublin, Ireland March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool
    DUBLIN (Reuters) – Progress in trade talks between the European Union and ex-member Britain “has not been good” and the two sides will hit a crisis point unless there is progress in the coming weeks, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Tuesday.
    “Unless there is significant progress in those negotiating rounds then I think we are going to reach yet another crisis point in the Brexit negotiations, which from the Irish point of view is very, very serious,” Coveney told RTE radio, referring to two rounds of talks before the start of July.
(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Alex Richardson)

5/5/2020 Ark. allows reopening of churches and outdoor venues by OAN Newsroom
Lisa Breau works out at the Little Rock Athletic Club in Little Rock, Arkansas on Monday, May 4, 2020. Gyms and fitness centers were
allowed to reopen in Arkansas on Monday, but with new restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Andrew Demillo)
    The governor of Arkansas is reopening his state a little bit differently than most others. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) announced residents can resume attending outdoor venues and places of worship with strict guidelines.
    The directive requires Arkansans to wear face masks and stay at least six feet away from people not in their household.    The governor also said churches can decide whether or not to resume in-person services as long as it upholds social distancing regulations.

In this Monday, April 27, 2020 photo, Gov. Asa Hutchinson takes off his Arkansas Razorbacks facemark as he arrives for the
daily coronavirus briefing at the state Capitol in Little Rock. (Staton Breidenthal/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)
    However, Hutchinson stressed the importance of still being careful moving forward in order for the state to maintain progress in fighting the coronavirus.    He still encouraged residents to stay home if possible and continue safe practices like washing hands regularly.
    Meanwhile, large indoor venues in the state will be allowed to start reopening with similar restrictions on May 18.

5/5/2020 President Trump downplays new model projections of 134K coronavirus deaths by August by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 5, 2020,
before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    The researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington are working to predict the future of the coronavirus, but their most recent projections are worrying.
    Their latest predictive model was released Monday and estimated that by August more than 134,000 people will have died from the virus.    This nearly doubles the institute’s prior projection and came as states slowly began moving forward with plans on how to reopen their economies.
    President Trump has downplayed newly revised model projections.    While speaking to reporters Tuesday, the president was asked about the key model changes from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.    He claimed the new model was not taking into account social distancing measures.
    The president’s remarks came after the institute said it’s estimates increased due to states slowly reopening their economies and more movement among people, which was tracked through anonymous cell phone data.
    “I’m not (concerned) because that assumes no mitigation and we’re going to have mitigation,” said President Trump.    “No, we’re letting people out, but the fact we’re letting people go and go to their jobs — they have to do it.”
    In states that didn’t quickly loosen guidelines, citizens who opposed strict lockdown rules rushed to protest.    Oftentimes this drew large groups and many were seen not wearing masks or observing any social distancing guidelines.
    In an interview Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that rushing to reopen the economy, even at the demand of citizens, would be unwise.
    “When you have a lot of virus activity and you know that you are able to contain it to a certain degree by the mitigation, by the physical separations, the kinds of things that we’ve been talking about — gateway, phase one, phase two, phase three — and you start to leapfrog over some of these, you’re inviting rebound and rebound is going to give you spikes,” explained the NIH director.
White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx listens as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a meeting between President Donald Trump and Gov. John Bel Edwards, D-La., about the coronavirus
response, in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    While researchers use a variety of sources to make as precise of a prediction as possible, the final death toll will ultimately be influenced by people’s adherence to social distancing policies.
    “I don’t know if those numbers…because I have skepticism about models…about they’re only as good as they assumptions you put into them, but they’re not completely misleading,” said Dr. Fauci.
    To account for a number of variables, including whether states choose to remain closed, reopen in phases or loosen social distancing policies entirely, the model returned estimates for the lowest and highest likely death tolls.    The worst case scenario model prediction, the one health officials are striving to avoid, is a total of 242,000 deaths.
    Meanwhile, President Trump has vowed to get the economy moving again and bring it back stronger than ever despite the revised modeling estimates.
    “You know, if they held people any longer with the shutdowns, you’re gonna lose people that way too and you already have,” he explained.    “I’m sure, but between drug abuse and I think they say suicide, a lot of different things…
    Only time will tell how these models will live up to their nearly doubled estimates as many Americans look forward to the day they can return to work.

5/5/2020 Senate holds confirmation hearing for DNI nominee John Ratcliffe by OAN Newsroom
Rep. John Ratcliff R-Texas, testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee nomination hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May. 5, 2020.
The panel is considering Ratcliffe’s nomination for director of national intelligence. (Gabriella Demczuk/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
    Director of National Intelligence nominee John Ratcliffe recently outlined how he would approach the role if confirmed, while appearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
    During his confirmation hearing Tuesday, Ratcliffe told lawmakers the intelligence he would provide to them as DNI will not be impacted or altered by outside influence.
    The Texas representative also vowed his actions as national intelligence chief would always reflect his commitment to the constitution and rule of law.
    Ratcliffe said the immediate focus of the Intelligence Community must be on the geopolitical and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and it’s origins.    He also detailed how he views the position of DNI.
    “I see the Director of National Intelligence as more than just a leader, a manager, an integrater,” he explained.    “The DNI must at all times be an arrow catcher, a problem solver, an obstacle remover for the IC…addressing issues, resolving conflicts, and putting tools and resources in the right place at the right time.”
    He continued saying, “the DNI must be the voice to advocate for and defend the interests of the IC and its people.”    If confirmed, Ratcliffe would replace acting DNI Richard Grenell who is also the U.S. ambassador to Germany.
[I AM GLAD TO SEE THAT THEY HAVE SOMEONE ON IT THAT WE CAN TRUST TO DO IT RIGHT.].

5/5/2020 Resurfaced video shows Biden claiming Justice Kavanaugh had no presumption of innocence for sexual assault claims by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 22, 2020, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden
speaks during a caucus night event in Las Vegas. As Biden’s search for a vice presidential running mate
heats up, he is facing growing pressure to choose a black woman. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
    A recently resurfaced video of former Vice President Joe Biden has exposed his hypocrisy.
    On Monday, the Washington Free Beacon released a video showing multiple Democrats, including Biden, arguing the sexual assault accusations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh did not need to be proven because he was facing a job interview and not a criminal trial.
    “Supreme Court hearing is not a trial, it’s a job interview,” Biden states in the video.    “It’s a job interview and you don’t have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt anything.”
File – Then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh listens as a protester yells during his confirmation hearing
with the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, Sept. 4, 2018. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)
    The presumptive 2020 Democrat presidential nominee said that although he thinks all women should be believed when they claim to have been sexually assaulted, all such claims should also be investigated.
    The soundbites resurfaced as Democrats have mostly remained silent when it comes to the allegations against Biden as he claims the alleged incident between him and former staffer Tara Reade never happened.
    Meanwhile, other prominent Democrats are calling for an investigation on the sexual assault allegations against Biden.    Among those calling for an independent review are Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore), Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), who each made statements regarding the accusations on Monday.
    This came after the Secretary of the Senate, Julie Adams, claimed current law prevents the release of information on whether accuser Reade filed a complaint in 1993 after the alleged incident occurred.
    In response, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) demanded the rules be changed to allow for the complaint, if it exists, to be reviewed.

5/5/2020 Some restaurants getting by with PPP loans by OAN Newsroom
Tips, money collected from a customer donation fund and a last paycheck for employees laid off from
Farley’s East cafe, that closed due to the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), sits on a
counter at the cafe in Oakland, California, U.S. March 18, 2020. Picture taken March 18, 2020. (REUTERS Photo/Shannon Stapleton)
    The Payroll Protection Program loan is helping some small businesses reopen across the country, but many restaurants are still faced with a dramatic drop in business.
    For Chris and Amy Hillyard, their cafe in Oakland, California brought in less than 10 percent their usual monthly sales in April.    The Hillyard’s business, a restaurant called Farley’s East, is one of 2.5 million companies to receive the loan.
    This has allowed them to stay afloat amid the devastating economic blow of the COVID-19 pandemic, which came as a relief after the cafe had to let several employees go last month.
    “I’m definitely feeling more optimistic than I was certainly in the week after we had closed,” said owner Chris Hillyard.    “That was, you know, a pretty depressing situation and really sad for all our staff that we had to lay off at that point.”
Amy, owner of Farley’s East cafe that closed due to the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), stocks coffee to be given
to laid off employees at the cafe in Oakland, California, U.S. March 18, 2020. Picture taken March 18, 2020. REUTERS Photo/Shannon Stapleton)
    Moving forward, the Hillyard’s plan to use their $221,000 loan to cover payroll, utilities and rent.    In the meantime, they will be selling take-out dinners and provisions to help supplement their income.

5/5/2020 Trump denies U.S. role in what Venezuela says was ‘mercenary’ incursion by Steve Holland and Matt Spetalnick
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he departs on travel to Phoenix, Arizona from
the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 5, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday denied any involvement by the U.S. government in what Venezuelan officials have called a failed armed incursion into the South American country that led to the capture of two American “mercenaries.”
    Trump made the comment to reporters at the White House after socialist Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday that authorities there had detained a pair of U.S. citizens working with a U.S. military veteran who has claimed responsibility for the foiled operation.
    “We’ll find out.    We just heard about it,” Trump said when asked about the incident and the Americans’ arrests.    “But it has nothing to do with our government.”
    In a state television address, Maduro said authorities arrested 13 “terrorists” on Monday involved in what he described as a plot coordinated with Washington to enter the country via the Caribbean coast and oust him.    Eight people were killed during the incursion attempt on Sunday, Venezuelan authorities said.
    While echoing Trump’s denial, the State Department accused the Maduro government of a “highly questionable representation of the details,” saying it did not accept the account at face value and was seeking more information.    It did not specify, however, what it believed had been distorted.
    Maduro on Monday night showed what he said were the U.S. passports and other identification belonging to Airan Berry, 41, and Luke Denman, 34.    He said they were in custody and had been working with Jordan Goudreau, an American military veteran who leads a Florida-based security company called Silvercorp USA.
    The two detained Americans, former special operations forces members who had served with Goudreau, were believed to be in the custody of Venezuelan military intelligence, according to a person familiar with the matter.
    Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said on Tuesday the alleged plot was hindered by rivalries among the participants and logistical problems, including a shortage of fuel for their boats.
    U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told a Pentagon briefing: “The United States government had nothing to do with what’s happened in Venezuela in the last few days.”
    Although the incident has reverberated through the Venezuelan news media and social media, it has done little to change the situation either for Maduro – who oversees a collapsing economy – or for the opposition, which has been unable to remove him despite heavy U.S. sanctions and broad international support.
    Washington has waged a campaign of economic and diplomatic measures against Venezuela in an effort to oust Maduro, accusing him of having rigged elections in 2018.
    But while Trump has repeatedly said all options are on the table, his administration has shown no apparent interest in military action.    Maduro’s government says the United States wants to control the OPEC member nation’s massive oil reserves.
GUAIDO: MADURO SEEKS TO DISTRACT
    Since early 2019, the United States and dozens of other countries have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate interim president.
    But Maduro remains in power, backed by the military as well as Russia, Cuba and China, which some U.S. officials say privately is a source of frustration for Trump.
    Guaido – often derided by Maduro as a U.S. puppet – has cast doubt on the government’s version of Sunday’s events.
    “They’re trying to create a state of apparent confusion, an effort to hide what’s happening in Venezuela,” Guaido said in a virtual session of congress on Tuesday, citing gasoline shortages, a deadly prison riot and a violent gang battle in Caracas.    The Venezuelan government is also struggling to cope with the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
    In Washington, a source familiar with U.S. intelligence assessments described the incursion as a “private enterprise” and said it was not believed to have been carried out with Guaido’s knowledge or approval.
    Accusing Maduro’s government of using the incident “to justify an increased level of repression,” the State Department spokesman said: “We will also be looking closely into the role of the Maduro regime in this melodrama and especially of the very large Cuban intelligence apparatus in Venezuela.”
    There was no immediate sign, however, that the U.S. and Venezuelan governments were communicating about the matter.    Since the two countries broke off relations last year, the U.S. Embassy has ceased to operate in Caracas, making it harder for the governments to deal with such issues.
    Monday’s arrests come after Maduro’s government said on Sunday it had thwarted a “mercenary incursion.”
    Goudreau released a video identifying himself as an organizer of the operation, alongside dissident Venezuelan military officer Javier Nieto.
    Silvercorp’s website describes Goudreau as a “highly decorated Special Forces Iraq and Afghanistan veteran.”
(Reporting by Steve Holland, Matt Spetalnick, Mark Hosenball, Tim Ahmann, Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali in Washington and Sarah Kinosian in Caracas; Writing by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney)

5/5/2020 WHO urges countries to investigate early COVID-19 cases by Emma Farge and Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the
Emergency Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that a report that COVID-19 had emerged in December in France, sooner than previously thought, was “not surprising,” and urged countries to investigate any other early suspicious cases.
    The disease later identified as COVID-19 was first reported by Chinese authorities to the WHO on Dec. 31 and was not previously believed to have spread to Europe until January.
    “This gives a whole new picture on everything,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a U.N. briefing in Geneva, referring to the French report.
    “The findings help to better understand the potential virus circulation of COVID-19,” he added, saying other earlier cases could emerge after retesting samples.
    A French hospital which retested old samples from pneumonia patients discovered that it treated a man who had COVID-19 as early as Dec. 27, nearly a month before the French government confirmed its first cases.
    There is not currently any suggestion that the virus emerged from anywhere other than Wuhan, China.    It is thought that, instead, the French case was somehow connected to a person who travelled from there in December before the virus had been identified or reported by China, the WHO spokesman said.
    However, the French patient, a fishmonger, is not thought to have a direct link to China or a history of recent travel and experts say the French case requires more investigation.
    Lindmeier encouraged other countries to check records for pneumonia cases of unspecified origin in late 2019, since this would give a “new and clearer picture” of the outbreak.
    Asked about the origins of the virus in China, Lindmeier stressed that it was “really, really important” to explore this.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says his country has evidence that the new coronavirus emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan, although scientists have advised the WHO that it is of animal origin.
    “That may need further missions or a mission (to China) so we are looking forward to this,” Lindmeier said.
    The WHO’s top emergencies expert, Dr Mike Ryan, said on Monday that the body’s chief had raised the issue of the origins of the virus “at the highest level” during a WHO mission to China in January.
(Reporting by Emma Farge and Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Philippa Fletcher and Giles Elgood)

5/5/2020 France’s early COVID-19 case may hold clues to pandemic’s start by Kate Kelland
Plastic circles are seen on the ground indicating where to stand to respect social distancing on a platform at the Gare du Nord
train station during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Paris, France, May 5, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
    LONDON (Reuters) – A study by French scientists which suggests a man was infected with COVID-19 as early as Dec. 27, nearly a month before France confirmed its first cases, could be important in assessing when and where the new coronavirus emerged, experts said on Tuesday.
    A man identified as the patient told a French TV station that he was surprised to learn that he had contracted COVID-19 since he thought he had flu at the time.
    French researchers led by Yves Cohen, head of resuscitation at the Avicenne and Jean Verdier hospitals, retested samples from 24 patients treated in December and January who had tested negative for flu before COVID-19 developed into a pandemic.
    The results, published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, showed that one patient – a 42-year-old man born in Algeria, who had lived in France for many years and worked as a fishmonger – was infected with COVID-19 “one month before the first reported cases in our country,” they said.
    The World Health Organization said the results were “not surprising.”
    “It’s also possible there are more early cases to be found,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a U.N. briefing in Geneva.    He encouraged other countries to check records for cases in late 2019, saying this would give the world a “new and clearer picture” of the outbreak.
    French broadcaster BFM TV identified the man as Amirouche Hammar, a resident of Bobigny, a northeastern suburb of Paris.    In an interview with the station, Hammar said when he fell ill last year with a dry cough, fatigue and a fever, he thought he had flu.    Doctors at the time could not diagnose him.
    “I was surprised,” he said, about being told much later by doctors that he had been suffering from COVID-19.    He is fully recovered.    He said he had not travelled abroad for months before falling ill, and did not know where he could have been infected.
    His wife said she works at a retailer near a Paris airport, and frequently comes into contact with travellers from overseas.
    Independent experts said the findings of the French scientists needed more investigation.
    “It’s not impossible that it was an early introduction, but the evidence isn’t conclusive by any means,” said Jonathan Ball, a professor of molecular virology at Britain’s University of Nottingham.
    Stephen Griffin, an expert at the University of Leeds’ Institute of Medical Research, said it was “a potentially important finding” and added: “We must be cautious when interpreting these findings.”
    Cohen told French television on Monday it was too early to know if the patient, whose last trip abroad, to Algeria, had been in August 2019, was France’s “patient zero.”
    But “identifying the first infected patient is of great epidemiological interest as it changes dramatically our knowledge regarding SARS-COV-2 (the new coronavirus) and its spreading in the country,” he and his co-researchers wrote in the paper detailing their findings.
    They said the absence of a link with China and the lack of recent travel “suggest that the disease was already spreading among the French population at the end of December 2019.”
    France, where almost 25,000 people have died from COVID-19 since March 1, confirmed its first three cases on Jan. 24, including two patients in Paris and another in the southwestern city of Bordeaux.
    Rowland Kao, a professor of veterinary epidemiology and data science at Edinburgh University, said that even if it were confirmed, the identification of a positive COVID-19 in December “is not necessarily an indication that the spread of COVID-19 from France started this early.”
    “If confirmed, what this case does highlight is the speed at which an infection starting in a seemingly remote part of the world can quickly seed infections elsewhere,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Emma Farge in Geneva and Christian Lowe in Paris; Editing by Giles Elgood)

5/6/2020 Oil up $4.24 to $24.09, DOW up 133 to 23,883.

5/6/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

5/6/2020 German federal government and states agree on way to ease lockdown: draft document
Protesters attend a demonstration against the lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Berlin, Germany, May 2, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Mang
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The German federal government and the states have agreed that all shops and amateur open-air sports can restart under certain conditions and states will each decide on a gradual opening of various aspects of public life, a draft document showed.
    The paper seen by Reuters, dated late on May 5, was prepared by federal chancellery chief Helge Braun and the heads of the regional chancelleries for a telephone conference Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to hold with premiers of the 16 states later on Wednesday.
    Based on infection levels, states will decide on their own about a gradual opening of universities, restaurants, bars, hotels, trade fairs, cosmetic studios, brothels, theatres, fitness studios, cinemas and discos all under certain hygiene and distancing concepts, said the draft.
    States will also decide on limiting contact between people.
    It is unclear from the draft when the Bundesliga will restart.    Some German states want it to kick off again on May 15 and two people familiar with the preparations have told Reuters it is probably set to be given the green light to restart then.
    The draft document says the start of matches must be preceded by two weeks of quarantine, possibly as a training camp.
    In a bid to prevent a second widespread coronavirus outbreak, the federal and state governments agreed in preliminary talks that if the number of new infections rises after restrictions on public life are eased, local restrictions should be reintroduced immediately.
    The plan is for this threshold to be set at “more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within the last seven days” in districts.     If there is a limited outbreak, such as in a nursing home, restrictions might only be applied there, the paper showed.
    “If there is a dispersed regional outbreak and infection chains are unclear, general restrictions, such as those in force in Germany before 20 April, must be consistently reintroduced regionally,” the paper says.
    It added that this would include restricting travel to and from these regions.
    Germany has been more successful than other large European countries in slowing the virus’ spread.    The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has increased by 947 to 164,807, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday.    The reported death toll rose by 165 to 6,996.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Madeline Chambers)

5/6/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 947 to 164,807: RKI
FILE PHOTO: A cashier of the food discounter ALDI serves a customer, as the spread of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) continues in Duesseldorf, Germany, April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
    Berlin (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 947 to 164,807, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday.
    The reported death toll rose by 165 to 6,996, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

5/6/2020 Special Report: U.S. rearms to nullify China’s missile supremacy by David Lague
FILE PHOTO: A Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is launched from the guided missile cruiser USS Cape St. George in the eastern
Mediterranean Sea March 23, 2003. U.S. Navy/Intelligence Specialist 1st Class Kenneth Moll/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
    HONG KONG (Reuters) – As Washington and Beijing trade barbs over the coronavirus pandemic, a longer-term struggle between the two Pacific powers is at a turning point, as the United States rolls out new weapons and strategy in a bid to close a wide missile gap with China.
    The United States has largely stood by in recent decades as China dramatically expanded its military firepower.    Now, having shed the constraints of a Cold War-era arms control treaty, the Trump administration is planning to deploy long-range, ground-launched cruise missiles in the Asia-Pacific region.
    The Pentagon intends to arm its Marines with versions of the Tomahawk cruise missile now carried on U.S. warships, according to the White House budget requests for 2021 and Congressional testimony in March of senior U.S. military commanders.    It is also accelerating deliveries of its first new long-range anti-ship missiles in decades.
    In a statement to Reuters about the latest U.S. moves, Beijing urged Washington to “be cautious in word and deed,” to “stop moving chess pieces around” the region, and to “stop flexing its military muscles around China.”
    The U.S. moves are aimed at countering China’s overwhelming advantage in land-based cruise and ballistic missiles.    The Pentagon also intends to dial back China’s lead in what strategists refer to as the “range war.”    The People’s Liberation Army (PLA), China’s military, has built up a huge force of missiles that mostly outrange those of the U.S. and its regional allies, according to senior U.S. commanders and strategic advisers to the Pentagon, who have been warning that China holds a clear advantage in these weapons.
    And, in a radical shift in tactics, the Marines will join forces with the U.S. Navy in attacking an enemy’s warships.    Small and mobile units of U.S. Marines armed with anti-ship missiles will become ship killers.
    In a conflict, these units will be dispersed at key points in the Western Pacific and along the so-called first island chain, commanders said.    The first island chain is the string of islands that run from the Japanese archipelago, through Taiwan, the Philippines and on to Borneo, enclosing China’s coastal seas.
    Top U.S. military commanders explained the new tactics to Congress in March in a series of budget hearings.    The commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General David Berger, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 5 that small units of Marines armed with precision missiles could assist the U.S. Navy to gain control of the seas, particularly in the Western Pacific.    “The Tomahawk missile is one of the tools that is going to allow us to do that,” he said.
    The Tomahawk – which first gained fame when launched in massed strikes during the 1991 Gulf War – has been carried on U.S. warships and used to attack land targets in recent decades.    The Marines would test fire the cruise missile through 2022 with the aim of making it operational the following year, top Pentagon commanders testified.
    At first, a relatively small number of land-based cruise missiles will not change the balance of power.    But such a shift would send a strong political signal that Washington is preparing to compete with China’s massive arsenal, according to senior U.S. and other Western strategists.    Longer term, bigger numbers of these weapons combined with similar Japanese and Taiwanese missiles would pose a serious threat to Chinese forces, they say.    The biggest immediate threat to the PLA comes from new, long-range anti-ship missiles now entering service with U.S. Navy and Air Force strike aircraft.
    “The Americans are coming back strongly,” said Ross Babbage, a former senior Australian government defense official and now a non-resident fellow at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a security research group.    “By 2024 or 2025 there is a serious risk for the PLA that their military developments will be obsolete.”
    A Chinese military spokesman, Senior Colonel Wu Qian, warned last October that Beijing would “not stand by” if Washington deployed land-based, long-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific region.
    China’s foreign ministry accused the United States of sticking “to its cold war mentality” and “constantly increasing military deployment” in the region.
    “Recently, the United States has gotten worse, stepping up its pursuit of a so-called ‘Indo-Pacific strategy’ that seeks to deploy new weapons, including ground-launched intermediate-range missiles, in the Asia-Pacific region,” the ministry said in a statement to Reuters.    “China firmly opposes that.”
    Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Dave Eastburn said he would not comment on statements by the Chinese government or the PLA.
U.S. MILITARY UNSHACKLED
    While the coronavirus pandemic rages, Beijing has increased its military pressure on Taiwan and exercises in the South China Sea. In a show of strength, on April 11 the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning led a flotilla of five other warships into the Western Pacific through the Miyako Strait to the northeast of Taiwan, according to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry.    On April 12, the Chinese warships exercised in waters east and south of Taiwan, the ministry said.
    Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy was forced to tie up the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt at Guam while it battles to contain a coronavirus outbreak among the crew of the giant warship.    However, the U.S. Navy managed to maintain a powerful presence off the Chinese coast.    The guided-missile destroyer USS Barry passed through the Taiwan Strait twice in April. And the amphibious assault ship USS America last month exercised in the East China Sea and South China Sea, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said.
    In a series last year, Reuters reported that while the U.S. was distracted by almost two decades of war in the Middle East and Afghanistan, the PLA had built a missile force designed to attack the aircraft carriers, other surface warships and network of bases that form the backbone of American power in Asia.    Over that period, Chinese shipyards built the world’s biggest navy, which is now capable of dominating the country’s coastal waters and keeping U.S. forces at bay.
    The series also revealed that in most categories, China’s missiles now rival or outperform counterparts in the armories of the U.S. alliance.
    To read the series, click https://www.reuters.com/investigates/section/china-army
    China derived an advantage because it was not party to a Cold War-era treaty – the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) – that banned the United States and Russia from possessing ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges from 500 kilometers to 5,500 kilometers.    Unrestrained by the INF pact, China has deployed about 2,000 of these weapons, according to U.S. and other Western estimates.
    While building up its missile forces on land, the PLA also fitted powerful, long-range anti-ship missiles to its warships and strike aircraft.
    This accumulated firepower has shifted the regional balance of power in China’s favor.    The United States, long the dominant military power in Asia, can no longer be confident of victory in a military clash in waters off the Chinese coast, according to senior retired U.S. military officers.
    But the decision by President Donald Trump last year to exit the INF treaty has given American military planners new leeway. Almost immediately after withdrawing from the pact on August 2, the administration signaled it would respond to China’s missile force.    The next day, U.S. Secretary for Defense Mark Esper said he would like to see ground-based missiles deployed in Asia within months, but he acknowledged it would take longer.
    Later that month, the Pentagon tested a ground-launched Tomahawk cruise missile.    In December, it tested a ground-launched ballistic missile.    The INF treaty banned such ground-launched weapons, and thus both tests would have been forbidden.
    A senior Marines commander, Lieutenant General Eric Smith, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 11 that the Pentagon leadership had instructed the Marines to field a ground-launched cruise missile “very quickly.”
    The budget documents show that the Marines have requested $125 million to buy 48 Tomahawk missiles from next year.    The Tomahawk has a range of 1,600km, according to its manufacturer, Raytheon Company.
    Smith said the cruise missile may not ultimately prove to be the most suitable weapon for the Marines.    “It may be a little too heavy for us,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee, but experience gained from the tests could be transferred to the army.
    Smith also said the Marines had successfully tested a new shorter-range anti-ship weapon, the Naval Strike Missile, from a ground launcher and would conduct another test in June.    He said if that test was successful, the Marines intended to order 36 of these missiles in 2022.    The U.S. Army is also testing a new long-range, land-based missile that can target warships.    This missile would have been prohibited under the INF treaty.
    The Marine Corps said in a statement it was evaluating the Naval Strike Missile to target ships and the Tomahawk for attacking targets on land.    Eventually, the Marines aimed to field a system “that could engage long-range moving targets either on land or sea,” the statement said.
    The Defense Department also has research underway on new, long-range strike weapons, with a budget request of $3.2 billion for hypersonic technology, mostly for missiles.
    China’s foreign ministry drew a distinction between the PLA’s arsenal of missiles and the planned U.S. deployment.    It said China’s missiles were “located in its territory, especially short and medium-range missiles, which cannot reach the mainland of the United States.    This is fundamentally different from the U.S., which is vigorously pushing forward deployment.”
BOTTLING UP CHINA’S NAVY
    Military strategists James Holmes and Toshi Yoshihara suggested almost a decade ago that the first island chain was a natural barrier that could be exploited by the American military to counter the Chinese naval build-up.    Ground-based anti-ship missiles could command key passages through the island chain into the Western Pacific as part of a strategy to keep the rapidly expanding Chinese navy bottled up, they suggested.
    In embracing this strategy, Washington is attempting to turn Chinese tactics back on the PLA.    Senior U.S. commanders have warned that China’s land-based cruise and ballistic missiles would make it difficult for U.S. and allied navies to operate near China’s coastal waters.
    But deploying ground-based U.S. and allied missiles in the island chain would pose a similar threat to Chinese warships – to vessels operating in the South China Sea, East China Sea and Yellow Sea, or ships attempting to break out into the Western Pacific.    Japan and Taiwan have already deployed ground-based anti-ship missiles for this purpose.
    “We need to be able to plug up the straits,” said Holmes, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College.    “We can, in effect, ask them if they want Taiwan or the Senkakus badly enough to see their economy and armed forces cut off from the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.    In all likelihood the answer will be no.”
    Holmes was referring to the uninhabited group of isles in the East China Sea – known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China – that are claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing.
    The United States faces challenges in plugging the first island chain.    Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to distance himself from the United States and forge closer ties with China is a potential obstacle to American plans.    U.S. forces could face barriers to operating from strategically important islands in the Philippines archipelago after Duterte in February scrapped a key security agreement with Washington.
    And if U.S. forces do deploy in the first island chain with anti-ship missiles, some U.S. strategists believe this won’t be decisive, as the Marines would be vulnerable to strikes from the Chinese military.
    The United States has other counterweights.    The firepower of long-range U.S. Air Force bombers could pose a bigger threat to Chinese forces than the Marines, the strategists said.    Particularly effective, they said, could be the stealthy B-21 bomber, which is due to enter service in the middle of this decade, armed with long-range missiles.
    The Pentagon is already moving to boost the firepower of its existing strike aircraft in Asia.    U.S. Navy Super Hornet jets and Air Force B-1 bombers are now being armed with early deliveries of Lockheed Martin’s new Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, according to the budget request documents.    The new missile is being deployed in response to an “urgent operational need” for the U.S. Pacific Command, the documents explain.
    The new missile carries a 450 kilogram warhead and is capable of “semi-autonomous” targeting, giving it some ability to steer itself, according to the budget request.    Details of the stealthy cruise missile’s range are classified.    But U.S. and other Western military officials estimate it can strike targets at distances greater than 800 kilometers.
    The budget documents show the Pentagon is seeking $224 million to order another 53 of these missiles in 2021.    The U.S. Navy and Air Force expect to have more than 400 of them in service by 2025, according to orders projected in the documents.
    This new anti-ship missile is derived from an existing Lockheed long-range, land attack weapon, the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile.    The Pentagon is asking for $577 million next year to order another 400 of these land-attack missiles.
    “The U.S. and allied focus on long-range land-attack and anti-ship cruise missiles was the quickest way to rebuild long-range conventional firepower in the Western Pacific region,” said Robert Haddick, a former U.S. Marine Corps officer and now a visiting senior fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies based in Arlington, Virginia.
    For the U.S. Navy in Asia, Super Hornet jets operating from aircraft carriers and armed with the new anti-ship missile would deliver a major boost in firepower while allowing the expensive warships to operate further away from potential threats, U.S. and other Western military officials say.
    Current and retired U.S. Navy officers have been urging the Pentagon to equip American warships with longer-range anti-ship missiles that would allow them to compete with the latest, heavily armed Chinese cruisers, destroyers and frigates.    Lockheed has said it successfully test-fired one of the new Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles from the type of launcher used on U.S. and allied warships.
    Haddick, one of the first to draw attention to China’s firepower advantage in his 2014 book, “Fire on the Water,” said the threat from Chinese missiles had galvanized the Pentagon with new strategic thinking and budgets now directed at preparing for high-technology conflict with powerful nations like China.
    Haddick said the new missiles were critical to the defensive plans of America and its allies in the Western Pacific.    The gap won’t close immediately, but firepower would gradually improve, Haddick said.    “This is especially true during the next half-decade and more, as successor hypersonic and other classified munition designs complete their long periods of development, testing, production, and deployment,” he said.
(Reported by David Lague in Hong Kong. Additional reporting by the Beijing newsroom. Edited by Peter Hirschberg.)

5/6/2020 Study suggests coronavirus spread swiftly around world in late 2019 by Kate Kelland
FILE PHOTO: The ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which was identified as the cause of
an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China, is seen in an illustration released by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. January 29, 2020. Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM/CDC/Handout via REUTERS.
    LONDON (Reuters) – A genetic analysis of samples from more than 7,500 people infected with COVID-19 suggests the new coronavirus spread quickly around the world late last year and is adapting to its human hosts, scientists said on Wednesday.
    A study by scientists at University College London’s (UCL) Genetics Institute found almost 200 recurrent genetic mutations of the new coronavirus – SARS-CoV-2 – which the researchers said showed how it may be evolving as it spreads in people.
    Francois Balloux, a UCL professor who co-led the research, said results showed that a large proportion of the global genetic diversity of the virus causing COVID-19 was found in all of the hardest-hit countries.
    That suggests that the virus was already being transmitted extensively around the globe from early on in the epidemic.
    “All viruses naturally mutate. Mutations in themselves are not a bad thing and there is nothing to suggest SARS-CoV-2 is mutating faster or slower than expected,” said Balloux.    “So far, we cannot say whether SARS-CoV-2 is becoming more or less lethal and contagious.”
    In a second study also published on Wednesday, scientists at Britain’s University of Glasgow who also analysed SARS-CoV-2 virus samples said their findings showed that previous work suggesting there were two different strains was inaccurate.
    A preliminary study by Chinese scientists in March had suggested there may have been two strains of the new coronavirus causing infections there, with more of them more “aggressive” than the other.
    But publishing their analysis in the journal Virus Evolution, the Glasgow team said only one type of the virus was circulating.
    More than 3.68 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 256,000 have died, according to a Reuters tally.    Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since cases were first identified in China in December 2019.
    The UCL team’s findings, published in the journal Infection, Genetics and Evolution, confirm that the virus emerged in late 2019, Balloux said, before quickly spreading across the globe.
    His team screened the genomes of more than 7,500 viruses from infected patients around the world.    Their results add to a growing body of evidence that SARS-CoV-2 viruses share a common ancestor from late 2019, suggesting this was when the virus jumped from a previous animal host into people.
    This means it is unlikely the new virus was circulating in people for long before it was first detected, Balloux said.
    A study by French scientists published earlier this week found a man there was infected with COVID-19 as early as Dec. 27, nearly a month before France confirmed its first cases.
    The World Health Organization said the French case was “not surprising” and urged countries to investigate any other early suspicious cases.
    Balloux said the 198 small genetic changes, or mutations, that his and other studies have identified held helpful clues for researchers seeking to develop drugs and vaccines.
    “If we focus our efforts on parts of the virus that are less likely to mutate, we have a better chance of developing drugs that will be effective in the long run,” Balloux said.
(Reporting by Kate Kelland,; Editing by Peter Graff)

5/6/2020 Pompeo blames China for hundreds of thousands of virus deaths, denies inconsistency by Humeyra Pamuk and David Brunnstrom
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a media briefing
at the State Department in Washington, U.S., May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday renewed his aggressive criticism of China, blaming it for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people from the coronavirus and demanding again that it share information about the outbreak.
    “They knew.    China could have prevented the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.    China could have spared the world descent into global economic malaise,” Pompeo told a State Department news conference.
    “China is still refusing to share the information we need to keep people safe.”
    Pompeo pushed back against suggestions that he and other members of the Trump administration have issued conflicting statements about the exact origins of the novel coronavirus while blaming China for the initial outbreak in the city of Wuhan.
    On Sunday, Pompeo said there was “a significant amount of evidence” the virus emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, having said the previous Thursday it was not known whether it came from the lab, a so-called wet market, or some other place.
    On Wednesday, he said the United State did not have certainty, but there was significant evidence it came from the lab.
    “Every one of those statements is entirely consistent,” he said.    “We are all trying to figure out the right answer.    We are all trying to get the clarity.    There are different levels of certainty assessed at different places," Pompeo said.
    Critics believe the U.S. administration is seeking to deflect attention from what they see as a slow U.S. response to the outbreak, which has killed more than 255,000 people around the world, including more than 70,000 in the United States, the worst-hit country, according to official statistics.
OPAQUE
    Republican President Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election in November, on Tuesday also urged China to be transparent about the origins of the outbreak.
    Pompeo said China was still withholding virus samples he says are needed for global vaccine research and rejected suggestions that Washington was being unfair to Beijing.
    “They continue to be opaque, they continue to deny access for this important information that our research or epidemiologists need,” he said.
    “People say, well America’s bullying the Chinese.    We are demanding of them only what we demand of every nation: be transparent, be open, be a reliable partner, the very things that they say.    The Chinese say they want to cooperate.    Great.    Cooperation is about action.”
    The Wuhan Institute of Virology, a Chinese state-backed institute, has dismissed allegations that the virus originated there. Most experts believe it originated in a Wuhan market selling wildlife and jumped from animals to people.
    Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, said in an interview published on Monday that the best evidence showed the virus was not made in a lab, but appeared to have “evolved in nature and then jumped species.”
    Trump was asked last Thursday if he had seen evidence that gave him a “high degree of confidence” that the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and replied that he had, although he declined to give specifics.
    Pompeo again took aim at the World Health Organization, which Trump has called “China-centric” and suspended U.S. funding to.
    “It’s not only that they didn’t enforce … the WHO needs to still demand that there be an investigation,” Pompeo said, adding that WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus needed to be “just as concerned as the United States … and other countries that we still don’t have access to the answers we need.”
    In an opinion article published in the Washington Post, China’s ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, said “blaming China will not end this pandemic.”
    “It is time to end the blame game.    It is time to focus on the disease and rebuild trust between our two countries,” he said.
(Reporting By Humeyra Pamuk, Arshad Mohammed and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)

5/6/2020 WHO warns of new lockdowns if transition not managed carefully by Emma Farge and John Revill
FILE PHOTO: Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference
on the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/
    GENEVA/ZURICH (Reuters) – The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday warned of the risks of returning to lockdown if countries emerging from pandemic restrictions do not manage transitions “extremely carefully and in a phased approach.”
    Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus listed a series of steps needed before countries lift measures designed to control the spread of the COVID-19 respiratory disease, such as surveillance controls and health system preparedness.
    “The risk of returning to lockdown remains very real if countries do not manage the transition extremely carefully and in a phased approach,” he said at a virtual briefing in Geneva.
    Tedros, who has come under fire for his handling of the outbreak, said that he would conduct an “after-action” assessment of the agency’s response, but wait until the pandemic recedes to do so.
    “While the fire is raging I think our focus should not be divided,” he said.
    He defended the WHO’s record on warning about the potential for human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus, saying it informed the world of that in early January.
    The Geneva-based body has been accused of being “China centric” by top donor the United States, which has cut off funding to the body.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he has “evidence” that the new coronavirus emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, whereas scientists have advised the WHO that it is of animal origin.
    WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said that the agency was discussing a further “academic” mission to China to look at the virus origins.
    “Without knowing where the animal origin is it is difficult for us to prevent this from happening again,” she said.
    “There is discussion with counterparts in China for a further mission which would be more academic in focus and really focus on looking at what happened at the beginning in terms of the exposures with different animals so that we can look to have an approach to find the zoonotic source,” she added.
    Tedros stressed the need for investment in health systems now to save lives later.
    “The COVID-19 pandemic will eventually recede but there can be no going back to business as usual,” he said.    He also urged countries to address inequalities that he said were “fuelling” the pandemic.
(Reporting by John Revill and Emma Farge; Editing by Michael Shields)

5/6/2020 EU wants WHO review of lessons learnt from coronavirus crisis: draft by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: Director-General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, attends a news conference on the
coronavirus (COVID-2019) in Geneva, Switzerland February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The European Union is backing calls for a timely review of the international response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the World Health Organization’s performance, according to the draft of a resolution for ministers to debate at the WHO.
    European diplomats said the United States and China have taken part in negotiations on the EU resolution, but gave no details of their input.    A Chinese spokesman confirmed Beijing had been involved, but U.S. officials declined comment.
    WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has defended the U.N. agency against fierce criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump but has promised a review of its performance after the pandemic eases, including by its independent oversight body.
    An initial draft of the EU resolution, to be debated by WHO health ministers meeting virtually on May 18-19 at the World Health Assembly, includes wording on “commending the WHO leadership” but calls for “an evaluation … at the earliest appropriate moment on lessons learnt from the international health response to COVID-19.”
    The draft, seen by Reuters, says the evaluation should address the long-term consequences on health and “gaps in pandemic preparedness” and reminds the 194 WHO member states they must report outbreaks of disease in a “timely manner.”
    “Negotiations have begun.    The Americans, Chinese and Europeans are taking part, almost everyone is.    It’s a very good sign that everyone is engaged,” a European diplomat said.
    If confirmed, the U.S. involvement in discussions about the text would signal that Washington is engaging in diplomacy at the WHO despite suspending its funding for the agency last month, accusing it of being “China centric” and issuing bad advice.
    China has been consulted despite criticism by several countries, including the United States, that it mishandled the early stages of the pandemic and was slow to reveal the extent of the threat it posed.
    Asked about consultations on the resolution, an EU spokeswoman said “there is a high level of participation," and that the text is evolving.    The bloc and its member states seek “to make it a truly inclusive process and produce a text that speaks for all,” she said.
    The U.S. mission to the U.N. in Geneva did not reply to a request for comment.
    Liu Yuyin, spokesman for China’s mission, confirmed the mission’s own participation.
    “It is important to demonstrate global solidarity and avoid disparity and confrontation in our common fight against the epidemic through this document.    China will continue to work with the EU and many other countries to achieve this goal,” he said.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

5/6/2020 China pushes back on int’l probe into COVID-19 origins by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying speaks during a briefing
at the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
    China has pushed back against an international probe into the origins of the coronavirus.    On Wednesday, the Chinese envoy to the UN announced Beijing will not allow international investigators into Wuhan until the outbreak is defeated.
    The official accused the U.S. and its ‘Five Eyes’ intel partners of an “absurd and ridiculous” politicization of the probe.    This came after Australian and U.S. officials confirmed the virus originated from the Wuhan lab.
    According to Chinese diplomats, the U.S. has no evidence to blame Beijing for the virus outbreak.
    “We are opposed to individual politicians in the United States conducting investigations based on the presumption of guilt on China for domestic political reasons,” stated spokesperson Hua Chunying.    “We are opposed to using the epidemic to engage in political manipulation.”
    Beijing also slammed Taiwan by saying the island nation is using the virus outbreak to reassert its independence in international organizations.

5/6/2020 Behind closed doors, France’s COVID-19 death toll likely to jump by John Irish
FILE PHOTO: A woman waves a French flag from a window to support healthcare workers amid the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Saint-Mande, near Paris, France May 5 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
    PARIS (Reuters) – In April, an elderly resident living in Seine-Saint-Denis, France’s poorest commune on the edge of Paris, went to hospital worried they had COVID-19. The test returned negative and the pensioner was sent home. Ten days later they were found dead.
    For now, the death does not appear in France’s official COVID-19 death toll, which includes only those who die in hospitals and nursing homes.
    But data from the INSEE statistics office shows a nationwide increase in deaths at home.    The rise is particularly pronounced in some of the low-income suburbs ringing central Paris.
    “It’s clear COVID-19 is killing a lot more people in their homes,” said a healthcare worker familiar with the pensioner’s death, “because they didn’t know that they had it or were too wary to contact people for help.”
    The coronavirus has killed more than 25,500 people in France, the world’s fifth highest toll behind the United States, Britain, Italy and Spain.
    The government plans to add home deaths in June. How many is hard to project as health authorities are not conducting COVID-19 tests on people who die at home.
    INSEE data shows that 109,327 people died in France during the March 1-April 20 period, a 26% and 15% increase on the corresponding periods in 2019 and 2018.    Known COVID-19 related deaths account therefore for 19 percent of total deaths.
    The data shows that deaths at home during this period jumped by 28% from 2019 to 26,324.
    Jacques Battistoni, president of France’s National Union of General Practitioners, told Reuters his organisation estimated that at least 9,000 people had died of COVID-19 at home.    He said that was based on one in every six of France’s 55,000 general practitioners reporting at least one suspected COVID-19 death.
    “People have been scared of going to their doctors or disturbing them and the symptoms can be benign,” Battistoni said.
WE’RE GOING TO FIND MORE
    Official statistics show the rise in mortality rates during the coronavirus outbreak has been markedly higher in some of the lower-income districts on the outside of the ring-road encircling Paris.
    Deaths at home during the same six-week period more than doubled in Seine-Saint-Denis to the northwest, Val-de-Marne to the east and Hauts-de-Seine to the west, compared to 2019 and 2018.
    The heavy toll highlights how the combination of cramped social housing, workers with frontline jobs and a population distrustful of the authorities turned such areas into infection hot spots where many were reluctant to seek help.
    Doctors have cautioned the excess mortality rate could also be linked to people dying from other illnesses because the coronavirus outbreak has deterred people from seeking medical attention.
    Health Minister Olivier Veran told parliament on April 29 that the Public Health Authority, which is in charge of compiling COVID-19 data, would have an answer on home deaths in June.
    Asked about the forecast of at least 9,000 deaths by Battistoni’s union, he told lawmakers: “We’ve received a first alert from (them) about possible excess mortality at home, but which may not necessarily be related to COVID but medical complications of people who have not gone to hospital.”
    Edouard Jean-Baptiste, a general practitioner on the eastern edge of Paris, said it could take as long as a year to get a full picture of the impact of COVID-19, as was the case with annual flu figures.
    “I think in the coming weeks and months we’re going to find more people dead from COVID-19 at home and whom we knew nothing about,” he said.
(Reporting by John Irish; editing by Richard Lough and Nick Macfie)

5/6/2020 Britain’s COVID-19 death toll rises to 30,076
A man wearing a protective face mask waits at a bus stop next to the Bank of England in London, following the
outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s COVID-19 death toll has risen by 649 to 30,076, according to figures announced on Wednesday by government minister Robert Jenrick.
    The figures, which reflect deaths in all settings following positive tests for coronavirus, cover the period up to 1600 GMT on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Costas Pitas and Paul Sandle, writing by William James; editing by Stephen Addison)

5/6/2020 Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll and new cases’ tally both rise
A person walks outside the Fiumicino airport, after Italy begun a gradual end to a nationwide lockdown due
to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Rome, Italy May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    ROME (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 369 on Wednesday, against just 236 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new infections also rose, increasing by 1,444 against 1,075 on Tuesday.     The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 29,684 the agency said, the third highest in the world after the United States and Britain.    The number of confirmed cases amounts to 214,457.
    The Civil Protection Agency said the number of those currently infected fell sharply to 91,528 from a previous 98,467, while there were just 1,333 people in intensive care on Wednesday against 1,427 the day before.
    Of those originally infected, 93,245 were declared recovered compared with 85,231 on Tuesday. Many of the newly recovered patients came from Lombardy and the region said the revised number reflected data from several days and not just the last 24 hours.
    The agency said 1.550 million people had been tested for the virus against 1.512 million the day before, out of a population of around 60 million.
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer)

5/6/2020 Behind closed doors, France’s COVID-19 death toll likely to jump by John Irish
FILE PHOTO: A woman waves a French flag from a window to support healthcare workers amid the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Saint-Mande, near Paris, France May 5 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
    PARIS (Reuters) – In April, an elderly resident living in Seine-Saint-Denis, France’s poorest commune on the edge of Paris, went to hospital worried they had COVID-19.    The test returned negative and the pensioner was sent home.    Ten days later they were found dead.
    For now, the death does not appear in France’s official COVID-19 death toll, which includes only those who die in hospitals and nursing homes.
    But data from the INSEE statistics office shows a nationwide increase in deaths at home.    The rise is particularly pronounced in some of the low-income suburbs ringing central Paris.
    “It’s clear COVID-19 is killing a lot more people in their homes,” said a healthcare worker familiar with the pensioner’s death, “because they didn’t know that they had it or were too wary to contact people for help.”
    The coronavirus has killed more than 25,500 people in France, the world’s fifth highest toll behind the United States, Britain, Italy and Spain.
    The government plans to add home deaths in June. How many is hard to project as health authorities are not conducting COVID-19 tests on people who die at home.
    INSEE data shows that 109,327 people died in France during the March 1-April 20 period, a 26% and 15% increase on the corresponding periods in 2019 and 2018.    Known COVID-19 related deaths account therefore for 19 percent of total deaths.
    The data shows that deaths at home during this period jumped by 28% from 2019 to 26,324.
    Jacques Battistoni, president of France’s National Union of General Practitioners, told Reuters his organisation estimated that at least 9,000 people had died of COVID-19 at home.    He said that was based on one in every six of France’s 55,000 general practitioners reporting at least one suspected COVID-19 death.
    “People have been scared of going to their doctors or disturbing them and the symptoms can be benign,” Battistoni said.
WE’RE GOING TO FIND MORE
    Official statistics show the rise in mortality rates during the coronavirus outbreak has been markedly higher in some of the lower-income districts on the outside of the ring-road encircling Paris.
    Deaths at home during the same six-week period more than doubled in Seine-Saint-Denis to the northwest, Val-de-Marne to the east and Hauts-de-Seine to the west, compared to 2019 and 2018.
    The heavy toll highlights how the combination of cramped social housing, workers with frontline jobs and a population distrustful of the authorities turned such areas into infection hot spots where many were reluctant to seek help.
    Doctors have cautioned the excess mortality rate could also be linked to people dying from other illnesses because the coronavirus outbreak has deterred people from seeking medical attention.
    Health Minister Olivier Veran told parliament on April 29 that the Public Health Authority, which is in charge of compiling COVID-19 data, would have an answer on home deaths in June.
    Asked about the forecast of at least 9,000 deaths by Battistoni’s union, he told lawmakers: “We’ve received a first alert from (them) about possible excess mortality at home, but which may not necessarily be related to COVID but medical complications of people who have not gone to hospital.”
    Edouard Jean-Baptiste, a general practitioner on the eastern edge of Paris, said it could take as long as a year to get a full picture of the impact of COVID-19, as was the case with annual flu figures.
    “I think in the coming weeks and months we’re going to find more people dead from COVID-19 at home and whom we knew nothing about,” he said.
(Reporting by John Irish; editing by Richard Lough and Nick Macfie)

5/6/2020 Soros using COVID-19 to push far-left policies by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this file photo dated Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, chairman, Soros Fund Management, George Soros speaks
during a forum at the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington. (AP Photo Manuel Balce Ceneta, FILE)
    As part of a new initiative, billionaire globalist George Soros is seeking to use the COVID-19 outbreak to enforce radical left policies in the U.S.    The new program, called the “People’s Bailout,” brings together 1,000 far-left groups and unions, as well as 100 members of Congress.
    According to Soros, the next virus relief package must be based off of “five principles.”    These include provisions of the Green New Deal, a $15 minimum wage and regular cash payments to each person.
    He added government unions and far-left groups must increase control in all spheres of life as part of the so-called “new normal.”
    Soros is also under fire for his latest attack on religious liberty in the U.S.
    In a recent statement, the Catholic League announced Soros-backed groups are leading a coordinated attack on the State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights.    The league has said he is working to elevate LGBTQ and abortion groups instead.
    The commission was established last year by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to defend the freedom of religion in the U.S. and beyond.    The Catholic League claimed Soros is attacking the church to enforce his far-left agenda of submission and control.

5/6/2020 President Trump: Coronavirus task force will now focus on reopening country by OAN Newsroom
Daniel O’Day, CEO of Gillead Sciences Inc., second from right, speaks during a meeting with President Donald Trump
in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, May 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    According to President Trump, the White House coronavirus task force will operate indefinitely to focus on safely reopening the country’s economy.
    In a series of tweets Wednesday, the president discussed imposing changes to the task force following weeks of its daily briefings on the status of the pandemic.    He highlighted the success of the task force by saying it’s brought “together highly complex resources that have set a high standard for others to follow in the future.”
    He noted “ventilators, which were few and in bad shape, are now being produced in the thousands” and “that face masks, shields, gloves and gowns are now plentiful.”
    President Trump went on to say the U.S. has so many of these supplies, it’s now helping other countries.    He added recent conversations with “governors have been conclusively strong.”
    “Because of this success, the task force will continue on indefinitely with its focus on safety and opening up our country again,” stated the president.    “We will also be very focused on vaccines and therapeutics.”
    He added, “We may add or subtract people to it as appropriate.”
White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, left, and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, listen during
an event in honor of World Nurses Day in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, May 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    This came after President Trump responded to reports the White House was considering disbanding the task force.
    “Mike Pence and the task force have done a great job, but we’re now looking at a little bit of a different form,” he said.    “That form is safety and opening, we’ll have a different group probably set up for them.”
    Later on Wednesday, he confirmed the White House will be adding more people to the task force in the near future.    He previously stated that the task force would be winding down, but he’s since received positive feedback about its performance.
    “I had no idea how popular the task force is until, actually, yesterday.    When I started talking about winding it down, I’d get calls from very respected people saying I think it’d be better to keep it going, it’s done such a good job.    It’s a respected task force, I knew it myself.    I didn’t know whether or not it was appreciated by the public, but it is appreciated by the public.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    According to the president, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx will remain on the task force.
White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx listens as director of the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a meeting between President Donald Trump and Gov. John Bel Edwards, D-La., about the
coronavirus response, in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

5/6/2020 White House: Meat supply ‘back up and running’ soon by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Gov. Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa, in the Oval Office
of the White House, Wednesday, May 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The nation’s meat supply could be back up and running in a week.    On Wednesday, President Trump and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds met at the White House to discuss what’s ahead for industry after several facilities were forced to close during the ongoing pandemic.
    This meeting came amid raised concerns over a potential protein shortage in the country.
    The governor confirmed the workforce should be returning sooner rather than later.
    “We’ll have most of our facilities up and going.    As we continue to keep them up and processing, bring more back on line and continue to exceed the capacity, we’re going to hopefully prevent what could have been, you know, a really sorry situation, where we were euthanizing some of our protein supply and really impacting the food supply not only across the country, but throughout the world.    This is critical infrastructure, it’s an essential workforce.    The executive order, I think, maybe prevented what could have been a really serious situation.” – Kim Reynolds, Governor of Iowa

Meat is packaged on carts in a refrigerator at a Homeland grocery store in
Oklahoma City, Wednesday, April 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
    According to the Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue, there will be no shortages of meat due to COVID shutdowns.    He announced Wednesday that all meat processing plants will be back up and running within a week or ten days.
    He reiterated the USDA has designated meat packing plants as essential businesses and provided the necessary safety guidelines to allow their unrestricted operation.
    Democrats and mainstream media outlets recently attempted to fuel panic by claiming meat factories are spreading coronavirus.    However, President Trump has said his recent executive order has minimized the risk at meat packing plants.

5/6/2020 Senate Democrats question experience of D.C. Appeals Court nominee by OAN Newsroom
Judge Justin Walker is sworn in prior to testifying before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Walker’s nomination to be a U.S. circuit
judge for the District of Columbia Circuit on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool Photo via AP)
    The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from the nominee for one of the most powerful courts in the U.S. this week.    On Wednesday, D.C. Appeals Court nominee Justin Walker faced tough questions from Senate Democrats, who have voiced concerns over his qualifications.
    Democrats have opposed Walker’s position on the Affordable Care Act, as well as his defense of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.    The 37-year-old federal judge was backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and has vowed to be an impartial judge.
    However, Democrats accused McConnell of reconvening the Senate solely to confirm Walker.    They argued pandemic issues should take priority.
    “In his short time on the bench, Judge Walker has had virtually none of the experience one would expect of a district court judge before elevation to the circuit.    He has not presided over any bench or jury trials.    He has written opinions in only 12 total cases.” – Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Senator (D-Calif.) okay its the Leaker Lady in the Kavanauh issue.
    Senate Republicans have argued that it’s the chamber’s responsibility to be in Washington to confirm nominees.
[WHILE THE DEMOCRATS WERE SO BUSY DOING COLLUSION, MUELLER REPORT AND IMPEACHING TRUMP HE HAD THE SENATE REPLACING HUNDREDS OF JUDGES TO CHANGE THE TIDE AND NOW THE DEMS ARE TRYING TO SLOW THAT DOWN BECAUSE NOW HE IS GETTING THEM INTO THE WASHINGTON DEEP STATE TERRITORY.].

5/6/2020 President Trump: People won’t stand for our country being closed by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Gov. Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa, in the Oval
Office of the White House, Wednesday, May 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump has addressed concerns from health experts, who are worried about the U.S. reopening the economy too early. On Wednesday, the president was asked if the nation will just have to accept a rising number of COVID-19 cases and deaths as states begin reopening.
    He explained that people of a certain age and those with underlying health problems should take extra precautions, but noted healthy and capable citizens should be allowed to go back to work as long as they practice social distancing.
    The president emphasized people won’t continue to stand for it because the country has to get moving again.
    “You know, this virus is going to disappear.    It’s a question of when.    Will it come back in a small way?    Will it come back in a fairly large way?    We know how to deal with it now much better…but we can’t have our whole country out.    Can’t do it, the country won’t take it.    It’s not sustainable.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    From an economic standpoint, the president said he believes 2021 will be a big year for recovery.    He called the pandemic “the worst attack we’ve ever had on our country.”
    Meanwhile, former CDC Chief Tom Frieden has estimated the U.S. will hit 100,000 coronavirus deaths by the end of the month.    While testifying before Congress on Wednesday, he said the nation’s war against the virus will be “long and difficult.”
    Friedan argued the country will be able to reopen as soon and safely as possible by basing its decisions on data.    However, he warned that the coronavirus could be around for years.
    “As bad as this has been, it’s just the beginning,” stated the former CDC chief.    “Until we have an effective vaccine and unless something very unexpected happens, our viral enemy will be with us for many months, possibly many years.”
    He noted Americans are becoming “impatient to restart activities” and acknowledged that lockdowns are hurting the economy, but added future outbreaks are inevitable.

5/6/2020 Texas AG Ken Paxton intervenes in case regarding jailed salon owner, says it’s ‘outrageous’ by OAN Newsroom
Salon owner Shelley Luther adjusts her hair while listening to a question after she was cited by City of
Dallas officials for reopening her Salon A la Mode in Dallas, Friday, April 24, 2020. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
    Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail and ordered to pay a $7,000 fine for continuing to operate her business amid the coronavirus pandemic.
    A judge ruled Tuesday that Luther defied the state’s stay-at-home order by continuing to operate Salon A La Mode for seven days.    The salon is also facing a $500 fine for each of the seven days it was open.
    The judge told Luther he would consider waiving her jail time if she admitted that she was wrong, selfish and agreed to close her business.
    However, Luther said she needs to help her stylists support their families and will not close her salon.
    “I have to disagree with you sir when you say that I am selfish because feeding my kids is not selfish,” she stated.    “I got stylists that are going hungry because they would rather feed their kids, so sir if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed then please go ahead with your decision, but I am not going to shut the salon.”
    Luther’s case sparked outrage across the country with conservative activist groups like the Open Texas Movement throwing its support behind her act of civil disobedience.
    Meanwhile, two Texas state representatives received “illegal” haircuts at a salon near Houston on Tuesday and called on Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to reconsider the mandatory closure of businesses.    They said “there’s absolutely no reason” some businesses can’t reopen.
    Just hours later, Abbott announced some public places, including salons, could begin reopening on Friday.
    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton quickly came to the defense of the salon owner.    On Wednesday, Paxton demanded Luther be released immediately. He said her arrest and trial were “outrageous” and “out of touch.”
    Paxton also pointed out that Judge Moye was releasing actual criminals to protect them from COVID-19, yet is now willing to imprison a mother trying to feed her children.
    The attorney general and Gov. Abbott sent letters to the court mandating that Luther be unconditionally released and reunited with her family.
[THIS LOCAL DEMOCRATIC JUDGE HAS VIOLATED EVERY RIGHT THIS WOMAN HAS WHICH OUR CONSTITUTION ALLOWS US TO HAVE AND THIS JUDGE NEEDS TO ADMIT HIS WRONG AND APOLOGIZE TO HER AND THE ENTIRE NATION FOR HIS OVER REACH AND BE FINED $7000 TO PAY HER FINE. I FOUND OUT THEY CREATED A GOFUND ME AND ITS UP TO $500,000 SO SHE CAN GET BAIL AND HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO ATTACK THAT JUDGE FOR VIOLATING OUR CONSTITUTION TO PAY FOR HER DAMAGE AND HELP HER GET HER BUSINESS GOING.].

5/7/2020 Oil down $1.18 to $24.10, DOW down 218 to 23,665.
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5/7/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

5/7/2020 Spain’s daily coronavirus death toll falls again on Thursday: health ministry
A man wears a protective face mask at a lookout point as a general view of the city of Barcelona is seen in the background,
as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Barcelona, Spain May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s coronavirus daily death toll fell on Thursday to 213 down from 244 the day before, the health ministry reported.
    The overall number of coronavirus deaths rose to 26,070, up from 25,857 on Wednesday.    The number of diagnosed cases of coronavirus in the country rose to 221,447 from 220,325 the previous day.
(Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette, Editing by Inti Landauro)

5/7/2020 Trump vetoes Iran war powers resolution
U.S. President Donald Trump holds a chart on global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) data as he reacts to a journalist during a
meeting with Iowa Governor Kimberly Reynolds in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed legislation passed by both houses of Congress to limit a president’s ability to wage war against Iran, as Trump wages a campaign of maximum pressure against the Islamic Republic.
    “This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House.    “The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands.”
    The Senate, where Trump’s fellow Republicans hold a 53-to 47-seat majority, is expected to hold a veto-override vote as soon as Thursday.
    The resolution, which passed the House of Representatives in March and the Senate in April, was the latest effort by Congress to wrest back from the White House its constitutionally guaranteed authority to declare war.
    A handful of Republicans in both houses supported the measure when it passed, but not enough to muster the two-thirds majority necessary in both houses to override a veto.
(Reporting by Eric Beech and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Leslie Adler)

5/7/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 1,284 to 166,091: RKI
An empty street is pictured on Labour Day, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
continues, in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, Germany May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
    Berlin (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,284 to 166,091, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Thursday.
    The reported death toll rose by 123 to 7,119, the tally showed.br> (Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

5/7/2020 Republicans want review of aid to WHO, Democrat may subpoena Pompeo by Patricia Zengerle
FILE PHOTO: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks with Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID) as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (unseen) testifies
before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Five U.S. Senate Republicans introduced a bill on Wednesday seeking a review of U.S. participation in the World Health Organization and other international institutions, after President Donald Trump’s administration suspended U.S. contributions to the U.N. health agency and accused it of mishandling the coronavirus pandemic.
    Introduced by Chairman Jim Risch and four other Republican members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the “Multilateral Aid Review Act of 2020” would establish a task force to assess how well multilateral institutions carry out their missions and serve American interests.
    The bill requires a report on 38 institutions.    Besides the WHO, they include the World Bank; Asian, African, Inter-American and North American Development Banks, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, several U.N. organizations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
    Trump suspended U.S. contributions to the WHO on April 14, accusing it of promoting China’s “disinformation” about the coronavirus outbreak and saying his administration would launch a review of the organization.
    WHO officials have denied the claims and China insists it has been transparent and open.    The United States is the WHO’s biggest donor.
    “As we have seen most recently with questionable actions taken by the World Health Organization in response to the spread of COVID-19, it is critically important to have accountability and oversight of our assistance,” Risch said in a statement announcing the bill.
    Trump administration officials have aggressively criticized China as the pandemic has killed more than 70,000 Americans and ravaged the U.S. economy.    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday renewed his aggressive criticism, blaming China for hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide.
    Democrats have accused the Republican administration of seeking to distract from its own failings in addressing the health crisis.    They said the WHO needs reforms, but said it should not be attacked in the middle of a pandemic.
    Separately, a House of Representatives source said Representative Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, might subpoena Pompeo for missing a May 4 deadline to provide information for an investigation of the decision to suspend aid to the WHO.
    Critics of the aid review bill said they were concerned the task force would be too partisan because Pompeo would be its chairman and members would be appointed by Trump.
    The other sponsors of the bill were Senators David Perdue, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney and Todd Young.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

5/7/2020 Justice Dept. drops case against Gen. Michael Flynn by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Sept. 10, 2019 file photo, Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security
adviser, leaves the federal court following a status conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    On Thursday, the Justice Department announced it has dropped its case against General Michael Flynn.    The decision to abandon the criminal prosecution of President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser reportedly followed “newly discovered and disclosed information” regarding the case.
    According to the agency, after reviewing all the facts and circumstances surround the case, it concluded the 2017 interview between the FBI and Flynn was unjustified.    The department added it was conducted without any legitimate investigative basis.
    This came after U.S. attorney Jeff Jensen recommended the DOJ drop the case against Flynn.
    “Through the course of my review of General Flynn’s case, I concluded the proper and just course was to dismiss the case,” stated Jensen.    “I briefed Attorney General Barr on my findings, advised him on these conclusions, and he agreed.”
    The former adviser pleaded guilty in 2017 for lying to FBI investigators during the Mueller probe.    However, recent documents revealed possible misconduct by the FBI and its handling of an interview with Flynn at the time.
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting about the coronavirus response with Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas,
in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump welcomed the Justice Department’s decision to drop the criminal case against General Michael Flynn.    While speaking to reporters, the president called Flynn an innocent man wrongly accused by the “Obama FBI” for political reasons.
    “He was targeted by the Obama administration…in order to try and take down a president,” he said.
    President Trump has said political biases in the U.S. government must be eradicated.
    "They are scum, and I say it a lot.    This should never have happened in this country.    They went after him by going after fine people.    Those fine people said, ‘No, I’m not going to lie, I can’t lie.’    He’s not the only one.    There are many of them.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    The president went on to say the perpetrators of the “Russia hoax” must pay a hefty price for trying to ruin the lives of innocent people.

5/7/2020 Attorney General Barr: ‘A crime cannot be established’ against Flynn by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 1, 2020, file photo, Attorney General William Barr speaks about the coronavirus
in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    Attorney General William Barr came to the Justice Department’s defense Thursday after the agency dismissed the case against General Michael Flynn.    During an interview, he said it was his “duty” to drop the charges and added he wanted to “restore confidence in the system.”
    Barr reaffirmed the move was not at the president’s request, but rather the “law’s bidding.”
    Despite Flynn pleading guilty back in 2017 for lying to the FBI, the attorney general claimed his actions were “not a crime.”
    “Well, you know, people sometimes plead to things that turn out not to be crimes,” explained Barr.    “The Department of Justice is not persuaded that this was material to any legitimate counter intelligence investigation, so it was not a crime.”
    He also clarified the dismissal would not impact the Russia investigation and said the Justice Department will continue to investigate other aspects of the probe.

[SINCE THE GLOBALIST, DEEP STATE AND WASHINGTON SWAMP CRITTERS SEE THAT HILLARY DID NOT BECOME PRESIDENT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WAS FORCED TO GO TO PLAN B AND IT IS NOW BEING BROUGHT OUT TO THE PUBLIC THE TRUTH AND IT IS NOT DONE YET EXPOSING ALL THEIR CRIMES.].
    The following was found at https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/justice-dept-dropping-flynns-criminal-case-after-fbi-notes-revealed
5/7/2020 Justice Dept dropping Flynn's criminal case after FBI notes revealed. The move is a stunning reversal for one of the signature cases brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department on Thursday said it is dropping the criminal case against President Donald Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, abandoning a prosecution that became a rallying cry for Trump and his supporters in attacking the FBI's Russia investigation.
    The move is a stunning reversal for one of the signature cases brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.    It comes even though prosecutors for the last three years had maintained that Flynn had lied to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in a January 2017 interview.    Flynn himself admitted as much, and became a key cooperator for Mueller as he investigated ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.    In court documents being filed Thursday, the Justice Department said it is dropping the case “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information.”    The documents were obtained by The Associated Press.
WHY DID MICHAEL FLYNN PLEAD GUILTY?
    The Justice Department said it had concluded that Flynn’s interview by the FBI was “untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn” and that the interview on January 24, 2017 was “conducted without any legitimate investigative basis.”
    The U.S. attorney reviewing the Flynn case, Jeff Jensen, recommended the move to Attorney General William Barr last week and formalized the recommendation in a document this week.
    “Through the course of my review of General Flynn’s case, I concluded the proper and just course was to dismiss the case,” Jensen said in a statement.    “I briefed Attorney General Barr on my findings, advised him on these conclusions, and he agreed.”
    The decision is certain to be embraced by Trump, who has relentlessly tweeted about the case and last week pronounced Flynn “exonerated,” and energize supporters who have taken up the retired Army lieutenant general as something of a cause celebre.    But it may also add to Democratic concerns that Attorney General William Barr is excessively loyal to the president, and could be a distraction for a Justice Department that for months has sought to focus on crimes arising from the coronavirus.
    The Justice Department’s action comes amid an internal review into the handling of the case and an aggressive effort by Flynn’s lawyers to challenge the basis for the prosecution.    The lawyers cited newly disclosed FBI emails and notes last week to allege that Flynn was entrapped into lying when agents interviewed him at the White House days after Trump’s inauguration.    Though none of the documents appeared to undercut the central allegation that Flynn had lied to the FBI.
    The decision is the latest dramatic turn in a years-old case full of twists and turns.    In recent months, his attorneys have leveled a series of allegations about the FBI’s actions and asked to withdraw his guilty plea.    A judge has rejected most of the claims and not ruled on others, including the bid to revoke the plea.
    The decision comes as Barr has increasingly challenged the Russia investigation, saying in a television interview last month that it was started “without any basis.”    In February, he overruled a decision by prosecutors in the Roger Stone case in favor of a more lenient recommended sentence for the longtime Trump friend.
    Earlier this year, he appointed Jensen, of St. Louis, to investigate the handling of Flynn’s case.    As part of that process, the Justice Department produced to Flynn’s attorneys a series of emails and notes, including one handwritten note from a senior FBI official that mapped out internal deliberations about the purpose of the Flynn interview: “What’s our goal?    Truth/admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” the official wrote.
    Other documents show that the FBI had been prepared weeks before its interview of Flynn to drop its investigation into whether he was acting at the direction of Russia.    Later that month, though, as the White House insisted that Flynn had never discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, FBI officials grew alarmed by Flynn’s conversations with the diplomat and what he had communicated to the White House.    The investigation remained open, and agents went to visit him in the White House on Jan. 24, 2017.
    Justice Department officials visited the White House two days later to warn officials that they feared that Flynn was compromised and vulnerable to blackmail by Russia because of his account of what was said on the call.    White House officials waited several weeks to oust him from the job, saying they’d concluded that Flynn had lied to them.    Flynn pleaded guilty that December, becoming among the first of the president’s aides to admit guilt in Mueller’s investigation.    He acknowledged that he lied about his conversations with Kislyak, in which he encourage Russia not to retaliate against the U.S. for sanctions imposed by the Obama administration over election interference.    He provided such extensive cooperation that prosecutors said he was entitled to a sentence of probation instead of prison.    As it turned out, that sentencing hearing was abruptly cut short after Flynn, facing a stern rebuke from U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, asked to be able to continue cooperating and earn credit toward a more lenient sentence.    Flynn’s misgivings about the case were already on display when his then-attorneys pointedly noted in their sentencing memo that the FBI had not warned him that it was against the law to lie when they interviewed him at the White House in January 2017.    Since then, though, he has hired new attorneys — including Sidney Powell, a conservative commentator and outspoken critic of Mueller’s investigation — who have taken a far more confrontational stance to the government.    The lawyers have accused prosecutors of withholding documents and evidence they said was favorable to the case and repeatedly noted that one of the two agents who interviewed Flynn was fired from the FBI for having sent derogatory text messages about Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

    The following images were on Fox News “Hannity’s” show.
    As most of us already knew it was a Witch Hunt from the beginning, and the following images will show you all the players and those who were duped in this crime.
    So we know who released the memos and who passed the lies to the mainstream FAKE NEWS services.
    And we have known all along that the Globalist, DEEP STATE and Washington Swamp needs to be drained, and those who have been exposed were identified early in the process but the FAKE NEWS has kept this monster alive, but things are changing.
    As the whole Cabal have now been exposed to the public for their participation in the disinformation crime is being told to the public probably for the first time.
    Some have already been fired for their crimes and other hightailed it out of it before it was uncovered.
    But some of the biggest liars are still around and I think their time is coming sooner than later.
    Some who were on the top of the problem have left but is trying to save face but is not free of this crime as of yet and he had his fingers in every crevice of this crime and was two-faced to what he said to the press and what he said to officials.
    And these three ladies above are all implicit in this entire conspiracy and will have their due to this also.
    Now this guy had his fingerprints into this very deep and thinks he can write a book and lie his way out of it with the FAKE NEWS services.
    But the big question is did the top man in control of all the above had his place in this issue and it should be brought to life as well as his protégé QUID PRO JOE BIDEN also who will not even admit he threatened the firing of a Ukraine lawyer or Ukraine would not get the billion dollars even though it is on video he is denying that, and now he is denying a sexual assault so should we believe his denial or not.

5/7/2020 McConnell urges senators to abandon push for privacy protections, pass House-approved FISA extension by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 21, 2020, file photo Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks with reporters after the
Senate approved a nearly $500 billion coronavirus aid bill on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has spoken out against a sweeping reform of a key counterintelligence tool.    On Wednesday, he urged fellow senators to pass a FISA reauthorization bill, which was already approved by the House in March.
    He believes the push by some Republican senators to add privacy protections may undermine national security.
    Democrats have been pushing to reinstate FISA without major changes amid questions about the program’s use during the 2016 presidential election.    However, McConnell has said the minor changes made to the FISA bill by House Democrats will be enough to fix the problem.
    “The House-passed legislation we’ll take up is not a blanket reauthorization of FISA,” stated the senator.    “It’s a careful update designed to provide greater accountability for the ways these authorities are exercised, while protecting the toolbox that professionals use to defend us.”
    Many Republicans claimed FISA must expire, unless its extension bill ensures American citizens will not be spied on.
[THE QUESTION IS DID THEY FIX THE FISA PROGRAM SO THAT IT CAN NOT BE ABUSED BY CORRUPT POLITICIANS.].

5/7/2020 Tara Reade calls for Biden to ‘drop out’ of race by OAN Newsroom
In this April 4, 2019, photo Tara Reade poses for a photo during an interview
with The Associated Press in Nevada City, Calif. (AP Photo/Donald Thompson)
    The former staffer who accused Joe Biden of sexual assault has called for him to drop out of the presidential race.    In an interview with Megyn Kelly, Tara Reade claimed Biden has not afforded her the presumption that she’s telling the truth.
    The presumptive Democrat nominee has denied that he sexually assaulted her in 1993.
    When asked what she would say to the former vice president if he watches the interview, Reade said he should drop out of the presidential race.
    “You and I were there, Joe Biden, please step forward and be held accountable,” stated Reade.    “You should not be running on character for president of the United States.”

    She also noted she’s received death threats since she came forward with her allegations.
    Biden’s supporters have been quick to dismiss her claims. The former vice president has yet to respond to Reade’s interview.

5/7/2020 Vice President Pence: We’re seeing great progress, states moving in responsible way by OAN Newsroom
Chief Executive Officer for Marquis Health Services Norman Rokeach, left, talks with Vice President Mike Pence, right, as he unloads
boxes of PPE from FEMA at Woodbine Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Alexandria, Va., Thursday, May 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Vice President Mike Pence helped deliver personal protective equipment to a nursing home in Virginia this week.    He spoke about the delivery on Thursday, which he said was one of many installments from FEMA that will be going out to more than 15,000 nursing homes across the country.
    When asked about states reopening before meeting federal guidelines, Pence reiterated the task force’s guidance are recommendations.    He added governors are applying them according to each state’s unique circumstances.
    He then expressed confidence states are moving in a responsible way to reopen.
    “We’re seeing great progress across the country.    What the American people have done over the last two months has saved lives, it has slowed the spread.    It has preserved the resources of our health care system, just as it was intended to do.” – Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States
    According to the vice president, governors who are reopening their states are following the administration’s latest guidance, data and science while implementing testing.
Vice President Mike Pence talks to the press after delivering PPE from FEMA to Woodbine
Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Alexandria, Va., Thursday, May 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

5/7/2020 Report: Coronavirus spread linked to travelers from N.Y. by OAN Newsroom
A patient is moved by healthcare workers at Maimonides Medical Center, Wednesday,
May 6, 2020, in New York during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
    A new study has suggested New Yorkers could be the cause of a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks.
    According to the New York Times Thursday, researchers who track the genetic makeup of the virus have said the high number of cases in the U.S. comes from domestic spread.
    Researchers believe many New Yorkers fled the Big Apple in March after news broke about a mandatory shutdown in the city.    According to a scientist from the Yale School of Public Health, between 60 and 65 percent of all cases in the U.S. can be traced back to New York.
    City leaders had come under fire in recent months for not taking action sooner.    Some argue that had those protective measures been enacted earlier, the spread of the virus could have been less severe.
People wear masks and maintain social distance to help stop the spread of new coronavirus, while waiting
in line to enter a store on 5th Avenue in Sunset Park, a Brooklyn neighborhood with one of the city’s
largest Mexican and Hispanic communities, Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
    The report also analyzed cell phone data from several coronavirus hotspots around the nation, which showed a rise of cases in areas that saw an influx in visitors from New York. Meanwhile, state officials have yet to speak out on these findings.
[THIS WAS NOTHING NEW SINCE ANYONE WHO WOULD CHECK IT OUT WOULD SEE THAT WHERE EVER THERE WAS AN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT THAT BECAME THE EPICENTER OF THE CORONAVIRUS AND THE “ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK” WAS THE SAME THAT WOULD BE FOUND IN ALL SUCH CITIES AND IS STILL TRUE TODAY.    I LIVE IN KENTUCKY AND THE MAJORITY OF ALL DEATHS ARE IN JEFFERSON COUNTY, WHICH IS LOUISVILLE WHICH HAS A MAJOR AIRPORT AS FLIGHTS ARRIVED FROM ITALY, GERMANY, ETC. FROM WHICH THE CHINA FLIGHTS LANDED IN EVENTUALLY.    I REST MY CASE AND IF TRUMP HAD NOT PUT A TRAVEL BAN ON ALL CHINA FLIGHTS IT COULD HAVE BEEN EVEN WORSE AS IT WOULD HAVE SPREAD FASTER IN MY STATE AND THE COUNTY LIVINGSTON WHERE I LIVE IN WAS ONE OF THE LAST 5 COUNTIES IN KENTUCKY AND WE HAD OUR FIRST CORONAVIRUS PERSON IN LATE APRIL.].

5/7/2020 U.S. Senate upholds Trump veto of ‘insulting’ Iran war powers resolution by Patricia Zengerle
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing a proclamation in honor of National Nurses
Day in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate failed on Thursday to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a resolution that would have reined in his ability to wage war against Iran by requiring him to obtain congressional authorization for military action.
    The vote was 49-44 in favor of the resolution, but that fell short of the two-thirds majority, or 67 votes, needed to override a veto in the 100-member Senate.
    The resolution, led by Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, had passed the Republican-led Senate and Democratic-led House of Representatives earlier this year with support from Democrats and Republicans despite Trump’s opposition.
    Trump vetoed it on Wednesday, calling it “very insulting” and accusing Democrats of pursuing the matter for political reasons, although the measure was introduced by some of Trump’s fellow Republicans, as well as Democrats.
    Kaine responded by saying that Congress is doing its job by trying to assert its authority to weigh in on the use of military force.
    “It is not a partisan effort.    It was bipartisan from the very beginning,” Kaine told reporters on a conference call before the vote.
    “It was introduced to stop a rush to an unnecessary war,” he said.
    Trump also contended that, as commander in chief he needed to retain broad authority for military action against Iran.    Trump withdrew the United States in 2018 from the international nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic reached under his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, and has been waging a “maximum pressure” campaign against the Tehran government.
    The war powers resolution was introduced weeks after Trump ordered a strike in January that killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad’s airport.    The strike in Iraq raised fears of renewed conflict in the Middle East and frustrated members of Congress from both parties who said they were not sufficiently briefed on the decision.
    It was the seventh veto of Trump’s three-year-long presidency.    None has been overridden.    Trump’s fellow Republicans, who hold a 53 to 47-seat majority in the Senate, rarely break with the president.
    The measure would require Trump to remove U.S. troops engaged in hostilities against Iran unless Congress declares war or passes a specific authorization for the use of military force.
    It was the latest in a series of recent efforts by lawmakers from both parties – during Obama’s presidency as well as under Trump – to wrest back Congress’ constitutional right to declare war.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Lisa Lambert and Jonathan Oatis)

5/7/2020 Trump calls for arms control with Russia and China in Putin call
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump looks at an assembly line during a tour of Honeywell's facility manufacturing protective face masks for
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., May 5, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner - RC2MIG9YOUY7/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump stressed his desire for arms control that includes both Russia and China in a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, the White House said in a statement.
    “President Trump reaffirmed that the United States is committed to effective arms control that includes not only Russia, but also China, and looks forward to future discussions to avoid a costly arms race,” the White House said.
    Trump has repeatedly argued – so far to no avail – for China to join the United States and Russia in talks on an arms control accord to replace the 2010 New START treaty between Washington and Moscow that expires in February.
    New START restricted the United States and Russia to deploying no more than 1,550 nuclear warheads, the lowest level in decades, and limited the land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers that deliver them.
    China, estimated to have about 300 nuclear weapons, has repeatedly rejected Trump’s proposal, arguing its nuclear force is defensive and poses no threat.
    The call, which took place on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe, also covered working to defeat the new coronavirus outbreak as well as other issues, the White House said, with Trump saying the United States stood ready to help any country fighting the disease, including Russia.
    Trump later told reporters Putin had accepted his offer to provide ventilators to help treat people with the potentially deadly COVID-19 respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, adding Russia is having a hard time with the disease.
    In its own statement, the Kremlin said “it was proposed by the American side to send a cargo of medical equipment to Russia” but provided no further details.
    The Kremlin also said the two leaders discussed the global oil market as well as other issues.
    It made no specific reference to arms control, other than a brief reference to the two countries being capable of working together to ensure “strategic stability.”
(Reporting By Jeff Mason and Arshad Mohammed; Additional reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Andrew Osborne in Moscow; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)

5/8/2020 Oil down $0.94 to $23.15, DOW up 211 to 23,876.

5/8/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

5/8/2020 I PUT THIS IMAGE BELOW TO GIVE A LITTLE HUMOR TO THE ABOVE IMAGE.
RULE NUMBER 1: NEVER SET IT TO 2020.
He warned us but we went to that year anyway

5/8/2020 Kentucky’s restaurants can reopen their dining rooms as soon as May 22 — but only at 33% capacity, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday.
    Unlimited outdoor seating will also be allowed as long as customers are spaced out properly.
    The move pleased some — but not all — restaurateurs, who have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
    “I know this isn’t the capacity restaurants probably wanted, but studies we’ve looked at show we have to be really careful with this step,” Beshear said.    “This allows them to be open for Memorial Day weekend."
    “But please, be careful.”
    Kentucky restaurant owners were dismayed last week to find restaurants weren’t included in the commonwealth’s Phase 1 opening plans.
    But eateries lead Beshear’s Phase 2 reopening.    Bars and gatherings of 50 people are on track to reopen sometime in July, Beshear said.

5/8/2020 European lawmakers to consider tougher climate law: draft by Kate Abnett
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters
in Brussels, Belgium, February 19, 2020 REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
    (Reuters) – European Union lawmakers are considering toughening the bloc’s planned climate law, with stricter near-term emission goals and a binding commitment for every member state to decarbonize by 2050, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.
    Such goals are required if the world is to stick within limits scientists say are needed to avoid devastating fallout from global warming, the lead author of the document, Swedish lawmaker Jytte Guteland, said.
    The European Commission, the EU’s executive, proposed the law in March – weeks before the coronavirus pandemic prompted an economic crisis that the bloc has pledged to tackle with “green” investment.
    Centred around a legally binding goal to cut EU net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, the law must be agreed with lawmakers and member states to take effect.
    Under a draft proposal for the parliament’s position on the law, each individual EU country would need to reduce its national emissions to net zero by 2050 and achieve net “removals” of greenhouse gases after that date.
    This is tougher than the Commission’s bloc-wide 2050 target, which had raised the possibility that some of its 27 members could decarbonise later, if others did so early.
    The draft also calls for the EU’s 2030 climate target to be tightened to a 65% cut in emissions from 1990 levels, rather than the 50% or 55% cut being considered by the Commission.
    Guteland, who guides the parliament’s talks on the climate law, said the proposal fits the emissions pathway scientists say would avoid catastrophic climate change.
    “Scientists are talking about planetary limits.    If we do not limit our emissions faster during the first 10 years, then we might actually go over the planetary limits,” she told Reuters of the risk of breaching the crucial 1.5 degrees boundary.
    “It is political choice whether we do it or not.”
    The proposal sets the stage for difficult talks.
    The United Nations says global greenhouse gas emissions must fall by an average of 7.6% each year from now until 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) – the level that scientists say would avoid the most dire impacts of climate change.
    Lawmakers will finalise their position in the coming months, before wrangling over the final law with the Commission and member states.
    Of the three groups, parliament is typically the more determined advocate of tougher climate policies.
    Still, the proposed 2030 target may struggle to get majority support from lawmakers and could face resistance from the Commission, which did not include a 65% target in its assessment of possible 2030 climate goals.
    Making EU climate goals binding at national level could also deter countries concerned about the costs of reaching net zero, which the Commission says would require up to 290 billion euros of additional investments each year.
    Poland was the only EU country to refuse to commit to the bloc-wide 2050 net zero emissions target, but the Czech Republic has called for climate aims to be dropped amid the pandemic.
    On the other side, green groups had said the Commission’s climate law proposal to clamp down on emissions after 2030 was too late.
    Parliament’s draft plan would lay out a pathway for EU emissions from 2025, measured against a “carbon budget” setting out how many emissions the bloc could produce without scuppering its climate commitments.
    It would also create an independent panel of climate scientists to monitor the bloc’s progress.    Countries not on track would receive recommendations from the Commission, and could face fines if they flout the advice.
(Reporting by Kate Abnett; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

5/8/2020 Beaches open in Barcelona as Spain decides on next steps of lockdown exit by Inti Landauro and Jordi Rubio
Women enjoy the sunny weather on the Barceloneta beach amidst the easing of restrictions implemented to curb
the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Barcelona, Spain May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
    MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) – The Spanish government will decide on Friday in which regions bars, restaurants and places of worship will open under the next phase of a gradual exit from the coronavirus lockdown, although it looked likely that Madrid and Catalonia would not move forward.
    In a sign of life returning to normal, Barcelona beaches opened for a short window from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Friday to allow people to swim and jog.    People paddled on boards and swam in the water under the supervision of police.
    “This is freedom,” said smiling swimmer Marta Torrents, speaking on the beach dressed in a wet-suit.    “To be able to go out to sea and swim – for me, this is perfect.”
    Spain has been one of the worst-hit countries globally from the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 26,000 fatalities.    The regions of Madrid and Catalonia, home to Barcelona, account for around half of all recorded infections.
    The government will decide which regions will move to the second phase of its four-stage exit on Friday and the results will be officially published on Saturday.    The country is aiming for a return to normality by end-June.
    “There are two areas more severely hit by the epidemic – Madrid and Barcelona – and it is perhaps reasonable that in these two areas the exit goes at a slower pace,” Deputy Prime Minister Pablo Iglesias said in a radio interview on Friday.
    Spain is emerging from a strict lockdown now in its eighth week which has battered the economy and led to hundreds of thousands of job losses.
    The government has loosened the terms this week, with people allowed to take exercise and small businesses like hairdressers receiving clients with restrictions to allow social distancing.
    Under the next stage, bars, restaurants and places of worship will be able to open with limited capacity.
    In the fourth and final phase, expected around the end of June, beaches will open for sun-bathing and restrictions on shops and restaurants will be further loosened.
(Writing By Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

5/8/2020 President Trump congratulates Flynn, stresses his mission to ‘drain the swamp’ by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump points as he departs after a White House National Day of Prayer Service in
the Rose Garden of the White House, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump gave a shout out to General Michael Flynn after the Department of Justice announced it would move to drop its criminal charges against him.
    While taking to Twitter Friday, the president said Thursday “was a big day for justice in the USA.”    He congratulated Flynn and noted that he believes “there is much more to come.”
    The president went on to state that “dirty cops and crooked politicians do not go well together” and in another tweet reiterated his mission to “drain the swamp.”
    During a phone interview Friday, President Trump stressed the entire Russia investigation was a hoax that started to unravel once he fired former FBI Director James Comey.     “This was a take-down of a duly elected President of the United States,” he stressed.    “When I fired Comey because he was dishonest and lied in front of Congress and other things…when I fired Comey, you know what hit the fan and it was big, it was a monster…and all of those guys started going after each other.”
    The president went on to say that exposing corrupt officials and authorities in the Department of Justice as well as the FBI will be one of his greatest achievements.
FILE – In this April 1, 2020, file photo, Attorney General William Barr speaks about the coronavirus in
the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney General William Barr came to the Justice Department’s defense in dismissing the case against General Flynn.    During an interview Thursday, he said it was his “duty” to drop the charges and adding that he wanted to “restore confidence in the system.”
    Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI back in 2017, but Barr claimed his actions were “not a crime.”
    “Well you know people sometimes plead to things that turn out not to be crimes and the Department of Justice is not persuaded that this was material to any legitimate counter-intelligence investigation,” explained the attorney general.    “So, it was not a crime.”
    Barr said the president did not request that Flynn’s case be dropped.    He also said this will not impact the Russia investigation and the Department of Justice will continue to investigate other aspects of the probe.

5/8/2020 Wuhan market had role in virus outbreak, but more research needed: WHO by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the
Emergency Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – A wholesale market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan played a role in the outbreak of the novel coronavirus last year, as the source or possibly as an “amplifying setting,” the World Health Organization said on Friday, calling for more research.
    Chinese authorities shut down the market in January as part of efforts to halt the spread of the virus and ordered a temporary ban on trade and consumption of wildlife.
    “The market played a role in the event, that’s clear.    But what role we don’t know, whether it was the source or amplifying setting or just a coincidence that some cases were detected in and around that market,” said Dr Peter Ben Embarek, a WHO expert on food safety and zoonotic viruses that cross the species barrier from animals to humans.
    It was not clear whether live animals or infected vendors or shoppers may have brought the virus into the market, he told a Geneva news briefing.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said there is “a significant amount of evidence” the virus came from the Wuhan laboratory, although he has also said there wasn’t certainty.
    No public evidence has linked the outbreak to the lab in Wuhan and scientists have said the coronavirus appears to have developed in nature.    A German intelligence report cast doubts on Pompeo’s allegations, Der Spiegel reported.
    Ben Embarek did not address the accusations.
    He noted that it took researchers a year to identify camels as the source of the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) virus, a coronavirus that emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and spread in the Middle East, adding: “It’s not too late.”
    “What is important, what would be of great help, is to get hold of the virus before it adapted to humans, before the version we have now.    Because then we would better understand how it adapted to humans, how it evolved,” he said.
    “In terms of investigations, China has most probably, most likely, all the expertise needed to do these investigations. They have lot of very qualified researchers to that,” he said.
    A common sight across Asia, wet markets traditionally sell fresh produce and live animals, such as fish, in the open air.
    Many markets worldwide that sell live animals must be better regulated and hygiene conditions improved, and some should be closed down, Ben Embarek said.    “But the vast majority can be fixed, can be better organised.”
    It is often a question of controlling waste management, the movement of people and goods, and of separating live animals from animal products and from fresh goods, he said.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Nick Macfie)

5/8/2020 Macron’s lawmakers told to pull together amid reports of new group
FILE PHOTO: France's President Emmanuel Macron wears a protective face mask with a blue-white-red coloured ribbon as he gestures
while speaking with schoolchildren during a class during a visit to the Pierre de Ronsard elementary school in Poissy, France,
May 5, 2020, as France readies to face an ease in the coronavirus lockdown measures. Ian Langsdon/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) – The parliamentary leader of French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party demanded the “utmost prudence” from his lawmakers on Friday after reports that some were poised to defect to a new political group, according to an internal memo.
    Gilles Le Gendre, a close Macron ally, sent the memo seen by Reuters to La Republique En Marche (LaRem) lawmakers after the business daily Les Echos reported that the creation of a new 58-strong centre-left grouping was imminent.
    Macron’s party, formed after the former investment banker won the presidency in May 2017, has suffered a string of defections in recent months by parliamentarians frustrated with his tight grip on decision-making and his pro-business policies.
    Macron’s once-comfortable majority has been eroded.    His party has 296 seats, down from 314 after the 2017 parliamentary vote, and just seven more than it needs for an absolute majority.    LaRem also still has the support of a small partner.
    There has been no official confirmation of what would be a ninth group in France’s National Assembly.
    But Le Gendre wrote to his party that, if it came, “more than ever, we will need pull together and rally round.    Any attempt to divide will make it harder to deliver what the French people expect from their leaders.”
    A parliamentary group does not have the formal structures of a party.    It is, however, highly likely that any parliamentarian who joined the new group would be ejected from Macron’s party.
    A LaRem party source did not dismiss the reports of a new grouping in the making, but doubted whether it would manage to assemble as many as 58 members and suggested not all would come from LaRem’s benches.
    Among the names linked with the new group are Cedric Villani, a prize-winning mathematician who fell out with Macron after launching a renegade bid for Paris City Hall, and Matthieu Orphelin, who quit LaRem over what he called Macron’s failings on climate change policy.
    Both now sit in parliament as independents.    Neither immediately responded to requests for comment, and nor did Macron’s office.
    Other names associated with the would-be new group suggest it could poach from other parties, including the Socialist Party, which is still trying to rebuild after Macron routed France’s traditional mainstream blocs three years ago.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

5/8/2020 As deaths mount in Brazil’s Amazon, official COVID-19 toll under scrutiny by Jake Spring, Eduardo Simões and Bruno Kelly
A worker, wearing a protective mask, stands next to the coffins, that arrived from Santa Catarina state at the Port of Manaus and
were purchased by funeral homes, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Manaus, Brazil May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly
    BRASILIA/SAO PAULO/MANAUS, Brazil (Reuters) – The death toll from COVID-19 in the worst hit part of Brazil’s remote Amazon region may be three times the official count, according to data from public notaries reviewed by Reuters, as the spread of the disease overwhelms the public health system.
    Officials in Manaus, state capital of Amazonas, said they were out of hospital beds and struggling to keep pace with the burials needed.    The largest of nine states in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, Amazonas has registered nearly 19.4 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 residents, compared to 4.4 for all of Brazil, according to a Reuters calculation based on the death toll released by the federal Health Ministry on Thursday.
    The coronavirus killed 422 people in Amazonas in April, according to the ministry.    Yet death registry data from public notaries indicates the ministry’s statistics may far underestimate the actual toll.    Officials have previously acknowledged in media briefings that the toll is likely higher as cases go undetected because of a lack of testing, without saying by how much.
    Data from the national association of public notaries as of Thursday showed     385 people died of COVID-19 in Amazonas in April. However, the notaries also registered 999 other deaths – attributed to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and other respiratory failures, which some officials in the state believe should be counted as COVID-19 deaths for a total of 1,384.    The 999 deaths are four times the 249 fatalities attributed to those other diseases in April 2019.
    “In Brazil, there is a harmful phenomenon of under reporting.    It’s absurd to have deaths without a cause,” Manaus Mayor Virgilio Neto told Reuters by phone.
    “Deaths from pneumonia, I’d rather call COVID. Deaths from severe respiratory failure, I’d rather call COVID.”
    A health ministry press representative told Reuters on Thursday that the ministry follows a set procedure for tracking coronavirus cases and all respiratory problems cannot be presumed to be COVID-19 related, but acknowledged that as a result there could be undercounting.
    “The number could be higher. We have to wait for the process of investigation into what really was the cause of death of the person.    The question of deaths is sensitive and you have to be sure about the cause of death of a person,” said the representative, who asked not be named, citing ministry policy.
    “It could be another respiratory virus, not necessarily coronavirus,” she said.
TESTING
    The ministry representative said that it is only possible to know for certain if a person had coronavirus by testing for it.    The government plans to ramp up testing later in May, she said, predicting it would reveal a larger number of cases.
    The ministry said in a statement on Thursday it has distributed 5.1 million tests. The press representative said the ministry did not know how many had been used.
    Brazil had only tested 181,000 people as of April 22, the most recent government statistics available.    That represents less than 0.1% of the population, compared to testing rates of 3.5% in Italy and 1.2% in South Korea.
    The health ministry has blamed a shortage of materials to make testing kits amid huge global demand for coronavirus tests.
    Brazil is the country worst hit by the coronavirus in Latin America and some public health officials, politicians and other observers around the world say they are concerned by President Jair Bolsonaro playing down the gravity of the crisis.
    Bolsonaro, seeing Brazil’s economy damaged by social distancing measures, has said the economic impact of keeping people at home outweighs the health risk of letting them work.
    The death toll for all of Brazil rose by 610 on Thursday to more than 9,100 people, the health ministry said, with over 135,000 coronavirus cases confirmed.
    The ministry’s overall count relies on hospitals testing patients, reporting positive cases to municipal authorities, who then pass the data to state health secretaries and then up to the ministry.
SAME PANDEMIC
    Manaus, a city of more than 2 million, is accessible only by plane or riverboat from the rest of Brazil for much of the year.    The outbreak has begun to spread to indigenous communities up and down the Amazon River that flows past Manaus, stirring calls from human rights advocates and public figures from Paul McCartney to Oprah Winfrey to protect the tribes.
    Three Brazilian doctors and a local official interviewed by Reuters said they had little doubt that the wave of deadly respiratory illnesses without a firm coronavirus diagnosis are part of the same pandemic.
    Guilherme Pivoto, head of Amazonas state infectologists association, said many patients don’t have access to full-service hospitals and die without having been tested. Bodies are quickly sent off to be buried or cremated, Pivoto said.
    In certain instances, Manaus has resorted to burying five at a time in shared graves, according to a Reuters photographer who has seen more than 50 burials in local cemeteries.    Mayor Virgilio Neto said some 120 people are being buried a day.
    The municipal burial service SOS Funeral serves families who cannot afford a private ceremony.br>     SOS Funeral workers – some in white hooded body suits, masks and gloves for protection – load coffins into the back of white utility vans before picking up bodies from hospitals and homes.
    The number of “removals” of the dead have tripled to between 24 and 36 per day, with 52 pickups on the worst day, according to a spokeswoman for SOS Funeral, who asked not to be named.
    Virgilio Neto said his efforts to slow the outbreak through social distancing have been hurt by Bolsonaro’s criticism of such isolation orders, estimating less than 40% of the city is following his guidelines.
    “It’s hard when the top national leader tells people to go outside … here he has a very strong hold,” the mayor said.
    Bolsonaro on Thursday again defended his desire to reopen Brazil’s economy and criticized business closures and stay-at-home orders issued by some state leaders as too restrictive.
(GRAPHIC: World-focused tracker with country-by-country interactive – https://graphics.reuters.com/CHINA-HEALTH-MAP/0100B59S39E/index.html)
(Reporting by Jake Spring in Brasilia, Eduardo Simoes in Sao Paulo and Bruno Kelly in Manaus; Additional reporting by Pedro Fonseca in Rio de Janeiro, Stephen Eisenhammer in Sao Paulo and Lisandra Paraguassu in Brasilia; Editing by Brad Haynes and Grant McCool)

5/8/2020 Countries must return to public health surveillance in COVID-19 fight: WHO’s Ryan
FILE PHOTO: Executive Director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) emergencies program Mike Ryan speaks at a news
conference on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    ZURICH (Reuters) – Countries must return to “basic principles” of public health surveillance if they are to bring the coronavirus outbreak under control, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) top emergency health expert said on Friday.
    The WHO, which said it is facing a $1.3 billion funding deficit for its effort to tackle COVID-19, issued the call for more surveillance as many countries including the United States, Switzerland, Mexico and Germany have turned their efforts toward re-opening economies battered by the pandemic.
    Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, said during a media briefing from Geneva that all nations should focus on the fundamentals of the global coronavirus fight: scouting potential new infections, hunting them down, confirming them and then separating those afflicted, to save others from the disease.
    “We seem…to be avoiding the uncomfortable reality that we need to get back to public health surveillance,” Mike Ryan, the head of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, said during a media briefing. “We need to go back to where we should have been months ago — finding cases, tracking cases, testing cases, isolating people who are tested positive, doing quarantine for contacts.”
    WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ concerns over a funding crunch come after U.S. President Donald Trump last month told his administration to temporarily halt funding to the United Nations health agency.    U.S. officials are demanding a WHO overhaul, saying it mishandled the coronavirus crisis.
    WHO’s Ryan on Friday urged nations to stick together as the disease spreads from country to country, sometimes at different rates and with wide swings in death tolls.    Ryan highlighted how Russia appears to be dealing with a “delayed epidemic” as a spike in confirmed new infections in recent days has catapulted it past France and Germany in total number of cases.
    “Through solidarity we will win the fight and nobody is safe until everybody is safe,” Ryan said.    “There is a path out, but we must remain ever-vigilant, and we may have to have a significant alteration of our lifestyles until we get to a point where we have an effective vaccine.”
    There has been a slew of news in recent days about vaccine candidates, including announcements that tests in humans have begun with some trials expected by summer, though experts have warned a successful preventative treatment may still be many months away.
(Reporting by Michael Shields and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi, editing by John Miller)

5/8/2020 Italy tops 30,000 coronavirus deaths, new cases edge down
A woman wearing headphones stands on the Ponte Sant'Angelo bridge during sunset, amid the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Rome, Italy, May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
    ROME (Reuters) – Italy on Friday became the third country in the world to record 30,000 deaths from the coronavirus, reporting 243 new fatalities compared with a daily tally of 274 the day before.
    Italy’s total death toll from COVID-19 since its outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 30,201, the Civil Protection Agency said.    Only the United States and Britain have seen more deaths from the virus.
    The daily number of new infections fell slightly to 1,327 from 1,401 on Thursday, taking the total of confirmed cases since the epidemic began to 217,185, the third highest global tally behind those of the United States and Spain.
    People registered as currently carrying the illness in Italy fell to 87,961 from 89,624 the day before.
    There were 1,168 people in intensive care on Friday against 1,311 on Thursday, maintaining a long-running decline.    Of those originally infected, 99,023 were declared recovered against 96,276 a day earlier.
    The agency said 1.609 million people had been tested for the virus against 1.564 million the day before, out of a population of around 60 million.
(Reporting by Gavin Jones)

5/8/2020 UK’s COVID-19 death toll rises 626 to 31,241: minister
A person wearing a protective face mask is seen in Westminster, following the outbreak
of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s COVID-19 death toll has risen by 626 to 31,241, according to figures announced on Friday by Environment Secretary George Eustice.
    The figures, collated by government agency Public Health England and equivalents in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, comprise deaths in all settings following positive coronavirus tests and cover the period up to 1600 GMT on Thursday.
(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill and Guy Faulconbridge)

5/8/2020 Donald Trump Jr.: Rep. Schiff lied to American people, colleagues by OAN Newsroom
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., listens at a news conference with Speaker of the House
Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    According to Donald Trump Jr., the recently released Russia probe transcripts make it clear Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) lied to America.    In a tweet, the president’s son said Schiff lied to the American people and his colleagues, noting he had zero evidence to support what he was selling.
    Don Jr. asked if any Democrats, who were “made to look like fools,” were offended and would be willing to hold Schiff accountable.
    This came after the House Intelligence Committee released the transcripts of the Democrat led investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.    According to the documents, top Obama officials had no “direct evidence” Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia, despite Democrat concerns.
In this Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020 file photograph, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee
Joe Biden gestures during a foreign policy statement in New York. (AP Photo/File, Richard Drew)
    Meanwhile, President Trump has claimed former Vice President Joe Biden was also involved with the Russia probe.    During a recent interview, the president said “sleepy Joe was involved in this very much” while discussing the FBI’s investigation into his 2016 campaign.
    Reports noted that the investigation began while Biden was still in office.
    The president did not specify how he knew Biden was tied to the probe, but went on to slam the former vice president as a “bad” and “incompetent” Democrat presidential candidate.

5/8/2020 Texas Sen. Cruz blasts San Antonio City Council’s plan labeling ‘Chinese virus’ as hate speech by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Jan. 23, 2020 file photo, Sen. Ted Cruz R-Texas, speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) slammed a Texas city council’s decision to label the phrase “Chinese virus” as hate speech.
    The Texas lawmaker took to Twitter Thursday to call the move “nuts” just before the San Antonio City Council unanimously voted that anyone using the phrases “Chinese virus” or “Kung Fu virus” would be investigated for hate speech.
    Cruz continued his criticism by suggesting that investigations should start with the New York Times or with CNN “who both repeatedly and rightly referred to it as the Chinese coronavirus.”
    The city council members suggested the language encourages hate crimes against Asian Americans and immigrants.
    “We’ve seen incidents that are clearly racist in nature all around this country and we’ve even seen some incidents here,” stated Mayor Ron Nirenberg, (I) San Antonio, Texas.    “This is really about standing in solidarity with all the members of our community.”
    Sen. Cruz ended his tweet by using the hashtag #NoSpeechPolice in a stand against the infringement of free speech or the First Amendment.
[THANK YOU SAN ANTONIO FOR BRINGING THE WORD CHINESE WUHAN VIRUS ATTENTION TO THE WORLD and don't forget to let everyone know
COVID-19 = China Only Violated It Duh -19 in 2019.].

5/8/2020 WHO readies coronavirus app for checking symptoms, possibly contact tracing by Paresh Dave
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured at the World Health Organization (WHO) building in Geneva, Switzerland, February 2, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    OAKLAND, California (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to launch an app this month to enable people in under-resourced countries to assess whether they may have the novel coronavirus, and is considering a Bluetooth-based contact tracing feature too, an official told Reuters on Friday.
    The app will ask people about their symptoms and offer guidance on whether they may have COVID-19, the potentially lethal illness caused by the coronavirus, said Bernardo Mariano, chief information officer for the WHO.    Other information, such as how to get tested, will be personalized according to the user’s country.
    Though the WHO will release a version on app stores globally, any government will be able to take the app’s underlying technology, add features and release its own version on app stores, Mariano said in a phone interview.
    India, Australia and the United Kingdom already have released official virus apps using their own technology, with common features including telling people whether to get tested based on their symptoms and logging people’s movements to enable more efficient contact tracing.
    Several countries are ramping up contact tracing, or the process of finding, testing and isolating individuals who crossed paths with an infectious individual.    It is seen as vital to safely opening economies, and apps that automate parts of the process could accelerate efforts.
    The WHO expects its app to draw interest in other countries, including some in South America and Africa where case numbers are rising.    They may lack the technology and engineers to develop apps or be struggling to offer testing and education.
    “The value is really for countries that do not have anything,” Mariano said.    “We would be leaving behind the ones that are not able to (provide an app), that have fragile health systems.”
    Engineers and designers, including some who previously worked at Alphabet Inc’s Google and Microsoft Corp, have been volunteering for weeks to develop the new app with about five of them overseeing the process.    They are designing it open-source on the hosting service GitHub, meaning code is open to public input.
    Several team members declined to comment.
    Mariano said he wants to include additional tools beyond the symptom checker, including a self-help guide for mental health care.
    The team also is considering what the WHO refers to as proximity tracing.
    Engineers have done preliminary work and talked to smartphone operating system makers Apple Inc and Google about possibly adopting technology the companies plan to release jointly this month to make tracing easier.
    The technology relies on virtual “handshakes” between phones that come within a few feet of each other for at least five minutes.    Phones keep anonymized logs of such encounters, allowing someone who later tests positive to anonymously send notifications to recent contacts about their possible exposure to the virus.
    But Mariano said legal and privacy considerations have prevented the WHO from committing to such a feature yet.    He expressed concern about the many businesses pitching proximity tools turning around and using any personal data they gather to generate revenue later.
    “We want to make sure we ring-fence all the risks around it,” he said.
    Apple and Google have said their system will not use any data for other purposes and will be stopped when the pandemic ends.
    The WHO plans to release guidance as soon as next week on issues countries should consider as they weigh their own proximity tracing apps.
    To reach people with limited internet access, the WHO is working to deliver information via text messages.    In March, it launched an account on Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp to provide users with information about the coronavirus, and it partnered with the company’s Free Basics program to make some information available without users incurring data charges.
    The WHO also plans to release an app next week to inform health workers globally about best practices for donning protective gear, washing hands and treating the virus.    The organization already has a general app, WHO Info, that largely mirrors its website.
(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Greg Mitchell and Jonathan Oatis)

5/9/2020 Oil up $1.27 to $24.61, DOW up 455 to 24,331.

5/9/2020 Britain to quarantine incoming travellers for 14-days: Times report
FILE PHOTO: A man walks into a deserted Gatwick airport, as the spread of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) continues, Gatwick, Britain, May 5, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is to introduce a 14-day quarantine period for almost everyone arriving into the country to avoid a second peak of the coronavirus pandemic, The Times newspaper reported on Saturday.
    It said Prime Minister Boris Johnson will say in an address to the nation on Sunday that passengers arriving at airports and ports, including Britons returning from abroad, will have to self-isolate for a fortnight.
    According to the report, under measures that are likely to come into force in early June, travellers will have to provide the address at which they will self-isolate on arrival.
    “These measures will help protect the British public and reduce the transmission of the virus as we move into the next phase of our response,” The Times quoted a government source as saying.
    Britain’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 31,241 on Friday.
    Downing Street declined to comment on the report and a spokeswoman for Britain’s interior ministry said: “We don’t comment on leaks.”
    Johnson is due to announce on Sunday the next steps in Britain’s battle to tackle the novel coronavirus following a review by ministers of the current measures that have all but shut the economy and kept millions at home for over six weeks.
    His environment minister George Eustice said on Saturday Johnson would not announce any dramatic changes to Britain’s lockdown, adopting a cautious approach.
    UK airport operators said they feared a quarantine would compound the acute damage the pandemic has wrought to the aviation industry as it would put people off travelling when lockdown restrictions are lifted.
    “Quarantine would not only have a devastating impact on the UK aviation industry, but also on the wider economy,” said Karen Dee, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association.
    “If the government believes quarantine is medically necessary, then it should be applied on a selective basis following the science, there should be a clear exit strategy and the economic impact on key sectors should be mitigated,” she said.
Airlines UK, the representative body for airlines, said it needed to see the detail of what the government is proposing.
    “We will be asking for assurances that this decision has been led by the science and that government has a credible exit plan, with weekly reviews to ensure the restrictions are working and still required.”
    The Times report said travellers from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man would be exempt from the quarantine, as would lorry drivers bringing crucial supplies.
    It said the authorities would carry out spot checks and those found to be breaking the rules would face fines of up to 1,000 pounds ($1,240) or even deportation.
(Reporting by James Davey in London and Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru, Editing by Ros Russell)

5/9/2020 Spain’s coronavirus daily death tolls falls to 179 on Saturday
People practice outdoor activities along Paseo de la Castellana avenue after Madrid's local authorities
allowed some streets only for pedestrian use during weekends and festivity days amid the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, May 9, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s daily death toll from the coronavirus fell to 179 on Saturday, down from 229 on the previous day, the health ministry reported.
    Overall deaths rose to 26,478 from 26,299 on Friday and the number of diagnosed cases rose to 223,578 from 222,857 the day before, the ministry said.
(Reporting by Jessica Jones and Nathan Allen; Editing by Catherine Evans)

5/9/2020 ‘Europe needs a break’: EU plots to restart travel and tourism despite COVID by Gabriela Baczynska
FILE PHOTO: Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport is seen empty during Holy Week amid the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Barcelona, Spain April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU states should guarantee vouchers for travel cancelled during the coronavirus pandemic and start lifting internal border restrictions in a bid to salvage some of the summer tourism season, the bloc’s executive will say next week.
    Tourism, that normally contributes almost a tenth of the European Union’s economic output, is among the sectors hardest hit by the global outbreak that has grounded nearly all travel.
    Germany and other member states have urged a suspension of EU rules that force cash-drained airlines and the hospitality industry to offer full refunds for cancelled flights and trips instead of vouchers for future travel.
    In response, the European Commission will tell member states to guarantee vouchers to make them more attractive to customers, according to a strategy document seen by Reuters ahead of official publication due on Wednesday.
    “To provide incentives for passengers and travellers to accept vouchers instead of reimbursement, vouchers should be protected against insolvency of the issuer and remain refundable by the end of their validity if not redeemed,” the draft document said.
    “Insolvency protection needs to be assured at the national level and secured vouchers need to be accessible to all passengers and travellers,” it added.
    The EU executive will also tell the bloc’s 27 member countries to gradually lift internal border restrictions and restart some travel to help the ailing tourism sector.
‘GRAVE TROUBLE’
    Tourism normally brings some 150 billion euros every season form June through August with some 360 million international arrivals, according to the Commission.
    But Europe’s external borders are now bound to be shut for any non-essential travel until at least mid-June, an emergency measure to limit the spread of the virus.
    “Our tourism industry is in grave trouble,” the Commission is due to say, warning that 6.4 million jobs could be lost in the sector that has reported falls in revenue ranging from 50% for hotels and restaurants to 90% for cruises and airlines.
    The pandemic set the EU on a path towards its worst-ever economic downturn and bitterly tested unity between member states fighting over medical equipment, export bans on drugs, chaotic border curbs and money to salvage their single market.
    Titled “Europe needs a break” the Commission’s tourism strategy will call for targeted restrictions to replace a general ban on travel and seek a gradual lifting of internal border checks where the health situation has improved.
    With Europeans most likely to stay at home or travel shorter distances this summer, peripheral EU regions and islands are likely to be shunned and will take longer to bounce back.
    “Until a vaccine or treatment is available, the needs and benefits of travel and tourism needs to be weighed against the risks of again facilitating the spread of the virus… possibly leading to a reintroduction of confinement measures,” the draft plan said.
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by Timothy Heritage and Ros Russell)

5/9/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 1,251 to 168,551: RKI
FILE PHOTO: An empty street is pictured as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues,
in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, Germany May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,251 to 168,551, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday.
    The reported death toll rose by 147 to 7,369, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Sandra Maler)

5/9/2020 Fitton: Gen. Flynn got justice because lawyers fought back by OAN Newsroom
Photo via Tom Fitton official Twitter.
    According to the president of Judicial Watch, it took the right lawyers to finally get justice for General Michael Flynn.    During a recent interview, Tom Fitton told reporters the former national security adviser got justice because he had a couple of lawyers who were willing to push back against D.C.’s “entire political class.”
    “This FBI, this Justice Department, they would’ve sent Flynn to jail.    I appreciate these documents were released, I appreciate Barr did the right thing in the end, but lets be clear: it wasn’t voluntary.    He only got justice because he had a lawyer that insisted upon it.” – Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch
    He went on to call the outcome “disturbing” and said it “shows you that officials are willing to distort the law to destroy their enemies.”
FILE – In this July 10, 2018, file photo, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves
the federal courthouse in Washington, following a status hearing. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
    Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany commended the Justice Department for requesting to dismiss the FBI’s three-year-long investigation into the former national security adviser.
    During Friday’s press briefing, McEnany expressed her dismay over the agency’s handling of the case, citing newly disclosed emails and handwritten notes that alleged Flynn’s entrapment.
    “The FBI exists to investigate crimes, but in the case of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, it appears as though they might have existed to manufacture one,” stated the press secretary.
    She said “agents appeared to paint a target on his back” and went on to describe one of several instances that led up to the dismissal.
    “In December 2016, Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador and, as customary, the call was recorded.    But in a highly irregular move, the Intelligence Community unmasked his identity.    Michael Flynn is a United States citizen who is entitled to Fourth Amendment rights and due process, but he received none of that.” – Kayleigh McEnany, United States Press Secretary
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Friday, May 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    According to the secretary, it was also revealed that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper privately disclosed he saw “no direct empirical evidence” that the Trump campaign was conspiring with Russia to mettle with the 2016 election.
    “If the top leadership of the FBI can target a three star general who served this country for three decades, make no mistake, they can target you,” said McEnany.    “    Hard to believe that this happened in the United States of America.”
    A court must still approve the department’s request to dismiss the case.    Meanwhile, McEnany reaffirmed President Trump will consider working with Congress to create a ‘phase four’ bill, which would deal with the rising unemployment rate caused by the ongoing pandemic.
    “I can tell you this: the president that got us to the hottest economy in modern history, he’s done it once and he can do it again,” she said.

5/9/2020 Attorney General Barr: Concerned Steele dossier used to ‘inject’ Russian disinformation by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 10, 2020, file photo, Attorney General William Barr speaks at the National Sheriffs’
Association Winter Legislative and Technology Conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    Attorney General William Barr has called the use of the infamous Steele dossier during the Mueller investigation “troubling.”    During an interview this week, Barr noted during testimony on Capitol Hill, he was concerned about the dossier and former British spy Christopher Steele’s work.
    He was worried both were being used as a “vector by Russians to inject disinformation into a political campaign.”
    He added Special Investigator Robert Mueller was responsible for looking at potential Russian influence, but it was ignored.
    “One of the things you have to guard against, both as a prosecutor and I think as an investigator, is that if you get too wedded to a particular outcome and if you’re pursing a particular agenda, you close your eyes to anything that sort of fits with your preconception,” stated Barr.
    According to the attorney general, Mueller should have investigated the dossier further.    He declined to comment whether he saw additional evidence of political bias in the Russia investigation.
[We all know now that Mueller was just the face of it was not in charge of the Muellar report it was being controlled by the Washington Swamp with 14 angry Trump hating lawyers and they ignored anything that would refute their goal and they are the ones that need to be cleaned up in the SWAMP when it is drained and all this corruption is on the news for all Americans can see what was happening].

5/9/2020 Pa. state leaders push back against lockdown orders by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 20, 2020, file photo, protesters demonstrate at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., demanding that Gov. Tom Wolf reopen Pennsylvania’s
economy even as new social-distancing mandates took effect at stores and other commercial buildings. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)
    County leaders in Pennsylvania have taken steps to reopen their communities, despite the governor’s lockdown orders.
    According to recent reports, local officials are fed up with Governor Tom Wolf’s lengthy reopening plan, which includes phasing counties in over the next several months.
    Several county officials, as well as state lawmakers, recently sent a letter to Wolf, saying they will instead be taking reopening efforts into their own hands.
    This included Central Pennsylvania, which houses the state capitol building and the governor’s house.
    “We were really being flooded with e-mails and phone calls of folks who were terribly upset that their livelihoods were being really taken away from them in this process,” stated Butler County official Leslie Osche.    “Everybody’s rights are being denied in many different ways.”
    According to one county commissioner, almost 1.8 million residents have lost their jobs since the state was closed.

5/9/2020 Sen. Schumer to push for vote-by-mail provisions in next COVID-19 relief bill by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 21, 2020, file photo Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y. speaks with
reporters outside the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
    According to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), vote-by-mail provisions will be an important part of the next coronavirus relief bill.    On Friday, he said he feels very strongly about voting-by-mail and added that Democrats plan to “fight like the devil for it.”
    Schumer suggested Republicans may use the pandemic to prevent people from voting, particularly poorer Americans and minority groups.
    He also emphasized the pandemic should not stand in the way of free and fair elections.
    “We feel extremely strongly that everyone should be able to vote.    The COVID crisis should not stand in the way of what is the hallmark, the wellspring, of America, which is free, fair and open elections.    That will be a very important part of the legislation that we’re going to put forward, and we are going to fight like the devil for it.” – Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader
    The House is expected to vote on a Democrat version of a relief bill next week.
[I agree with the devil part but as usual the rest of it is a way for corruption in elections if people are not showing an ID as a citizen of the U.S. then ballot stuffing will occur by the Democrats who are desperate because they have a weak presidential running pick and a public who has seen what they have been in their corruption for the past 12 years.].

5/9/2020 President Trump endorses Navy pilot Mike Garcia for Calif.’s 25th District by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Jan. 28, 2020 file photo, 25th District congressional candidate and former Navy combat pilot Mike Garcia greets supporters in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Michael Blood,File)
    The president has endorsed former Navy pilot Mike Garcia for Congress.    President Trump took to Twitter on Saturday, where he announced Mike has his complete and total endorsement.     He called the congressional candidate for California’s 25th district a great fighter pilot, a hero and a brilliant Annapolis graduate.    The president added that Mike “will never let you down.”
    Garcia has said he is running to ensure Californians do not fall victim to socialist and far-left Democrat policies, which he claimed have already devastated much of the state.
    “I left the 25th district in 1994 to serve my nation.    I was blessed to attend the U.S. Naval Academy and fly combat missions over Iraq as a 5-18 pilot.    I came home in 2009, because there’s no better place to live in this world.    After 10 years of a career in real estate and aerospace, I’m called again to serve my nation, this time in Congress.” – Mike Garcia, Republican congressional candidate
    A special election is set to take place on May 12th, when Garcia will have to beat out Democrat candidate and current state assemblywomen Christy Smith.    The winner will replace Rep. Katie Hill, who resigned from the seat in November of 2019.

5/9/2020 San Francisco Health Dept. gives out alcohol, drugs to homeless housed in quarantine hotels by OAN Newsroom
People on the street near the MSC South homeless shelter, where at least 70 people have now
tested positive for COVID-19, on Monday, April 13, 2020, in San Francisco.(AP Photo/Ben Margot)
    San Francisco is reportedly handing out drugs and alcohol to its homeless population.    According to reports, the city’s public health department has provided alcohol, marijuana and methadone for free to those seeking shelter in hotels during the pandemic.
    The department has argued the handouts were meant to help homeless hotel guests successfully complete their quarantine and was offered to self-described addicts only.
    Locals noted the coronavirus has presented a unique challenge to the overpopulated, at-risk community.
    “I think it’s a complex thing to be able contain all these homeless people in a situation like we are in right now, because on a normal day it’s very hard to cope with so many homeless people in the city,” explained one resident.    “Then in this situation, it’s even worse.”
Pedestrians walk to the edge of the sidewalk to avoid stepping on people in tents and sleeping bags
on Monday, April 13, 2020, in the tenderloin area of San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
    One former addict believes the move will encourage substance abuse, blurring the line between harm reduction and enabling.
    Housing the homeless during the pandemic has been part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s ‘Room Key‘ project, which provided self-isolation and temporary housing options for at-risk populations.
[Now you know why people are fleeing California and the above policy is got to be the last straw.].

5/9/2020 Tara Reade claims she reached out to Warren, Harris campaigns about Biden allegations by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 3, 2020, file photo presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.,
speaks during a primary election night rally at Eastern Market in Detroit. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
    Tara Reade claimed she was written off by the campaigns of several former Democrat presidential candidates when she reached out to them to tell her story.    During an interview Friday, Reade stated she took claims Joe Biden sexually assaulted her to Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) 2020 campaigns.
    According to the former staffer, she sought a safe place to get her story out to the public, but neither candidate responded to her.
    However, both campaign advisors have said they have no record of Reade’s request.
    “Kamala Harris is my representative, so I tried to reach out to her in particular for help,” explained Reade.    “I wanted to get a safe place to tell what happened and I didn’t get a response, so I kept trying to get it out.”
    Earlier this week, Sen. Warren called the former vice president’s complete denial of the allegations “credible and convincing.”

5/9/2020 France says total death toll from coronavirus rises by 80 to 26,310
A protective face mask is seen on the pavement, during a lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) in Fontenay-sous-bois, near Paris, France, May 9, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
    PARIS (Reuters) – The number of people who have died from coronavirus infections in France rose by 80 to 26,310 on Saturday, the health ministry said, a much smaller daily increase than the previous day when it was 243.
    The ministry said the number of people in intensive care units – a key measure of a health system’s ability to deal with the epidemic – fell by 56, or about 2%, to 2,812.    That is less than half the peak of 7,148 seen on April 8.
    The number of people in hospital with the coronavirus also fell, to 22,614 from 22,724, continuing an uninterrupted three-week fall, and down 30% from an April 14 peak of 32,292.
    France will start lifting its almost two-month-old national lockdown from Monday.
(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Pravin Char)

5/9/2020 Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll and new cases fall
People walk along the beach as Italy begins to ease some of the restrictions of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) lockdown, in Castiglione della Pescaia, Italy May 9, 2020. REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini
    MILAN (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 194 on Saturday, against 243 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new cases fell to 1,083 from 1,327 on Friday.
    The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 30,395 the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.
    The number of confirmed cases amounts to 218,268 the third highest global tally behind those of the United States and Spain.
    People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 84,842 from 87,961 the day before.
    There were 1,034 people in intensive care on Saturday, down from 1,168 on Friday, maintaining a long-running decline.    Of those originally infected, 103,031 were declared recovered against 99,023 a day earlier.
    The agency said 1.645 million people had been tested for the virus against 1.609 million on Friday, out of a population of around 60 million.
(Reporting by Gavin Jones and Francesca Landini)

5/9/2020 CDC Director: Reopening guidelines had not been approved, they were shared prematurely by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 22, 2020, file photo Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield has set the record straight after the Associated Press reported the Trump administration is not prioritizing the agency’s advice when it comes to reopening the economy.
    In a statement released by the White House, Redfield confirmed the CDC’s reopening guidelines had never been officially approved.    He noted the document was shared prematurely in its “draft form and had not been vetted through the interagency review process.”
    Redfield went on to say “this is an iterative effort to ensure effective, clear guidance is presented to the American people.”    The secretary emphasized he “had not seen a version of the guidance incorporating interagency and task force input and, therefore, was not yet comfortable releasing a final work product.”
    The report, which cited government emails, claimed the Trump administration had buried pages of detailed health advice intended for states, business owners, faith leaders and local officials.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing at the
White House, Friday, May 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has since blasted the media on Twitter for insinuating that the Trump administration did not value recommendations from top officials.
    She reiterated “as she noted Friday” during a press briefing, “the leaked CDC guidelines were in the editing process.”     “We have put in place the guidelines that our experts have put forward to keep this building safe, which means contact tracing.    All of the recommended guidelines we have for businesses that have essential workers we’re now putting in place here in the White House.    As America reopens safely, the White House is continuing to operate safely.” – Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary
    She thanked the CDC director for underscoring this and added, “No thank you to some members of the press, who ran with inaccurate and dramatic headlines.”

5/10/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

5/10/2020 Britain’s Johnson to set out five-tier coronavirus warning system
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts outside 10 Downing Street during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support
of the NHS, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out a five-tier warning system for the coronavirus in England on Sunday when he outlines the government’s plans to begin slowly easing lockdown measures, British media reported.
    Johnson is due to use a televised address at 1800 GMT to announce the next steps in Britain’s battle against the pandemic following a lockdown that has all but shut down the economy and kept millions at home for nearly seven weeks.
    Media reported Johnson would detail a five-tier warning system for England, ranging from “green” at level one to “red” at level five to flag the COVID-19 risk in different areas and to allow the government to increase restrictions where necessary.
    The United Kingdom’s other constituent nations – Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – have some powers over their own lockdown measures but are expected to stay broadly in line with what the government announces for England.
    Colour-coded systems to distinguish regions with more or less risk have been used in other countries as they emerge from lockdowns, including France and India.
    Britain has reported 31,587 deaths from the coronavirus, the second highest death toll in the world after the United States.    Transport minister Grant Shapps said on Saturday there would not be any dramatic changes to the lockdown.
    Johnson is expected to say people will now be allowed to leave their homes to exercise more than once a day and that garden centres – selling plants, seeds and garden equipment – can reopen.
    “This is the dangerous bit,” Johnson told the Sun on Sunday newspaper.    “We’re past the peak now but we’ll have to work even harder to get every step right.”
    “Mountaineers always say that coming down from the peak is the most dangerous bit.    That’s when you’re liable to be over-confident and make mistakes.”
    Media reported that the government would change its “Stay at home” slogan to “Stay alert,” as those who cannot work from home will begin to be encouraged to return to offices and factories, as long as strict social distancing rules can be followed.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Frances Kerry)

5/10/2020 Coronavirus spread accelerates again in Germany by Douglas Busvine
FILE PHOTO: An empty street is pictured as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues,
in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, Germany May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
    BERLIN (Reuters) – New coronavirus infections are accelerating again in Germany just days after its leaders loosened social restrictions, raising concerns that the pandemic could once again slip out of control.
    The Robert Koch Institute for disease control said in a daily bulletin the number of people each sick person now infects – known as the reproduction rate, or R – had risen to 1.1.    When it goes above 1, it means the number of infections is growing.
    Chancellor Angela Merkel, bowing to pressure from leaders of Germany’s 16 federal states to restart social life and revive the economy, announced on Wednesday measures that included more shop openings and a gradual return to school.
    At the same time, she launched an “emergency brake” to allow for the reimposition of restrictions if infections pick up again.
    Karl Lauterbach, a Social Democrat lawmaker and professor of epidemiology, warned that the new coronavirus could start spreading again quickly after seeing large crowds out and about on Saturday in his home city of Cologne.
    “It has to be expected that the R rate will go over 1 and we will return to exponential growth,” Lauterbach said in a tweet.    “The loosening measures were far too poorly prepared.”
    The Robert Koch Institute said on Sunday the confirmed number of new coronavirus cases had increased by a daily 667 to 169,218, while the daily death toll had risen by 26 to 7,395.
CLOSE MONITORING
    “It is too early to infer whether the number of new infections will continue to decrease as in the past weeks or increase again,” the institute said in a separate daily bulletin issued on Saturday evening.
    It cautioned that the R figure was subject to statistical uncertainty, adding: “The increase of the reproduction number R necessitates a close monitoring of the situation.”
    Germany has the sixth-largest COVID-19 caseload in Europe but has managed to contain fatalities from the highly infectious respiratory disease thanks to widespread and early testing and a healthcare system that is well-run and well-funded.
    The latest phase of its pandemic management has, say critics, placed too much burden on local authorities to detect and respond to new outbreaks.    A threshold set at 50 cases per 100,000 people for reimposing distancing measures is also seen by some epidemiologists as too high.
    This level has already been triggered in two districts in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig Holstein, where COVID-19 has broken out among workers at meat processing plants.
    The plant in North Rhine-Westphalia was closed on Friday after more than 150 of its 1,200 workers tested positive.    Many are migrants from eastern Europe hired by subcontractors and housed in shared quarters that are a potential infection hotbed.
(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Gareth Jones)

5/10/2020 Spain’s coronavirus daily death tolls falls again on Sunday
FILE PHOTO: People practice outdoor activities along Paseo de la Castellana avenue after Madrid's
local authorities allowed some streets only for pedestrian use during weekends and festivity days amid
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, May 9, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s daily death toll from the coronavirus fell to 143 on Sunday, down from 179 the previous day, the health ministry reported.     It marks the lowest daily death toll since mid-March.
    Overall deaths rose to 26,621 from 26,478 on Saturday and the number of diagnosed cases rose to 224,390 from 223,578 the day before, the ministry said.
(Reporting by Jessica Jones; Editing by David Clarke)

5/10/2020 Vice President Pence signals support for Flynn’s return to Trump admin. by OAN Newsroom
Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump holds a meeting about the coronavirus response with Gov.
Greg Abbott, R-Texas, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Vice President Mike Pence has said he would be happy to welcome General Michael Flynn back to the White House.    During a recent interview, he announced he would support Flynn’s return to the administration.
    President Trump also appeared to agree and has said he would certainly consider it.
    This came after the Justice Department dropped its case against Flynn this week.    Both Pence and the president have praised Flynn’s character and condemned the case against him as partisan entrapment.
    “I think General Michael Flynn is an American patriot.    He served this country with great distinction in uniform.    I believe the decision by the Justice Department lays bare what was clearly prosecutorial abuse.    For my part, I’d be happy to see Michael Flynn again.” – Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States
    Flynn served in the administration as the president’s first national security adviser back in early 2017.

5/10/2020 President Trump touts armed forces during cabinet meeting by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump meets with senior military leaders and members of his national security team in
the Cabinet Room of the White House, Saturday, May 9, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    President Trump met with senior military and security officials this week. Saturday’s cabinet meeting featured a number of the president’s top personnel, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and many more.
    Officials did not specify the topics they discussed, but President Trump has said it was a very productive meeting.    While speaking to the press, he touted the state of America’s armed forces.
    “Our military is very strong, more so than it’s been in many, many years,” he stated.    “We’ve spent $1.5 trillion rebuilding our military and it shows.”
    The gathering came after the president cancelled previous plans to hold the meeting at Camp David.
President Donald Trump meets with senior military leaders and members of his national security team in
the Cabinet Room of the White House, Saturday, May 9, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    He also recently touted the White House’s response to the pandemic.    In a tweet, President Trump wrote, “We are getting great marks for the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, especially the very early ban of people from China.”
    He also criticized the previous administration, saying “compare that to the Obama sleepy Joe disaster known as H1N1 swine flu.”    He added, “Poor marks, bad polls and didn’t have a clue.”

5/10/2020 Republican officials call foul play in Calif. special election by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this June 17, 2019, file photo, Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, speaks
in a session of the California Assembly in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
    GOP officials have challenged a Los Angeles County election official’s decision to open a voting center in an area where Democrat support is dense.    L.A. County Registrar Recorder and County Clerk Dean Logan announced Friday the district will open a polling station at the Lancaster National Soccer Center in the second week of a special election.
    The election is for an open congressional seat in California’s 25th district, which was formerly held by Katie Hill.    She resigned following several scandals, which involved leaked nude photos and allegations of an inappropriate relationship with one of her staffers.
    Democrat Assemblywoman Christy Smith and defense contractor Mike Garcia are vying to fill the vacant seat.
    “We’ve used a lot of traditional campaign methods.    Of course, we’re sending out mail, we’ve got a robust TV program running ads on cable as well as broadcast, and we’re doing a lot of work by telephone.    We have the benefit of hundreds of volunteers.” – Christy Smith, U.S. Representative (D-Calif.)
FILE – In this Jan. 28, 2020 file photo, 25th District congressional candidate and former Navy combat
pilot Mike Garcia greets supporters in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Michael Blood,File)
    GOP officials blasted Logan’s decision to open up the voting center.    RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and President Trump have claimed Democrats are attempting to rig the election.
    The request to open the voting center was reportedly made on behalf of the Democrat Party, leading Republican supporters to believe Logan’s decision was swayed.    His announcement followed California Governor Gavin Newsom’s reveal of efforts to send mail-in ballots to all voters in the state and require in-person voting centers to open.
    “People that otherwise are not familiar with mail in ballots, are uncomfortable with them, may have disabilities (or) other issues that may preclude that as an appropriate option, we still want to have the appropriate number of physical sites for people to vote as well,” stated Newsom.
    In the meantime, county election officials confirmed there will be six in-person voting centers when residents cast their ballots May 12th.    The winner of the special election will finish out Hill’s term, which ends in January.
[I am hearing that the Republican is ahead by 11,000 votes and they are in disbelief that he might win.].

5/10/2020 Ga. announces state’s lowest recorded number of COVID-19 cases by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Wednesday, April 1, 2020 file photo, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a news conference at Liberty Plaza across
the street from the Georgia state Capitol building in downtown Atlanta. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)
    Despite heavy criticism of Georgia’s decision to reopen certain parts of the state’s economy in late April, Republican Governor Brian Kemp remains optimistic about the latest coronavirus statistics.
    On Saturday, he announced, “Today marks the lowest number of COVID-19 positive patients currently hospitalized statewide since hospitals began reporting this data” in early April.
    There are just over 1,200 confirmed cases in the state, with the lowest number of ventilators in use since the onset of the outbreak.
    This came after many in the media, as well as President Trump, criticized Kemp’s early opening.    The president expressed it might have been too soon.
    “I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities, which are in violation of the phase one guidelines for the incredible people of Georgia,” he stated.    “At the same time, he must do what he thinks is right.”
Jason Godbey hangs a banner over the entrance of Madison Chop House Grille as they prepare to shift from
take out only to dine-in service Monday, April 27, 2020, in Madison, Ga. Gov. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
    Kemp has credited increased testing for his state’s success in controlling the virus.    According to the governor, his team is working to help labs keep up with new recommendations for expanded testing.
    “We’re working on increasing our lab capacity, our efficiencies, expanding labs.    We’re looking at a lot of different options.    We’ve had a whole team working on that, over the last two or three days, to really solve that problem.” – Brian Kemp, Governor of Georgia

5/10/2020 Rep. Nunes: Democrats had ‘deep, dark, sick’ fantasies about Russia by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Oct. 24, 2017, file photo, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep.
Devin Nunes, R-Calif., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has said the perpetrators of the failed Russia hoax must be held responsible.    On Sunday, he suggested Democrats have had “deep dark and sick” fantasies about Russia and President Trump.
    Nunes added top Democrat officials and their followers got excited over the false dossier.    The congressman has called for criminal referrals for people behind the allegations of collusion, coordination or conspiracy between President Trump and Russia.
    He also met with the president recently and stressed those who launched the Russia hoax must face the music.
    “Like Putin was my best friend.    He had no calls to Russia, we had no calls from Russia for years.    All of a sudden, we have this great friendship.    By the way, getting along with Russia is a great thing.    But I have to say, Devin was incredible.    He understood it was a hoax before anyone else knew what was happening.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    Nunes also accused Democrats of orchestrating and financing the Russia probe to manipulate U.S. politics in their favor.
    Back on 4/25/2020 Rep. Nunes: Time for key witness transcripts from Trump probe to be public by OAN Newsroom
    Witness transcripts from the investigation into charges of Russian collusion against President Trump were supposed to made public by the House Intelligence Committee back in late in 2018.    To date, they are still secret.    One America’s John Hines has more on this.
[This is why Adam Schiff was attacking Nunes during the Impeachment Hearings in his phony committees and others because he knew Nunes was trying to get the above information that is now coming out on him and others and they will become even more desperate in the coming months especially when U.S. Attorney Durham turns his eyes on them.].

5/10/2020 Trump admin. officials speak out on potential next round of coronavirus relief legislation
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Republican lawmakers, in the State Dining Room of the White
House, Friday, May 8, 2020, in Washington. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin listens at left. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The Trump administration has announced they prefer to wait and see before deciding to put out more coronavirus relief.    On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed the White House may wait as long as a few weeks before even considering another relief bill.
    According to Mnuchin, it could take that long for all of the money, which has been already pushed through, to actually go into effect.
    His remarks came after multiple White House officials stated last week they are in no rush to build on the already mounting cost of the assistance program so far.    However, this hasn’t stopped lawmakers on Capitol Hill from moving forward with discussions regarding a fifth relief package.
    House Democrats have been working to put together their proposed legislation for a potential vote as soon as this week, while GOP leaders are pushing back.    Congressional Democrats are looking to include monthly stimulus checks of $2,000 in the next relief package.
    Administration officials have said they are willing to spend whatever it takes to help the American people, so long as it is done so carefully.
FILE – In this April 21, 2020, file photo Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., center,
speaks with reporters alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., left, after the Senate approved a
nearly $500 billion coronavirus aid bill on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
    White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow reiterated the current economic relief is helping and noted it’s important to look at this impact before dealing out new legislation.
    “Things like the Payroll Protection Program, the unemployment insurance, the economic impact checks and other things has had some cushioning effect,” he said.
    Several White House leaders have expressed optimism about the economy moving forward, despite the current record-breaking unemployment rate.    Kudlow stated he believes the current rate of layoffs is temporary and will likely improve once COVID-19 is under control.
    In fact, President Trump has predicted next year will be much better for the U.S. economy.
    “I’m viewing the third quarter as being a very important quarter because, as I said, that’ll be a transition,” stated the president.    “I think you could almost say a transition into greatness, because I think next year we’re going to have a phenomenal year economically.”
White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks to reporters about the unemployment numbers
caused by the coronavirus, at the White House, Friday, May 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The timeline of the next relief legislation is still in question as the House holds off on meeting in the capitol to mitigate the spread of the virus.    Kudlow added there are no formal negotiations between the White House and congressional Democrats yet.
    However, he and Economic Adviser Kevin Hassett spoke with several House lawmakers last week and are planning to speak with senators on Monday regarding the potential new legislation.
    “We’re collecting ideas for next steps, which will undoubtedly be data driven.    I do think there are issues here.    There are probably going to be some agreements and disagreements, each side has its own positions.    It’s not that we’re not talking, we are, it’s just informal at this stage.    After all this assistance, let’s have a look at what the impact is in at least the next couple weeks for the economy.” Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council

5/10/2020 Secy. Mnuchin: Treasury, Fed working on new $3T relief package by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 21, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump listens as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks about
the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, his department and the Federal Reserve are preparing a new round of coronavirus related stimulus.    On Sunday, he announced the new relief package could amount to $3 trillion going into the economy.
    The secretary noted he’s focused on reversing the devastating effects that the pandemic has had on the country and getting the economy back to where it was.
    “We’re working with the Federal Reserve on close to another $3 trillion of facility and liquidities.    These are all beginning to have a very positive impact, so the president has said and wants to make sure before we rush back, do the next bill and spend more taxpayer money.    We just want to be thoughtful, so there’s a lot of things we’re considering that are on the table.” – Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the U.S. Treasury
    Additional stimulus will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
In this April 23, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump’s name is seen on a stimulus check issued by the IRS
to help combat the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
    Mnuchin has also said the country’s unemployment rate is expected to peak before sharply going down.
    During a recent interview, he stated the unemployment rate could rise to as high as 25 percent this quarter.    At least half of the workforce has reportedly been affected by coronavirus shutdowns, which in turn hurt supply chains and long-term economic activity.
    The U.S. economy has shed 20.5 million jobs so far.    Business owners across the country are now calling for more support to keep them afloat.
    “To keep it going, you can’t afford to pay people when people aren’t spending money.    It sets a trickledown effect: you have money, you spend it, it boosts the economy.    If there is no money coming down to people’s pockets, they can’t spend it, so how do you expect to pay your employees?” – Unnamed resident
    According to Mnuchin, relief money is already going into the economy and paving way for a gradual recovery starting this quarter.

5/11/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

5/11/2020 France emerges cautiously from coronavirus lockdown by Michel Rose
FILE PHOTO: People enjoy the good weather in Bois de Vincennes park on the eve of the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions
during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Paris, France, May 10, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) – France tiptoed out of one of Europe’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns on Monday, reopening shops, factories and some schools to revive the economy but wary of the risks of a second wave of infections.
    With the world’s fifth highest official death toll, France is allowing a return to workplaces with social distancing measures and re-opening schools in phases.    The country’s 67 million people can now leave home without government paperwork.
    “Everyone’s a little bit nervous.    Wow!    We don’t know where we’re headed but we’re off,” said Marc Mauny, a hair stylist who opened his salon in western France at the stroke of midnight.
    In central Paris early on Monday, traffic flowed along the Champs Elysees, a giant tricolore flag billowing under the Arc de Triomphe at the boulevard’s summit, as workers cleaned the windows of shop-fronts ahead of reopening.
    Commuter traffic on the capital’s metro lines was lighter than normal.    Passengers have to wear masks and stickers on seats marked out social distancing.
    France had enforced an eight-week lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus that only allowed food stores, pharmacies and tobacconists to stay open.
    President Emmanuel Macron’s government lifted the lockdown after the rate of infection slowed and the number of patients in intensive care fell to less than half the peak seen in April. The virus has claimed 26,380 lives in France.
    Business can now re-open providing they put in place safety precautions.    But people can only travel up to 100 km (62 miles) unless for professional reasons, funerals or caring for the sick.
BALANCING ACT
    France’s blueprint for easing the lockdown reflects a balancing act, with the government keen to relieve the mounting frustration of people holed up in their homes since mid-March without heightening the risk of a second wave of infections.
    Eager to help workers return to their jobs, kindergarten and primary schools reopen this week, and junior high schools later in the month in areas where the infection rate is low.    Class size will be limited to 15 pupils and secondary school pupils will have to wear masks.
    The government has urged caution, with some regions including the Paris area remaining “red zones,” and subject to additional restrictions.    People across the country are advised to work from home if they can.
    Macron is, though, eager to rescue an economy in free fall.    The euro zone’s second biggest economy is forecast to contract 8% this year.
    Underlining the difficulties ahead, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he regretted a decision by the hardleft CGT trade union to prevent a reopening of a Renault plant at Sandouville.
    France’s key automaker industry has been hit hard by the crisis and Le Maire said he would hold more meetings this week with industry representatives.
    “We hope for a significant return to work, that the largest number of employees possible can get back to their companies and get France back in working order, under conditions of maximum health security,” Le Maire tweeted.
    The public health crisis will leave long-lasting marks in France, as it will across the world.
    The French, long accustomed to being told their high taxes paid for the best healthcare in the world, have been dismayed by the rationing of critical drugs, face masks and equipment.    They have watched with envy as neighbouring Germany appears to have coped better with the coronavirus pandemic.
    After initially enjoying a rebound in popularity, Macron’s handling of the crisis has been criticised by opponents and swathes of the public and fuelled mistrust.
    Macron’s popularity rating fell to 34% in May, down 5 points from a month ago, according to a recent Elabe poll for Les Echos newspaper.
(Reporting by Michel Rose; Additional reporting by Johnny Cotton , Richard Lough and Benoit Van Overstraeten in Paris and Stephan Mahe in Mayenne; Writing by Michel Rose and Richard Lough; Editing by Pravin Char and Philippa Fletcher)

5/11/2020 Spain’s daily coronavirus death tolls falls to 123 on Monday
FILE PHOTO: People attend a mass at a church as some Spanish provinces are allowed to ease restrictions during the
phase one amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Seville, Spain, May 11, 2020. REUTERS/Jon Nazca
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s daily coronavirus death toll fell on Monday to 123, the health ministry said, its lowest level in seven weeks.
    The overall death toll from the epidemic rose to 26,744 on Monday from 26,621 on the previous day.    The number of confirmed cases rose to 227,436 from 224,390 on Sunday.
(Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette and Inti Landauro; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

5/11/2020 Britain, EU start penultimate round of talks before key deadline
FILE PHOTO: British Union Jack and EU flags are pictured before the meeting with Britain's Brexit
Secretary Stephen Barclay and European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier at the EU Commission
headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, September 20, 2019. Kenzo Tribouillard/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Britain and the European Union start their penultimate scheduled round of trade talks on Monday with little progress on major sticking points before a June deadline to agree on any extension of negotiations.
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to prolong the current transition period beyond the end of the year to grant more time for the two sides to agree the scale and scope of their new relationship.
    The EU is pushing for progress on a comprehensive deal including fisheries, security and the so-called level playing field guarantees of fair competition.    London is more keen on a narrower trade agreement with the bloc from 2021.
    Both sides have dug in their heels in and negotiations have been complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, which is sapping the energy and political attention on both sides of the English Channel.
    This week’s round is due to cover trade in goods and services, fisheries, transport and aviation, energy and other matters, and another one is planned for the week of June 1.
    The end of that month marks a deadline for both sides to assess progress so far and agree on any extension of talks.
    The EU fears London’s refusal to do so raises the risk of another cliff-edge later this year if Britain were to crash out of the current, elaborate relationship with the 27-nation bloc without a network of new rules for cooperation in place.
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, editing by Larry King)

5/11/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 357 to 169,575: RKI
FILE PHOTO: A member of medical personnel refills a disinfectant dispenser as employees of meat marketer "Westfleisch"
wait in line to get tested forthe coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a provisional testing center at the premises of a "Westfleisch"
meat factory, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Hamm, Germany, May 10, 2020. REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 357 to 169,575, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday.
    The reported death toll rose by 22 to 7,417, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

5/11/2020 Mexico sees 3,500 new coronavirus cases in projected peak weekend
A health worker wearing protective suit transports a woman suspected of being infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Hospital General
de Mexico, as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Mexico City, Mexico May 10, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s health ministry confirmed 1,562 new cases of coronavirus infection on Sunday, along with 112 additional deaths, as government models projected that infections could peak this weekend.
    Since Saturday, 3,500 new infections were logged, according to the official tally.
    Reported coronavirus cases in the country total 35,022, with 3,465 deaths attributed to the highly contagious COVID-19 respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.    But the true number for both figures is almost certainly significantly higher due to the low level of testing nationwide.
(Reporting by Diego Ore; Editing by David Alire Garcia; editing by Diane Craft)

5/11/2020 President Trump calls out leaked audio as ‘Obamagate’ by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Nov. 9, 2016 file photo, then-President Barack Obama, accompanied by then-Vice President Joe Biden, walks back
to the Oval Office in Washington, after speaking about the election in the Rose Garden. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    President Trump has sounded the alarm on what he’s referred to as Obamagate.”    The matter unraveled Sunday in a string of tweets re-posted by the president, which accuse former President Barack Obama of speaking against him.
    The allegations stem from leaked audio files circulated online, which allegedly capture Obama during a private phone call with former White House staffers.
    In the audio you can hear what’s believed to be Obama criticizing the Trump administration and then vowing to rally behind Joe Biden.
    In response, President Trump has said “he (Obama) got caught.”
    The following found at https://news.yahoo.com/obama-irule-of-law-michael-flynn-case-014121045.html
5/9/2020 Exclusive: Obama says in private call that 'rule of law is at risk' in Michael Flynn case
Michael Isikoff, Chief Investigative Correspondent
    WASHINGTON — Former President Barack Obama, talking privately to ex-members of his administration, said Friday that the “rule of law is at risk” in the wake of what he called an unprecedented move by the Justice Department to drop charges against former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.
    In the same chat, a tape of which was obtained by Yahoo News, Obama also lashed out at the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic as “an absolute chaotic disaster.”
    “The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed — about the Justice Department dropping charges against Michael Flynn,” Obama said in a web talk with members of the Obama Alumni Association.
    “And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free.    That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk.    And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”
    The Flynn case was invoked by Obama as a principal reason that his former administration officials needed to make sure former Vice President Joe Biden wins the November election against President Trump.    “So I am hoping that all of you feel the same sense of urgency that I do,” he said.    “Whenever I campaign, I’ve always said, ‘Ah, this is the most important election.’    Especially obviously when I was on the ballot, that always feels like it's the most important election.    This one — I’m not on the ballot — but I am pretty darn invested.    We got to make this happen.”
    Obama misstated the charge to which Flynn had previously pleaded guilty.    He was charged with false statements to the FBI, not perjury.    But the Justice Department, in a filing with a federal judge on Thursday, asked that the case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller be dismissed, arguing that FBI agents did not have a justifiable reason to question the then national security adviser about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak — talks FBI agents and Mueller’s prosecutors concluded he had lied about.

5/11/2020 Gov. Newsom faces several lawsuits over reopening plans for Calif. by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 1, 2020, file photo protesters calling for the end of Gov Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home
orders march around the state Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
    It’s no doubt California protesters want the state to reopen, but now some residents are taking legal action against Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).
    The Democrat now faces a slew of lawsuits over his handling of the ongoing pandemic.    A civil rights attorney in the Bay Area has filed half a dozen lawsuits claiming Newsom’s current orders are an infringement on human rights.
    “The governor is overreaching on a number of grounds,” said civil rights attorney Harmeet Dhillon.    “The governor has chosen to limit protests to zero in this state, which is outrageous and absurd.”
    The governor recently began stage two of reopening the state’s economy, but some businesses are questioning why they were not included in this phase.
    “This whole thing started in the state of California, the first community spread in a nail salon,” Gov. Newsom claimed.
    Nail salons statewide are now planning to sue the governor after he claimed the origin of coronavirus in the state stemmed from the salons.
    “I think my brain stopped working and I was saying, what the hell?” explained Kelvin Pham, producer of the “Nailed It” documentary which explores the history of Vietnamese salons.    “I never heard anything like that before.”
FILE – In this May 6, 2020, file photo Jacquelyn Armstrong, right, gets her nails done by Lisa Le, at the Nail Tech salon in
the Yuba Sutter Mall in Yuba City, Calif. California officials have named businesses that can start reopening now under rules aimed
at preventing the spread of the coronavirus, but hair and nail salons are nowhere on that list. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli,File)
    Salon owners have said Newsom’s statement can be detrimental to its future business and are demanding the evidence behind his claim.
    “Second thought is the impact, the impact of his remark, what it can have not only on the nail industry, but particularly the Vietnamese nail industry,” said Pham.    “We came here to this country as refugees, left our country not because we want to, but because we had to.”
    Meanwhile, the governor has also recently announced his plan to help illegal aliens during the outbreak.    Judicial Watch, along with several taxpayers, is now taking legal action against the governor’s plans to provide millions in legal aid to illegal immigrants.
    The conservative activist group recently filed a restraining order in hopes to prevent Newsom from $75 million in cash payments to undocumented immigrants.
    “We have universal health care, regardless of immigration status, that we expanded last year up until the age of 26 and clearly as you know from my budget, we want to do even more,” Newsom stated.
    California’s stay-at-home order is has no set end date, but the Democrat governor said stage three of reopening could be just a month away.

5/11/2020 President Trump, State Dept. slam CBS ’60 minutes’ for misleading viewers & defending China by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, accompanied by State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, left, speaks at a
news conference at the State Department, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)
    The State Department has accused CBS of intentionally misleading viewers regarding a report on the origins of COVID-19.    Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said a Sunday “60-minutes” segment on the network “failed to accurately portray” Secretary of State Mike Pomeo’s position on the issue.
    The segment, which Ortagus alleged was deceptively edited, appeared to show Pompeo disagreeing with the Director of National Intelligence Office’s assessment that the virus was “not man-made or modified.”    She said the network also failed to air Pompeo’s comments during a briefing last Wednesday where he clarified his position.
    Ortagus maintained that Pompeo’s core point was to call out China for its lack of transparency regarding its role in the spread of the coronavirus.
FILE – In this May 7, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump speaks during a White House National
Day of Prayer Service in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    Meanwhile, President Trump accused CBS News and its ’60-minutes’ program of using its platform to “defend China.”
    While taking to Twitter Sunday, the president claimed the show is doing “everything within their power” to defend China and its handling of the pandemic.    The president went on to say the virus was “inflicted” upon the U.S. before implying the network wants to do business with China.
    Their comments came after CBS called the speculation suggesting the coronavirus may have come from the Wuhan lab a “political disinformation campaign.”
[ITS NOT HARD TODAY TO KNOW WHAT TELEVISION, RADIO, STOCK AND POLITICAL PARTIES HAD FINANCIAL ISSUES TO PROTECT CHINA OR THEY JUST HATE TRUMP SO BADLY THAT THEY WILL DEFEND THE COMMUNIST NATION AND THIS HAS A LOT TO DO WITH THOSE WHO ARE IN CONTROL OF THE GLOBALIST ENTITIES ARE DEMANDING THEIR ALLEGIENCE WHICH WILL EVENTUALLY BE THERE DOWNFALL AS BEING "THOSE WHO DWELL ON THE EARTH AND TRUMP IS AT A DAY OF PRAYER REGARDING THAT.].

5/11/2020 Navarro: U.S. should focus on localizing supply chain in future negotiations with China by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 2, 2020, file photo, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who is now serving as national defense production act policy coordinator,
speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has accused China of inflicting “tremendous damage” on the world for its role in the coronavirus outbreak.
    In an interview Monday, he pointed out that it’s a fact the virus was spawned in China who then hid the nature of the infection for at least two months.
    Navarro said during that time flights from Wuhan couldn’t go to Chinese cities, but were traveling to Europe and the U.S. all while China switched from exporting protective equipment to importing it.    He added that the damage to the world is still ongoing and said the U.S. government needs to respond in some way.
In this April 15, 2020 photo, passengers from Wuhan stand in lines designating where they will quarantine in Beijing. Getting
into Wuhan was the easy part as new infections had fallen to almost zero and travel restrictions were relaxed. (AP Photo/Sam McNeil)
    “A bill has to come due for China…it’s not a question of punishing them, it’s a question of holding China accountable, the Chinese Communist Party accountable, for what it did not just to the American people, the American workers, American children, American senior citizens, but also to the rest of the world,” stated the U.S. trade adviser.
    Navarro went on to say when it comes to negotiating trade, the only way the U.S. will survive and prosper is to return its manufacturing base to the U.S. He also noted President Trump has wanted to localize the supply chain since first running for office.

5/11/2020 Secy. Mnuchin: Unemployment numbers may get worse, but will get better heading into summer by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 21, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump listens as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks about the
coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. Some of Trump’s top economic advisers emphasized
on Sunday, May 10, the importance of states getting more businesses and offices open. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, it’s difficult to predict what’s going to happen to the economy next.    In an interview Monday, he said economic models now have “nothing to do with normal factors.”    Instead, they are based on the closing and reopening of the economy.
    Mnuchin noted that the administration is “very sympathetic to workers.”    He said if the numbers are worse next month, they will get better heading into the summer.
    The Treasury secretary pointed to the progress made so far, including dispersing the second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding and around 140 million Americans receiving their economic stimulus payments.
    “We have lots of money going into the economy because of the facilities that the Fed has announced with the Treasury,” he explained.    “We’ve unlocked the bond markets, so you have companies like Boeing being able to borrow unprecedented amounts of money and I think this is going to have a big impact on helping the economy.”
    Mnuchin went on to say what President Trump is calling for now is to step back and consider what to do in the next phase before spending another trillion dollars or more of taxpayer money.    He noted the president is determined to “do whatever we need to do.”

5/11/2020 Mich. to allow factories to begin phase one of reopening by OAN Newsroom
In this photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state
during a speech in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, May 7, 2020. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool)
    Manufacturing in Michigan officially started up again Monday after six weeks of closures.    Pressure on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to begin allowing business to resume escalated recently.
    It came to a head last week when Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced manufacturing would restart operations Monday as well.    Gov. Whitmer is allowing plants to begin work as long as they abide by strict safety guidelines.
    The reopening of key factories in Detroit will likely help rekindle America’s automotive industry, which has struggled during the coronavirus pandemic.
    “And it will not be business as usual at the plants by any means, workers immediately will notice a huge difference as they come through the gates,” said Michelle Krebs, economic analyst for Autotrader.    “For one, they don’t want massive amounts of people, which is typical, to go through the gates at all at the same time…they will have those staggered.”
    Detroit’s ‘Big Three’ automakers, Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, plan to begin basic vehicle production and some supporting operations.

5/11/2020 Johnson & Johnson aims to produce 1B doses of COVID-19 vaccine by next year by OAN Newsroom
(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)
    Johnson & Johnson executives said the company is aiming to deliver a billion coronavirus vaccines by next year.    Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Paul Stoffels said the company is speeding up manufacturing and preparing clinical trials for a potential vaccine in September.
    Dr. Stoffels noted that he doesn’t think COVID-19 will go away on its own and is spreading throughout the U.S. so quickly that drugs are urgently needed to control it.    The chief scientific officer is not ruling out the possibility of distributing a vaccine before it advances out of clinical trials.
    “Well clinical trials will need to be done to show that it is effective and that will take some time,” he explained.    “We will have some vaccine available this year, but it all depends on….it will depend on the authorities, the FDA and others to decide whether it can be used earlier before clear efficacy data are available.”
    Dr. Stoffel said the company hopes to have clinical trial data by the end of the year.

5/11/2020 Merkel urges prudence as Germany’s infection rate remains critical by Michael Nienaber and Thomas Escritt
FILE PHOTO: A protester is detained by police officers during a demonstration at Alexanderplatz, amid the
spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Berlin, Germany, May 9, 2020. REUTERS / Christian Mang
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel appealed to Germans on Monday to stick to social-distancing rules to slow down the coronavirus pandemic after data suggested the disease was spreading faster again.
    Germany is being closely watched worldwide as the most successful large European country in curbing the spread of the virus, partly thanks to massive testing, which has prompted a partial reopening of the economy.    Merkel has frequently said the reproduction rate of the new coronavirus must be held below 1 to prevent the health system from being overwhelmed.
    But the Robert Koch Institute for public health said the rate hovered above this critical threshold for the third consecutive day with an estimated value of 1.07 on Monday, after 1.13 on Sunday.
    The latest number indicates that 100 infected people on average infect 107 others, meaning the number of new infections is accelerating again which could signal the beginning of a second wave of the pandemic in Europe’s largest economy.
    “The increase in the reproduction number R makes it necessary to observe the development very closely over the coming days,” RKI said in its daily report.
    German officials say the estimated reproduction rate or ‘R’ becomes more volatile as the overall number of infections declines, and a brief spike is not necessarily dangerous.
    But Merkel, a physicist whose plain-spoken assessments have been held up as models of a scientific approach to the crisis, warned that it was crucial Germans stick to basic rules such as “keeping their distance, wearing mouth and nose protection and showing consideration for each other.”
    Confirmed coronavirus cases increased over the latest 24-hour period by a relatively small number of 357 to 169,575, data showed earlier on Monday.    The reported death toll rose by 22 to 7,417.
ALARM AT ANTI-LOCKDOWN PROTESTS
    German politicians expressed alarm on Monday over anti-lockdown protests held in major cities at the weekend, warning that conspiracy theorists and others with an agenda were exploiting frustration with measures to contain the pandemic.
    While protests held in Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart were relatively modest in size, several resulted in violent clashes with police as densely packed crowds violated social distancing requirements designed to prevent the virus from spreading.
    The protests were mounted in part by proponents of conspiracy theories blaming everyone from vaccine makers to billionaire software tycoon and philanthropist Bill Gates for the disease.
    “Germany has a free media landscape that informs about all aspects of the pandemic,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.    “Abstruse claims and hate-filled assertions, theories about evils machinating globally are something quite different.”
    Germany has been successful in using social distancing to reduce transmissions of the virus.    But the reproduction rate highlights the dilemma facing authorities as they chart a slow reopening of the economy and social life.
    “The idea that the pandemic was deliberately introduced to control the people, and that Bill Gates or other dark forces are behind it, reaches deep into the middle of society,” Georg Maier, interior minister of the Thuringia region, told Der Spiegel magazine.
    An employee of the Federal Interior Ministry was relieved of his duties at the weekend after writing and widely distributing an 80-page document on ministry notepaper in which he described the coronavirus as no worse than normal flu.    The ministry described the paper as the civil servant’s personal view.
    Large gatherings such as the weekend protests risk becoming infection hot spots even as German authorities rush to prepare expanded medical facilities to deal with the possibility of new outbreaks or a broader second wave.
    Berlin announced on Monday that an ad hoc hospital for coronavirus patients on the grounds of the capital’s trade fair space had opened after four weeks of construction.
    One of 50 such facilities being built around the country, it is designed to receive overflow patients in the event of a serious outbreak, leaving established hospital beds free for the most serious cases.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber and Thomas Escritt; Editing by Gareth Jones and Mark Heinrich)

5/11/2020 WHO says ‘extreme vigilance’ needed in exit from lockdowns by Emma Farge and Michael Shields
FILE PHOTO: Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference
on the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that “extreme vigilance” was needed as countries begin to exit from lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, amid global concerns about a second wave of infections.
    Germany earlier reported an acceleration in new coronavirus infections after it took early steps to ease its lockdown.    South Korea, another country that had succeeded in limiting virus infections, has seen a new outbreak in nightclubs.
    “Now we are seeing some hope as many countries exit these so-called lockdowns,” Dr Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies programme, told an online news briefing.    But he added that “extreme vigilance is required.”
    “If the disease persists at a low level without the capacity to investigate clusters, there’s always the risk that the virus takes off again,” he said.
    Governments around the world are struggling with the question of how to reopen their economies while still containing COVID-19, the lung disease caused by the new coronavirus.
    Ryan said he was hopeful that Germany and South Korea would be able to suppress new clusters and praised their surveillance, which he said was key to avoiding large second waves.
    “It’s really important that we hold up examples of countries who are willing to open their eyes and willing to keep their eyes open,” he said.    In contrast, he said other countries, without naming them, were “trying to drive through this blindly.”
    WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the same briefing that lifting restrictions was “complex and difficult” and that the “slow, steady lifting of lockdowns” was key to protecting lives and livelihoods.
    Tedros said that Germany, South Korea and China, which has reported a new cluster in its original epicentre, Wuhan, all had systems in place to respond to any resurgence in cases.
    “Until there is a vaccine, the comprehensive package of measures is our most effective set of tools to tackle the virus,” Tedros said.
    In the briefing, WHO officials stressed that early studies point to lower-than-expected antibody levels against the disease within the general population, meaning that most people remain susceptible.
    “There seems to be a consistent pattern so far that a low proportion of people so far have these antibodies,” said Maria van Kerkhove, a WHO epidemiologist.
    Given that, Ryan warned countries that have “lax measures” in place against counting on herd immunity to halt the spread of COVID-19.
    “This is a really dangerous, dangerous calculation,” he said.
(Reporting by Emma Farge and Michael Shields; Writing by Alex Richardson; Editing by Gareth Jones and Dan Grebler)

5/11/2020 Italy’s daily coronavirus new cases fall, death toll edges up
A man disinfects the Santa Maria in Trastevere Basilica, during the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Rome, Italy, May 11, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    ROME (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 179 on Monday, against 165 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, as the daily tally of new cases fell to 744 from 802 on Sunday.
    It was the lowest number of new cases announced on any given day since March 4.
    The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 30,739 the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.
    The total number of confirmed cases amounted to 219,814, the fifth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Spain, Britain and Russia.
    People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 82,488 from 83,324 the day before.
    There were 999 people in intensive care on Monday, edging down from 1,027 on Sunday, maintaining a long-running decline.    Of those originally infected, 106,587 were declared recovered against 105,186 a day earlier.
    The agency said 1.702 million people had been tested for the virus against 1.676 million on Sunday, out of a population of around 60 million.
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer, editing by Gavin Jones)

5/11/2020 UK’s coronavirus death toll rises 210 to 32,065
A empty train carriage is seen on the London Underground, following the outbreak of
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 11, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s COVID-19 death toll has risen by 210 to 32,065, according to figures announced on Monday by the Department of Health.     The figures, collated by government agency Public Health England and equivalents in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, comprise deaths in all settings following positive coronavirus tests and cover the period up to 1600 GMT on Sunday.
(Reporting by Kate Holton and Kylie MacLellan; editing by Stephen Addison)

5/11/2020 Tesla tells California employees to return to work in defiance of county orders by Tina Bellon
California Governor Gavin Newsom (L) and Tesla CEO Elon Musk (R) are seen in a combination photo. REUTERS/Mike Blake/Joe Skipper
    (Reuters) – Tesla Inc on Monday told employees at its primary vehicle factory in California to return to work, defying local officials, who said days earlier that the plant should remain closed as lockdown measures remain in effect to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
    The scuffle comes as states and cities around the United States are experimenting with ways to safely reopen their economies after the virus outbreak shuttered businesses and forced tens of millions of Americans out of work.
    Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk over the weekend threatened to leave California for Texas or Nevada over the fight.    His move has highlighted the competition for jobs and ignited a rush to woo the billionaire executive by states that have more quickly reopened their economies in response to encouragement from U.S. President Donald Trump.
    In an email on Monday, Tesla referred to an order on Thursday by California’s governor allowing manufacturers to resume operations and said that as of Sunday, previously furloughed employees were back to their regular employment status.
    “We’re happy to get back to work and have implemented very detailed plans to help you keep safe as you return,” according to the email seen by Reuters and titled “Furlough Has Ended And We Are Back To Work in Production!
    Separately on Monday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said California should do whatever is necessary to help the electric carmaker reopen its only U.S. vehicle factory if it wants to keep the company in its state.
    “California should prioritize doing whatever they need to do to solve those health issues so that he can open quickly and safely or… he’s moving his production to a different state,” Mnuchin said in a CNBC interview.
    California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday said he spoke to Musk several days ago and that the Tesla founder’s concerns helped prompt the state to begin its phased reopening of manufacturing last week.
    “I have not only known that company but I have known its founder for many, many years,” Newsom said in his daily coronavirus press briefing.    “I have great reverence for their technology, for their innovative spirit, for their leadership.”
    Health officials in Alameda County, where the Fremont factory is based, said on Friday and Saturday it must remain closed as long as local lockdown measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus remain in effect.
    Tesla on Saturday sued the county, and Musk threatened in a tweet to leave the state, where the company is among the largest employers and manufacturers, for Texas or Nevada.
    Tesla’s lawsuit accused Alameda County of violating California’s constitution by defying Newsom’s orders on Thursday allowing manufacturers to reopen.
    Alameda County did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.
    A Texas official reached out to Musk on Twitter, saying his county was available immediately to accommodate Tesla and invited the billionaire CEO for a visit.
    “We have a motivated, pro-business governor,” said Richard Cortez, county judge of Texas’ Hidalgo County.    “What we no longer have is a shelter at home mandate.”
    Musk in response tweeted: “Note is much appreciated.”
    County judges in Texas have a wide range of judicial and administrative duties. Hidalgo County borders Mexico, where many U.S. automakers source supplies.
    Tesla shares dropped 0.99% to $811.29 on Nasdaq.    They had fallen more than 3% premarket after China’s Passenger Car Association reported that the company’s Model 3 sales in April were down 64% on the month.
    In addition to the Fremont plant, Tesla also has an auto factory in Shanghai, and is building another in Berlin.
(Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York; Additional reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento; Editing by Richard Chang and Dan Grebler)

5/12/2020 Oil up $0.10 to $24.73, DOW down 109 to 24,222.

5/12/2020 More on coronavirus deaths

5/12/2020 Kentucky's businesses begin to cautiously reopen = Customers are urged to wear face masks
    Andy Beshear’s reopening schedule on Monday.    Face masks were strongly recommended to be worn as industries such as manufacturing, construction, racetracks, financial services offices, pet groomers and car dealerships were allowed to resume operations.
    Beshear had outlined 10 rules that all nonessential business reopening Monday had to follow.
    That included wearing face masks, offering hand sanitizer, conducting onsite temperature and health checks, and sending ill employees for virus testing.    The guidelines also require staggered shifts and putting up physical barriers if employees can’t be kept 6 feet apart.

5/12/2020 Spain orders two-week quarantine for incoming travellers from May 15
FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask walks on a street, as the spread of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) continues, in Barcelona, Spain, May 11, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
    MADRID (Reuters) – The Spanish government ordered a two-week quarantine for all travellers coming into the country from May 15 in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus after one of the Europe’s strictest lockdowns helped slow down the epidemic in Spain.
    Incoming travellers will have to remain locked in and will only be allowed to exit for grocery shopping, go to health centres and in case of “situation of need,” an official order published on Tuesday said.
    The quarantine has been enforced for all travellers coming to Spain between May 15 and at least May 24, when the state of emergency is due to end.    The quarantine order can be extended jointly with possible state of emergency extensions. Spain has so far extended its restrictions four times since mid-March.
    The measures applied to all travellers, including Spanish citizens returning to the country.    Only truck drivers, airplane and ship crews, cross-border workers and health staff who are entering Spain to work are exempt from the quarantine.
    Spain is one of the worst-hit countries by the pandemic with more than 26,000 fatalities recorded and more than 220,000 diagnosed cases.    The country has started phasing out restrictions in the past ten days.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro, Belen Carreño and Jesus Aguado; editing by Andrei Khalip)

5/12/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 933 to 170,508: RKI
Customers wait outside an IKEA shop after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown has been eased around
the country and the company opens some of its stores, in Berlin, Germany, May 11, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 933 to 170,508, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday.
    The reported death toll rose by 116 to 7,533, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

5/12/2020 President Trump: ‘No interest’ in renegotiating Phase One trade deal with China by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Nov. 4, 2019, file photo cargo cranes are used to take containers off of a Yang Ming Marine
Transport Corporation boat at the Port of Tacoma in Tacoma, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
    President Trump has ruled out the possibility of renegotiating a Phase One U.S.-China trade deal.    While speaking with reporters Monday, he said China would only want to make changes that would benefit them.
    This follows Chinese media reports alleging officials in Beijing are hoping to renegotiate the agreement.    The president went on to say China has “taken advantage” of the U.S. for too long.
    “No, I’m not interested, we signed a deal,” he stated.    “…They’d like to reopen the trade talks to make it a better deal for them..China has been taking advantage of the United States for many, many years.”
    President Trump said if China fails to live up to its commitments over the next two years, he would consider pulling out of the agreement altogether.
FILE – In this May 7, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump listens during a meeting about the coronavirus
response in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
    Meanwhile, China announced a new list of U.S. products which will be illegible to be waived from facing retaliatory tariffs.    China’s Finance Ministry announced the move Tuesday for a total of 79 U.S. imports.
    This comes as part of Beijing’s effort to fulfill its end of the Phase One deal, which calls for the country to increase its purchase of U.S. goods over the next years by $200 billion.
    Reports Monday alleged Chinese officials were considering backpedaling on the deal.    In a press briefing Tuesday, however, China’s finance minister reaffirmed Beijing’s commitment to the deal.

5/12/2020 DHS cracking down on COVID-19 related fraud by OAN Newsroom
In this image provided by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, this March 13, 2020, photo,
shows a vial of purified water that was seized on March 20, 2020, in Los Angeles. Federal officials say the
COVID-19 outbreak has unleashed a wave of fraud. (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)
    The Department of Homeland Security is highlighting a worrying trend of fraud connected to the coronavirus outbreak.    This is something they intend to put a stop to.    It’s part of a new crackdown dubbed “Operation Stolen Promise.”
    Special agents said they have intercepted at least $3.2 million worth of unauthorized testing kits, faulty face masks, diluted cleaning products and fraudulent anti-viral drugs.    According to ICE, some of these items are coming across the border.
    So far, the agency has reportedly opened as many as 370 cases and arrested 11 individuals.    ICE Acting Director Mathew Albence said that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
    “We’ve just scratched the surface as we start going through and conduct our investigations,” he stated.    “We have more than 500 leads…we have ongoing investigations…we’ve executed dozens of search warrants…as we comb through that evidence, you’re going to see more of these arrests take place.”
    The operation reportedly launched back in April amid a rise in criminal activity connected with the pandemic.    Albence said the first warning signs appeared in the form of websites selling fraudulent pharmaceuticals and counterfeit personal protective gear, with some trying to steal financial information as well.
    Homeland Security has flagged at least 200,000 of these websites.    While some of these schemes are orchestrated in Mexico, Albence said a large portion of virus-related crime is homegrown.
    The case that seemingly kicked off the operation centered around Christopher Parris, a Georgia man who is now facing federal charges for attempting to defraud the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.    The department paid Paris more than $750 million for a shipment of 3M respirator masks — a shipment which never materialized.
In this image provided by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, this March 24, 2020, photo, shows
unapproved COVID-19 tests that were seized on March 22, 2020 from the DHL Express Consignment Facility at
JFK Airport in the Queens borough of New York. (Photo/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)
    Albence said the best way to stop these types of Ponzi schemes is by keeping people informed.
    “It’s outreach to the public, it’s educating them as to what red flags to look for,” he explained.    “If you go to the ICE.gov website, we have an entire page dedicated to this…people can come and get information with regard to these schemes and what we’ve seen and how they can protect themselves.”
    If you or someone you know suspects you may be the victim of this type of scam, you can contact Homeland Security directly through the following email: COVID19FRAUD@DHS.GOV.

5/12/2020 Pro-Trump super PAC releases ad featuring audio of Tara Reade by OAN Newsroom
FILE–In this Sept. 15, 2018, file photo, former Vice President Joe Biden addresses the
Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, file)
    A pro-Trump super PAC released a new ad featuring audio clips of the woman accusing Joe Biden of sexual assault.    The Great America PAC released the six-figure spot online Tuesday and is set to air the ad on national TV later this week.
    The ad titled “Shattered” includes audio of Biden’s former Senate staffer Tara Reade speaking about how he allegedly assaulted her in 1993.    Reade does not appear in the video, but the one-minute clip includes footage of Biden touching different women.
    Biden has denied the allegations and several top Democrats are supporting their presumptive nominee by choosing not to believe Reade.
    In an interview Tuesday, the former vice president doubled down on the sexual assault allegations against him by saying they simply aren’t true.    He went on to say if Americans choose not to vote for him in November due to the allegations, it’s their right.
    “I think women should be believed, I think they should have the opportunity to have their case and state just forth rightly what their case is,” he stated.    “That is the responsibility of responsible journalists like you to go out and investigate those, but the end of the day the truth is the truth…that is what should prevail.”
    While Biden has continued to deny the allegations, Senate offices have said they cannot release paperwork from his time in office.    The alleged victim has claimed those concealed documents contain her original complaints.

5/12/2020 CDC: NYC virus death toll around 24K higher than initially reported by OAN Newsroom
FDNY paramedic Elizabeth Bonilla disinfects her ambulance prior to a double shift at EMS Station 3,
Wednesday, April 15, 2020, in the Bronx borough of New York. Social distancing measures have slowed the
virus’ spread, and that’s eased the demand for paramedics’ services. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
    Health officials are tallying up the coronavirus death toll in New York City and are finding it significantly exceeds initial predictions.    The CDC released a report Monday stating that they identified around 24,000 more deaths than originally recorded by local health authorities.
    “And when you see the number of lives lost, again, we’re right about where we started before we really went into the the heart of the crisis,” stated New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).    “And that’s what it’s been, it’s been a crisis.”
    CDC officials said nearly 14,000 of the excess deaths were confirmed to have had symptoms of the virus and more than 5,000 were put in a category indicating they “probably” succumbed to COVID-19.
    The remaining number, accounting for nearly 5,300 victims, were asymptomatic and were believed to have been either directly or indirectly infected.
    Researchers warned that demand on health care providers and hospitals may be an obstacle for people in dire need of lifesaving care.    They advised accounting for all causes of death during the crisis provides a more accurate measure of the death toll by accounting for deaths beyond lab confirmation.
People in Hoboken, N.J., photograph a JetBlue plane flying over the Hudson River
to honor medical workers Thursday, May 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
    Analysts believe a slew of factors contributed to the death toll miscount, including the availability of testing, contracting the disease after testing negative and dying outside of a health care setting.
    Meanwhile, state officials are preparing to reopen less affected areas in Upstate New York when the statewide stay-at-home order expires on Friday.
    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio may begin reopening non-essential businesses as soon as June.
    “So, I think it’s fair to say that June is when we’re potentially going to be able to make some real changes if we can continue our progress,” he stated.

5/13/2020 Oil up $1.29 to $25.79, DOW down 457 to 23,765.

5/13/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

5/13/2020 England tiptoes out of full lockdown as economy plunges by Alistair Smout
FILE PHOTO: Commuters, some wearing masks are seen on a London underground train, following the outbreak
of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 13, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
    LONDON (Reuters) – England tentatively began easing its coronavirus lockdown on Wednesday, with some people who cannot do their jobs at home urged to return to work, as stark economic data showed the disastrous impact of the pandemic.
    The worst-hit country in Europe with more than 40,000 deaths from COVID-19 according to official data, Britain has been in extensive lockdown since March 23.    As of Wednesday morning, people in manufacturing and certain other sectors were being asked to return to work if they could.
    GDP data released on Wednesday showed the economy shrank by a record 5.8% in March compared with February, and the April data is likely to be even worse as the country was under lockdown for the entire month.
    The government is loosening restrictions very gradually, for fear of triggering a second peak of infections.    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has described the process as a “supremely difficult” balancing act.
    Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which have semi-autonomous governments, are sticking with a “stay at home” message for now, leaving England, the most populous UK nation, to take the lead in sending some people back to work.
    The government has faced a barrage of criticism that its new guidance – Stay alert, control the virus, save lives – was confusing.    Appearing on Sky News TV, transport minister Grant Shapps was asked why estate agents were being allowed to restart house viewings when people could not have their own relatives to visit.
    “The truth of the matter is, you have to start somewhere.    The lockdown message was very straightforward – it was just stay at home. Now as we start to unlock, of course, there have to be decisions made,” Shapps said.
    “There is no perfect way of doing this, and we’d ask people to use their common sense … Right now, there has to be a cut-off somewhere.”
    Workers were being advised to avoid public transport if at all possible, and schools remained closed, prompting questions about how parents and people who could not get to work by other means were supposed to apply the new guidance.
    Employers faced the daunting task of creating safe environments for their staff, with detailed guidance on one-way systems at entry and exit points and in stairwells, spacing out workstations and other minutiae.
    For those still working from home or unable to work, there was only a very slight change in the regime.    People were now allowed out to exercise more than once a day, and two people from separate households were allowed to meet outdoors as long as they kept 2 metres apart.
    Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said officers would still be encouraging people to go home if they were out for reasons other than the authorised exercise, shopping for essentials, health or work.
    Fines for transgressions have been increased.
    “Everybody will carry on hopefully working in the spirit we’ve had for the last seven weeks,” he told BBC TV.
    “It’s not for the police to police people being 2 metres apart, that’s about everyone’s individual responsibility.    If there are those people who refuse to abide by the new regulations then we will move to enforcement if that’s what we have to do,” he said, describing that as a last resort.
(Additional reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Michael Holden; Writing by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Giles Elgood)

5/13/2020 Trump Senate ally seeks China sanctions over COVID-19 probe by David Brunnstrom
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) wears a face mask during a break in a Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee
hearing on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 12, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A prominent U.S. Republican senator proposed legislation on Tuesday that would authorize the U.S. president to impose far-reaching sanctions on China if it fails to give a full account of events leading to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
    Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally of President Donald Trump, said he was convinced that had it not been for “deception” by China’s ruling Communist Party, the virus would not be in the United States, where it has killed more than 80,000 Americans.
    Graham said China had refused to allow investigators to study how the outbreak started and added in a statement: “I’m convinced China will never cooperate with a serious investigation unless they are made to do so.”
    Trump critics, including some former officials, academics and columnists, have said that while China has much to answer for, the U.S. administration appears to be seeking to deflect attention from what they see as a slow U.S. response to the crisis.
    Graham said his “COVID-19 Accountability Act” would require the president to make a certification to Congress within 60 days that China had “provided a full and complete accounting to any COVID-19 investigation led by the United States, its allies or U.N. affiliate such as the World Health Organization.”
    It would also require certification that China had closed all “wet markets” that can expose humans to health risks, and released all Hong Kong pro-democracy advocates arrested in post-pandemic crack-downs.
    China is resolutely opposed to this “immoral” bill and has been open and transparent since the beginning of the epidemic, said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, at a daily briefing in Beijing on Wednesday.
    The bill would authorize the president to impose a range of sanctions, including asset freezes, travel bans and visa revocations, as well as restrictions on loans to Chinese businesses by U.S. institutions and banning Chinese firms from listing on U.S. exchanges.
    The legislation was co-sponsored by eight other Republican senators.
    China’s Washington embassy did not respond to a request for comment.    The outbreak began in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
‘FIX IT’
    Trump and his Republican backers have repeatedly accused Beijing of failing to alert the world to the severity and scope of the outbreak, which has sparked a worldwide economic contraction and threatened his November re-election chances.
    Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, whose party controls the House, said things “definitely went wrong in China” but there was a need to look at the full story and the Trump administration should not escape scrutiny.
    “Let’s get the story out on the table first and see what everybody’s part of this problem was, to fix it going forward, and then we can decide about accountability,” he told an event hosted by Washington’s Meridien Center.
    A Democratic House aide said China continued to hide the facts about the pandemic and there should be a full-scale international effort to account for what has happened.
    But the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, charged that the U.S. State Department had ignored multiple deadlines to share with Congress information on the virus’ origins.
    “If the administration wants Congress to act, they should stop stonewalling and show us the ‘evidence’ they claim to have,” the aide said.
    The U.S. national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, and Larry Kudlow, the national economic adviser, warned on Monday against investment of federal retirement dollars in Chinese firms given “the possibility of future sanctions will result from the culpable actions of the Chinese government” over the coronavirus.U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also hinted at future sanctions on China for the devastation caused to the global economy and human life.
(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; additional reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Bernadette Baum, Dan Grebler and Cynthia Osterman)

5/13/2020 WHO sees ‘potentially positive data’ in treating coronavirus by Emma Farge
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the Emergency
Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that some treatments appear to be limiting the severity or length of the COVID-19 disease and that it was focusing on learning more about four or five of the most promising ones.
    The Geneva-based WHO is leading a global initiative to develop safe and effective vaccines, tests and drugs to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19.    The respiratory illness has infected 4.19 million people around the world, according to a Reuters tally.
    “We do have some treatments that seem to be in very early studies limiting the severity or the length of the illness but we do not have anything that can kill or stop the virus,” spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a briefing, referring to the body’s so-called Solidarity Trial of drugs against the disease.
    “We do have potentially positive data coming out but we need to see more data to be 100% confident that we can say this treatment over that one,” she added, saying more research was needed and planned.
    Harris did not name the treatments.    Gilead Science Inc says its antiviral drug remdesivir has helped improve outcomes for COVID-19 patients.
    Click https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/yxmvjqywprz/index.html for a graphic of the drugs, vaccines and other therapies in development around the world.
    Clinical data released last month on remdesivir raised hopes it might be an effective treatment.    Several studies looking at combinations of antiviral medicines have also suggested they may help patients fight off the virus.
    Results of a trial in Hong Kong released this month showed a triple drug combination of antiviral medicines helped relieve symptoms in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 infection and swiftly reduced the amount of virus in their bodies.
    The trial, which involved 127 patients, compared those given the combination drug, made up of the HIV medicine lopinavir-ritonavir, the hepatitis drug ribavirin, and the multiple sclerosis treatment interferon beta, with a control group given just the HIV drug.
    A malaria treatment championed by U.S. President Donald Trump as a “game changer” in the fight against the coronavirus again failed to show a benefit in patients hospitalised with COVID-19, a study this month found.
    While the study had certain limitations, doctors reported that the use of hydroxycholoquine neither lessened the need for patients requiring breathing assistance nor the risk of death.
    See a graphic with some of the drugs, vaccines and other therapies in development around the world https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/yxmvjqywprz/index.html
    In Geneva, the WHO official sounded a note of caution around expectations for a vaccine, saying coronaviruses in general are “very tricky viruses” that are “difficult to produce vaccines against
    More than 100 potential COVID-19 vaccines are being developed, including several in clinical trials.    The WHO said in April a vaccine would take at least 12 months.
    Harris said that the Americas were the current “centre” of the pandemic, although she also noted rising cases in Africa.    However, she said the continent had a “big advantage” over other countries with little experience of infectious disease outbreaks.
    “They often have very good contact tracing infrastructure and a deep, deep, deep memory and understanding of why we take a new pathogen very, very seriously,” she said, singling out South Africa for its effective testing and contact tracing.
    Asked about the reasons for high case loads in the United States and Brazil, Harris said: “Around the world we have seen that the warnings we put out right from the start, very, very early on, were not seen as warnings about a very serious, lethal disease.”
    She restated that the WHO, which has come under criticism especially from the United States for its handling of the pandemic, would conduct an “after-action” review that would include a “free and frank” discussion on its performance.
    U.S. President Donald Trump is working to reopen the economy quickly against recommendations from health experts to move cautiously to avoid a resurgence of the virus that has so far killed more than 80,000 people in the United States, the highest death toll in the world.    He said he acted early to prevent the spread of the disease.
    Brazil has registered a total of 168,331 confirmed cases of the virus and 11,519 deaths, the most deadly outbreak in an emerging market nation.
(GRAPHIC: The lifeline pipeline – https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/yxmvjqywprz/index.html)
(Additonal reporting by Kate Kelland in London; Editing by Alison Williams, Catherine Evans and Nick Macfie)

5/13/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 798 to 171,306: RKI
A woman buys at a gingerbread heart booth after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown
has been eased in Munich, Germany, May 12, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 798 to 171,306, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday.
    The reported death toll rose by 101 to 7,634, the tally showed. (Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

5/13/2020 Justices clash over Trump tax return cases by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington is seen at sunset. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    The Supreme Court cases revolving around President Trump’s tax returns are heating up and justices seem to be divided on several issues.
    Justices heard arguments for two overlapping cases via teleconference on Tuesday.    According to legal experts, these cases could have heavy implications on separation of powers and presidential immunity.
    President Trump’s legal team is arguing against subpoenas that are demanding his financial records be turned over to Congress and the Manhattan district attorney.    They argue the cases are unprecedented in every way.
    “In so many of these prior cases there was a cooperation,” said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.    “…every president voluntarily turned over his tax returns, so it gets to be a pitched battle here because President Trump is the first one to refuse to do that.”
    Liberal leaning justices like Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan argue the president is not immune to investigations.    They have stressed that subpoenas are essential in allowing Congress to investigate the executive branch.    The justices cited former President Richard Nixon and former President Bill Clinton as examples of when the court allowed sitting presidents to be investigated.
    Justices unanimously ruled against Nixon during the Watergate scandal in 1974 and allowed investigations into Clinton when his former staffer, Paula Jones, made sexual harassment claims in the 90’s as well as during the Whitewater scandal.
    They believe ruling against the subpoenas would hinder Congress’ ability to participate in checks and balances.
    “And what it seems to me you’re asking us to do is to put a kind of a 10 ton weight on the scales between the president and Congress,” said Justice Kagan.    “And essentially to make it impossible for Congress to perform oversight and to carry out its functions where the president is concerned.”
FILE – In this Nov. 30, 2018, file photo, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court gather for a formal group portrait to include a
new Associate Justice, top row, far right, at the Supreme Court Building in Washington. Seated from left: Associate Justice Stephen
Breyer, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
and Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr. Standing behind from left: Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor,
Associate Justice Elena Kagan and Associate Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    However, conservative leaning justices like John Roberts and Clearance Thomas argue Congress is overstepping and potentially harassing the president.
    Roberts asked House lawyers whether lawmakers took into account they were subpoenaing an equal branch of government.    He suggested that Congress thought its power to investigate is limitless.
    Thomas argues against the number of subpoenas issued.    He said, “one could be manageable, but 100 would be impossible.”
    Analysts warn a ruling against President Trump could force him to release his tax returns before the general election and potentially sway voters’ opinions.
    Some fear this could allow Congress and prosecutors to flood the White House with subpoenas and harass future presidents.    The justices are expected to make a decision in late June or early July.

5/13/2020 Mexico border city sets up sanitizing tunnels by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This April 22, 2020, file photo, shows Juarez, Mexico, and the Rio Grande from El Paso Texas. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio, File)
    A border city is using sanitizing tunnels to disinfect people crossing into Mexico. Footage recorded last week shows the newest method employed by Mexican border authorities to curb the flow of coronavirus into the country.
    Migrants traveling from Arizona to Nogales, Mexico are asked to exit their vehicles and step into an inflatable tunnel where they are then sprayed with a cleaning solution.
    These checkpoints were set up despite criticism from Mexico’s undersecretary of health, Hugo Lopez-Gatell, who warned sanitizing tunnels are designed for use under controlled situations and could have adverse effects if mishandled.
    “Sanitizing tunnels have been designed to operate in peculiar conditions, under controlled conditions,” Lopez-Gatell explained.    “For example, when using personal protective equipment…that protects from the toxic damage that aerosols of the sanitizing substance can cause.”
    Despite these warnings, footage shows travelers are being doused in cleansing substances without protective equipment.
    It’s unclear if the sanitizing practice has spread to other border crossings or if this new method will become a new norm in Mexico.
[Before long we will all be disinfected and a drone will take our temperature and if we fail we will be put in a containment camp.].

5/13/2020 University of Arkansas professor arrested for wire fraud, ties with Chinese government by OAN Newsroom
A photo provided by the Washington County (Ark.) Detention Center shows Simon S. Ang, 63. The University of Arkansas has
suspended Ang, an electrical engineering professor, without pay after he was arrested on an allegation that he failed to
disclose that he had close ties with the Chinese government and Chinese businesses. (Washington County Detention Center via AP)
    A professor at the University of Arkansas was arrested for hiding his ties to the Chinese government.    A criminal complaint was unsealed Monday detailing the accusations against Professor Simon Ang who graduated from the school back in 1980.
    Ang began teaching there just eight years later, eventually becoming the director of the High Density Electronics Center. Since 2013, he received $5 million in grant money from federal agencies, including NASA.
    When applying for those grants, however, Ang failed to reveal his connections to the Chinese government or that he was working with Chinese companies.    He was arrested Friday after an investigation by the Department of Justice.
    It all started when an employee at the University of Arkansas discovered a hard-drive in the library’s lost and found.    The device was examined with the hope that its owner could be determined based on its contents.    Instead, incriminating emails, allegedly from Ang, were uncovered.
    In one email, the professor wrote to a visiting researcher from a university in China.    He noted the growing challenge in keeping his “secret hidden.”    The email read: “there are things that are becoming very difficult for me recently because of the political climate.”
    In another email, Ang referenced an elaborate scheme by China to attract foreign researchers and convince Chinese scientists living abroad to return home.    This email read: “you can search the Chinese website regarding what the U.S. will do to Thousand Talent scholars…not many people here know I am one of them, but if this leaks out, my job here will be in deep troubles.”
    U.S. officials are concerned over the Thousand Talents Program.    Some have claimed it encourages “economic espionage” and intellectual property theft.
    “For China, international scientific collaboration is not solely about advancing science for the global good,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).    “It is by their own admission about advancing China’s national security and economic interest.”
    Ang is being held at the Washington County Jail and is facing up to 20-years behind bars.    The University of Arkansas acknowledged his arrest, but only stated that it’s “cooperating with the investigation.”

5/13/2020 EU pushes to reopen borders for summer tourism amidst coronavirus by Philip Blenkinsop and Kate Abnett
EU Commission Vice-President of the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager and European Commissioner in charge of
internal market Thierry Breton give a news conference on the strategic orientations of the European Tourism and
Transport Package at European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, May 13, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union on Wednesday pushed to reopen internal borders and restart travel, although the prospects of reviving tourism ahead of the summer season were mixed as public fears over health and safety weigh heavily during the coronavirus pandemic.
    With the tourism sector, which usually accounts for about a tenth of the bloc’s economy, now decimated by the pandemic, the EU’s executive Commission urged a return to “unrestricted free movement,” albeit with safety measures such as face masks on airplanes.
    “Our thoughts are now turning toward summer and to the places that we love to travel,” said Margrethe Vestager, a Commission deputy.    “That means taking gradual, careful steps to help travel restart in line with what science tells us.”
    Tourism industry groups praised the recommendations as a first step to help save their businesses, but the Commission’s proposals are non-binding on the 27 EU members.
    Furthermore, it recommended Europe’s external borders remain closed for most travel at least until mid-June.
    Nations that have experienced some of the world’s worst outbreaks appear in no hurry to let in large numbers of visitors.    Two Spanish foreign ministry sources told Reuters that Spain plans to keep its borders closed to most travellers from abroad until July.
    Many Europeans have already cancelled plans.
    “We were all set to take the kids to Spain and Italy this summer.    But not now, it’s too risky even if it is allowed,” said Jean-Paul, a 57-year-old Frenchman, who has frozen hotel reservations he now hopes to use with his family in 2021.
    “For now, we’ll stay close to home and just enjoy some cycling, walking and fishing instead.”
    Europe’s museums, beaches and plazas have been virtually empty since mid-March under a near-blanket travel halt that has destroyed jobs, pulverised the airline and hospitality sectors and undermined Europe’s cherished principle of free movement in a bid to contain the virus.
SOCIAL-DISTANCE TRAVEL
    Under the Commission’s proposals, airlines and airports would insist passengers wear masks, and reorganise check-ins, dropoffs and luggage pickups to avoid crowds.    They would not require that middle seats be left empty on planes, a measure some airlines say would make profitable flying impossible.
    The Brussels-based Commission also wants vouchers for cancelled flights or holidays to be valid for at least a year, with protection against bankruptcies, so people would accept them instead of demanding refunds from cash-strapped airlines and travel firms.
    It said people should be able to stay in hotels, eat in restaurants or go to beaches – though it stressed the situation would have to be monitored to prevent a new surge in infections.
    “This looks like good news,” said Toni Mayor, president of a hotels’ association in Spain’s Valencia region which includes the major package holiday destination Benidorm.    “If this combines with less pressure from the virus, as it seems, … we might just be able to half-save the summer season.”
    European governments are pressing ahead with their own plans to reopen at different speeds, depending on national circumstances, and some are promoting domestic tourism.
    Already, the three Baltic states have decided to reopen borders to each others’ citizens from May 15, creating a “travel bubble.”
    Austria and Germany plan to fully reopen their border on June 15.    That will particularly help Austria’s tourism industry, which relies heavily on German visitors.
    And Switzerland plans to completely reopen borders to all neighbours except Italy on June 15, provided the pandemic allows.
GERMAN TRAVEL AGENTS PROTEST
    But some of the biggest tourist destinations are in the hardest-hit countries, like Italy, Spain and France, which are opening up more slowly.
    Spanish authorities are planning to keep the country’s borders closed to most travellers from abroad until July, two foreign ministry sources said on Wednesday.
    Some countries are also planning to impose two-week quarantine periods for travellers arriving from abroad – including Britain, which has left the EU but is observing its trade and travel regulations until the end of the year while it negotiates its future relations with the bloc.
    Within Europe’s “Schengen” area, where borders are normally invisible, at least 17 nations have imposed emergency border controls.
    With more than 6 million jobs in the tourism sector at risk across Europe, German travel agents protested on Wednesday to demand more government support for the industry.
    In Berlin, some drove buses past the Brandenburg Gate, emblazoned with banners.    Hamburg airport tweeted a video showing socially distanced protesters at a terminal with suitcases on carts displaying signs saying “We travel agents won’t leave our clients out in the rain.”
    German-based travel group TUI said on Wednesday it would cut 8,000 jobs and look to shed 30% of costs even as it gears up for a July restart to European tourism.
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the aim was to eliminate border controls again from June 15 in the Schengen area, but also warned people against rushing back to normality too fast and thus endangering a tentative improvement of the health situation.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott, Foo Yun Chee, Kate Abnett, Marine Strauss, Philip Blenkinsop, Gabriela Baczynska in Brussels; Belen Carreno and Emma Pinedo in Madrid; Maria Sheahan in Berlin; Francois Murphy in Vienna; Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi in Zurich; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Peter Graff and Hugh Lawson)

5/13/2020 Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll rises, new cases fall
A custodian wearing a face mask stands in the ancient theatre of Taormina, after the country begun to ease lockdown
restrictions following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Italy, May 12, 2020. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello
    ROME (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 195 on Wednesday, against 172 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, but the daily tally of new cases fell to 888 from 1,402 on Tuesday.
    The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 31,106 the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.
    The number of confirmed cases amounts to 222,104, the fifth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Spain, Britain and Russia.
    People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 78,457 from 81,266 the day before, the agency said.
    There were 893 people in intensive care on Wednesday, down from 952 on Tuesday, maintaining a long-running decline.    Of those originally infected, 112,541 were declared recovered against 109,039 a day earlier.
    The agency said 1.779 million people had been tested for the virus against 1.742 million on Tuesday, out of a population of around 60 million.
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Gavin Jones)

5/13/2020 U.S. accuses China-linked hackers of stealing coronavirus research by Raphael Satter
FILE PHOTO: A hooded man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him
in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration
    (Reuters) – China-linked hackers are breaking into American organizations carrying out research into COVID-19, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, warning both scientists and public health officials to be on the lookout for cyber theft.
    In a joint statement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security said the FBI was investigating digital break-ins at U.S. organizations by China-linked “cyber actors” that it had monitored “attempting to identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property (IP) and public health data related to vaccines, treatments, and testing from networks and personnel affiliated with COVID-19-related research.”
    The statement offered no further details on the identities of the targets or the hackers.
    The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.    China routinely denies longstanding American allegations of cyberespionage.
    Coronavirus-related research and data have emerged as a key intelligence priority for hackers of all stripes.    Last week Reuters reported that Iran-linked cyberspies had targeted staff at U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc., whose antiviral drug remdesivir is the only treatment so far proven to help COVID-19 patients.
    In March and April, Reuters reported on advanced hackers’ attempts to break into the World Health Organization as the pandemic spread across the globe.
(Reporting by Raphael Satter; Editing by Howard Goller)

5/13/2020 UK’s confirmed COVID-19 death toll rises by 494 to 33,186
A man walks at Elephant & Castle Market, following the outbreak of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 13, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
    LONDON (Reuters) – A total of 33,186 people who tested positive for the new coronavirus have died in the United Kingdom, a rise of 494 in a 24-hour period, the health ministry said on Wednesday.
    The figures are as of 5 p.m. (1600 GMT) on May 12.    Including deaths due to suspected cases, Britain’s toll is over 40,000.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout. Editing by Andrew MacAskill)

5/13/2020 Powell: More action from Fed, stimulus from Congress likely needed to help economy recover by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 3, 2020 file photo, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell pauses
during a news conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
    Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has noted additional action will likely be needed to help the U.S. economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.    On Wednesday, he said “the path ahead is both highly uncertain and subject to significant downside risks.”
    According to the chairman, the current economic downturn is “a level of pain that is hard to capture in words.”
    “The scope and speed of this downturn are without modern precedent, significantly worse than any recession since World War II.    We are seeing a severe decline in economic activity and in employment.    Already, the job gains of the past decade have been erased.” – Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve
    Despite calls for the Fed to lower interest rates into negative territory, Powell has said that policy is not being considered.    The chairman suggested Congress may need to step in with more fiscal stimulus to help the U.S. economy recover.
    He acknowledged that support would be costly, but “worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery.”

5/13/2020 Los Angeles mayor says city will not fully reopen ‘until we have a cure’ for COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This Wednesday, April 1, 2020 file photo from a live stream video provided by the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti shows Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti
wearing a protective face mask during his daily coronavirus news conference in Los Angeles. (Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti via AP, File)
    According to Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles will not fully reopen until there is a cure for COVID-19.    During an interview Wednesday morning, Garcetti said city residents need to understand that “we aren’t moving beyond COVID-19, we’re learning to live with it.”
    City officials are reportedly weighing a decision to extended the lockdown order for an additional three months.
    The mayor has urged everyone to avoid “overreacting,” but also encouraged residents to “take this seriously.”
    “We’ve never been fully closed and we’ll never be fully open until we have a cure, but I do believe that we can take steps,” stated Garcetti.    “Monitor those numbers, listen to the scientists and the medical professionals, and make the tough calls, even when there is criticism.”
    He noted he believes the coronavirus is still as dangerous now as it was at the beginning of the outbreak in the U.S.

5/13/2020 Speaker Pelosi says new $3T House COVID-19 relief bill is not about partisanship by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during an interview with The Associated Press
on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently justified her new $3 trillion coronavirus stimulus package by saying the “American people are worth it.”
    While speaking to MSNBC Wednesday, Pelosi acknowledged the bill costs “a lot of money,” but said it’s important to deploy these resources to help the U.S. battle the virus.
    On Tuesday, she announced the package will include more money for state and local governments, more testing and additional direct checks for individuals.
    Pelosi said the bill is based on science and humanity rather than politics.    She dismissed concerns the House did not consult with the Senate or the administration about the proposal.
    The House is expected to vote on the bill Friday.    Meanwhile, Republicans have largely rejected the bill with the Senate saying it will not approve the so-called “liberal wish-list.”
[THIS SOCIALISM LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT EXCUSE FOR A BILL WILL NOT GO ANYWHERE UNTIL THEY GET ALL THE CRAP OUT OF IT AND COME UP WITH ONE THAT ACTUALLY HELPS PEOPLE WHO ARE STRUGGLING IN THE UNITED STATES AND NOT THEIR AGENDA AND I AS A TAXPAYER DO NOT WANT TO PAY 3 TRILLION TO COVER STATES WITH BAD PENSION SYSTEMS, ILLEGAL ALIENS AND SANCTUARY CITIES, AND PROJECTS THAT ARE A DISGRACE TO OCCUR.].

THE FOLLOWING IS THE GREASTEST POLITICAL CRIME OF THE CENTURY: 'OBAMAGATE'

5/13/2020 President Trump slams Biden, pushes ‘Obamagate’ by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks as Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, center, listens during a meeting in the
Cabinet Room of the White House, Wednesday, May 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump recently reacted to the latest revelations about General Michel Flynn, as well as the Obama administration’s involvement in the transition of power and information to the current White House team.    He has called it “the biggest political crime in American history.”
    What could be the start of a new corruption case all began on January 5th, 2017.    During a meeting, then-President Obama gave guidance to key Justice Department officials, who would be tasked with protecting his administration’s secretly funded Clinton campaign research, better known as Fusion GPS.
    This research formed the foundation of the Trump-Russia plot and led the FBI to ambush incoming National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn, who later was forced to recuse himself from looking into the investigations of President Trump.
    When asked whether he knew about the push to investigate Flynn, former Vice President Joe Biden claimed he knew “nothing about those moves.”    When pressed on his role at the meeting and involvement in FBI interrogations, he changed his reply.
    “I thought you asked if I had anything to do with him being prosecuted, I’m sorry,” stated Biden.    “I was aware they asked for an investigation, but that’s all I know about it.”

FILE – In this Jan. 12, 2017, file photo Vice President Joe Biden listens during a ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House
in Washington, where President Barack Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    However, new documents released Wednesday by acting DNI Richard Grenell revealed a number of Obama officials who sought to “unmask” General Flynn.    The list included former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey and Joe Biden.
    Meanwhile, President Trump continues to fuel what he is calling “Obamagate.”
    “Obamagate: it’s been going on for a long time.    It’s been going on from before I even got elected.    It’s a disgrace that it happened, if you look at what’s gone on, if you look at now all of this information that’s being released.    From what I understand, that’s only the beginning.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    Obama has been accused of leading a “coup” to sabotage the Trump presidency, which recently created a media frenzy online.    If these claims are indeed true, it will be a very different message from what the 44th U.S. president had initially delivered.
    “I think of this job as being a relay runner: You take the baton, you run your best race and hopefully by the time you hand it off, you’re a little further ahead, you made a little progress,” stated former President Obama.    “I can say that we’ve done that, and I want to say that we make sure that hand-off is well executed, because ultimately were all on the same team.”
    And as you will see that Joe Biden who has lied about everything he has done will probably lie that he did not do what you see on the unmasking in the below image.

5/14/2020 Dropping Flynn case is delayed by Kevin Johnson and Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – A federal judge is delaying an immediate decision on a Justice Department request to abandon the prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, saying he will allow time for outside parties to challenge the government’s position.
    U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said in an order Tuesday that he would set a schedule for parties to submit their challenges at a later date, injecting more drama into the case against the former Army general who first pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in 2017 about his communications with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
    In the brief order, Sullivan did not address the Justice Department’s effort to drop the case, saying only that he “anticipates that individuals and organizations” will seek to file arguments of their own.
    “Accordingly, at the appropriate time, the Court will enter a scheduling order governing the submission of any amicus curiae briefs,” Sullivan said.
    Flynn’s lawyers quickly responded and said outside parties had no standing in the case.
    Describing the case as drawing “extraordinary national and international interest,” attorneys for Flynn said outside parties were “free to express their views,” but there was no provision to join an ongoing criminal case.
[ITS NOT HARD TO SEE THE DEEP STATE IS AND GETTING DEPERATE AND PUSHING THIS BECAUSE OF THE RECENT FINDING THAT ALL THE PLAYERS IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTATION ARE BEING FOUND TO COMMIT A MORE SERIOUS CRIME BY LEAKING THIS TO THE WASHINGTON POST WHICH IS MORE SERIOUS CRIME OF ESPIONAGE THAN ANYTHING THAT FLYNN EVER DID.    THIS HAS BROUGHT OBAMA AND ERIC HOLDER TO COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK TO TRY TO COVER THIS UP IN THE FAKE NEWS SERVICE AND WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN JOE BIDEN’S NAME ON THE LIST OF THOSE WHO COMMITTED THIS CRIME.    SO SEE THE LIST BELOW OF THOSE WHO WERE DOING THE UNMASKING 39 PERSONS IN 49 REQUESTS AND JOE BIDEN WAS THE LAST ONE TO UNMASK THAT INFORMATION WHICH WAS 8 DAYS BEFORE TRUMPS START AS PRESIDENT.    SO WHY WOULD AN OUTGOING ADMINISTRATION GOING TO SUCH EXTREME ON JUST FLYNN WHICH THEY DID KNOW IT WAS HIM THEY WERE UNMASKING AND IT OBVIOUS THAT THIS WAS AN ACTIVE CONSPIRACY AS THE GLOBALISTS, DEEP STATE AND THE WASHINGTON SWAMP HATED TRUMP AND HIS POLICIES THAT THEY WOULD DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO DESTROY HIM AND IF YOU ARE READING THIS THEN YOU KNOW WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN DOING TO HIM FOR THE LAST 3 1/2 YEARS AND ANYONE ASSOCIATED WITH HIM.].

5/13/2020 List of Obama officials who requested Flynn unmasking released by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This Dec. 13, 2019 file photo shows former President Barack Obama speaking at the Gathering of Rising Leaders
in the Asia Pacific, organized by the Obama Foundation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)
    Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) have released a list of Obama White House officials who may have had a role in unmasking former General Michael Flynn.
    Those included were former DNI James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey and presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden.
    According to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), it’s clear Biden used the government to go after a political opponent.
    “If Vice President Biden and the president’s inner circle of advisers were all listening to a senior Trump administration adviser’s private conversation, this would amount to a serious abuse of power,” stated Paul.    “The only question that remains is what did President Obama know and when did he know it.”
    He has called on acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell to testify on the matter before the Senate next week.

5/13/2020 U.S. district judge halts motion to dismiss Flynn case by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Sept. 10, 2019 file photo, Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser,
leaves the federal court following a status conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    A U.S. district judge is attempting to slow the Justice Department’s motion to drop the charges in the criminal case of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
    On Tuesday, Judge Emmet Sullivan indicated he is planning to allow third party submissions to inform his ruling over Flynn’s dismissal.    He will be receiving amicus briefs, or ‘friend of the court’ briefs, which will allow non-parties with interest in a case to share opinions.
Photo of Judge Emmet G. Sullivan via U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia website.
    Flynn’s counsel responded by arguing such ‘friend of the court’ briefs are not permitted in criminal cases under local court rules or Supreme Court precedent.    The former adviser’s defense team noted there is no place for third parties to meddle in a dispute between the United States and a criminal defendant.
    They also suggested Sullivan’s order was influenced by a recent filing from a group calling themselves “Watergate prosecutors,” who implied political influence played a role in the decision to dismiss the case.
    This followed the Justice Department’s resolution on the recommendation of U.S. attorney Jeff Jensen, which stated the FBI had insufficient evidence to question Flynn in the first place.    According to the resolution, the former adviser’s statements during the interview also didn’t lend much to the broader investigation of ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
    Judge Sullivan has the ability to ask the Justice Department for further information regarding their verdict as he prepares to decide Flynn’s fate.    He could deny the DOJ’s motion, block the withdrawal of Flynn’s guilty plea and continue with sentencing.    He could also dismiss the case, with or without prejudice, which would either permanently free the former adviser or open up the case for future review.
[This is the fake news side of the story and it may be a last ditch effort by this judge to keep Flynn from telling his story of what was going on in the previous administration in hope it will drag it out past the November 3 election and he is trying to charge him for perjury].

5/14/2020 Paul Manafort set free over virus fears by Kristine Phillips and Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been released from prison and is now in home confinement as the coronavirus pandemic spreads in federal prisons.
    Todd Blanche, one of Manafort’s attorneys, said the 71-year-old was released Wednesday morning.    Manafort is serving a combined sentence of 7 1 /2 years in prison from two criminal cases that resulted from the special counsel investigation of Russia’s election meddling in 2016.
    Manafort was convicted in Virginia for a scheme to defraud banks and taxpayers out of millions of dollars he had amassed through illicit lobbying.    He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges of not disclosing his lobbying work and tampering with witnesses in a related Washington, D.C., case.
    Last month, Attorney General William Barr announced a plan to expedite the release of vulnerable prisoners to home confinement.
    “Given the speed with which this disease has spread through the general public, it is clear that time is of the essence,” Barr said then.

5/14/2020 Oil down $0.08 to $25.42, DOW down 517 to 23.248.

5/14/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

5/14/2020 U.S. envoy threatens to trigger return of U.N. sanctions on Iran by Michelle Nichols and Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: Brian Hook, U.S. Special Representative for Iran, attends a news conference
in London, Britain June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo
    NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States publicly threatened on Wednesday to trigger a return of all United Nations sanctions on Iran if the U.N. Security Council does not extend an arms embargo on Tehran that is due to expire in October under the Iran nuclear deal.
    U.S. special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, confirmed the strategy two weeks after a U.S. official, speaking on condition anonymity, said the United States had told Britain, France and Germany of its plan.
    Hook wrote in the Wall Street Journal that “one way or another” Washington would ensure the arms embargo remains.    He said the United States has drafted a Security Council resolution and “will press ahead with diplomacy and build support.”
    A resolution needs nine yes votes and no vetoes by Russia, China, the United States, France or Britain to be adopted by the 15-member Security Council.    Russia has already signaled it is opposed to extending the arms embargo.
    “If American diplomacy is frustrated by a veto, however, the U.S. retains the right to renew the arms embargo by other means,” Hook wrote, citing the ability of a party to the Iran nuclear deal to trigger a so-called snapback of all U.N. sanctions on Iran, which includes the arms embargo.
    Tehran was given sanctions relief under a 2015 deal with the United States, Russia, China, Germany, Britain and France that prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The deal allowed for a return of sanctions if Iran violated the deal.     U.S. President Donald Trump quit the agreement in 2018, saying the accord from Barack Obama’s presidency as “the worst deal ever.”    But Washington argues it can trigger a return of U.N. sanctions because a 2015 Security Council resolution enshrining the deal still names the U.S. as a participant.
    “This is ridiculous,” Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters on Tuesday.    “They are not members, they have no right to trigger.”
    Diplomats say the United States would likely face a tough, messy battle if it tries to spark a return of sanctions, though it was not immediately clear how or if a Security Council member could stop such a move.
    Iran has breached several central limits of the deal, including on its stock of enriched uranium, in response to the U.S. withdrawal and Washington’s reimposition of sanctions that have slashed Iran’s oil exports. Britain, France and Germany are trying to save the deal, but have made little progress.
(Writing by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Michael Perry)

5/14/2020 U.N. warns of global mental health crisis due to COVID-19 pandemic by Kate Kelland
FILE PHOTO: "Grief holds her covered face against the shoulder of History and weeps in mourning" as depicted at the
Peace Monument in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – A mental illness crisis is looming as millions of people worldwide are surrounded by death and disease and forced into isolation, poverty and anxiety by the pandemic of COVID-19, United Nations health experts said on Thursday.
    “The isolation, the fear, the uncertainty, the economic turmoil – they all cause or could cause psychological distress,” said Devora Kestel, director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) mental health department.
    Presenting a U.N. report and policy guidance on COVID-19 and mental health, Kestel said an upsurge in the number and severity of mental illnesses is likely, and governments should put the issue “front and centre” of their responses.
    “The mental health and wellbeing of whole societies have been severely impacted by this crisis and are a priority to be addressed urgently,” she told reporters at a briefing.
    The report highlighted several regions and sections of societies as vulnerable to mental distress – including children and young people isolated from friends and school, healthcare workers who are seeing thousands of patients infected with and dying from the new coronavirus.
    Emerging studies and surveys are already showing COVID-19’s impact on mental health globally.    Psychologists say children are anxious and increases in cases of depression and anxiety have been recorded in several countries.
    Domestic violence is rising, and health workers are reporting an increased need for psychological support.
    Reuters last week reported from interviews with doctors and nurses in the United States who said either they or their colleagues had experienced a combination of panic, anxiety, grief, numbness, irritability, insomnia and nightmares.
    Outside of the health sector, the WHO report said many people are distressed by the immediate health impacts and the consequences of physical isolation, while many others are afraid of infection, dying, and losing family members.
    Millions of people are facing economic turmoil, having lost or being at risk of losing their income and livelihoods, it added.    And frequent misinformation and rumours about the pandemic and deep uncertainty about how long it will last are making people feel anxious and hopeless about the future.
    It outlined action points for policy-makers to aim “to reduce immense suffering among hundreds of millions of people and mitigate long-term social and economic costs to society.”
    These included redressing historic under-investment in psychological services, providing “emergency mental health” via remote therapies such as tele-counselling for frontline health workers, and working proactively with people known to have depression and anxiety, and with those at high risk of domestic violence and acute impoverishment.
(Reporting by Kate Kelland, Editing by William Maclean)
5/14/2020 Germany’s coronavirus infections rise by 933 cases to 172,239: RKI
Window cleaners work as the International airport presents additional COVID-19 safety measures, amid
the coronavirus disease outbreak in Frankfurt, Germany, May 12, 2020. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany rose 933 to stand at 172,239, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Thursday.
    The reported death toll rose by 89 to 7,723, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

5/14/2020 ‘This virus may never go away,’ WHO says by Emma Farge and Michael Shields
FILE PHOTO: Executive Director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) emergencies program Mike Ryan speaks at a news
conference on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could become endemic like HIV, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, warning against any attempt to predict how long it would keep circulating and calling for a “massive effort” to counter it.
    “It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” WHO emergencies expert Mike Ryan told an online briefing.
    “I think it is important we are realistic and I don’t think anyone can predict when this disease will disappear,” he added.    “I think there are no promises in this and there are no dates.    This disease may settle into a long problem, or it may not be.”
    However, he said the world had some control over how it coped with the disease, although this would take a “massive effort” even if a vaccine was found — a prospect he described as a “massive moonshot.”
    More than 100 potential vaccines are being developed, including several in clinical trials, but experts have underscored the difficulties of finding vaccines that are effective against coronaviruses.
    Ryan noted that vaccines exist for other illnesses, such as measles, that have not been eliminated.
    WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added: “The trajectory is in our hands, and it’s everybody’s business, and we should all contribute to stop this pandemic.”
    Ryan said “very significant control” of the virus was required in order to lower the assessment of risk, which he said remained high at the “national, regional and global levels.”
    Governments around the world are struggling with the question of how to reopen their economies while still containing the virus, which has infected almost 4.3 million people, according to a Reuters tally, and led to over 291,000 deaths.
    The European Union pushed on Wednesday for a gradual reopening of borders within the bloc that have been shut by the pandemic, saying it was not too late to salvage some of the summer tourist season while still keeping people safe.
    But public health experts say extreme caution is needed to avoid new outbreaks.    Ryan said opening land borders was less risky than easing air travel, which was a “different challenge.”
    “We need to get into the mindset that it is going to take some time to come out of this pandemic,” WHO epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove told the briefing.
(Reporting by Michael Shields and Emma Farge; Writing by Alex Richardson; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

5/14/2020 Republican Mike Garcia wins CA-25 special election by OAN Newsroom
This undated photo provided by the Mike Garcia For Congress campaign shows Mike Garcia. (Cynthia Smalley/Mike Garcia For Congress via AP)
    Republican Mike Garcia has claimed victory in California, flipping the state’s 25th District seat from blue to red.    On Wednesday, his Democrat opponent Christy Smith conceded the special election race and congratulated her rival.    She is now setting her sights on the general election in the fall.
    The swing district’s seat used to belong to former congresswoman Katie Hill before she resigned from Congress in October over a sex scandal.
    Earlier this week, President Trump endorsed Garcia by highlighting the Republicans previous military service, his stance on crime as well as border security and gun rights.
    During a meeting at the White House before Smith conceded, President Trump celebrated Garcia’s successful campaign while raising concerns about the legitimacy of mail-in ballots.
    Garcia will now serve the remainder of Hill’s term, which ends in January.    He will face off against Smith again in November to determine who will serve the full term starting in 2021.
Arjan Walia votes during a special election for California’s 25th Congressional District
seat Tuesday, May 12, 2020, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

5/14/2020 James Clapper say it’s routine to unmask officials in Intel probes by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 8, 2017, file photo, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper
testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
    Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claimed it’s routine to unmask officials during intelligence investigations.    He made the comments in an interview Thursday after he was named in a list of officials who may have sought information on General Michael Flynn during the Russia probe.
    Clapper claimed officials have no way of knowing a person’s identity before unmasking and dismissed reports suggesting Obama-era officials specifically targeted Flynn.
    “When you see these reports, to understand the context and the importance of what’s going on, you almost have to have the actual name,” Clapper stated.    “You don’t know who it is in advance, so in my case the list cites…three occasions where I requested unmasking, which turned out to be Mike Flynn.”
    The former Director of National Intelligence added that he’s “happy” to testify before the upper chamber after Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham called for a hearing on the matter.
    Other officials on the released listed included former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey and presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden.

5/14/2020 Rep. Nadler: We expect to see Barr testify on June 9th by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 10, 2020, file photo, Attorney General William Barr speaks at the National Sheriffs’
Association Winter Legislative and Technology Conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler has demanded that Attorney General William Barr testify before Congress as soon as Washington reopens next month.
    In an interview Wednesday, Nadler said he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to get Barr on the stand.    He noted that he will consider issuing a subpoena.
    “Now that the District of Columbia has expanded the stay-at-home order until June 8, we expect to see Barr in front of our committee on June 9th — the very next day,” stated the New York representative.
    This comes amid mounting allegations that Barr is “politically meddling” in federal cases.
    According to reports, Barr was originally set to testify on March 31, but the hearing was delayed indefinitely due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
[I THOUGHT NADLER WENT INTO HIDING LIKE SCHIFF AFTER THAT POOR EXCUSE FOR AN IMPEACHMENT BUT HE STILL IS IN VIOLATION OF THE AG’S CONSTITUTION RIGHTS AND THINKS HE HAS A CAUSE BUT BARR HAS A WAY BETTER CAUSE THAN NADLER GETTING JUSTICE.].

5/14/2020 White House Press Secy. McEnany: Dr. Fauci is only one voice among many President Trump is listening to by OAN Newsroombr>
President Donald Trump listens as White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White
House as he departs on Marine One, Thursday, May 14, 2020, in Washington. Trump is en route to Allentown, Pa. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany recently pointed out that Dr. Anthony Fauci is one of many health advisers President Trump is listening to amid the coronavirus outbreak.
    During an interview Thursday, she discussed the president’s points of difference with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director on what precautions to take in reopening the economy.
    McEnany said the president wants to reopen schools as part of getting the country up and running.    She also noted that the move is important for working parents.
    Earlier this week, Dr. Fauci suggested some schools remain closed in the fall.    McEnany said the president has confidence in Dr. Fauci, however, he’s only one adviser of many others.
    On Wednesday, President Trump said he was surprised by Dr. Fauci’s stance on reopening schools.    The president noted that Dr. Fauci “wants to play all sides of the equation.”

5/14/2020 Calif. Gov. Newsom reveals preparations for upcoming wildfire season amid pandemic by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Aug. 7, 2018 file photo, firefighters monitor a backfire while battling the Ranch Fire,
part of the Mendocino Complex Fire near Ladoga, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)
    California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is ramping up efforts to tackle the state’s upcoming wildfire season despite the high cost of containing the coronavirus outbreak.
    During a press briefing Wednesday, the Democrat governor promised to increase funding for first responders by $170 million.    He said the money would help sustain recent changes to protocol for fighting fires and handling evacuations.
    “It’s a tired cliché, but you’ve got to walk and chew gum at the same time…we’re focused on coronavirus mitigation…trying to do our best to suppress the spread,” said Newsom.    “At the same time, we’ve got to mitigate and suppress these fires as we move into wildfire season.”
    So far, the state has experienced 60 percent more fires than last year.    Gov. Newsom is expected to announce the official state budget on Thursday.

5/14/2020 U.S. says it condemns China-linked ‘cyber actors’ trying to steal COVID research
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a
media briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S., May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday condemned attempts by China-linked “cyber actors and non-traditional collectors affiliated” to steal U.S. intellectual property and data related to coronavirus research, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
    “The PRC’s behavior in cyberspace is an extension of its counterproductive actions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pompeo said in a statement.
    “While the United States and our allies and partners are coordinating a collective, transparent response to save lives, the PRC continues to silence scientists, journalists, and citizens, and to spread disinformation, which has exacerbated the dangers of this health crisis,” he said.
    Pompeo’s comments came a day after the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security issued a joint statement to raise awareness against what they called threats to coronavirus-related research from actors related to China.
    It said the FBI was investigating digital break-ins at U.S. organizations by China-linked “cyber actors” that it had monitored “attempting to identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property (IP) and public health data related to vaccines, treatments, and testing from networks and personnel affiliated with COVID-19-related research.”
    The FBI-Homeland Security statement offered no further details on the identities of the targets or the hackers.    The Chinese Embassy in Washington condemned the allegations as “lies.”
    Pompeo has been among the Trump administration oustpoken critics of China, accusing it of covering up the earlier days of the outbreak and refusing to share information as ties between Washington and Beijing have sharply deteriorated.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio)

5/14/2020 City of London curbs cars to aid social distancing by Huw Jones
FILE PHOTO: General view of the Canary Wharf financial district, following the outbreak of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, May 5, 2020. REUTERS/Marika Kochiashvili
    LONDON (Reuters) – London’s “Square Mile” financial district said it will close some streets to cars to create more space for pedestrians and cyclists so that workers can observe social distancing when the coronavirus lockdown is lifted.
    Britain began easing restrictions this week but said people who can work from home should continue to do so, as most financial sector staff have been doing since March.
    The financial district is home to the Bank of England, the London Stock Exchange and Lloyd’s of London insurance market, and many of its pavements are too narrow for the 522,000 people who work there to maintain safe social distancing, a report for City of London councillors said.
    It proposed widening pavements, and shutting some roads to cars completely or during business hours, which a panel of the City’s councillors approved on Thursday.
    “While most people who work in the Square Mile can work from home it is likely that people will begin travelling to work over the coming weeks,” the report said.
    “Any meaningful return to the workplace will need to be primarily by walking, cycling and public transport.”
    But 74% of commuter journeys to the City are longer than 10km (6 miles), making public transport the only feasible option for many, the report said.
    Separately, London’s transport system said it was increasing services over the next week but capacity would be cut to about 15% to maintain social distancing for passengers.
    Furthermore, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority reiterated this week that only a limited number of staff designated “key workers” can go to the office for now.
    Bankers said this week that some staff could be working from home for up to a year before they return to the City or Canary Wharf, London’s other financial district.
(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Giles Elgood)

5/14/2020 France’s coronavirus death toll exceeds Spain’s again by Geert De Clercq
A walks past a mural by street artist Ardif, to thank the caregivers and the workers who were in the frontline
during the outbreak coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Paris, France, May 14, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
    PARIS (Reuters) – France’s cumulative coronavirus death toll edged back above Spain’s as the health ministry reported that the number of people who died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours increased by 351 or 1.3% to 27,425.
    Spain earlier on Thursday reported 217 new deaths, taking its toll to 27,321. France’s toll first jumped over Spain’s on Tuesday, but dipped below it on Wednesday.
    France has the world’s fourth-highest death toll after the United States (83,720), Britain (33,186) and Italy (31,106). Brazil, whose casualty rate is climbing quickly, has the sixth most deaths with 13,149 fatalities.
    The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in France increased by 622 to 141,356 on Thursday, up 0.4% and the eighth consecutive day that the case tally rose by about half a percentage point or less.
    “The COVID-19 epidemic remains active and the virus is still circulating in France,” the ministry said in a statement on the fourth day after lockdown ended.
    France saw its slowest increase in the infection rate on Sunday, the last day of the 55-day lockdown, when the number of new infections went up by 209 (or 0.3%), which was the lowest since well before the lockdown started on March 17.
    At the peak of the epidemic on March 31, France recorded 7,578 new infections in 24 hours.    The government has said that it may go into selective lockdown again if the daily infection rates jumps above 3,000 again.
    Between March 23 and April 11, France on average counted nearly 4,000 new infections per day and the infection rate did not fall below the 3,000 threshold until after a month of strict nationwide lockdown.
    On top of the confirmed cases, France has also reported nearly 40,000 probable cases in nursing homes.
    The health ministry also reported that the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 infection fell by 608 to 20,463 on Thursday and the number of people in intensive care fell by 129 to 2,299.
    Both numbers – key indicators for the French health system’s ability to cope with the epidemic – have been on a downtrend for several weeks and peaked at over 32,000 and over 7,000 respectively in early to mid-April.
    France on Thursday announced a 18 billion euro ($19 billion) support package for its virus-hit tourism industry, which accounts for almost 8% of gross domestic product and attracted nearly 90 million foreign visitors last year.
(This story has been refiled to remove extraneous word from headline)
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Toby Chopra)

5/14/2020 Europe pins hopes on antibody tests to avoid second virus wave by John Miller
FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker displays a coronavirus antibody testing cassette at a SOMOS Community Care COVID-19 antibody walk-in testing site during
the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S., April 24, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
    ZURICH (Reuters) – As Europe gingerly eases its coronavirus lockdowns, many governments are scrambling to buy antibody tests to find out how many of their citizens were infected, in the hope that will help them craft strategies to avoid a second wave of COVID-19 cases.
    But exactly how – or even if – the information will be of use remains unclear, raising the risk that public funds and government time are being wasted.
    Switzerland, home of diagnostics powerhouse Roche which has developed its own COVID-19 antibody test, is one of the countries holding back from the dash to place orders.
    “The government up to now has not bought any antibody tests,” a Federal Health Ministry spokesman told Reuters on Thursday.
    “Their ability to inform us remains simply too uncertain for them to be part of an easing strategy,” he said, referring to the relaxation of restrictions, such as on free movement.
    That hasn’t stopped makers of antibody tests including Roche, U.S. rival Abbott, Germany’s Siemens Healthineers, as well as Chinese suppliers, from receiving a flurry of orders and expressions of interest from governments.
    On Thursday, Britain announced it was talking to Roche about getting hundreds of thousands of its tests per week, describing them as a potential “game changer.”
    That’s after Germany said last week the Swiss drugmaker would sell it three million tests in May and five million a month thereafter.
    So concerned about its ability to secure supplies, Finland is making its own tests.
    The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) initially began using tests from “a European vendor” it declined to name, but switched strategy on learning the supplier couldn’t guarantee timely delivery for 30,000 tests it wanted this year.
    “Availability was questionable so we couldn’t continue down that road,” THL’s chief researcher Arto Palmu told Reuters, adding initial assessments of the accuracy of its domestic version judged it “at least as good” as commercial options.
BEING FAIR
    Antibody tests are designed to detect immune-system proteins that people develop in response to an infection, and which typically are a sign of some protection against catching the disease again.
    Accuracy, or specificity, is everything, however, since false-positive tests could give people a false sense of security if they believe they had the disease and have some immunity, when in fact they may never have been infected.
    The United States had to tighten rules on the tests it allowed, for fear of fraud under initially lax regulations meant to speed assays to market.
    Roche has said its tests have 99.81% specificity.
    Abbott has said the specificity and sensitivity of its test are 99.5% and 100% respectively.
    Italy’s DiaSorin has said its Liason XL test has 97.4% sensitivity and 98.5% specificity.
    There are other tests out there, too.
    Denmark, one of Europe’s first countries to re-open schools, on Monday started its first antibody study, which includes testing 2,600 people, using a kit from China’s Wantai.
    The Dutch Health Ministry said on May 5 it had ordered one million kits, also from Wantai.
    Italy has picked Abbott to supply 150,000 kits.
    Roche declined to comment on differences in numbers of tests being delivered to various countries, but said its goal was to be “fair
    It does not want to become embroiled in a political row like Sanofi SA did when it said the United States would be the first to get its COVID-19 vaccine, should it prove successful.
    “We have one price for the test worldwide,” a Roche spokesman said.    “We are working with customers, non-profit and government organizations and regulatory bodies to make sure our tests have the greatest patient and community impact.”
    A Siemens Healthineers spokesman said there were currently several large national tenders for mass antibody testing ongoing in which the company was participating.
‘NO EVIDENCE’
    Not all countries are quite so far along.
    In Hungary, for instance, a government spokesman said on Thursday it had no information about plans to do broad antibody testing.
    Cillian De Gascun, head of Ireland’s national virus laboratory, told a news conference the country was evaluating and validating tests and, if all goes well, could have some by June.
    But being slow off the mark may not be disadvantage, as there is currently little agreement over what countries should do with the information provided by the tests.
    Some, such as Chile, have floated the idea that “immunity passports” – potentially allowing free movement – could be issued to those who have had COVID-19 and recovered, given they may be protected from re-infection.
    But the World Health Organization has cautioned against such passports, saying there was “no evidence” people who have recovered from the virus cannot catch it again.
    German Health Minister Jens Spahn also said last week the idea of confining people just because they don’t have specific antibodies raised ethical questions.
    For Switzerland, the strategy is the same as in countries such as South Korea and Taiwan that have had some success in containing COVID-19 – test anyone who shows symptoms, trace everybody who has been in contact with an infected person, and require them to isolate until they are clearly free of disease.
(Reporting by John Miller in Zurich, Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt, Guy Faulconbridge in London, Alicja Ptak in Warsaw, Stine Jacobsen in Copenhagen, Anne Kauranen in Helsinki, Krisztina Than in Budapest, Anthony Deutsch in Amsterdam, Crispin Balmer in Rome, Padraic Halpin in Dublin and Thomas Escritt in Berlin; Editing by Mark Potter)

5/14/2020 City at center of Italy’s COVID-19 tragedy works to heal ‘deep scar’ by James Mackenzie and Alex Fraser
The mayor of Bergamo Giorgio Gori is seen in his office in Palazzo Frizzoni, as the spread of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Bergamo, Italy May 13, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo
    BERGAMO, Italy (Reuters) – After months leading his city through one of Europe’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks, Giorgio Gori, mayor of the northern Italian town of Bergamo, says the worst of the health crisis may be past.    The new challenge of rebuilding is just beginning.
    Once best known for the Renaissance-era architecture of its historic old town, which sits on a hill overlooking the modern city, Bergamo quickly found itself at the what Gori described as the epicentre of an earthquake.
    After the first case of the new coronavirus emerged in late February, the city’s hospitals were soon overwhelmed, and with morgues unable to keep up, convoys of army trucks carrying away the dead became a chilling symbol of the global pandemic.
    “It was very painful for many weeks in March and April,” Gori told Reuters in his office in the neoclassical Palazzo Frizzoni.
    With more than 12,000 cases still being treated in the province around Bergamo, he said the crisis was not over, but added: “Between that moment and now, there’s been an enormous change.”
    The rate of new infections has slowed and the city is beginning to reawaken from the enforced hibernation it entered in early March when Lombardy, which accounts for around half of Italy’s 30,000 coronavirus dead, went into lockdown.
    Roberto Cosentini, head of the emergency room at Papa Giovanni Hospital, recalled the “scary sensation” as patients arrived every day, but said doctors had learned and adapted.
    However, like others, he is acutely aware that recovery is fragile.    “We are tired.    I fear a second surge would be much tougher for us than the first in terms of mental health.”
    As well as the fear of the epidemic flaring up again, authorities must face the economic shock left by weeks of inactivity.
    “The health alert is receding but the social alert is growing,” Gori said.    Even in Bergamo, a prosperous city in one of the richest areas of Europe, the impact has been devastating.
    “The economy of a city is made up of so many small businesses – they’re not big factories or big corporations,” he said.    “They haven’t been working for three months.    How are they going to manage?
    Part of the answer may come in stimulus measures like those unveiled by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte late on Wednesday.    But much will depend on the city itself.
    “The private pain will remain for people who’ve lost a brother, a father.    You don’t get over that,” Gori said.    “But in the end, there’s no other way but to get on and manage it ourselves.”
DEEP SCARS
    How quickly places like Bergamo recover may be a pointer for other regions in Europe that were hit later.    But the shock it has experienced remains profound.
    “I believe a very deep scar will stay with us.    It reached all of us and entered our homes,” said Bruno Bonassi, deputy editor of the region’s L’Eco di Bergamo newspaper, whose swollen obituary pages were another stark symbol of the crisis.
    The daily, which normally published fewer than 20 death notices, was putting out almost 90 a day as the virus spread in March and reached peaks of 110-116 on some days, said Daniela Taiocchi, who compiled many of the notices.
    At a cemetery in Nembro, a town near Bergamo, grave after grave is marked by a simple wooden cross adorned by a piece of paper with the dead person’s name, date of birth and death and a small photograph.
    The real number of coronavirus dead may never be known as only those who died in hospital were normally tested, leaving hundreds who died at home or in care homes uncounted in the statistics.
    Gori, who has become a familiar figure on Italian television criticising both the government in Rome and regional authorities in Lombardy for failing to move more quickly, believes the true numbers may be twice the level officially reported.
    As to why his region found itself at the centre of the maelstrom, he says the first carrier may never be identified.    But the virus was probably present in December, well before authorities became aware of it.
    “So when we sounded the alarm, COVID had already been circulating for weeks.”
    While Lombardy’s health system was generally highly rated, its dependence on large hospitals left it more vulnerable than regions like neighbouring Veneto, with a stronger network of local health services that could deal with patients before they ended up in intensive care.
    “We have got hospitals of the highest quality,” he said.    “But as everything rained down on them at once, they were absolutely overwhelmed.”
    Now, he said, Italy would have to rediscover some of the spirit behind its post-World War Two recovery and reconstruction.
    “We want Bergamo, which without wanting to became a symbol around the world for this epidemic, to be a symbol of rebirth.”
(Reporting by James Mackenzie; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

5/14/2020 UK health official expects rapid rollout of Roche antibody test
FILE PHOTO: People queue at a coronavirus test centre in Macclesfield, following the outbreak of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Macclesfield, Britain, April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Molly Darlington
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will begin using an antibody test for COVID-19 in coming days, focusing its use on health workers and carers, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam said on Thursday.
    “I anticipate that it will be rapidly rolled out in the days and weeks to come,” he said referring to a test produced by Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG .
    “I also anticipate that the focus will be on the National Health Service and on carers in the first instance.”
(Reporting by Paul Sandle and Costas Pitas, writing by William James, editing by Estelle Shirbon)

5/14/2020 Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll and new cases climb
A man wearing a face mask walks next to a shop, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Bergamo, Italy May 13, 2020. The signs
reads "Coronavirus will end. Everything will be fine" and "If we open, we fail!" Picture taken May 12, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo
    ROME (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 262 on Thursday, against 195 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new cases rose to 992 from 888 on Wednesday.
    It was the largest number of deaths in one day since May 7.
    The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 31,368 the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.
    The number of confirmed cases amounts to 223,096, the fifth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Spain, Britain and Russia.
    People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 76,440 from 78,457 the day before.
    There were 855 people in intensive care on Thursday, down from 893 on Wednesday, maintaining a long-running decline.    Of those originally infected, 115,228 were declared recovered against 112,541 a day earlier.
    The agency said 1.820 million people had been tested for the virus against 1.779 million on Wednesday, out of a population of around 60 million.
(Reporting by Gavin Jones, editing by Crispian Balmer)

5/14/2020 WTO chief Roberto Azevedo to depart a year early by Emma Farge and Philip Blenkinsop
FILE PHOTO: Director-General of World Trade Organization Roberto Azevedo attends a session at the 50th World
Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – World Trade Organization head Roberto Azevedo will step down a year earlier than planned in August, he said on Thursday, in a surprise move as the trade body struggles to rein in global tensions and coordinate responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The 62-year-old Brazilian has been director-general since 2013 and is serving a second term that was due to conclude at the end of August 2021.
    Azevedo said that he had taken a “personal decision” after talking with his family and that his move was not due to health reasons or because of specific political ambitions.
    According to the text of an address to the WTO’s members, Azevedo said he thought it was also in the best interests of the organisation.
    “As members start to shape the WTO’s agenda for the new post-COVID realities, they should do so with a new director-general,” he told a virtual meeting of national members on Thursday afternoon.
    His departure comes at a testing period for the 25-year-old body, which has seen its role in settling disputes undermined after its Appellate Body was paralysed in December by Washington’s decision to block the appointment of judges.
    Asked about Azevedo’s departure, U.S. President Donald Trump said he was “OK with it,” telling reporters the WTO was “horrible
    “We’ve been treated very badly,” he said.    “They treat China as a developing nation.    Therefore China gets a lot of the benefits that the U.S. doesn’t get.”

NEW NORMAL” AFTER COVID-19
    Since the COVID-19 crisis hit, Azevedo has called for governments to refrain from imposing export restrictions on food and medical supplies.
    The WTO club of 164 members, which is designed to set global trading rules, has also not produced any major international accord since abandoning its “Doha Round” of negotiations in 2015.
    Its members are negotiating an agreement to cut subsidies for fishing to allow a revival of depleted fish stocks, while a smaller group are discussing a possible deal on e-commerce.    However, key differences remain and they are far from the consensus required to agree both deals.
    Some members, notably the United States, Japan and the European Union, are pushing for more fundamental reforms.    They say global trading rules need to reflect new realities – notably a far stronger China – and address problems such as state-led subsidies and forced technology transfers.
    Such issues might have been addressed at the WTO’s biennial meeting due to have taken place in Kazakhstan in June.    That has now been pushed back to mid- or late-2021.    Azevedo said his departure would allow a successor to be in place before then.
    Azevedo said the WTO could not stand still while the world around it changed, nor ignore the “new normal” that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic.
    U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Azevedo would be difficult to replace and that Washington looked forward to participating in the process of selecting a successor.
    EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan said it was a good time to find a new chief but this needed to be done this year not next as the WTO was encountering major challenges and louder voices demanding reform.
    Simon Evenett, professor of international trade and economic development at Switzerland’s University of St. Gallen, said the next director-general would need to put the WTO back together again.
    “The next leader of the WTO must command respect in the corridors of power of the major players.    This is not the time to promote another ambassador.    Someone with very senior government experience or global status is needed,” Evenett said.
    Azevedo was a career diplomat, while his predecessors have mostly had political backgrounds.
(Reporting by Emma Farge and Philip Blenkinsop; additional reporting by Jeff Mason in Washington; Editing by Peter Graff, Hugh Lawson and Lisa Shumaker)
[DON'T FORGET THE WTO IS WHAT I HAVE CALLED THE BEAST THAT CAME OUT OF THE SEA.].

5/14/2020 President Trump: U.S. rebuilding national stockpile by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump arrives to speak after a tour of Owens & Minor Inc., a medical supply company, Thursday, May 14, 2020, in Allentown, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump has praised American medical supply companies for helping rebuild the Strategic National Stockpile.    He toured a medical supply distribution center in Pennsylvania on Thursday, where he reaffirmed the country will be prepared for future outbreaks.
    He claimed the Obama administration left him with a depleted stockpile and emphasized he’s now working to bring critical manufacturing back to the U.S.
    “So much of the product now is made in the USA, whereas in the past it wasn’t. …That’s taken a long while for us to get it, I started that right from the beginning.    It’s probably one of the major reasons I’m here.    It’s called America first.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    The White House is now in the process of expanding the national stockpile.    The Trump administration is planning to produce millions of medical supplies by the fall.
President Donald Trump participates in a tour of Owens & Minor Inc., a medical supply company, Thursday, May 14, 2020, in Allentown, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Officials confirmed they’re seeking to have 300 million N-95 masks, 7 million surgical gowns and millions of critical care drugs to prepare for “possible flare-ups” as the nation begins to reopen.    The new plans aim to guarantee “supplies are cycled in and out of the stockpile,” ensuring that the equipment does not expire.
    President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday to invoke the Defense Production Act.    This will enable U.S. manufacturers to produce the supplies needed to fill the stockpile.

5/14/2020 Sen. Graham to open hearings on Russia probe, Gen. Flynn and Carter Page in June by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has announced the Senate Judiciary Committee will soon begin holding hearings regarding General Michael Flynn, former Foreign Policy Adviser Carter Page and the Obama administration’s involvement in the Russia probe.
    On Thursday, he confirmed the hearings will begin June 1st.    He also expressed his great concern over the potential precedent that could be established by calling a former president to testify.
    “No president’s above the law, but we do have separations of powers.    I think it’d be a bad precedent to compel a former president to come before the Congress.    That would open up a can of worms and, for a variety of reasons, I don’t think that’s a good idea.    But we will do a lot of oversight.”– Lindsey Graham, U.S. Senator
    Earlier this week, Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell sent Congress a list of Obama administration officials who “unmasked” General Flynn, which later turned into the FBI ambushing him.
    Sen. Graham has questioned whether there was enough evidence to initiate the Mueller investigation in the first place.    In the meantime, he has opened the door for former President Obama or President Trump to come testify as part of the committee’s investigation.
    This came after the president encouraged Sen. Graham to call Obama to testify.

[SEVERAL LIBERAL STATES: LOS ANGELOS, VIRGINIA, MICHIGAN, NEW YORK ARE REFUSING TO OPEN TO LET PEOPLE RETURN TO WORKING AND A MORE NORMAL LIFE BECAUSE THEY WANT THEM TO LIVE OFF FEDERAL MONEY UNTIL THERE IS A CURE AND ARE USING IT TO ATTACK TRUMP AND HIS ADMINISTRATION.].
5/14/2020 Va. mayor calls for exemption from state’s reopening plan by OAN Newsroom
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney speaks at the city hall in Richmond, Va., Thursday, May 14, 2020. (Daniel Sangjib Min/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
    Local leaders in Virginia have called for more testing as the state begins to reopen.    Richmond’s mayor has asked the governor to provide more testing for the city or exempt it from the first phase of reopening.
    The city requested data from the state on the number of tests completed, but has yet to receive it.    The mayor has said he wants proof that coronavirus cases are dropping in his city.
    While he’s called for an exemption, he noted he is not against reopening Richmond.
    “I’m stating in the city of Richmond, we will take a slow approach to reopening.    That is the approach I think is prudent because of public health.    Obviously, you always will have to weigh the economic recovery alongside public health, but I truly believe that the life is more valuable than the dollar.” – Levar Stoney, Mayor of Richmond
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, right, speaks as interpreter Elizabeth Leitch signs during updates on the coronavirus at his news
briefing inside the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, May 13, 2020. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
    Following this request, Governor Ralph Northam announced an exemption for the city.
    “As I have said previously, Virginia’s phase one guidelines represent a floor, not a ceiling,” stated Northam.    “I have encouraged local leaders to request exemptions when appropriate, and I am pleased to grant the delays for both Accomack County and the City of Richmond.”

5/14/2020 Calif. Gov. Newsom proposes billions in budget cuts by OAN Newsroom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses his revised 2020-2021 state budget during a news
conference in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, May 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool)
    California Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed cutting more than $6 billion from a variety of programs as the state’s revenues continue to plummet.    During Thursday’s press briefing, the governor laid out his proposal to tackle a projected $54 billion deficit in the Golden State’s budget.
    The proposals included canceling billions in spending increases, a 10 percent pay cut for all state workers and utilizing the “rainy day fund.”
    “So we are committing in the documents we’re putting out here today to use all of the $16.2 billion in the rainy day reserve, but do it over a three year period.    No matter what we do this year, it won’t be enough to address the shortfall next year.    We have to be mindful of our responsibility to balance the budget every year.” – Gavin Newsom, Governor of California
    The governor confirmed he will eliminate a controversial plan to provide health care coverage to immigrants living in the country illegally.
This photo shows copies of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised 2020-2021 state budget at a news
conference in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, May 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool)
    Newsom has also ramped up efforts to tackle the state’s upcoming wildfire season, despite the high cost of containing COVID-19.    Earlier in the week, he promised to increase funding for first responders by $170 million.
    According to the governor, the money will help sustain recent changes to protocol for fighting fires and handling evacuations.    So far, the state has experienced 60 percent more fires than last year.
    “We’re focused on coronavirus mitigation, trying to do our best to suppress the spread,” said Newsom.    “At the same time, we’ve got to mitigate and suppress these fires as we move into wildfire season.”

5/14/2020 Experts raising concerns over ‘caution fatigue’ by OAN Newsroom
A protester carries a sign during a rally against Michigan’s coronavirus stay-at-home order
at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, May 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
    Experts are raising the alarm over “caution fatigue,” the loss of motivation to maintain safety guidelines related to COVID-19, as stay-at-home orders drag on.    As many parts of the U.S. remain on lockdown, psychologists have said some people are starting to feel burnt out.
    “You could consider caution fatigue to be similar to, like, a battery.    Initially, you may have been energized and positively focused on the gains of following pandemic safety behavior.    But as the virus has continued and the safety measures are prolonged, we’re starting to focus on the negative, feel physically and mentally depleted.” – Dr. Jacqueline Gollan, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
    According to officials, a constant state of being on high alert over your safety can take a toll on your body, both physically and mentally.
    Residents across the U.S. have voiced their concerns over what they’re calling restrictive lockdown measures.    It’s no surprise many of them are among the millions who are unemployed and going hungry.
    Some continue to follow guidelines, but others aren’t seeing an end in sight.
FILE – In this March 17, 2020 file photo, Ashley Layton, an LPN at St. Luke’s Meridian Medical Center, communicates with a person before taking swab
sample at a special outdoor drive-thru screening station for COVID-19 in Meridian, Idaho. (Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman via AP, file)
    “I have moments, quite honestly, where it’s like, okay, enough already. But then you just go about your business, because this is what’s going on now.    I’m noticing myself getting edgier sometimes, and friends getting edgier.” – Barbara Hill, Chicago resident
    With stay-at-home orders being extended in some parts of the country, experts have reassured there is a way to try and shake off the mental fatigue.    They have advised making decisions that maximize your rewards, while also minimizing putting yourself at risk.
    “You basically want to try to figure out the trade offs of what are you winning versus what you’re losing,” reiterated Dr. Gollan.
    Maintaining a good diet and exercise can put your mind at ease and keep your body feeling healthy.    Emotional fitness also plays a significant factor.    According to experts, expressing gratitude and feeling thankful, either for yourself or others, can cultivate a healthy perspective as well.
    Amid reports of increased substance abuse, doctors have stressed the need to reach out if you’re feeling depressed.

5/14/2020 U.N. gathering of world leaders unlikely to be ‘business as usual’ by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: A worker erects a sign informing people that the United Nations Headquarters will be temporarily closed for tours due
to the spread of coronavirus in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations is looking at different ways to hold its 75th annual gathering of world leaders – traditionally held in New York City – because “we’re not going to have business as usual in September,” a U.N. spokesman said on Thursday.
    New York City is an epicenter for the global coronavirus pandemic.    The new coronavirus causes the respiratory illness COVID-19 and has killed hundreds of thousands of people globally.
    "It’s hard to imagine that the traditional General Assembly with thousands and thousands of people descending on New York and on the U.N. compound can be held this September as if nothing happened,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
    Dujarric was responding to questions about an interview given by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Paris Match.    Guterres said it was “unlikely” the United Nations could bring together in New York thousands of people from around the world.
    “We are studying different alternatives that digital technology offers to enable us to hold this General Assembly which would correspond to the 75th anniversary of the U.N.,” Guterres said.    “It will be up to the member states to decide.”
    The 193-member United Nations General Assembly and the 15-member Security Council have been operating virtually for two months and that is likely to continue until at least the end of June.
    World leaders normally travel to New York to address the General Assembly.    Hundreds of other events are also held during the week-long gathering, but diplomats say those side events are likely to be cancelled this year.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols at United Nations; Additional reporting by John Irish in Paris; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

5/15/2020 Oil up $2.17 to $27.46, DOW up 377 to 23,625.

5/15/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

5/15/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 913 to 173,152: RKI
Members of travel agencies and the tourism industry demonstrate with a bus parade demanding financial help from the
government, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Berlin, Germany, May 13, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
    (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 913 to 173,152, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday.
    The reported death toll rose by 101 to 7,824, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Tom Hogue)

5/15/2020 President Trump unveils new vaccine effort ‘Operation Warp Speed’ by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the
White House, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump recently delivered remarks on ‘Operation Warp Speed,’ the new White House initiative to speed up work on a viable COVID-19 vaccine.    On Friday, the president announced “tremendous strides are being made” in development of vaccines and medications against the disease.
    The president also praised General Gustave Perna of the U.S. Army Materiel Command and pharmaceutical executive Moncef Slaoui, who have been tapped to run the initiative.
    “I am really confident that our team across the many government agencies that are involved in this effort,…with the support of the army and our partners in the private sector, we’ll be able and do the utmost to deliver these objectives,” stated Slaoui.
    As a result of the initiative, they are hoping to see a viable vaccine by the end of the year.
    “I also feel very confident the team will be able to provide the results as directed,” said General Perna.    “It is going to be a herculean task, but the combination between Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense, their combined strengths,…will ensure our success.”
Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks about the coronavirus in the
Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar also touted the president’s initiative.    In a video released by the White House on Friday, he described the operation as a historic push to bring coronavirus vaccines to the American people in record time.
    According to Azar, President Trump first launched the effort after saying pharmaceutical companies’ timelines for producing a vaccine were unacceptable.
    He added government entities like Health and Human Services, alongside the Defense Department, have been working day and night since January to find a vaccine.
    “He’s launching Operation Warp Speed, which is going to compress and wring out every inefficiency in the process,” explained Azar.    “(It will) take away every unused day and also scale up manufacturing, so that as we get vaccines that work, we’ll be able to distribute them right away.”
    He noted President Trump is setting ambitious goals and has the right team in place to make it all happen.

5/15/2020 Ivanka Trump tours Coastal Sunbelt Produce by OAN Newsroom
Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump, smiles while speaking after touring
Coastal Sunbelt Produce, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Laurel, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    White House Senior Adviser Ivanka Trump delivered remarks at a Maryland produce distributor on Friday.    She visited Coastal Sunbelt Produce to highlight the work being done as part of the ‘Farmers to Families’ project.
    The program aims to help suppliers who have been affected by the coronavirus distribute food boxes to non-profits, community and faith based organizations, and food banks.
    The first daughter praised Americans, saying through continued dedication and innovation from farmers, small businesses, and their workers, we will find a pathway for success.
    “It’s within our American DNA to come together in the most difficult times and to find the path forward,” stated Ivanka.    “As we witness the first ‘Farmers to Family’ food boxes going out today, we recognize each of you to represent an important piece of the fabric, which means America.”
From left, Coastal Sunbelt Produce CEO John Corso, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Ivanka Trump,
the daughter of President Donald Trump, tour Coastal Sunbelt Produce, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Laurel, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    The Department of Agriculture launched a $19 billion aid program last month in an effort to help farmers and ranchers during the pandemic.

5/15/2020 House to vote on $3T HEROES Act by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., walks out to speak about the so-called Heroes Act,
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)
    The HEROES Act is set for a House vote on Friday.    Lawmakers in the lower chamber are currently debating the legislation.
    The $3 trillion bill has received heat for being too partisan, as it largely reflects Democrat priorities and was not a product of bipartisan negotiations.    The bill includes $1 trillion in aid for state and local governments, as well as a rule change that would allow lawmakers to vote remotely.
    Republicans in both the House and Senate have voiced opposition to the legislation.    They claimed the rule change would upend institutional tradition.
    “We could be focusing on our efforts on legislation to combat the pandemic, to get people back to work and to restore the economy,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.).    “Instead, we’ve been handed an 1,800-page and over $3 trillion in Democratic priorities they would be pursuing regardless of the pandemic.”
    Although Democrats have predicted the bill will pass in the House, many Republicans in the Senate have pronounced it “dead on arrival.”
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway speaks with reporters at the White House, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway has weighed in on the House’s new virus relief package.    On Friday, she stated the stimulus bill is mainly geared toward Democrats’ pet projects.
    According to Conway, a critical issue with the proposal is that it fails to hold China accountable for their role in the spread of the virus.
    She has placed blame for the bill’s shortcomings squarely on Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
    “When I think of Nancy Pelosi, I think of her ridiculous package, ‘HEROES.’    It really should be called ‘zeroes.’    She has the word China one time in 1,800 pages.    She talks more about cannabis than jobs, manufacturing or trade.” – Kellyanne Conway, White House Counselor
    The House speaker has called the $3 trillion bill a “starting offer” and emphasized Democrats are willing to negotiate.

5/15/2020 White House Press Secy. McEnany: Democrat-backed $3T relief bill ‘unacceptable’ by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The Trump administration is rejecting the $3 trillion ideological “wishlist” in the Democrat-proposed coronavirus relief package.
    On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the Treasury Department has already injected more than $2 trillion to support the U.S. economy.    She then stressed that President Trump is now working to lift Democrat-imposed lockdowns and restore economic activity across the U.S.
    “As for plans for phase four, the president said he’s taking his time and being thoughtful about this…these are American taxpayer dollars,” said McEnany.    “We’ve pumped trillions in already, so he’s taking his time to think about the most thoughtful way to go about a phase four.”
    The Democrat-proposed bill demands billions of dollars to help the marijuana business, refinance state and local budgets as well as pay bonuses to medical personnel.
    “He’s open to it, he’s mentioned the payroll tax as a good example of something that you’d like to see in there,” McEnany continued.    “Not a condition, but certainly something you’d like to see.”
    Republican Party officials have said the bill is “dead on arrival” in the Senate.

5/15/2020 Schools pull plug on remote learning, end early by OAN Newsroom
A diploma is handed off to a parent as the seniors of Chattahoochee County High School graduate with only 10 people
at a time on Friday, May 15, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic in Cusseta, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
    Some schools nationwide have cut their academic year short due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.    Multiple schools recently announced they’re pulling the plug early on distance learning and moving up their last day.
    This included classrooms in Georgia, Nebraska, New Hampshire and D.C.
    Some teachers have said they’ve been growing weary of distance learning.    Students agreed, arguing online classes make it very difficult to stay focused and lack the discipline of a traditional classroom setting.
    “Having your senior year get canceled, especially when you’ve worked so hard for 12 years to finally get to the most exciting four months of your life, is really sad,” said one high school student.    “But I was excited to know that we’re a historical class.”
    School administrators have been searching for alternative ways to celebrate graduating seniors.    Many have created personalized yard signs, held virtual graduation ceremonies and even hosted mini gatherings with a small number of guests.
Graduating senior Yasmine Protho, 18, wears a photo of herself and Class of 2020 on her protective mask amid
the coronavirus pandemic as she graduates with only 9 other classmates at a time with limited family attending
at Chattahoochee County High School on Friday, May 15, 2020, in Cusseta, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

5/15/2020 NIH: Large scale COVID-19 vaccine testing to begin in July by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 7, 2020 file photo, National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins speaks during a Senate Health
Education Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on new coronavirus tests on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool, file)
    National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins is gearing up for a master experiment to find a coronavirus vaccine.
    “This has brought together all of the players to try to speed up the process of getting that vaccine tested, figuring out whether it’s safe and effective, then getting it to the public,” stated Collins.    “Everybody recognizes that’s got to be the highest priority right now.”
    Two of the most promising vaccines are set to begin large scale testing in the coming months.
    “I think we will see, as soon as July, the large scale trials beginning to get underway for at least one, maybe two, of the vaccines that are furthest along,” he added.
    The NIH has launched a large partnership called “Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines” (ACTIV) to speed up the process. The group includes government agencies, non-profits and some of the largest drug makers in the world.
FILE – In this March 16, 2020 file photo, a patient receives a shot in the first-stage safety study
clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, at the Kaiser
Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
    “It’s a horse race: If you want to learn from every horse, you hope a lot of the horses win, but you don’t want this to be happening in a vacuum,” explained Collins.    “That’s what ACTIV is able to do, is to provide that kind of framework, what we call a harmonized master protocol.”
    Roughly a dozen possible vaccines are in the early testing stages or set to begin throughout the world.    According to Collins, proving they work will require tests in places where the virus is still spreading.    He noted the NIH can open test sites in the U.S. or other countries.
    “All of that can only happen with the hardest work, the best science, the best thinking about preparation,” stated the NIH director.    “That’s why we’re doing all this manufacturing work ahead of time, because otherwise you’d never be able to make that many doses at the last minute.”
    The doctor emphasized having a COVID-19 vaccine by January, or for emergency use in the fall, is “a stretch goal” and said all hands will need to be on deck.

5/15/2020 Mich. Gov. Whitmer accuses GOP of inciting lockdown protests by OAN Newsroom
In a pool photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the
state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., Monday, May 11, 2020. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool)
    Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer stood firm as protests continued over lockdown restrictions this month.    On Friday, Whitmer accused the Republican led state legislature of inciting the demonstrations.
    Oral arguments also began this week for the lawsuit challenging the extension of those stay-at-home orders.    The state capitol was closed on Thursday as the state’s House and Senate were out of session.
    According to the governor, members simply did not want to be around for the protests.    She also claimed protesters are showing up because of politics, not because they are unhappy with lockdown orders.
    “When people are showing up with guns, things like confederate flags, it tells you this really isn’t about the lockdown or the perception of the stay-at-home order.    It’s really an organized political statement.    It’s unfortunate, because we’ve got to take politics out of this conversation, this is about public health.” – Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan

A protester wears a gas mask and carries an American flag during a rally in response to Michigan’s coronavirus
stay-at-home order at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, May 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
    The governor and her legal team have argued state Republicans are trying to “build a constitutional crisis atop a public health crisis.”
    Michigan’s stay-at-home orders are set to expire May 28th.

5/15/2020 N.Y. begins phase one of reopening plan by OAN Newsroom
In this photo provided by the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Gov. Cuomo briefs the media during a coronavirus news
conference at Marist College, Friday, May 8, 2020, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP)
    New York entered phase one of its reopening plan on Friday.    The manufacturing, construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industries will all be back up and running soon.
    This came after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an executive order Thursday, which extended the state’s stay-at-home order until at least June 13th.    However, five regions will be exempt from some restrictions because they meet certain criteria, including a lower number of virus related hospitalizations and deaths.
    According to the governor, those areas also have sufficient means of testing and personal protective equipment.
    “Right now, by the criteria that we have, which is basically from the federal CDC, we have certain regions that are poised to reopen tomorrow (and) other regions where the numbers do not suggest they’re in a position to reopen.    This is all based on the metrics and the numbers.    How many hospitalizations do you have?    Are the cases going up?    Are they going down?    Do you have your testing in place?    Do you have your tracing in place?    Obviously we have different rates of infection across the state, hence the variance in opening times.” – Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York
In this Aug. 2018 file photo, a woman walks a small dog near a sign at Finger Lakes
Welcome Center on the banks of Lake Geneva in Geneva, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
    Of the seven total requirements needed to enter phase one, New York City still needs to meet at least three benchmarks.    The city has largely been the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. with more than 348,000 cases reported.

5/15/2020 Polls explore different issues surrounding COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
A pedestrians wears a protective mask during the coronavirus pandemic Friday, May 15, 2020, New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
    Multiple polls have looked into how Americans are feeling during these uncertain times.
    According to a new Gallup poll, the number of people who practice strict social distancing has gone down.    The results showed 58 percent of those questioned were still completely or mostly self-isolating, down from 75 percent during the peak of social distancing
    Researchers notably found that the decline is not only happening in states that are loosening restrictions, but also in those still under lockdown orders.
    “If people want to quarantine, quarantine,” stated one Wisconsin resident.    “If you don’t want to quarantine, don’t quarantine, go out (and) do what you normally do.”
    The percentage of people who reported they have recently visited a public place, such as work or the grocery store, has also gone up.    However, the number of those going to restaurants has stayed the same.
Bicyclists ride on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, N.J. on May 15, 2020, the on
the first day it opened during the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
    This comes despite concerns still circling about the availability of COVID tests in the United States.    The latest ABC News/Ipsos poll found that while the number of those who are worried they may have caught the virus has declined since April, a strong majority of Americans believe there is a lack of testing.
    Nearly three quarters of those surveyed reported anxiety over insufficient testing, with 90 percent identifying as Democrats.
    A Washington Post/Ipsos poll revealed a majority of those going to work fear contracting COVID-19.    Nearly six out of 10 Americans are reportedly worried they may be exposed to the virus at work and bring it back to their home.
    Interviews with those surveyed suggested fears are focused around mass transportation, as well as interacting with coworkers and clients.     The survey was the first nationally representative poll to highlight how employers are protecting employees.    It reported eight out of 10 Americans have said safety precautions are being taken where they work.
    “We want to do something, everybody wants to work, but we want to take every precaution also,” said one businesses owner.    “It’s a little scary, but we’re ready.”

5/15/2020 Texas AG asks state’s Supreme Court to turn down vote-by-mail applications related to COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
File – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) is pictured. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) filed a petition for multiple counties to be more strict when accepting absentee voter applications.    He asked the state’s Supreme Court this week to turn down applications citing coronavirus fears as a way to receive a mail-in ballot.
    Paxton argues that this is a misuse of the state’s disability requirements for absentee ballots.    However, proponents of vote-by-mail said their approach follows guidelines previously set down by the court in a previous lawsuit.    They are accusing Paxton of trying to disrupt the election process.
    “I think that it’s very reasonable to believe that you have no immunity to the COVID virus,” said Douglas Ray, special assistant attorney for the Harris County Attorney’s Office.    “Under these circumstances, you could conclude that it would potentially injure your health to vote in person.”
    The state is currently appealing the lower court’s decision to lift the restrictions on absentee voting.    Attorney General Paxton’s request is part of the growing fight surrounding mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

5/15/2020 House approves $3T HEROES Act relief package by OAN Newsroom
Photo via CSPAN Twitter.
    On Friday, the House approved the $3 trillion coronavirus relief package.    The Democrat led chamber made the decision to approve the HEROES Act in a 208 to 199 vote, which ran largely along party lines.
    This came after weeks of back-and-forth between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.    The measure has received particular backlash from GOP leaders, who claimed it’s largely a “liberal wish list.”
    The package includes $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments.    Senate Republicans have called the bill “dead on arrival” and are expected to vote against the legislation.
    Meanwhile, the House also approved a resolution to temporarily allow for proxy voting and remote committee sessions amid the ongoing pandemic.    The chamber voted 217 to 189 to approve the historic changes to the upper chamber.
    The vote was mostly along party lines, but three Democrats did vote against the proposal.    Its passage came despite widespread objection by Republicans, who have called it an “unconstitutional power grab.”
    The plan will allow absent members to cast votes by proxy on the House floor.    Additionally, it will let members and witnesses to join from home for 45 days.
    The provisions could be renewed for the remainder of the congressional term, which ends in January.

5/16/2020 Oil up $1.83 to $29.54, DOW up 60 to 23.685.

5/16/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

5/16/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 620 to 173,772: RKI
FILE PHOTO: Medical worker Ulrich Bohr, in a protective suit, conducts a mobile testing for the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Berlin, Germany, May 14, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 620 to 173,772, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday.
    The reported death toll rose by 57 to 7,881, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Sam Holmes)

5/16/2020 DO YOU AS AN AMERICAN KNOW WHO SUSAN RICE IS ALL ABOUT by Jim A. Cornwell
    So as seen above with Susan Rice in Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (Bloomberg BNA) in 2020 the Democrats are seeing the consequence of who they have running for president who may not be up to par to promote their extreme radical leftist socialist policies they are running on are losing support by Americans andt the Press and fake news mainstream television stations are still going strong even though they are losing ratings and the DEEP STATE or Globalists are starting to be concerned.
    The Globalist had tried to push multibillionaire Michael Bloomberg, who is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has his Bloomberg Philantropies under the President Circle of the CFR to run for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America, to stop his reckless and unethical actions, and claims he represents an existential threat to our country and our values, that we may never recover from the damage, and fix what is broken in our great nation.    So they were desperate and now he is only there to pay for campaign adds against Donald Trump as a last desperate chance.
    But as you can see that former president Obama and attorney general Eric Holder came out of the woodwork to put their effort to fix things, but as you can see now in more desperate they will probably push Susan Rice (a woman, black, and to me on the shady side of the previous administrations corruption) to become Vice President running with Joe Biden to insure they have someone in the top to keep things in their favor, which is the very thing that Trump has battled for the last 3 ½ years.
    Rice served as the 24th U.S. National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama from 2013 to 2017 and as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013.    The U.S. Senate confirmed her as Ambassador by unanimous consent on January 22, 2009.    A former Brookings Institution fellow which is the Globalist, she served on the staff of the National Security Council and was the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during President Bill Clinton's second term.
    Mentioned as a possible replacement for retiring U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012, Rice withdrew from consideration following controversy related to the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, saying that if she were nominated, "the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive, and costly."    I think she took the fall since Hillary was the real culprit as well as Obama's policies which resulted in the death of Americans in the embassy and if you did not know that incident was the beginning of what we know as ISIS, whose attack was in responce of Obama declaring a war and killed Ghaddafi for screwing up his economy by raising gas above $4 a gallon and oil at $104 a barrel.    Isn't that amusing that Trump missled an Iranian general who was a terrorist who killed thousands of our troops and the Democrats go beserk as a crime, but not a peep out of them for what Obama caused, and it is amusing that Trump was the one who came and pushed ISIS to their brink.
    Rice succeeded Tom Donilon as National Security Advisor on July 1, 2013.
    In April 2017, the report of Rice unmasking Trump officials followed the announcement of the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, by Republican Devin Nunes, "that he had seen reports indicating that Mr. Trump or his associates might have been 'incidentally' swept up in the monitoring of foreigners."    The Committee was investigating both Trump's ties to Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election and Trump's unfounded allegations that President Obama had Trump Tower under surveillance.    Lake's April 3 report of the unmasking specified "Rice's requests to unmask the names of Trump transition officials do not vindicate Trump's own tweets from March 4 in which he accused Obama of illegally tapping Trump Tower."    Nevertheless, Republicans called for an investigation into the unmasking while Democrats claimed the unmasking story was a diversion from the Russian influence investigation.
    After members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees were able to view the material on which Nunes based his assertions, a number of news organizations reported that both Democrats and Republicans familiar with the material said that there was "no evidence that Obama administration officials did anything unusual or illegal."    The report also called Rice's unmasking requests "normal and appropriate."    But no one is stepping up for leaking the masking to the Washington Post which is not "normal and appropriate.
[Why has it taken 3 1/2 years for this information to get out to the public?    Thats an easy answer because it was taking that long to get rid of some the Washington Swamp critters and DEEP STATE controllers who interferred for access, which did, clean out the FBI, DOJ, NSA, CIA not occur until we got a good Attorney Genral, U.S. Attorney and persons who have been awaken to discover the sirens that Nunes had blown in 2017 were true].
SO WHEN WILL WE KNOW WHICH ONE OF THESE LEAKED TO THE WASHING POST AND WHO IS HIDING THE MISSING FBI 302?

    And as you see below who was escorting Michael Flynn around during the leaking crime was in process.

5/15/2020 Tri-State area, Del. beaches to reopen for Memorial Day weekend by OAN Newsroom
In this Thursday, May 14, 2020, photo surfer Peter Lockwood walks along the beach in Santa Monica, Calif. (AP Photo/Brian Melley)
    Beaches and lakes are set to reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend in New York, Delaware, New Jersey and Connecticut.
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement on Friday.    He confirmed that beaches can have no more than 50 percent capacity and concessions will still be closed.
    He also noted group contact activities will not be allowed and social distancing efforts will be enforced.    According to the governor, the states coordinated together to avoid people flocking to already reopened beaches.
    “We are one multi-state region.    What one state does will affect other states.    (If) one state doesn’t open beaches (and) another state does, you will see people flood to that state.” – Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York
    Local governments will decide whether to open municipal beaches.    If they do, they will also be required to adhere to the states’ rules.
A ‘no swimming’ flag blows in the wind on the beach at Seaside Heights, N.J., on Friday, May 15, 2020,
the first day it opened during the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

5/16/2020 Pentagon confirms development of hypersonic weapons by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This March 27, 2008 file photo shows the Pentagon in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
    The Defense Department has confirmed that a new generation of high-speed weapons are in development.    Chief Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman made the announcement in a tweet Friday, saying “the Pentagon is working on developing a range of hypersonic missiles to counter adversaries.”
    This came after the president commented on the matter this week.
    “Right now, incredible military equipment at a level that nobody’s ever seen before.    We have no choice, we have to do it with the adversaries we have out there.    I call it the ‘super-duper missile.’    I heard the other night 17 times faster than what they have right now.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, Commander U.S. Space Command, left, and Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, right, hold the flag
as President Donald Trump gestures, during the presentation of the Space Force Flag in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday,
May 15, 2020, in Washington. Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett stands far left. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    The remarks were made during an unveiling ceremony for the U.S. Space Force’s new flag, which was presented to the president Friday at the White House.
    According to officials, the logo’s delta symbolizes the space community, the “north star signifies its core value,” and “the orbit around the globe signifies the space capabilities that fuel our American way of life and way of war.”
    President Trump confirmed the U.S. has worked hard on the creation of the Space Force and stressed that “space is going to be the future.”
    “This is a very special moment, because this is the presentation of the Space Force flag and we worked very hard on this,” he said.    “It’s so important, from a defensive standpoint to an offensive standpoint, every standpoint there is.”

5/16/2020 President Trump considers restoring funding to the World Health Organization by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 15, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he
departs the White House on Marine One in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    President Trump is looking to reinstitute partial funding to the World Health Organization.    According to a new draft letter from the White House, the administration intends to continue working with the WHO and will match what China is paying.
    The U.S. was previously the WHO’s largest donor.    It contributed around $400 million a year before the president cut the organization off for allegedly promoting China’s disinformation.    By agreeing to pay the same amount as China, the funding will be 10 percent of its original amount.
    However, President Trump has emphasized no final decision has been made regarding restoring the funding.    On Twitter, he reiterated that funds for the agency are still frozen.
    According to the president, the decision to pay as much as China “is just one of numerous concepts being considered.”

FILE-In this Jan. 30, 2020 Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), talks to the
media at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)
    Meanwhile, the president called out top social media platforms for alleged bias.    On Saturday, President Trump pointed out the “radical left is in total command and control of Facebook, Instagram Twitter and Google.”
    He noted his administration is “working to remedy this illegal situation.”
    His comments came in response to a video of syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, who gave a speech condemning the censorship of conservative voices.
    “Silicon Valley, at every level, is cracking down on dissident voices, citizen journalists, more than it ever has before.    The prevalence of these false narratives is being enabled, it’s being exacerbated by the people who control Silicon Valley.    All they have to do is say that our truth telling is misinformation.” – Michelle Malkin, syndicated journalist
    According to recent reports, social media outlets have been removing posts and videos deemed “misinformation” regarding the pandemic.

5/16/2020 ‘Make Trucking Great Again’: Truckers show support for President Trump by OAN Newsroom
Truck owner Nir Udi, left, and truck driver Yasmani Ferrera join other truck drivers and small truck owners during
a rally along Constitution Avenue Northwest near the White House Friday, May 1, 2020, in Washington,
to gather support on the plight of the trucks drivers and small truck owners. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    President Trump has voiced his support for local truckers, who have been protesting low shipping rates for independent drivers.    On Friday, the president acknowledged the sounds of horns blaring in the distance and took time to show his support for the industry.
    “You hear that outside, that beautiful sound? Those are truckers that are with us all the way.    They’re protesting in favor of President Trump, as opposed to against.    There’s hundreds of trucks out there and that’s the sign of love, not the sign of your typical protest.    I want to thank our great truckers.    They like me and I like them.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    This came after a convoy of trucks lined the streets of D.C. for the second “Make Trucking Great Again” demonstration this month.
    “We’re going to let President Trump know that we’re here, we’re not moving,” stated one attendee.    “We want our fair share, and we need laws to protect these drivers.”
    The disruption continued throughout the president’s conference on COVID-19 vaccine progress and the “Hard Work, Heroism and Hope Ceremony.”

President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he departs the White House on Marine One, Friday,
May 15, 2020, in Washington. Trump is en route to Camp David, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Earlier this month, the group of truckers parked along Constitution Avenue in hopes of attracting the president’s attention over their concerns about falling pay rates. The pandemic has had a major impact on the trucking industry, due to meat shortages, restaurant closures and several mass producers going bankrupt.
    “Man, it’s outrageous. We’re just small carriers that is trying to make it and ensure that we can make money just to survive.    Then you turn around and, you know, you got guys out here that are gouging the system.” – Demetris Price, truck driver
    President Trump has continuously praised truckers for their role amid the ongoing pandemic. Last month, the president touted them as front line workers for transporting emergency medical supplies and keeping stores stocked during multiple lockdowns.
    “We appreciate that at a time of widespread shutdowns, truck drivers form the lifeblood of our economy,” he said.    “For days and sometimes weeks, truck drivers leave their homes and deliver supplies that American families need and count on during this national crisis.”

5/16/2020 Mass. Senate race creates division among Democrats by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., asks questions to Richard Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, during
a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing Thursday, May 14, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)
    The race for one of Massachusetts’ Senate seats is heating up.    According to recent poll, the race for the state’s fourth district is neck and neck.
    The election is between longtime incumbent Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), who is the grandson of the late U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
    The race has prompted national headlines from critics, who have accused Kennedy of creating division within the Democrat Party.    However, Kennedy hasn’t backed down.    In fact, he’s ramped up online campaign efforts and commenced posting daily Facebook live videos since the coronavirus.
    “So for those of you who are out there fighting through this, doing everything you’ve got, our doctors, our nurses, our EMTs, firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and all those essential workers stocking the grocery stores, delivering packages, postal workers and everybody else: thank you,” stated Rep. Kennnedy.
    Moving forward, the two are expected to face off in a debate this June.

5/16/2020 Argentinian scientists develop faster and cheaper COVID-19 test by OAN Newsroom
A medical laboratory scientist inserts a patient’s swab sample into the coronavirus testing machine in the lab at
Stamford Hospital in Stamford, Conn. Thursday, May 14, 2020. (Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP)
    Argentina recently announced its recent development of a new testing method for the coronavirus, which produced faster results than ever before.    On Friday, government officials described their success with the new rapid test named “the NEOKIT-COVID-19.”
    Unlike the widely used PCR test, which can take up to seven hours to provide a result, the new testing method can deliver results in less than an hour.
    The new test has already been approved by Argentina’s National Administration of Drugs, Foods and Medical Devices, which is hoping to test citizens as quickly as possible.
    “This development was carried out in record time by our scientists, in cooperation with the ministry of health with whom we are working closely.    As we’ve been saying, it gives us a way to detect the virus’ genome by a similar method to that of the PCR, but even faster.    It doesn’t require thermal cyclers or complicated equipment, and it greatly simplifies the diagnostic technique for the virus.” – Roberto Salvarezza, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation
Health workers evacuate an elderly person from a nursing home after multiple residents of the facility tested positive
for the new coronavirus in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, May 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
    The government is expected to produce the first 10,000 tests over the next ten days, which will be used by the public health sector.
    Argentina is currently in lockdown and has reported more than 7,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus.    According to officials, the spread of the coronavirus is slowing down in the region.

5/16/2020 Business owners fear employees won’t return to work by OAN Newsroom
This photo shows a hiring sign outside a Walmart store, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, in Cockeysville, Md. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
    After weeks of closures, many businesses are ready to open their doors, serve their communities and take their employees off of unemployment.
    “If you look at the latest unemployment report on Friday, there are 18 billion people expecting to be reemployed over the next six months.    You can think of them as being temporarily unemployed and, God willing, that’s what going to happen. But that survey is very consistent with the employment report.” – Kevin Hassett, White House Economic Adviser
    However, employees have said they aren’t as eager to return to work and possibly put themselves at risk without appropriate compensation.
    Economists at the University of Chicago found that 68 percent of workers are receiving more money in unemployment benefits than they would while working.
    “As far as the employees go, they’re not going to make as much money because everything is going to be limited.    Now with the stimulus they have…everybody is getting an extra $600 a week.    You figure with even their base unemployment up to $200 to $300 a week, they’re almost making $1,000 a week.” – Komes Rozes, Rhode Island restaurant owner
In this Thursday, May 7, 2020 photo, Nelis Rodriguez poses at her home in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
    The CARES Act was designed to provide enough money for workers to be paid approximately what they were paid through their jobs, instead of just the portion of their salary already covered by state benefits.
    Sales continue to suffer and business owners have realized they won’t be able to pay their workers enough to compensate the risk to their health.
    “To be honest, you know, a lot of them don’t want to go back to work and I don’t blame them,” added Rozes.    “They’re not going to go back to work if they’re going to wait one, two tables at night, it doesn’t make sense.”
    This came after the House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act on Friday, which aims to add additional expansions to unemployment benefits.
[ANOTHER LAME-BRAIN BILL PASSED IN THE HOUSE BY PEOLSI KNOWING IT WILL DIE IN THE SENATE.].

5/16/2020 France says coronavirus death toll rises to 27,625
A sign reading informations about the safety restrictions due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) at the entrance of a beach on the Promenade des Anglais, after France reopened its beaches to the
public as it softens its strict lockdown rules, in Nice, France, May 16, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
    PARIS (Reuters) – French health authorities reported 96 new coronavirus deaths on Saturday, as the country eases from a two month lockdown.
    In a statement, the health ministry said the figure had fallen slightly from 104 fatalities on Friday.    This brings France’s total to 27,625, the fourth-highest tally in the world, after the United States, Britain, and Italy, and just ahead of Spain.
    The ministry said the number of people in hospital fell to 19,432 from 19,861 on Friday and the number of people in intensive care dropped to 2,132 from 2,203 on Friday.
    Both numbers – key indicators for the French health system’s ability to cope with the epidemic – have been on a downtrend for four to five weeks and peaked at over 32,000 and over 7,000 respectively in early to mid-April.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Edmund Blair and Alexandra Hudson)

5/16/2020 Europe sees two deaths, multiple cases of COVID-linked syndrome in children
FILE PHOTO - A face mask is seen on the ground in Sherington, following the outbreak of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Sherington, Britain, May 16, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers
    (Reuters) – A new life-threatening inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19 has affected 230 children in Europe and killed two so far this year, a regional health body said on Friday, as medics worldwide were told to be on alert.
    The Swedish-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in a risk report that two children had succumbed to the condition: one in Britain and one in France.
    The new coronavirus has so far taken its greatest toll on the elderly and those with chronic health conditions, but reports about the syndrome in children have raised fears it could pose a greater risk to the young than first through.
    At a briefing in Geneva, the World Health Organisation (WHO) urged clinicians to be alert to the rare syndrome, but cautioned that links to COVID-19 were still unclear.
    The condition, known as paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS), shares symptoms with toxic shock and Kawasaki disease including fever, rashes, swollen glands and, in severe cases, heart inflammation.
    “I call on all clinicians worldwide to work with your national authorities and WHO to be alert and better understand this syndrome in children,” said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
    On Friday, the WHO issued a preliminary definition of the syndrome, which it said had become more frequent during the current pandemic but has also appeared in children who did not test positive for COVID-19.
    The condition affected children and adolescents showing fever for more than three days, with elevated markers of inflammation.
    The children also showed at least two of the following symptoms: rash or signs of inflammation around the mouth, hands or feet; shock or low blood pressure; heart problems; evidence of bleeding disorder; and acute gastrointestinal problems.
    The case definition pertained to children who had contracted COVID-19 or had had likely contact with COVID-19 patients, and had no other obvious microbial cause of inflammation, it said.
    “We know so far very little about this inflammatory syndrome,” said WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove.
    In France, doctors said a nine-year old boy died a week ago in the southern town of Marseille after developing a syndrome akin to Kawasaki disease and being in contact with the coronavirus though not suffering its symptoms.
    He was hospitalised on May 2 after scarlet fever had been diagnosed.    Back home, he suffered from a severe heart ailment and was rushed back to Marseille’s Timone hospital’s intensive care unit, where he died.
    French researchers on Thursday reported Kawasaki disease-like symptoms in 17 children admitted to a Paris hospital between April 27 and May 7, while in an average two-week period they would have expected to see only one such case.
    The European Union (EU) health body ECDC added it had agreed to include the syndrome as a possible complication of COVID-19 to be reported for Europe-wide surveillance.
    Research efforts should aim at determining what role the coronavirus, if any, plays in causing PIMS, it said.
    The risk of PIMS in children was currently considered low, as was the risk of them contracting COVID-19, the agency said.
    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday issued guidance to doctors on how to recognise and report cases of the syndrome, following the reports of cases in Europe and more than 100 in the state of New York. [L1N2CW2EH]
    At its briefing, the WHO urged governments and companies to work together to develop a vaccine and treatments against COVID-19, and make distribution equitable.
    “Traditional market models will not deliver at the scale needed to cover the entire globe,” Tedros said.
    Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado called at the briefing for creating a pool of patents and licences on a voluntary basis to enable fair access.
    France said on Thursday the world’s nations would have equal access to any vaccine developed by pharmaceuticals giant Sanofi, a day after the company’s chief executive suggested Americans would likely be the first in line.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt, Michael Shields and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi in Zurich, Francesco Guarascio in Brussels, Marc Leras and Benoit Van Overstraeten in Paris; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Edmund Blair)

5/16/2020 Italy PM says taking calculated risk in rolling back lockdown
FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wears a face mask as he attends a session of the lower house of
parliament on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Rome, Italy April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo
    MILAN (Reuters) – Italian Prime MInister Giuseppe Conte said on Saturday Italy was taking a calculated risk in rolling back lockdown measures from next week as the daily death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic fell to its lowest since March 9.We’re facing a calculated risk, knowing that the epidemiological curve could rise again,” Conte said in press conference to detail measures taken by the Rome to restart most economic activities and lift restrictions on people’s movements.
    With shops allowed to open from Monday, Conte said movement between European Union countries would be allowed from June 3, without a quarantine period for those entering Italy.
    Gyms, swimming pools, sports centres will reopen on May 25, while theatres and cinemas will be allowed to reopen from June 15.
(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; editing by James Mackenzie)

5/16/2020 British police arrest 19 at London protest against social distancing
Police officers detain an anti-lockdown protester during a demonstration in Hyde Park, following the outbreak
of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 16, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley
    LONDON (Reuters) – London police arrested 19 people on Saturday for deliberately breaking social distancing guidelines in protest against the rules, on the first weekend since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a slight loosening of England’s lockdown.
    The Metropolitan Police said that a group in central London’s Hyde Park had been protesting about the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and had failed to comply with repeated requests to disperse.
    “It was disappointing that a relatively small group in Hyde Park came together to protest the regulations in clear breach of the guidance, putting themselves and others at risk of infection,” Laurence Taylor, Deputy Assistant Commissioner at the Metropolitan Police, said in a statement.
    “Officers once again, took a measured approach and tried to engage the group to disperse.    They clearly had no intention of doing so, and so it did result in 19 people being arrested, and a further ten being issued with a fixed penalty notice.”
    Last Sunday, Johnson outlined plans to ease the lockdown, and people in England are now allowed to meet with another person from a different household in a park. However social distancing must be maintained under the rules, and gatherings of large groups are not allowed.
    The protesters represented a minority of those the police encountered on Saturday, Taylor said.
    “It was pleasing to see that people were largely compliant with the government guidance.    Where they weren’t, and after we engaged with them, they quickly were,” he said.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; additional reporting by Peter Nicholls; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

5/16/2020 Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll dips to lowest since March 9
FILE PHOTO - Graves of people who recently died due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are seen at the
cemetery of Nembro, near Bergamo, Italy May 13, 2020. Picture taken May 13, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo
    MILAN (Reuters) – The daily toll from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy fell to 153 on Saturday, its lowest since March 9, against 242 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new cases increased to 875 from 789 on Friday.
    The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 31,763 the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.
    The number of confirmed cases amounts to 224,760, the fifth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Spain, Britain and Russia.
    People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 70,187 from 72,070 the day before.
    There were 775 people in intensive care on Saturday, down from 808 on Friday, maintaining a long-running decline.    Of those originally infected, 122,810 were declared recovered against 120,205 a day earlier.
    The agency said a total of 1.900 million people had been tested for the virus as of Saturday, against 1.859 million on Friday, out of a population of around 60 million.
(This story was refiled to make clear timing of data in last paragraph)
(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Gavin Jones and Frances Kerry)

5/16/2020 Spain plans last extension of emergency decree as COVID-19 deaths slow
Women stand on a balcony during a protest against the Spanish government's handling of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, in Madrid, Spain, May 15, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera
    (Reuters) – Spain’s government will seek to extend its coronavirus state of emergency for the last time until late June, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday as the country’s daily death toll reached a near eight-week low.
    “The path that we are taking is the only one possible,” Sanchez told a news conference, saying he would ask parliament for an extension of about a month until the end of June when most of the hard-hit nation should be returning to normality.
    Spain first introduced a state of emergency decree on March 14. Officials say that while the outbreak has been brought largely under control, restrictions must stay in place a bit longer as the lockdown is gradually phased out.
    The country’s COVID-19 death toll rose by 102 to 27,563 on Saturday, the lowest 24-hour increase since March 18.    Confirmed coronavirus cases climbed to 230,698 from 230,183, the health ministry said.
    After pushing four previous extensions through parliament, support for Sanchez’s left-wing coalition is waning among lawmakers and voters.
    Some small protests against the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and its economic fallout sprang up around Madrid this week, with demonstrators gathering to bang pots and pans and call for the government to resign.
    At the largest such demonstration, in the wealthy neighbourhood of Salamanca, several hundred people gathered, despite the efforts of police to enforce social-distancing.
    “It doesn’t matter what the demonstrations are about.    The important thing is to maintain social distancing,” Sanchez said.
(Reporting by Graham Keeley and Nathan Allen; Editing by Helen Popper)

5/16/2020 Portugal suspends foreign trash imports to cope with own increased waste
FILE PHOTO: Imported waste is seen piled at the port of Leixoes in Matosinhos Portugal,
January 8, 2020. Picture taken on January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante/File Photo
    LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal, which usually attracts huge mounds of rubbish from other European states because of its low waste management fees, has suspended imports of trash until the end of 2020 to protect domestic landfill capacity, the government said on Saturday.
    “This decision is intended to ensure we have sufficient national capacity in waste processing facilities,” the government said in a statement.
    The country has already blocked 246,000 tonnes of trash from entering since the start of the year, the statement said, and no new imports will be accepted.
    The country charges 11 euros to process a tonne of trash, considerably below the European average of 80 euros.
    The coronavirus pandemic has seen an increase in plastic waste in many countries – ranging from medical workers’ protective gear such as aprons and gloves to takeaway boxes, as people under lockdown order food to their homes.
    The government is due to revise its laws on landfills and waste management this summer, as its waste reduction and recycling targets become harder to attain due to the pandemic.
    Portugal has already limited its recycling efforts for the duration of the pandemic due to concerns over the health risk to workers coming into contact with contaminated plastic waste.
    Some 330,000 tonnes of foreign trash, including waste containing hazardous substances, arrived from other countries in 2018, the government’s environment agency APA said.
    110,000 tonnes ended up in the 11 landfills in the country authorised to receive trash from abroad.
    Portugal has so far reported 28,810 cases of the new coronavirus, and 1,203 deaths.
(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

5/16/2020 Germans stage protests against lockdown measures, social distancing rules
A man wearing a face mask holds a sign and a copy of the German constitution as people participate in a protest
by the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party against the government's restrictions following the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) outbreak, in Berlin, Germany, May 16, 2020. The sign reads: free of fear!" REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Thousands of Germans across the country took to the streets on Saturday to protest against restrictions imposed by the government to contain the coronavirus pandemic, police and organisers said.
    Germany’s death toll from the virus has been lower than most of its European neighbours and some lockdown measures have already been relaxed.
    However, protests against the measures Chancellor Angela Merkel insists are needed to slow down the coronavirus outbreak have become more vocal and demonstrators have filled the streets for the second weekend in a row.
    Derided on social media as “covidiots” who risk causing a second wave of infections that could lead to a tightening of restrictions, protesters staged demonstrations at several locations across the capital Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg.
    In Stuttgart, where some protesters last weekend had been flouting social distancing rules and not wearing face masks, police expected another rally of up to 5,000 people.
    In Munich, organisers asked authorities to give the green light for a rally of up to 10,000 people on the Thersienwiese, a large square in the city centre on which Munich normally stages its world famous Oktoberfest beer festival.
    But city officials pointed to the need to respect social distancing rules and allowed a demonstration of up to 1,000 people.
    The hard core of protesters is being led by several new groups.
    One group is Resistance 2020, led by a lawyer from eastern Leipzig and a doctor from south-western Germany who question official corona statistics and view the main political parties as constructs of an elitist rule.
    Another group called COMPACT describes itself as the “sharp sword against imperial propaganda.”    It declares on its website that it is helping the “information offensive” for the growing protest movement.
    “Why aren’t you telling us the truth, Mrs Merkel?    How we are losing our freedom, jobs and health?” says COMPACT.
    German media have suggested Russia could be behind a misinformation campaign that is spurring on protesters.
    After winning global respect for keeping the death rate low in Germany, Merkel last week bowed to pressure from some of Germany’s powerful regional premiers and agreed to a gradual re-opening of schools, shops and restaurants and even soccer.
    However, Merkel, a scientist, has repeatedly warned about a second wave of infections, and a brief uptick in the reproduction rate to above the critical threshold of 1 earlier this week caused fresh concern.
    The new coronavirus has so far infected more than 173,000 people in Germany and killed nearly 7,900.
    Most Germans approve Merkel’s crisis management, with polls showing support for her conservative CDU/CSU alliance surging to 40%.    A survey released on Thursday showed that 56% of the population back the current lockdown measures.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber and Madeline Chambers; Editing by Christina Fincher)

5/16/2020 Trump campaign touts record-breaking fundraising by OAN Newsroom
A crowd of people look on as the motorcade carrying President Donald Trump passes on the way to a tour of
Owens & Minor Inc., a medical supply company, Thursday, May 14, 2020, in Allentown, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Kimberly Guilfoyle has touted the Trump campaign’s record-setting fundraising.    In a recent article, Guilfoyle stated that the RNC, along with the Trump campaign, brought in more than $60 million in the month of April alone.
    She also pointed out that COVID-19 has not slowed the movement and added that, if anything, it’s actually helped rally the president’s base.
    This came after the party announced it’s officially 100 days out from the Republican National Convention, which is set to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina.
    “All eyes will be on our party as we showcase our conservative principles and highlight the historic results we’ve seen under President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence,” stated RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.    “Cutting taxes, deregulation, taking care of our military and veterans, taking on the opioid crisis, immigration and putting rule of law judges on the bench, like Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsich.”
    The RNC decided to move ahead with an in-person convention, despite public health concerns.    They are hoping it will be a lifeline for Charlotte’s businesses.

5/16/2020 U.K. anti-lockdown protests lead to arrests by OAN Newsroom
A protestor holds up a banner during a mass gathering protest organised by the group called ‘UK Freedom Movement’, in Hyde Park in
London as the country is in lockdown to help stop the spread of coronavirus, Saturday, May 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
    Anti-lockdown protests in London led to a police response after demonstrators refused to disperse.    Hundreds gathered Saturday in the city’s Hyde Park to voice their opposition to ongoing lockdown efforts in the U.K.
    Around 20 people were arrested for deliberately breaking social distancing guidelines, including the brother of Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
    The protest in London was one of several around the country, which has been under lockdown since March 23rd.
    “Look, that’s your human rights to feel that way, but please don’t tell me because you feel that way, I can’t come to Hyde Park on a sunny Saturday afternoon and listen to what people have got to say,” stated one protester.
A woman is arrested during a mass gathering protest organised by the group called ‘UK Freedom Movement’, in Hyde Park in London
as the country is in lockdown to help stop the spread of coronavirus, Saturday, May 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
    The came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson relaxed some restrictions this week, including the amount of time people can stay outside within social distancing guidelines.
    More than 34,000 deaths in the U.K. have been blamed on COVID-19.

5/16/2020 Press Secy. McEnany contrasts Trump admin., Obama admin. pandemic response playbooks by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks with reporters during a briefing in the James Brady
Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has fired back against critics of the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19.    On Friday, she addressed claims the Obama administration was better prepared for a pandemic than the president.
    In comparing plans inherited from the previous administration to those used by President Trump’s team, the press secretary highlighted the sparse nature of Obama’s playbook.
    “Some have erroneously suggested that the Trump administration threw out the pandemic response playbook left by the Obama-Biden administration,” explained McEnany.    “What the critics fail to note, however, is that this thin packet of paper was replaced by two detailed, robust pandemic response reports commissioned by the Trump administration.”
    She went on to say the president’s efforts to develop pandemic preparedness plans, which she claimed began before the existence of COVID-19, were known to the world.
    The press secretary contrasted Obama’s 69-page handbook, which she called a “thin packet of paper,” with the Trump administration’s own pandemic preparedness plans, which she claimed are significantly more robust.
President Donald Trump listens as White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks with reporters on the South Lawn
of the White House as he departs on Marine One, Thursday, May 14, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    McEnany also pointed to a large scale outbreak response simulation, which was carried out by the Trump administration in 2019.
    “From August 13th to the 16th, the Trump administration conducted the Crimson Contagion 2019 functional exercise,” she said.    “This was a pandemic stimulation to test the nation’s ability to respond to a large scale outbreak."
    According to the press secretary, the current administration was then able to identify errors inherent to the Obama playbook.    Despite these omissions, the previous administration’s playbook has been much touted by left-wing voices, who claimed it was a comprehensive plan that ought to have been followed in response to the emergence of COVID-19.
    “This exercise expounded upon, exposed rather, the shortcomings in legacy planning documents, which informed President Trump’s coronavirus response beginning as early as January,” stated McEnany.    “Those legacy planning document shortcomings were, in fact, the papers that I just handed over, that were provided to us by the Obama-Biden administration.”
    McEnany concluded by saying the president’s pre-pandemic planning far outpaced the efforts of the previous administration.
    “The Trump playbook in the whole of America response to this pandemic has far exceeded what this administration inherited,” she added.

5/17/2020 Obama criticizes virus response in graduation speech by Jill Colvin, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Former President Barack Obama on Saturday criticized U.S. leaders overseeing the nation’s response to the coronavirus, telling college graduates in an online commencement address that the pandemic shows many officials “aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”
    Obama spoke on “Show Me Your Walk, HBCU Edition,” a two-hour event for students graduating from historically black colleges and universities broadcast on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.    His remarks were unexpectedly political, given the venue, and touched on current events beyond the virus and its social and economic impacts.
    “More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing,” Obama said.    “A lot them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”
    Obama did not name President Donald Trump or any other federal or state officials in his comments.    But last Friday, he harshly criticized     Trump’s handling of the pandemic as an “absolute chaotic disaster” in a call with 3,000 members of his administrations obtained by Yahoo News.
    The commencement remarks were the latest sign that Obama intends to play an increasingly active role in the coming election.    He has generally kept a low profile in the years since he left office, even as Trump has disparaged him.
    As he congratulated the graduates Saturday and commiserated over the enormous challenges they face given the devastation and economic turmoil the virus has wrought, the former president noted the February shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, 25, who was killed on a residential street in Georgia.
    “Let’s be honest: A disease like this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communities have historically had to deal with in this country,” Obama said.    “We see it in the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our communities, just as we see it when a black man goes for a jog and some folks feel like they can stop and question and shoot him if he doesn’t submit to their questioning.”
    “Injustice like this isn’t new,” Obama went on to say.    “What is new is that so much of your generation has woken up to the fact that the status quo needs fixing, that the old ways of doing things don’t work.”
    “If the world’s going to get better, it’s going to be up to you,” he said.
[President Barack Obama “waited six months to call swine flu an emergency after thousands died.”]
[WELL THIS TELLS US THE DEMOCRAT PARTY IS GETTING DESPERATE AS THEY USE A FORMER PRESIDENT WHOSE CABINET IS GOING TO BE UNDER CRIMINAL CHARGES SOON AND I GUESS THEY CAN GET BACK IN CONTROL OF THE POTUS AND COVER IT ALL UP AGAIN, WAKE UP AMERICA.].

5/17/2020 Beshear: Kentucky is seeing a plateau - Encouraged by decline in new deaths.
    Gov. Andy Beshear announced another day of 200-plus new COVID-19 cases, but said he is encouraged by a general decline in the number of fatalities.
    In a taped video message recorded Saturday, the governor said there were 244 new cases and two additional deaths due to the coronavirus.
    “So today, cases (are) up, and we’ll watch that, even though there’s more testing,” Beshear said.
    Ninety-four of the new cases are from Jefferson County, Beshear said, which he partly attributed to clusters of cases at Maryhurst and the JBS meat processing plant in Butchertown.
    Kentucky’s case total is now 7,688.    There have been 334 deaths due to the disease.     Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer also provided a COVID-19 case update on Saturday, announcing 58 new cases, which brings the city’s total to 1,922.
[Trump banned China flights, but could not stop International flights from Europe since most were Americans and the liberal states with international airports accused Trump of being a racist, etc., and ignore his claim, where those airports are is where the most coronavirus deaths in those states were the worse, and even those flew in from those states to the Louisville airport and that is why Jefferson County has the majority of the deaths and still does today..].

5/17/2020 Spain’s daily coronavirus death toll below 100 for first time in two months
FILE PHOTO: Medical workers treat a patient suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the intensive care
unit (ICU) of the Infanta Sofia University hospital in Madrid, Spain, May 14, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s daily death toll from the coronavirus was 87 on Sunday, the health ministry said, dropping below 100 for the first time in two months.
    Total deaths from the virus climbed to 27,650, while the number of confirmed cases edged up to 231,350 from 230,698, the ministry said.
(Reporting by Graham Keeley; Editing by Nathan Allen)

5/17/2020 Spain plans last emergency decree extension as protests break out by Silvio Castellanos and Guillermo Martinez
A man wearing a protective face mask and a Spanish flag marches and bangs saucepan lids as he attends a protest against
the Spanish government's handling of the coronavirus crisis in Madrid, Spain May 16, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s government will seek to extend its coronavirus state of emergency one last time until late June, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday as anti-government protests broke out around the hard-hit country.
    “The path that we are taking is the only one possible,” Sanchez told a news conference, saying he would ask parliament for an extension of about a month until the end of June when most of the nation should be returning to normality.
    Spain first decreed a state of emergency on March 14. Officials say that while the outbreak has been brought largely under control, restrictions must stay in place a bit longer as the lockdown is gradually phased out.
    The country’s COVID-19 death toll rose by 102 to 27,563 on Saturday, the lowest 24-hour increase since March 18.    Confirmed coronavirus cases climbed to 230,698 from 230,183, the health ministry said.
    After pushing four previous extensions through parliament, support for Sanchez’s left-wing coalition is waning among lawmakers and voters.
VIVA ESPAÑA!
    Protests against the government’s handling of the crisis and its economic fallout sprang up around Spain on Saturday, with demonstrators gathering to bang pots and pans and call for the government to resign.
    At the largest such demonstration, in Madrid’s wealthy Salamanca neighbourhood, several hundred people congregated despite the efforts of police to enforce social-distancing.
    Waving Spanish flags and crying “viva España!” some denounced the leftist government as communists seeking to ruin the country.
    “I am against all the measures which this government has used to manage the coronavirus,” Jose Flores, a banker, told Reuters at the protest.
    In one video shared widely on social media, a huge banner depicting Sanchez’s face with the word “obey” emblazoned underneath was unfurled from a Madrid tower block.
    “They need to test everybody so healthy people can get back to work and we can restart the economy,” said another demonstrator in Salamanca who gave his name only as Carlos.
    “After coronavirus the worst virus is going to be the virus of Pedro and Pablo, who are going to ruin 47 million Spaniards,” he said, referring to Sanchez and his deputy, far-left politician Pablo Iglesias.
    Similar protests took place in Zaragoza and the southern city of Seville, until recently a Socialist Party stronghold.
    “It doesn’t matter what the demonstrations are about.    The important thing is to maintain social distancing,” Sanchez said.
(Additional reporting by Susana Vera; Writing by Graham Keeley and Nathan Allen; Editing by Helen Popper and Daniel Wallis)

5/17/2020 Mexico registers 47,144 cases of coronavirus and 5,045 deaths
FILE PHOTO: Paramedics transport a patient infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) toward an ambulance to take
him to El Paso, Texas, outside the Hospital General in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico May 13, 2020. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez/File Photo
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico registered 47,144 cases of coronavirus on Saturday, with the country’s death toll rising to 5,045, health authorities said.
    Mexico has seen a slightly higher death rate from coronavirus than the global average so far due to the widespread presence of pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity, experts say.
(Reporting by Julia Love; Editing by David Gregorio)

5/17/2020 White House adviser Navarro blames China for U.S. economic situation by OAN Newsroom
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro walks to do a television interview at the White House,
Friday, May 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    White House economic adviser Peter Navarro recently blasted China, who he is blaming for the economic situation in the U.S.    On Sunday, he stated misbehavior on their end is stacking up regarding the virus outbreak.
    According to the adviser, China hid behind the World Health Organization (WHO) for months, while Chinese nationals traveled around the world seeding the virus in other countries.
    “Let’s go over the facts here, correct me if I’m wrong.    The virus was spawned in Wuhan province, patient zero was in November.    The Chinese, behind the shield of WHO, for two months hid the virus from the world.    They could have kept it in Wuhan, instead it became a pandemic.” – Peter Navarro, White House economic adviser
    He added he finds it even more troubling that the FBI is looking into possible hacking from Chinese officials toward American virus research facilities.    He reiterated China created the pandemic and it appears they now want to create a vaccine to hold the world hostage.
Documents that U.S. health officials have released as part of some long-delayed specific guidance that schools, businesses, and other
organizations can use as states reopen from coronavirus shutdowns are photographed Thursday, May 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)
    Navarro has also suggested the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) let the country down early on in the pandemic.    According to the adviser, not only did the agency keep testing “within the bureaucracy,” but it supplied a bad test that set the country back.
    He noted whether the administration still has confidence in the CDC is a question to ask the president.
    Going forward with the CDC’s guidelines, Navarro added it’s important to realize reopening the U.S. is not a question of saving lives versus jobs.    He stressed there have been many lives indirectly put in danger due to lockdown orders.
    “Unemployment creates more suicides, depression and drug abuse.    We also know this in this crisis: as we lock down our hospitals for everything but COVID, women haven’t been getting mammograms or cervical examinations for cancer.    We haven’t been able to do other procedures for the heart or kidneys, and that’s going to kill people as well.” – Peter Navarro, White House economic adviser
    Navarro went on to say lockdown measures are not only taking a huge toll on the American economy, but also on American lives.    He has said that more people will likely be killed from local government orders than the virus.

5/17/2020 HHS Secy. Azar: America’s coronavirus response has been historic by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump listens as Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks with reporters on the
South Lawn of the White House as he departs on Marine One, Thursday, May 14, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has defended the number of coronavirus related deaths in America by saying we are ahead of the curve.    On Sunday, he suggested the results of the U.S. pandemic response could have been vastly worse.
    He noted America is ahead of the rest of the world’s reported mortality rates.
    According to the secretary, gauging the number of ICU beds and ventilators in use will be a good way to determine when it is safe to reopen.
    “While the burden has been tragic and terrible, it has remained within our health care system’s capacity.    As the president said, we haven’t had any individuals, to our knowledge, who had to die because they didn’t have a ventilator or they didn’t have an ICU bed.    That’s a really important measure of health care system resilience.” – Alex Azar, Health and Human Services Secretary
    He has also said there should not be a “one size fits all” approach to reopening the nation, but stressed the country must get back up and running soon.
    During a recent interview, Azar reiterated the president is leaving it up to states to best know their local situation.    He added the federal government is there to provide expertise and support.
    The secretary stated the U.S. is in a position to reopen thanks to President Trump’s response efforts, along with the the collaborative work of governors and heroic health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic.
    He stressed reopening is a “matter of public health.”
    “It’s not the health versus the economy, it’s actually health versus health.    There are serious health consequences to keeping us shut down, whether it’s the suicidality rates, cardiac procedures not being received, cancer screenings, pediatric vaccinations declining.    All of these are critical health needs that are part of reopening the economy.” – Alex Azar, Health and Human Services Secretary
    According to Azar, there have been no coronavirus deaths in “almost half” of the reporting counties in the nation.

5/17/2020 Sen. Sanders says ‘vast majority’ of supporters will vote for Biden by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 7, 2020, file photo Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden
acknowledges the crowd during a campaign rally in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
    Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) has said he thinks the vast majority of his supporters in the Democrat presidential primary will vote for presumptive nominee Joe Biden “at the end of the day.”    During a recent interview, he suggested the former vice president needs to let working class people, young people and minorities know that he understands their situations.
    The senator named college debt, health care and the minimum wage as issues he believes Biden needs to address.
    Sanders stated he expects Biden to devise an agenda that will cater to the groups he is emphasizing.
    “I think that Joe and his staff understand that,” he said.    “I think they are going to reach out to our supporters and come up an agenda that speaks to the needs of working families, young families, minority communities.”
    Recent polls showed 20 percent of Sanders’ supporters do not plan to vote for Biden.    About 60 percent reported they are not excited about backing the former vice president.
    Meanwhile, the presumptive Democrat presidential nominee is ramping up operations in battleground states.    According to campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon, they are preparing for a major staffing expansion.
    Top campaign officials predicted there will be more battleground states than in previous years.    O’Malley Dillon noted she expects new campaign workers to reach out to voters face-to-face to prepare as social distancing measures ease.
    This came after recent polls showed President Trump leading Biden in 15 battleground states by roughly 7 percent.
[Where is the proof that Sanders said that since Biden is still hiding in his bunker?].

5/17/2020 Calif. Gov. Newsom claims federal government has ‘obligation’ to give states more aid amid pandemic by OAN Newsroom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses his revised 2020-2021 state budget during a news conference
in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, May 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool)
    California Governor Gavin Newsom recently expressed the federal government has an obligation to provide aid to states impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.    On Sunday, he claimed federal funding should not be looked at as a charity.
    The House recently approved $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments as part of coronavirus relief legislation, but the Senate is not expected to pass the measure.
    According to the governor, giving more funding to states is a matter of directly helping Americans. Several governors have said they need the aid to help fund front line workers, such as medical staff and police.
    “It’s to protect peoples’ safety and well-being.    This is a moment where we need to meet the moment head on and acknowledge this is not a red issue or blue issue.    This has impacted every state in America.” – Gavin Newsom, Governor of California
    California is facing its first budget deficit in eight years, which Newsom has directly blamed on the pandemic.
[I THINK THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD PLAY HIM THE SONG ‘CALIFORNIA DREAM’IN’ BY THE 'MAMA & PAPAS'.]

5/17/2020 Explosion erupts in downtown Los Angeles by OAN Newsroom
In this screen grab from video provided by Sean Miura, flames from an explosion are
seen Saturday, May 16, 2020, in Los Angeles. (Sean Miura via AP)
    Multiple firefighters were injured following a massive explosion in Los Angeles.    The blaze erupted in the downtown area of Little Tokyo late Saturday night.
    At least 11 firefighters were injured, four critically.    All have been sent to the hospital, where they’re expected to survive.
    At least 230 firefighters responded to the scene before it was extinguished.    Witnesses explained they felt the explosion from nearby.
    “It was a big jolt when it exploded,” stated one witness.    “I thought it was, like, an earthquake, it was huge.”
    Locals even reported metal debris falling out after the incident.
    Authorities believe the fire started at a hash oil supplier facility, which has a significant amount of highly flammable butane.
Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters push ambulance cots at the scene of a structure fire that injured multiple firefighters,
according to a fire department spokesman, Saturday, May 16, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
[IT LOOKS LIKE THE WILDFIRES HAVE MOVED TO LOS ANGELES.]

5/17/2020 Ill. Sheriffs’ Assoc. pushes back against threats for disobeying stay-at-home orders by OAN Newsroom
Chicago Police officers watch protesters during a rally calling for the state to reopen the economy,
Saturday, May 16, 2020, outside the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
    The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association has issued a statement against Governor J. B. Pritzker.    On Friday, the association clapped back at the governor’s threats to withhold federal funding from local businesses that refuse to follow to his stay-at-home orders.
    “We’re not going to be threatened,” said association director Jim Kaitschuk.    “We have never had a dialogue with the governor’s office about the development and implementation of these executive orders.”
    They have called it outrageous that the governor would threaten retaliation.    They further claimed it is insulting to heroic police officers, corrections officers and local voters.
A protester holds a sign during a rally calling for the state to reopen the economy, Saturday,
May 16, 2020, outside the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
    The association also criticized Pritzker for threatening to use local law enforcement and state police against businesses who defy his stay-at-home orders.    This came after some Illinois counties attempted to reopen last week, prompting the governor’s threats.
    “Businesses and individual professionals that are licensed by state agencies will be held accountable for breaching public health orders,” stated Pritzker.    “Counties that try to reopen in defiance may not be reimbursed by FEMA for damages they cause because they ignored the law.”
    He has extended the state’s orders until May 29th.    In the meantime, the sheriff’s department said “they’ll continue to keep their counties safe.”
[ILLINOIS MAKES ME ‘ILL’ + ‘ANNOYED’]

5/17/2020 Several states making progress in combating COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
Certified Medical Assistant Shaniya Wood displays a certification card that homeless residents can use to show they are free
of the coronavirus to gain access to shelters and other services, Thursday, May 7, 2020 in Gallup, N.M. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
    States across the U.S. are making progress in the fight against COVID-19 as their ability to test residents increases.
    According to a recent study, more than 30 states have seen a decreasing rate of new cases and lower positive test results overall, which are two key criteria for states to reopen.
    Analysts have credited these positive numbers to states’ increasing ability to test residents.
    “As you all know, the health data we’re watching includes positive tests, hospitalization rates, ICU capacity and, of course, fatalities,” explained Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.    “Yesterday’s numbers are evidence that, despite some signs of trending in the right direction, we still have a lot of work to do.”
The number of COVID-19 patients recovered and discharged is tracked on a whiteboard on the fifth floor
of Bethesda Hospital on Thursday, May 7, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)
    Several East Coast states are at the top of the chart.    New Jersey is leading the pack with a 43 percent decrease in new cases and an 83 percent decrease in positive test rates. Experts believe this is a good sign in the pandemic, as these areas were among the hardest hit in the country.
    However, southern states have been slower to perform.    States like Mississippi, South Carolina and Alabama have been declining in these statistics.    Arkansas is at the bottom of the pack, with a 57 percent increase in new cases and a 29 percent increase in positive test rates.
    This has worried health officials, because some southern states have already proposed reopening measures.
    “I’ve seen everyone trying to do what they can, but no real effort, no real structural changes that would potentially protect these people in the future,” stated Dr. Michael Mina.    “My concern is that we’ll end up right back where we have been.”
Healthcare workers at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County clap and cheer as they watch the U.S. Navy’s
Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron fly over in Chicago, Tuesday, May 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
    Analysts have urged residents to be patient, as the numbers give a snapshot to actual progress and are subject to change.    They have encouraged states to continue to bolster their testing programs and social distancing practices, which they suggested has contributed to positive progress.
    According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 1.1 million active cases of COVID-19 in the United States.    As of Sunday, over 88,000 people have died, while more than 268,000 have recovered.
    This comes as many states begin to slowly reopen businesses and ramp up testing.    So far, more than 10 million tests have been administered.

5/17/2020 Beaches, parks busy as Europe heat wave and U.S. spring test new coronavirus rules by Lisa Shumaker
Men chat outside a fruit shop after Tunisia relaxed its lockdown due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
outbreak, in La Marsa, near Tunis, Tunisia, May 13, 2020. Picture taken May 13, 2020. REUTERS/Angus McDowall
    (Reuters) – Summer weather is enticing much of the world to emerge from coronavirus lockdowns as centers of the outbreak from New York to Italy and Spain gradually lift restrictions that have kept millions indoors for months.
    People are streaming back to beaches, parks and streets just as a heat wave hits southern Europe and spring-like temperatures allow Americans to shed winter coats.    As they venture out again, most are keeping their distance and some are wearing masks.    However, protests are also heating up from Germany to England to the United States, arguing the government restrictions demolish personal liberties and are wrecking economies.
    Greeks flocked to the seaside on Saturday when more than 500 beaches reopened, coinciding with temperatures of 34 Celsius (93 Fahrenheit).
    Umbrella poles had to be 4 meters (13 ft) apart, with canopies no closer than 1 meter as the country sought to walk the fine line between protecting people from COVID-19 while reviving the tourism sector that many depend on for their livelihoods.
    “This is the best thing for us elderly … to come and relax a bit after being locked in,” Yannis Tentomas, who is in his 70s, said as he settled down on the sand.
    White circles were painted on the lawn in Brooklyn’s Domino Park in New York City to help sunbathers and picnickers keep a safe distance.    About half the people in the park appeared to be wearing some form of face covering as they congregated in small groups on a warm Saturday afternoon with police officers in masks keeping watch.
    In Paris’ Bois de Boulogne, health training worker Anne Chardon was carrying disinfectant gel and a mask but said she felt a sense of freedom again for the first time after weeks of confinement.
    “It’s as if we were in Sleeping Beauty’s castle, all asleep, all frozen, and suddenly there’s light and space, suddenly we can experience again the little joys of everyday, in the spaces that belong to us, and that we’re rediscovering.”
    On the French Riviera, many who took a dip in the sea wore protective masks.    Fishing and surfing were also allowed, but sunbathing was banned.
    “We’re semi-free,” said one local bather sporting a straw hat as he strolled the rather empty pebbly beach in Nice.
‘MAKE CORONA GO AWAY’
    Bathers seeking relief from the heat in Tel Aviv in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan Valley mostly tried to stay apart.
    “We hope that the hot water, weather, make corona go away,” said Lilach Vardi, a woman who came to swim in the Dead Sea in Israel, as a lifeguard tried to fry an egg in a pan in the scorching sand nearby.
    In Tunisia, which reported no new COVID-19 cases over four consecutive days last week, people flooded into the streets and to recently reopened shops with little social-distancing.
    Muslims are nearing the Eid al-Fitr holiday ending the holy month of Ramadan, when many celebrate with new purchases.
    “I stayed at home for two months and almost went crazy,” said one woman at Tunis’ Manar City Mall.    “I’m surprised by the crowd but I need to buy clothes for my children for Eid.”
    Thousands of Germans took to the streets across the country on Saturday to demonstrate against restrictions imposed by the government, and Polish police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in Warsaw.
    In London’s Hyde Park, police arrested 19 people on Saturday for deliberately breaking social distancing guidelines in protest at the rules, on the first weekend since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a slight loosening of England’s lockdown.
    The scene elsewhere in the city was much calmer on Sunday as children climbed trees, kicked footballs and threw Frisbees in Greenwich Park.    Couples and larger groups sunned themselves on the open lawns, mostly observing social distancing as they chatted and drank beer.
    “We’re really happy to be out,” said Niko Privado, who brought his three brightly colored Macaws to the park, each tethered to a portable perch.    “It’s only the second time we’ve been able to take them out (since the lockdown),” he said, watched by his wife and daughter.
    Nearby, however, a woman working at an ice cream van said business was far from brisk despite the crowds and warm weather.
    “It’s very bad — only three to four people every hour,” said Zara Safat.    “It’s social distancing and they don’t want to wait in long queues.”
(Reporting by Reuters bureaus and Reuters TV; Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

5/17/2020 Pompeo warns China over interference with U.S. journalists in Hong Kong
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference at the State Department,
in Washington, U.S., April 29, 2020. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday said it had come to his attention that the Chinese government had threatened to interfere with the work of U.S. journalists in Hong Kong, and said any decision impinging on Hong Kong’s autonomy could affect the U.S. assessment of Hong Kong’s status.
    “These journalists are members of a free press, not propaganda cadres, and their valuable reporting informs Chinese citizens and the world,” Pompeo said in a statement.
    Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997, and the territory was promised a “high degree of autonomy” for 50 years, something that has formed the basis of the territory’s special status under U.S. law, which has helped it thrive as a world financial center.
    Pompeo announced on May 6 that the State Department was delaying a report to Congress assessing whether Hong Kong enjoyed sufficient autonomy from China to continue receiving special treatment from the United States.
    He said at the time the delay was to allow the report to account for any actions Beijing might contemplate in the run-up to China’s May 22 National People’s Congress.
    Tensions between Washington and Beijing have spiked in recent weeks, as Pompeo and President Donald Trump have complained about China’s early handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

5/17/2020 UK coronavirus death toll rises by 170, lowest increase since March
Men walk in Horse Guards Road in London, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 17, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville
    LONDON (Reuters) – The number of people who have died in the United Kingdom after testing positive for COVID-19 rose by 170 to 34,636, business minister Alok Sharma said on Sunday, the lowest increase in the official death toll since March 24.
    The increase reported on Sunday was sharply down from the 468 rise in deaths reported 24 hours earlier and the lowest since Britain brought in a lockdown to curb the spread of the virus on March 23.
    However, at weekends the number of recorded deaths has been lower than the number reported during the week, and health officials in England also said its Covid Patient Notification System had not operated for a while on Saturday.
    “The consequences of this situation may therefore be reflected in the number of deaths reported today,” NHS England said.
    The rise in the number of deaths in Britain from the virus peaked at 1,172 on April 21 according to official data and has been falling steadily since then. Other government statistics which include deaths due to suspected cases indicate that Britain’s toll is over 40,000.
    Sharma said 243,303 people in Britain had so far tested positive for the virus, an increase of 3,142 since Saturday.
    Sharma also said that Oxford University and drug maker AstraZeneca had struck a global licensing deal for a vaccine that Oxford scientists were working on, one of the front runners in the global race to provide protection against the new coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic.
    If the vaccine proves successful, AstraZeneca will mass produce 100 million doses with up to 30 million doses available for people in the United Kingdom by September.
    “The UK will be first to get access,” Sharma said, adding that the government was providing an additional 84 million pounds ($101.67 million) in funding to British researchers working on potential vaccines.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Elaine Hardcastle)

5/17/2020 France coronavirus death toll rises to 28,108: ministry
FILE PHOTO: People walk on the banks of the river Seine after France began a gradual end to a nationwide lockdown due
to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Paris, France, May 17, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) – France reported 483 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday, bringing the total to 28,108, as the country eases out of a two-month lockdown.
    The 483 fatalities figure compared with 96 fatalities on Saturday, and was the highest since April 23. But a health ministry spokeswoman said this took into account “additional data” provided by local health agencies.
    “There is not a sudden rise in deaths,” she said.
    The 483 figure includes 429 deaths in retirement homes.
    The number of confirmed cases rose to 142,481 on Sunday from 142,291 on Saturday.
    The health ministry said the number of people in hospitals fell to 19,361 from 19,432 on Saturday and the number of people in intensive care units dropped to 2,087 from 2,132 on Saturday.
    Both numbers – key indicators for the French health system’s ability to cope with the epidemic – have been on a downtrend for four to five weeks and peaked at more than 32,000 and more than 7,000 respectively in early to mid-April.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Jean Stephane Brosse, Editing by Andrew Heavens)

5/17/2020 Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll and new cases fall
People gather in Virgiliano Park, as the country begins a staged end to a nationwide lockdown due
to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Naples, Italy, May 17, 2020. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca
    MILAN (Reuters) – The daily death toll from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy fell to 145 on Sunday, the lowest since March 9, against 153 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new cases fell to a March-4 low of 675 from 875 on Saturday.
    The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 31,908 the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.
    The number of confirmed cases amounts to 225,435, the sixth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Spain, Britain, Russia and Brazil.
    People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 68,351 from 70,187 the day before.
    There were 762 people in intensive care on Sunday, down from 775 on Saturday, maintaining a long-running decline.    Of those originally infected, 125,176 were declared recovered against 122,810 a day earlier.
    The agency said a total of 1.933 million people had been tested for the virus as of Sunday, against 1.900 million on Saturday, out of a population of around 60 million.
(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; editing by Gavin Jones)

5/17/2020 Italy to reopen shops, restaurants as lockdown eases further by Silvia Aloisi and Giulio Piovaccari
People gather on the shore, as the country begins a staged end to a nationwide lockdown due to
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Naples, Italy, May 17, 2020. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca
    MILAN (Reuters) – Shops, restaurants and hair salons prepared to reopen in Italy on Monday as the government further eased one of the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns, saying it was taking a “calculated risk” to put the country back on its feet.
    The euro zone’s third biggest economy is slowly emerging from more than two months of hibernation, with businesses allowed to gradually go back to work as long they can enforce tight sanitary protocols and keep people at least 1 metre apart.
    At Milan’s upscale Rinascente department store, guards will keep count through an app of how many people are in the store at any one time.    Clothes tried on in changing rooms will be quarantined for 24 hours and shop assistants will spill perfumes on paper tissues rather than having customers handle testers.    Access to restaurants will be strictly limited, with only family members allowed to sit close to each other.
    Rinascente’s Chief Executive Pierluigi Cocchini said it was difficult to predict what appetite there would be to shop after weeks of isolation.    The store is reopening with markdowns of up to 60% as, like most retailers, it needs to clear unsold stocks.
    “The hope is to take a step towards normality.    It won’t be business as usual given all the protocols, but this is the new normal for now and we have to accept it,” he told Reuters.
    Tourists, still absent, would normally generate a third of the store’s sales.
    Italy’s fashion industry alone, boasting brands like Armani, Prada and Moncler, accounts for 5% of gross domestic product.
    Business association Confcommercio expects consumer spending for clothing, which stood at 60 billion euros ($65 billion) in 2019, to shrink by 20% this year and a quarter of the country’s 115,000 fashion retailers to go bust.
    “I know that for several sectors of the economy, reopening does not mean recovery,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said late on Saturday as he announced the lifting of the restrictions.
    With its economy facing severe recession and public debt expected to spiral to more than 150% of its annual economic output, the government has been desperate to get the country back to work without triggering a second wave of the epidemic.
    “We have to restart,” said Rosy Riente, which runs the Cafe de l’Ange in the posh Alpine resort of Courmayeur, even though distancing rules mean that she can now sit a maximum of 35 people at any one time in her bar instead of 100.
    “So far all we have done is spend money to buy sanitising gels and disinfectants,” she said.
    Others prefer to wait until European borders reopen on June 3.    Tourism contributes 13% to the country’s economic output.
    “My shop looks like a hospital, with plexiglass screens at the till, sanitisers, face masks and gloves,” said Maurizio Di Rienzo, owner of suitcase shop Pellux in central Milan, whose eight employees have been furloughed.
    “90% of my clients are tourists, most of them Chinese.    It doesn’t make sense for me to reopen just yet.”
($1 = 0.9246 euros)
(Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

5/17/2020 Fed Chair Powell: Vaccine may be needed to restore economic confidence by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Tuesday, March 3, 2020 file photo, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell pauses during a news conference
to discuss an announcement from the Federal Open Market Committee, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
    Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has claimed a coronavirus vaccine will be necessary for full economic recovery.    On Sunday, America’s top central banker stated the vaccine will have an important psychological effect on restoring investor and consumer confidence in the U.S. economy.
    He also expressed people should not bet against America’s ability to recover from pandemic. According to the latest polls, fearmongering in mainstream media has convinced 30 percent of Americans they cannot return to normal life without a vaccine.
    Powell has suggested the U.S. economy could recover within the coming year.
    “Assuming there’s no second wave of the coronavirus, I think you’ll see the economy recovery steadily through the second half of this year.    For the economy to fully recover, people will have to be fully confident.    That may have to await the arrival of a vaccine.” – Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve
    He noted coronavirus fears continue to stir economic uncertainty, while policy response remains unclear, despite strong macro fundamentals.
FILE – This Aug. 11, 2019 file photo shows credit cards in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, file)
    Meanwhile, President Trump’s former economic adviser Gary Cohn has urged a rollback of economic stimulus policies.    On Sunday, he stated the U.S. government must encourage people to go looking for a job as states lift virus related restrictions.
    He has argued jobless benefits may discourage people from returning into the workforce.    The U.S. labor participation rate was just above 60 percent before the COVID crisis, but is now expected to drop further due to relief payments.
    Cohn also decried layoffs of nurses and doctors, as hospitals continue to reserve beds for COVID patients that never arrive.
    “If we really want to get the people back to work that Chairman Powell was talking about, we need to reopen the economy.    Those people earning less than $40,000 a year are very important, we rely on them.    The health care system is 20 percent of our GDP.    If we get it back up and running, a lot of people in the lower wage bracket end up working in the health care system.    We need that to happen.” – Gary Cohn, former White House economic adviser
    Cohn added the U.S. has passed its peak unemployment and must return to robust job creation in the coming months.

5/17/2020 Secy. Pompeo warns of rising nat’l security threat posed by China by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks about the coronavirus during news conference at the
State Department in Washington on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Pool Photo via AP)
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned of the rising national security threat posed by China. In a recent interview, Pompeo said the Chinese Communist Party is building influence around the world and inside the U.S.
    These efforts allegedly included predatory lending to smaller countries and socialist indoctrination in schools.
    According to the secretary, China is seeking to compromise U.S. leaders, including governors, school board members and corporate CEOs. He claimed the country is using corruption to advance its political and economic influence.
    “There’ll come a time, there’ll come a day when we will evaluate what it is that needs to be done to convince the Chinese Communist Party that there are real costs connected to this kind of misbehavior,” stated Pompeo.    “We have to hold nations accountable for the things and actions that they undertake, which create risk and, in this case, created enormous loss of life here in the United States.”
    Pompeo added his department, as well as the FBI and the police, are working to curb China’s malicious efforts.

5/18/2020 US coronavirus maps: Tracking outbreaks across the states.

    And the above map really shows where the international airports are and also the smaller airports.

5/18/2020 U.S. likely to back call for independent evaluation of WHO’s handling of coronavirus: envoys by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference on the
situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – Health ministers from around the world are expected to call for an independent evaluation of the World Health Organization’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic during a WHO meeting on Monday.
    Though they have opposing views of the WHO’s performance, China and the United States are likely to join the consensus for an independent evaluation during a virtual meeting of the World Health Assembly, the WHO’s decision-making body, diplomats said.
    The call will be made in a resolution being presented by the European Union (EU) at the Geneva-based WHO’s annual two-day meeting, starting at 1000 gmt.
    The text also calls for timely and equitable access to safe and efficacious diagnostics, medicines and vaccines against the disease which has killed more than 300,000 people worldwide.
    A fragile consensus emerged after more than a week of intense negotiations on the EU text, which could still change, the diplomats said.
    “It looks like the resolution will be adopted.    Politically speaking, there is agreement for now on an evaluation of the whole system and an investigation into the origin (of the virus), but not immediately,” a European diplomat told Reuters.
    “It is important we were able to agree to the resolution, everybody,” he said.
    The EU resolution is supported by a host of countries including Australia – a vocal critic of WHO and of China – as well as Britain, Canada, India, Japan and Russia.
    Names on a draft resolution seen by Reuters showed support from 116 of the 194 countries in the WHO.
    The text calls on WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to initiate an “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” of the WHO-coordinated international health response to COVID-19, including the effectiveness of existing mechanisms “at the earliest appropriate moment.”
    It backs continued work, including through scientific “field missions,” to identify the zoonotic or animal source of the virus and how it crossed the species barrier to reach humans.
XI TO ADDRESS MEETING VIA VIDEO
    The EU resolution does not refer to China.    The WHO and most experts say the virus is believed to have emerged in a market selling wildlife in the central city of Wuhan late last year.    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this month there is “a significant amount of evidence” the virus came from a laboratory in Wuhan, a charge China refutes.
    China’s foreign ministry said it was premature to launch an investigation into the origins and spread of the coronavirus, and the ministry said President Xi Jinping would give a video speech during WHO meeting’s opening ceremony.
    U.S. Ambassador Andrew Bremberg said in a brief statement: “My hope is that we will be able to join consensus.”
    But diplomats said that they expected the U.S. delegation, led by Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services, to “dissociate” itself from at least two passages in the resolution, while stopping short of blocking consensus.
    These sections involved reference to intellectual property rights for drugs and vaccines, and to continued provision of services for sexual and reproductive health during the pandemic, they said.
    The contentious issue of Taiwan’s participation in the assembly has been deferred to when the session resumes later this year, diplomats said.
    Despite strong efforts, Taiwan did not get invited to this week’s meeting following Chinese pressure, its foreign minister said on Monday, adding they had agreed to put the issue off until later this year.
(Additional reporting by Cate Cadell in Beijing and Kirsty Needham in Sydney, Editing by Timothy Heritag)

5/18/2020 Macron, Merkel to announce new ‘Franco-German initiative’ on Monday
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes French President Emmanuel Macron at the
beginning of the Libya summit in Berlin, Germany, January 19, 2020. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
    PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will present a new Franco-German initiative later on Monday, Macron’s office said in a surprise statement.
    The two leaders will hold a video-conference at 1330 GMT, which will be followed by a news conference around 1500 GMT, the Elysee palace statement said.
    It gave no details on what the new initiative might entail, but a source close to Macron told Reuters it would touch on public health, economic recovery, green and digital transition, and industrial sovereignty.
    France and Germany have struggled to present a united front in the coronavirus crisis, with France leading a push by mostly southern European countries to convince fiscally conservative countries like Germany to issue joint European debt to help them weather the economic impact.
    The two countries, long the engines of EU integration, have also fared differently in dealing with the pandemic, with the number of deaths in France three times higher than in Germany, according to official figures.
(Reporting by Marine Pennetier and Sudip Kar-Gupta; writing by Michel Rose; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

5/18/2020 Start ‘travel bubbles’ for low-risk countries, Heathrow urges UK government
FILE PHOTO: An air passenger pushes luggage at Heathrow Airport, as the spread of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain, May 10, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain should set up “travel bubbles” with low-risk countries to allow the movement of people, instead of bringing in new coronavirus quarantine rules when flights restart, according to Heathrow Airport.
    British government ministers have said they plan a 14-day quarantine for most people arriving in the country in the coming weeks to try to prevent a second peak of the pandemic.
    Airlines have warned the policy will throttle hopes for a travel recovery.
    Heathrow Airport, which before the novel coronavirus grounded planes was the busiest in Europe, said that it had been working with the UK government’s Department for Transport on proposals to allow some unrestricted travel.
    “The proposal would create ‘travel corridors’ or ‘travel bubbles’ allowing free movement between countries or cities that are very low-risk, but potentially blocking flights from high-risk markets to safeguard public health,” the airport said in a statement.
    Such a set-up would be much less damaging to the economy than the quarantine policy, said Heathrow.
    The boss of Ryanair, Europe’s biggest airline by passenger numbers, said on Monday that the 14-day policy was unimplementable and unpoliceable and would be ignored by people wanting to travel.
    The government is yet to provide further details of the quarantine policy.
    Culture minister Oliver Dowden said earlier on Monday that Britain was still in talks with France over whether to exempt travellers from across the Channel.
    As part of its plans to ensure international travel can restart safely, Heathrow also said it would this week start trialling thermal screening in immigration as well as UV sanitation on trays used at security gates.
    All staff at the airport will also be wearing face coverings and masks will be handed to any arriving or departing passenger who wants one, the airport added.
    Airline bosses have said taking people’s temperatures before departure plus wearing masks on flights could help give passengers confidence in the safety of flying.
(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by James Davey)

5/18/2020 ‘A beautiful day’ in Italy, as shops and bars finally reopen by Crispian Balmer and Giulio Piovaccari
Municipal police officers walk on the reopening day at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, as Italy eases some of the lockdown measures
put in place during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Milan, Italy May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo
    ROME (Reuters) – Italian shops, hairdressers and restaurants finally threw open their doors on Monday as the country sped up efforts to bounce back from the coronavirus crisis after a 10-week lockdown.
    Customers could once again sip their morning cappuccino at the bar, albeit well spaced from other clients, and public Masses were allowed again in churches after bishops put pressure on the government to sanction religious services.
    “I haven’t worked for two and a half months.    It’s a beautiful, exciting day,” said Valentino Casanova, a barman in Caffe Canova in Rome’s central Piazza del Popolo.
    Almost 32,000 Italians have died of COVID-19 since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21, the third-highest death toll in the world after the United States and Britain.
    Italy was the first European country to impose nationwide restrictions in early March, only permitting an initial relaxation of the rules on May 4, when it allowed factories and parks to reopen.
    Monday marked a major step forward on the road to recovery, with unlimited travel allowed in individual regions, friends once again meeting up and restaurants able to serve as long as tables were at least 2 metres (6.5 ft) apart.
    Telephones rang incessantly in hairdresser salons, as unkempt clients rushed to make themselves more presentable.
    “I already have 150 appointments, all very urgent, all of them insisting that they must be first on the list,” said Stefania Ziggiotto, a hairdresser in the Alpine resort of Courmayeur.    “I have a full agenda for three weeks.”
ECONOMIC FEARS
    However, many business owners worried that the reopening might not magic away their many problems, with lingering fears of the coronavirus keeping many Italians at home, while foreign tourists, vital for the economy, were utterly absent.
    The government has said it will open up Italy’s borders with Europe and allow free travel between the regions from June 3, but no-one expects a sudden influx of outsiders.
    Monica Robaldo, owner of the Pierre Alexis 1877 restaurant in Courmayeur, said she would not reopen before the end of May.
    “We have a loyal clientele … mostly tourists, so while travel between the regions and from abroad is not allowed, there is not much point in reopening,” she said.
    The Treasury is predicting the economy will contract by at least 8% in 2020, the deepest recession since World War Two, and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said at the weekend he was taking a “calculated risk” in rolling back the rigid curbs.
    Although there was noticeably more traffic on the roads of major cities on Monday morning, some people appeared hesitant to resume their old habits.
    Angelo Lombardo, owner of Cocco Caffe in the northern city of Bologna, is allowed to serve a maximum four customers at any one time, but he said he wasn’t having to worry about social distancing rules at present.
    “A lot of people are just walking past and looking in from outside wondering whether they can come in or not,” he said, criticising the government for doing too little to explain how the rules had changed.
    “Let’s give it time,” he said.    “It’s the first day.”
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer, Giulio Piovaccari; Stephen Jewkes and Gabriele Pileri; Editing by Nick Macfie)

5/18/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 342 to 174,697: RKI
FILE PHOTO: Members of the District Administration Department patrol through the city to check if the corona regulations are
respected, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Munich, Germany, April 27, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 342 to 174,697, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday.
    The tally showed deaths rose by 21 to 7,935.
(This story corrects numbers of total and new cases, deaths)
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Kim Coghill and Clarence Fernandez)

5/18/2020 U.S. mulls paying companies, tax breaks to pull supply chains from China by Andrea Shalal, Alexandra Alper and Patricia Zengerle
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump looks at an assembly line during a tour of Honeywell's facility manufacturing protective
face masks for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., May 5, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers and officials are crafting proposals to push American companies to move operations or key suppliers out of China that include tax breaks, new rules, and carefully structured subsidies.
    Interviews with a dozen current and former government officials, industry executives and members of Congress show widespread discussions underway – including the idea of a “reshoring fund” originally stocked with $25 billion – to encourage U.S. companies to drastically revamp their relationship with China.
    President Donald Trump has long pledged to bring manufacturing back from overseas, but the recent spread of the coronavirus and related concerns about U.S. medical and food supply chains dependency on China are “turbocharging” new enthusiasm for the idea in the White House.
    On Thursday, Trump signed an executive order that gave a U.S. overseas investment agency new powers to help manufacturers in the United States.    The goal, Trump said, is to “produce everything America needs for ourselves and then export to the world, and that includes medicines.”
    But the Trump administration itself remains divided over how best to proceed, and the issue is unlikely to be addressed in the next fiscal stimulus to offset the coronavirus downturn. Congress has begun work on another fiscal stimulus package but it remains unclear when it might pass.
    The push takes on special resonance in an election year. While anti-China, pro-American job proposals could play well with voters, giving taxpayer money or tax breaks to companies that moved supply chains to China at a time when small business is flailing may not.
BIPARTISAN APPEAL
    Both Republicans and Democrats are crafting bills to decrease U.S. reliance on China-made products, which accounted for some 18% of overall imports in 2019.
    “The whole subject of supply chains and integrity of supply chains… does have a greater place in members’ minds,” Representative Mac Thornberry, the top Republican on the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, told reporters May 7.
    The medical supply chain and defense-related goods are top of the list.
    “Coronavirus has been a painful wakeup call that we are too reliant on nations like China for critical medical supplies,” said U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham in a press release on Friday.    He is expected to issue a new bill this week.
    Republican Senator Josh Hawley is pushing for local content rules for medical supply chains, and “generous investment subsidies” to encourage increased domestic production of a range of goods and components.    Republican Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bill May 10 that would bar sale of some sensitive goods to China, and raise taxes on U.S. companies’ income from China.
    A bipartisan bill introduced by Democratic Representative Anna Eschoo and Republican Representative Susan Brooks would commission a panel to recommend ways to cut drug supply reliance on China.
    Republican Representative Mark Green’s “SOS Act” proposes funding takeovers of vulnerable U.S. companies that are critical to our national security.
    Lawmakers also hope to include reshoring provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, a $740 billion bill setting policy for the Pentagon that Congress passes every year.
PAY TO STAY
    A controversial idea being floated in Washington would allocate as much as $25 billion to companies that make essential goods to move production home, ensuring that even products far down the supply chain were sourced domestically, according to two administration officials.
    No lawmaker has publicly embraced it, but several congressional aides acknowledged it is part of the broader discussion in Congress.    One of the administration officials said states could administer the funds through their separate economic development organizations.
    That would be a boon for states that are struggling to pay their own bills after widespread lockdowns, plummeting tax revenues, and a huge surge in COVID-related costs, one state official said.
    But given longstanding concerns about the government setting “industrial policy,” the notion of subsidizing industry directly is polarizing, even among Trump’s top advisers.
    Outright subsidies are a non-starter, said one of the two administrative sources.    “Internally some are questioning why we should be providing funds to companies that have left in recent years.”
    White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has talked publicly about using tax incentives instead to prod U.S. companies to move some manufacturing home.
    White House trade adviser Peter Navarro wants the federal government to buy more U.S.-made medical goods and drugs, but Trump has not signed an executive order Navarro is promoting.
    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and others favor building trusted networks of drug and medical suppliers, said two officials familiar with the discussions.
    Giving federal dollars directly to companies to shift supply chains away from China would likely run afoul of World Trade Organization rules, and could discourage foreign companies from doing business in the United States, critics of the idea say.
    The State Department, meanwhile, is working with other agencies and foreign governments to diversify American supply chains from China.     “This includes returning manufacturing to the United States and expanding our base of international manufacturing partners,” said a spokesperson.
(Additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk. Editing by Heather Timmons, Chris Sanders and Diane Craft)
[TRUMP IS IN AN ALL OUT ATTACK TO BRING CHINA TO ITS KNEES FOR THEIR CRIME BY HITTING THEIR ECONOMY.].

5/18/2020 Democrats investigating firing of State Dept. Inspector General Steve Linick by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Oct. 2, 2019, file photo State Department Inspector General Steve Linick leaves a meeting
in a secure area at the Capitol in Washington. A senior department official said President Donald Trump removed
Linick from his job as State Department’s inspector general on Friday, May 15, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    Republicans are defending President Trump’s decision to let Inspector General Steve Linick go.    This comes as Democrats claim the State Department watchdog may have been investigating potential misconduct by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prior to the firing.
    According to House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Elliot Engel, Linick was investigating Pompeo’s decision to fast-track an $8 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.    The inspector general was also reportedly looking into whether Pompeo had a staffer run personal errands for him.
    Democrats have said the secretary of state recommended the president fire Linick.    The House Foreign Relations Committee and colleagues in the Senate launched an official probe into the matter on Saturday.
    President Trump sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Friday stating that he would exercise his power as president to remove Linick.    The president noted that inspector generals have a vital role in promoting the nation’s economy and effectiveness of federal programs, but that he does not have full confidence in Linick.
    However, Democrats immediately rebuked the administration by claiming the act potentially undermines democracy.
[MESSAGE TO NANCY PELOSI: DONALD TRUMP IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND HE CAN FIRE ANYONE WHO IS UNDER ARTICLE 2 AT ANYTIME AND DOES NOT NEED YOUR OPINION OR ANY INPUT FROM ANYONE FROM THE ARTICLE 1 AND IF YOU WERE UNDER HIM I AM SURE HE WOULD FIRE YOU NOW AND WE ALL KNOW THIS GUY WAS AN APPOINTMENT BY OBAMA AND MOST LIKELY DID SOMETHING AGAINST MIKE POMPEO AND I WOULD NOT BLAME TRUMP IF DECIDES TODAY TO REMOVE ALL THE OBAMA PICKS.].
    Meanwhile, Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Ron Johnson said the decision was well within the president’s right.
    “There are inspector generals that bring a political agenda as well as those that do a phenomenal job,” he stated.    “So they’re not all equal, but in the end they serve the pleasure of the president and he’s got the authority to hire and terminate.”
    Johnson said he’s spoken with senior officials in the State Department and he understands their reasoning for the decision.
    Rep. Engel and Sen. Menendez are asking the White House to provide all records on Linick’s firing by Friday.
[Linick was a rat for the Democrats and was investigating a declaration of a national security emergency in 2019 to justify an $8.1 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia the administration deemed the arms sale to Saudi Arabia and its allies constituted a national security emergency because of “Iranian aggression.”    And of course the Democrats want anything they can get on Trump but will ignore all the crimes committed by the Obama administration or their own chairs of their committees].

5/18/2020 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urges Senate to pass COVID-19 relief bill, says ‘time is of the essence’ by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 14, 2020, file photo House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on
Capitol Hill in Washington. Four of the five members of the Congressional Oversight Commission have been appointed, but
Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have not agreed on who should chair the panel. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared to have a change a heart on her sense of urgency to pass coronavirus relief legislation.    During an interview Sunday, she urged the Senate to pass the $3 trillion relief bill approved by the House Friday despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell describing the bill as “dead on arrival.”
    “Times is very important…setting aside how we got here, we cannot take a pause,” she stated.    “They may think it’s okay to pause, but people are hungry across America…hunger doesn’t take a pause.”
    Senate lawmakers claim there are too many “unrelated” provisions in the package and called for a pause on more stimulus funds.    They are, instead, encouraging states to begin a phased reopening of the economy, so Americans can get back to work.
    Pelosi’s newfound sense of urgency is quite different than her approach to passing the first coronavirus relief bill in March.    Democrats in Congress delayed the legislation, which sparked a heated debate with McConnell who accused them of pushing a political agenda rather than addressing the health crisis at hand.
FILE – In this May 12, 2020, file photo Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., holds a face mask used to protect against
the spread of the new coronavirus as he attends a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
    During this phase of relief, it appears House Democrats are playing the same game, but this time with $3.6 billion in funding for states to implement mail-in ballot systems.    This is something Pelosi has expressed could be the future of voting in the U.S.
    Republicans, including President Trump, have been critical of the legitimacy of mail-in ballots and have suggested they could rig elections.
    Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany echoed the president’s concerns of voter fraud earlier this week by saying House Speaker Pelosi was “exploiting the crisis and pushing for mass mail-in voting even though we know it’s more susceptible to voting fraud.”

5/18/2020 Azar, Navarro clash over CDC response to COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks about the coronavirus in
the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    The White House seems to be sending mixed signals on its attitude towards the CDC as officials have differing opinions on the agency’s coronavirus response.
    Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and White House trade advisor Peter Navarro made appearances on separate news stations with stark contrasts in opinions on the CDC’s testing efforts.
    “Early on in this crisis, the CDC, which really had the most trusted brand around the world in this space, really let the country down with the testing,” stated Navarro.
    The trade adviser argued the CDC setback the country’s testing efforts by failing to expand testing beyond it’s agency and having bad tests.    He went on to advocate for easing the agencies’ social distancing guidelines, citing the effects the lockdown has had on Americans’ unemployment, mental and physical health.
    Navarro stressed hospitals are focusing on treating patients with COVID-19 and, in turn, are neglecting other health procedures like mammograms, cervical examinations and other critical medical evaluations.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro walks to do a television interview at the White House, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    However, Azar was more empathetic to the CDC and claimed the situation was unprecedented.
    “We have had to literally build this from the ground up…that’s what some folks don’t quite understand here,” he explained.    “…is that the CDC’s role is to develop an initial, fairly low throughput public health test that health labs will do for initial diagnosis.”
    Azar said the role of the CDC was to establish testing infrastructure by setting up private companies, so they can scale up testing efforts.    While the secretary admitted there was a minor setback with faulty tests, the CDC was never meant to be the backbone for mass testing.
    Meanwhile, he touted the Trump administration’s vaccine goal to produce more than 300 million doses by the start of next year.

5/18/2020 Moderna announces early success in clinical trial for potential COVID-19 vaccine by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Neal Browning receives a shot in the first-stage safety study
clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, at the Kaiser
Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
    U.S. biotech firm Moderna has reported some success in an early clinical trials for a potential coronavirus vaccine.
    On Monday, the company announced the potential vaccine produced COVID-19 antibodies in all 45 participants in a phase one trial so far.    Participants have reportedly developed antibody levels similar to those who have recovered from the virus.
    Moderna said it hasn’t noted any serious side effects.    The firm’s CEO Stephane Bancel said phase one is still ongoing and previewed the next steps of the trial.
    If phase two and three trials go well, the potential vaccine could be available for widespread use by the end of the year or early 2021.

5/18/2020 Calif. businesses defy state stay-at-home orders, create own protections by OAN Newsroom
People shop during the coronavirus outbreak Saturday, May 9, 2020, in Montrose, Calif. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has
issued the broadest loosening of his stay-at-home order so far, allowing some retailers to reopen. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
    County officials across California have continued their calls for Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to create more flexible and direct measures for reopening businesses.
    This comes as the governor announced the state had moved into the beginning of phase two of reopening its economy, allowing for low-risk and non-essential businesses to resume.    However, several counties say it’s not enough.
    On Friday, the city council of Atwater unanimously agreed not to enforce stay-at-home orders intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus.    This means local authorities in Atwater will not interfere with any business or church that decides to reopen ahead of restriction deadlines.
    “It’s America you have the choice,” stated Atwater Mayor Paul Creighton.    “It’s time for our government to stop dictating another month, another three months, six months — when is it going to end?    When everybody’s bankrupt?
    Small businesses owners in particular have been drastically affected by pandemic shutdowns.    In Oceanside the owner of the MetroFlex gym vowed to keep doors open despite being charged with a misdemeanor last week for violating orders.    The owner said he had no choice but to open his business and has taken precautions to make his customers feel safe.
    “We are limiting the members,” owner Lou Uridel explained.    “…some of the equipment’s blocked off and we’ve also blocked off the bathrooms and showers, and the only thing that’s available is the sinks and we’re requiring members to go wash their hands when they get here and then wash their hands before they leave.”
    Additionally, a coalition of East Bay churches are planning to open their doors for service on May 31 even if they do not have government permission.    Around two dozen pastors held a rally in Oakland where they argued that churches are essential to their communities.
    “From thousands of churches, we are united in signing the declaration that the church is essential and the government should no longer keep our doors locked or closed,” stated Rev. Neil Mammen.    “Governor Newsom, unlock these doors…open up our churches.”
Karley Kane joined other protesters calling on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to ease stay-at-home orders caused by
the coronavirus at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, May 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
    In recent weeks, Californians across the state have taken to the streets protesting against what they say are restrictive measures.    Demonstrators argue that conflicting messages from the state government and their local officials are spurring confusion among residents.
    Meanwhile, multiple counties have placed formal requests to the governor providing information on why they believe their region is safe to open.
[I am starting to think that Trump intentionally let the governors of each state let them determine how their states open up because he knows that the people will resist any one who overreaches the civil rights especially the ones in our constitutions and the Liberal governors are really having trouble with that and cannot avoid pushing their leftist policies on the public.].

5/18/2020 Cafes and churches open in Italy and Greece; Spain eyes summer reboot by Philip Pullella and Emma Pinedo
A couple enjoys the view with the Acropolis hill seen in the background, during the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Athens, Greece, April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
    ROME/MADRID (Reuters) – Italian shops, restaurants and churches reopened their doors to spring sunshine on Monday, Greece welcomed visitors back to the Acropolis – and Spain hoped for tourists to return in summer in cautious steps to ease coronavirus lockdowns.
    Italians could once again sip their morning cappuccino at the bar, albeit at a distance from one another, in what Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte admitted at the weekend was a “calculated risk” in rolling back the curbs.
    “I haven’t worked for two and a half months.    It’s a beautiful, exciting day,” said Valentino Casanova, a barman in Caffe Canova in Rome’s central Piazza del Popolo.
    Countries around the world, at different stages in the pandemic, are wrangling with decisions on when to ease restrictions, weighing the threat to life against the threat to economic survival.    Summer tourism is a major earner for Italy, Greece and Spain.
    World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned countries against reopening too early and said “we have a long road to travel.”
    More than 4.71 million people are reported to have been infected by the coronavirus and 312,826 have died, according to a Reuters tally.    Italy has the third highest death toll after the United States and Britain.
    In Greece, which has recorded only 156 COVID-19 deaths, people flocked to the seaside on Saturday and were allowed back in church the next day.
    On Monday, tourists were allowed back at ancient monuments, including the Acropolis in Athens, where workers wearing masks and plastic face shields reminded the few visitors of social distancing rules as they entered the turnstiles.
    “I visited the Acropolis today, a world monument that continues to inspire with its marbles shining under the sun,” said President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
    Spain aims to reopen its borders to tourists around the end of June, Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos said, after it surprised its EU partners last week by imposing a two-week quarantine on overseas travellers, effectively shutting its borders.
    Abalos said it would be phased out in parallel with travel being allowed within Spain, whose regions are all leaving lockdown at different phases.
    “From late June, we’ll start tourism activity, I hope,” he said.    “We must make Spain an attractive country from the health point of view.”
    Neighbouring Portugal reopened cafes, and children wearing masks went back to school for the first time in months.
KISSING AND HUGGING
    Four weeks into an early but gradual easing of their lockdown, Danes were again able to enjoy a latte at their local café.
    “The quick shutdown and the fact that Danes actually listened to messages from authorities about good hygiene and social distancing are the main reasons we’ve come this far,” said Hans Jorn Kolmos, a professor in clinical microbiology at the University of Southern Denmark.
    Danes being less prone to hugging and kissing as a form of greeting had also been a factor, he said.
    Many people across England travelled to parks and beaches to enjoy the sun at the weekend after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson relaxed lockdown curbs. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland told people they should still stay at home.
    Johnson’s government has been accused by the opposition Labour Party of responding too slowly and late to an outbreak that has now produced the world’s second highest death toll – something the government denies.
    Michael O’Leary, chief executive of the Irish budget airline Ryanair, said Britain had mismanaged its response and he denounced a forthcoming 14-day quarantine for international travellers.
    “It is idiotic and it is unimplementable,” he told BBC radio.    “This the same government that has … mismanaged the crisis for many weeks.”
    U.S. President Donald Trump has also rejected accusations, most recently from former president Barack Obama, of responding haphazardly to the crisis.    Many state governors say his eagerness to reopen the economy puts too many lives at risk.
    Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s (FCA) truck plant in Warren, Michigan, was one of the U.S. automakers reopening its factories. Workers began lining up before 4 a.m. to start the 5 a.m. shift.
    “I’m a little nervous,” said Larry Smith, 53, who works on wheel alignment, away from the assembly line.    “They made all the precautions (and) they’ve done everything they can to prepare us … I’m trusting in God.”
    In Brazil, which now has one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks, President Jair Bolsonaro posed for photographs with children from a crowd of supporters on Sunday.
    As he flouted public health advice, the mayor of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, warned that its health system was in danger of collapse, the BBC reported.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge in London, George Georgiopoulos and Vassilis Triandafyllou in Athens, Emma Pinedo and Inti Landauro in Madrid, Crispian Balmer in Rome, Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Nikolaj Skydsgaard in Copenhagen, Ben Klayman in Warren, Michigan, Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and Catarina Demony and Victoria Waldersee in Lisbon; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Kevin Liffey)

5/18/2020 Spain’s king and economy minister at event over lockdown limit by Inti Landauro and Joan Faus
FILE PHOTO: Spain’s King Felipe VI visits a military hospital set up at the IFEMA conference centre during the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, March 26, 2020. Spanish Royal House/Handout via REUTERS
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s King Felipe gave a speech at a conference in Madrid on Monday attended by the economy minister and others in an audience over the size authorised for public events under the capital’s strict coronavirus lockdown rules.
    Pictures on the Spanish Royal House’s Twitter account showed at least 20 people at the event held by innovation foundation Cotec at the headquarters of telecom firm Telefonica.
    Spain is easing restrictions and regulations vary according to regions, but gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited in Madrid, Spain’s health ministry press office said in an email to Reuters.
    The Royal House, Telefonica and economy ministry did not comment, while Cotec’s communication director Juan Gomez said only nine people had been invited, including speakers, and he did not know who the others were.
    Gomez did not know of an exception to lockdown rules being requested, though he said the event was of a work rather than public event nature.    The health ministry did not respond to a request for comment on any possible exception for the event.
    At the event, the foundation released its annual report and held a roundtable discussion on the health crisis.
    “I am sure we will overcome the challenge we are living through now, in solidarity,” said King Felipe, Cotec’s president of honour, according to a transcript from his office.
    Queen Letizia, Economy Minister Nadia Calvino and Telefonica CEO Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete attended, as well as Madrid’s mayor and regional head of government, the images showed.
    Most attendees wore masks and kept at least two empty seats between each of them, in keeping with social distancing practice, according to the images.
    Spain has been one of the world’s worst-hit nations, with 27,709 deaths and 231,606 infections.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro and Joan Faus; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

5/19/2020 Oil up $2.82 to $32.47, DOW up 912 to 24,597.

5/19/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

5/19/2020 Defecting French lawmakers deprive Macron of outright parliament majority
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron speaks at a joint video news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss Europe's
economic recovery plans to respond to the coronavirus crisis at Elysee Palace in Paris, France May 18, 2020. Francois Mori/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) Defectors from Emmanuel Macron’s ruling party announced the creation of a new group in France’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday, depriving the president of an outright majority and raising pressure for more left-wing policies.
    Seven lawmakers are splintering from Macron’s La Republique En March (LREM) party to joint the new Ecology, Democracy, Solidarity” (EDS) group, which said it would initially count 17 parliamentarians in its ranks.
    That means the LREM now only has 288 MPs, one short of the 289-threshold needed for an absolute majority in parliament, and down from the 314 Macron had after he dynamited the political landscape in 2017.
    Macron’s party, formed after the former investment banker won the presidency in May 2017, has suffered a string of defections in recent months by parliamentarians frustrated by his tight grip on decision-making and his pro-business policies.
    Macron can still count on the support in parliament of a smaller alliance partner, the centrist MoDem party.    However, the arithmetic may now give MoDem more leverage over policymaking in the final two years of Macron’s five-year mandate.
    His reform drive has been stalled by the coronavirus pandemic, just as he was seeking to regain momentum after weeks of pension reform protest and before that anti-government “yellow vest” protests.
    Richard Ferrand, a close Macron ally and president of the National Assembly, acknowledged the loss of LREM’s absolute majority but said the government could count on the votes of 342 MPs with MoDem’s support.
    A parliamentary group does not have the formal structures of a party.    It is, however, highly likely that any parliamentarian who joined the new group would be ejected from Macron’s party.
    The new group will be chaired by Paula Forteza and Matthieu Orphelin, a close ally of former environment minister Nicolas Hulot, who quit Macron’s government in frustration at the president’s climate change and green energy policies.
    The new group will hold a press conference later on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Michel Rose and Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Richard Lough)

5/19/2020 UK COVID-19 death toll nears 43,000: official data
A woman is seen wearing a protective face mask on a platform at North Acton underground station following
the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 19, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley
    LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom’s COVID-19 official death toll has reached nearly 43,000, underlining the country’s status as the worst-hit in Europe and raising more questions about Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s handling of the crisis.
    New official figures for England and Wales brought the death toll to at least 42,990, a Reuters tally showed, which includes previously published data from Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well recent hospital deaths in England.
    Tuesday’s data from the Office for National Statistics also painted a grim picture in care homes, which have been especially hard hit by the virus that has killed more than 317,700 worldwide.
    The death toll in care homes across the United Kingdom surpassed 10,000 as of May 8, the data showed.
    While different ways of counting make comparisons with other countries difficult, the figure confirmed Britain was among those hit worst by the pandemic.
    Such a high UK death toll increases the pressure on Johnson.    Opposition parties say he was too slow to impose a lockdown, too slow to introduce mass testing and too slow to get enough protective equipment to hospitals.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

5/19/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 513 to 175,210: RKI
FILE PHOTO: People enjoy the weather at a cafe at Gendarmenmarkt square where social distancing measures are applied,
during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Berlin, Germany May 16, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany rose by 513 to 175,210, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday, with new infections accelerating after decelerating the previous four days.
    The reported death toll rose by 72 to 8,007, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom)

5/19/2020 Mexico posts 2,414 new coronavirus cases, total deaths reach 5,332
FILE PHOTO: A health worker wearing protective suit transports a woman suspected of being infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Hospital General de Mexico,
as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Mexico City, Mexico May 10, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico registered 2,414 new cases of the coronavirus and 155 more deaths on Monday, the health ministry said, raising its overall number of infections since Mexico recorded its first cases in late February to 51,633.     The country has tallied 5,332 overall deaths from the virus.
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Abraham Gonzalez)

5/19/2020 Trump signs deal with company in effort shift drug manufacturing to U.S.: NYT
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with restaurant executives and industry leaders during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
pandemic meeting in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    (Reuters) – The United States will announce on Tuesday that it has signed a $354 million contract with a company to make generic medicines and pharmaceutical ingredients in the country needed to treat COVID-19, the New York Times reported late on Monday.
    The move is part of efforts to bring pharmaceutical manufacturing to the United States from abroad.    Phlow Corp is a generic drug maker based in Virginia which makes medicines overseas, mostly in India and China, according https://nyti.ms/36dylna to the NYT.
    Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro, in an interview to NYT, called this “a historic turning point in America’s efforts to onshore its pharmaceutical production and supply chains
    The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S exceeded 1.5 million on Monday, as total deaths 90,000, according to a Reuters tally of state and county figures.
    The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has awarded a four-year contract to Phlow in which it will lead a team of private sector entities that includes Civica Rx, Ampac Fine Chemicals, and the Medicines for All Institute, according to the report.
    U.S. HHS Secretary Alex Azar called the initiative “a significant step to rebuild our domestic ability to protect ourselves from health threats,” in a statement that the administration plans to make public Tuesday morning, according to the NYT.
    The NYT added that the contract may be extended for a total of $812 million over 10 years, making it one of the largest awards in the authority’s history.
    The HHS, Phlow, Civica, Ampac and Medicines for All Institute were not immediately available for a comment.
(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)

5/19/2020 White House discussing options to stimulate economy by OAN Newsroom
White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks with reporters at the
White House, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the administration is looking at new tax cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic.
    While speaking to reporters at the White House Tuesday, Kudlow reiterated the president’s desire to give Americans a payroll tax cut to help support and stimulate the economy.    He said such a move is more beneficial for all Americans versus sending out another round of checks.
    Kudlow said the administration is focused on reopening the U.S. economy and is discussing several options to help Americans hurt by the shutdown.    He also noted that lowering the corporate tax rate would help to encourage businesses to bring their production back to the U.S.     Repatriating the supply chain has been a key focus of the administration since President Trump took office and has been heightened by challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic.
    As unemployment has skyrocketed since March, Kudlow predicted the unemployment rate could be back under 10 percent by the end of the year as states begin to allow people to return to work.

5/19/2020 White House Physician: ‘Potential benefit’ to President Trump taking hydroxychloroquine outweighs risks by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump listens during a meeting on opportunity zones in the Cabinet Room
of the White House, Monday, May 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump’s physician touted the potential benefits of him taking hydroxychloroquine.
    In a memo released Monday, Dr. Sean Conley said after reviewing evidence regarding the drug he and his team have concluded the benefits of using it outweigh the potential risks.
    This coincides with the president telling reporters Monday that he requested the drug from the White House physician and has been taking it for over a week now.
    “I’m taking it…hydroxychloroquine..right now,” he stated.    “A couple of weeks ago I started taking it because I think it’s good, I’ve heard a lot of good stories and if it’s not good, I’ll tell you.”
    “You’re not going to get hurt by it…it’s been around for 40 years for malaria, for lupus, for other things,” the president continued.    “…frontline workers take in…a lot of doctors take it.”
    The memo also said President Trump is in “very good health” and continues to be symptom-free from coronavirus.    Dr. Conley said he will monitor studies regarding hydroxychloroquine and will continue to check on the president’s health.

5/19/2020 President Trump: ‘Surprised’ AG Barr won’t look into Obamagate by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Jan. 13, 2020, file photo Attorney General William Barr speaks to reporters at the Justice Department in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    President Trump said he’s surprised U.S. Attorney General William Barr would not open a criminal probe into the ‘Obamagate’ controversy.
    The president highlighted the latest evidence on Monday that shows former President Barack Obama played a key role in launching the Russia probe.    He also noted that Joe Biden was aware the probe into 2016 Trump campaign was political and it was based off a false premise of Russian collusion.
    President Trump claimed the Department of Justice has continued to favor the Democrat Party.    He made the following remarks on the matter:
    “I will say this, we have an honorable attorney general.    Personally, I have no doubt, but he may have another feeling.    I have no doubt that they (Obama and Biden) were involved in it.    It’s a hoax.    It started off with a Russian hoax.    It went to a Ukraine hoax.    It’s just a whole big disgrace and this country has better things to do.”
    Meanwhile, U.S. attorney John Durham has continued to investigate the origins of the Russia probe and his report is expected to be released this summer.

5/19/2020 Georgians head to the polls for early voting despite coronavirus concerns by OAN Newsroom
An early voter, who wore gloves to cast their ballot, shows off their sticker during Georgia’s primary election at the
Gwinnett County Voter Registration and Elections Office in Lawrenceville, Ga., Monday, May 18, 2020. Early voting began Monday and
will last three-weeks. Georgia’s Election Day is Tuesday, June 9. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
    The polls opened in Georgia for early voting.    On Monday, residents lined up six feet apart as poll workers ramped up measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
    In Chatham County, poll workers were required to wash their hands and wipe down machines as well as clip-boards frequently.    The county also put up plastic shields, along with other measures, to keep workers and voters safe.
    “We have disposable, one-time use stylists that has a pen on one end for you to fill in the information,” explained Colin McRae, chairman of the Chatham County Board of Registrars.    “A stylist on the other end for you to push the touch screen.”
Signs inform early voters to social distance while waiting to receive their ballot during Georgia’s primary election at the Gwinnett County
Voter Registration and Elections Office in Lawrenceville, Ga., Monday, May 18, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
    According to reports, turn-out was relatively light as the state is receiving a record amount of absentee ballots. So far, over 1.4 million voters have requested absentee ballots.
    “We’re really encouraging people to (use absentee ballots) because it will help us manage the different throughput that you’re going to get when you start spacing people out six feet on center when you only have five ballot marking devices instead of 18,” said Brad Raffensperger, Georgia Secretary of State.
    This comes after Georgia postponed it’s March presidential primaries over health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Early voting is set for the next three weeks until June 5 and Election Day is slated for June 9.

5/19/2020 FBI discovers Al-Qaeda ties in Pensacola gunman’s iPhones by OAN Newsroom
FILE- In this Jan. 29, 2016 file photo shows the entrance to the Naval Air Base Station in Pensacola, Fla. The FBI has found a link
between the gunman in a deadly attack at a military base last December and an al-Qaida operative. (AP Photo/Melissa Nelson, File)
    The FBI finally gained access to iPhones belonging to the gunman who killed three U.S. sailors last year.    Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani was killed by a sheriff’s deputy back in December after going on a deadly shooting spree inside a classroom building at a naval base in Pensacola, Florida.
    The FBI is now learning that he had “significant ties” to Al-Qaeda and was “meticulous in his planning” of that attack.
    “He talked about attending the Saudi Air Force Academy in order to carry out what he called a special operation,” stated FBI Director Christopher Wray.    “And he then pressed his plans forward, joining the Air Force and bringing his plot here to America.”
    Even while in the U.S., the shooter had constant communication with the terror group, including the night before the attack. He made pocket-cam videos as he cased his classrooms and wrote a final will explaining his actions.    All of those details were saved on his phone.    It happened to be the same will released by Al-Qaeda when it claimed responsibility for the attack.
    “While he was here among us, he talked with AQAP about his plans and tactics,” Wray explained.    “…taking advantage of the information he acquired here to assess how many people he could try to kill.”
This undated photo provided by the FBI shows Mohammed Alshamrani. The Saudi student opened fire inside a
classroom at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday before one of the deputies killed him. (FBI via AP)
    The U.S. was also able to launch a counter-terrorism operation against one of the shooter’s overseas associates in Yemen.
    During a press conference Monday, Department of Justice officials showed their appreciation for the “relentless efforts and ingenuity of FBI technicians.”    They also slammed Apple for refusing to help investigators unlock the shooter’s devices.
    “Apple’s decision has dangerous consequences for the public safety and the national security,” stated Attorney General William Barr.    “And is, in my judgment, unacceptable.”
    The FBI said the tech giants refusal to help not only cost investigators time, but “seriously hampered the investigation.”
    “Now, months after the attack, anyone he spoke to here or abroad has had months to concoct and compare stories with co-conspirators, destroy evidence and disappear,” said Barr.
    FBI officials are asking Congress to fix the issue.    The attorney general called on lawmakers to force tech companies to help law enforcement break through encryption during criminal probes.
[It is obvious that Apple is anti Trump and would not help with stopping terrorist due to that, kudos you found away to get around them so we can expose them also now.].

5/19/2020 Sen. Cruz slams Democrats for failing to defend human rights against socialist regimes by OAN Newsroom
FILE- In this Jan. 21, 2020 file photo, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) recently criticized Democrat Party officials for defending socialist regimes across the world.
    “One of the things that drives me crazy about Democrats is they have this nasty little habit of apologizing for communist dictators,” he stated.    “They think they’re cute.”
    In an interview Monday, the Texas Republican slammed the Chinese Communist Party for violating human rights of the Chinese people and for not stopping the coronavirus before it spread to the rest of the world.
    Cruz also said this is a result of several Democrat administrations having failed to stand up to oppressive regimes in the past.
    “We won’t prevail in that battle, that fundamental battle of systems, if we’re too naive,” he stated.    “…if we’re too oblivious to even be aware that there is a battle being waged, much less to stand up and defeat the Chinese aggression.”
    Cruz is now calling on his fellow lawmakers to slap sanctions on top Chinese officials involved in an alleged cover-up of the initial coronavirus outbreak in the city of Wuhan.

5/19/2020 WHO chief says he will keep leading virus response after Trump threat
FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) are pictured during the World Health Assembly (WHA) following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Geneva, Switzerland, May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization’s head said on Tuesday he would keep leading the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to cut off funding and quit the body.
    WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus defended the agency’s role after the United States again withheld full support for a resolution on the pandemic.
    “We want accountability more than anyone,” Tedros told a virtual meeting of the WHO’S 194 member states.    “We will continue providing strategic leadership to coordinate the global response.”
    Washington allowed the resolution calling for a review into the global response to the pandemic to pass by consensus, but said it objected to language about reproductive health rights and permission for poor countries to waive patent rules.
    WHO officials running the meeting clapped and cheered after the resolution was passed without a vote hours after Trump tweeted his threat to pull the United States out of the body.
    It calls for a review into the WHO-led global response, something the United States has demanded.
    But the U.S. mission in Geneva said in a statement that paragraphs on the right of poor countries to waive patents to obtain medicine during a health emergency would “send the wrong message to innovators” trying to produce new drugs and vaccines.
    The reproductive healthcare language could be interpreted as requiring countries to permit abortion.    “The United States believes in legal protections for the unborn,” it said.
    China and the United States also sparred in the closing moments of the assembly over the issue of Taiwan.    Taiwan lobbied hard to be included as an observer at the two-day meeting and received support from the United States, Japan and others, but says it was not invited due to opposition from China.
BACKING FROM CHINA
    Even as Trump has proposed quitting the WHO, the body has received backing and a two-year pledge of $2 billion in funds from China’s President Xi Jinping.
    Many other leaders expressed support for Tedros.
    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for international cooperation in response to the pandemic.
    “At times like these, the greatest act of courage is to play as a team,” she continued, without an overt reference to the United States.
    During his three years in office, Trump has criticised many international organisations and quit some.    Still, European diplomats said they were taken aback by Washington’s decision to stand aside at the WHO while China is boosting its role.br>     “It was so striking to see Xi Jinping seizing the opportunity to open up, with broad (cooperation), and make a proposal for $2 billion, and say if ever there is a vaccine they will share it with everyone,” a European diplomat said.
    “It’s exactly what we feared: the space liberated by Washington will be taken up by China.”
    The WHO declined to comment on Trump’s threat to quit, saying only that it had received his letter and was considering its contents.
    Tuesday’s resolution calls for a review into how the novel coronavirus spread after making the jump from animals to humans, believed to have happened in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year.
    Some countries including hard-hit Spain and Italy suggested the body could emerge stronger from the pandemic through reform.
    “This should be a time for renewing our organisation and we renew our strong commitment to the organisation,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said.
(Editing by Jon Boyle and Angus MacSwan)
[TRUMP MAY CUT THE U.S. FUNDS TO THE WHO DOWN TO THE SAME AS CHINA AND ASK FOR A DEVELOPING NATION STATUS TO LET THEM KNOW YOU MEAN BUSINESS AND TELL ALL THE OTHER NATIONS TO DO THE SAME.    IF NOT TRUMP MAY START A NEW WORLD HEALTH GROUP AND TAKE A LOT OF THOSE NATIONS WITH HIM AND THE BEST PERSONNEL FROM IT TO AND LEAVE CHINA AND ETC. WITH THE ETHIOPIAN TEDROS AND LOSS OF FUNDING.].

5/19/2020 U.N. chief suggests world leaders send videos for annual meeting by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres speaks during a Security Council meeting about the situation in
Syria at U.N. Headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has suggested that world leaders send video statements for the world body’s annual September meeting because it is “highly unlikely” they will be able to travel to New York during the coronavirus pandemic.
    New York is an epicenter for COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus that has infected more than 4.8 million people and killed over 319,000 globally.    The U.S. death toll has surpassed 90,000.
    In a letter to the president of the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on Monday, Guterres suggested a different format be considered for the 75th annual gathering “such as using pre-recorded messages provided by heads of state and government or ministers, with physical presence in the General Assembly Hall limited to one delegate per delegation based in New York.”
    Guterres said that while another option would be to postpone the high-level gathering until 2021, he believed it would be better for world leaders to be able to make their statements in September.
    “It would also allow for the work of the organization to continue, albeit in a different format, and for world leaders to convey their views on important international issues, including on the international response to the pandemic, as well as to hear the views of other leaders,” Guterres wrote.
    Ultimately, the decision on how to hold the gathering of world leaders will be made by the 193 U.N. member states.    Hundreds of other events are also normally held during the week-long gathering in September, but diplomats say they will be canceled this year.
    The U.N. General Assembly and the 15-member Security Council have been operating virtually for two months.    That is likely to continue until at least the end of June.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

5/19/2020 ‘A beautiful day’ in Italy, as shops and bars finally reopen by Crispian Balmer and Giulio Piovaccari
Municipal police officers walk on the reopening day at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, as Italy eases some of the lockdown
measures put in place during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Milan, Italy May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo
    ROME (Reuters) – Italian shops, hairdressers and restaurants finally threw open their doors on Monday as the country sped up efforts to bounce back from the coronavirus crisis after a 10-week lockdown.
    Customers could once again sip their morning cappuccino at the bar, albeit well spaced from other clients, and public Masses were allowed again in churches after bishops put pressure on the government to sanction religious services.
    “I haven’t worked for two and a half months.    It’s a beautiful, exciting day,” said Valentino Casanova, a barman in Caffe Canova in Rome’s central Piazza del Popolo.
    Almost 32,000 Italians have died of COVID-19 since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21, the third-highest death toll in the world after the United States and Britain.
    Italy was the first European country to impose nationwide restrictions in early March, only permitting an initial relaxation of the rules on May 4, when it allowed factories and parks to reopen.
    Monday marked a major step forward on the road to recovery, with unlimited travel allowed in individual regions, friends once again meeting up and restaurants able to serve as long as tables were at least 2 metres (6.5 ft) apart.
    Telephones rang incessantly in hairdresser salons, as unkempt clients rushed to make themselves more presentable.
    “I already have 150 appointments, all very urgent, all of them insisting that they must be first on the list,” said Stefania Ziggiotto, a hairdresser in the Alpine resort of Courmayeur.    “I have a full agenda for three weeks.”
ECONOMIC FEARS
    However, many business owners worried that the reopening might not magic away their many problems, with lingering fears of the coronavirus keeping many Italians at home, while foreign tourists, vital for the economy, were utterly absent.
    The government has said it will open up Italy’s borders with Europe and allow free travel between the regions from June 3, but no-one expects a sudden influx of outsiders.
    Monica Robaldo, owner of the Pierre Alexis 1877 restaurant in Courmayeur, said she would not reopen before the end of May.
    “We have a loyal clientele … mostly tourists, so while travel between the regions and from abroad is not allowed, there is not much point in reopening,” she said.
    The Treasury is predicting the economy will contract by at least 8% in 2020, the deepest recession since World War Two, and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said at the weekend he was taking a “calculated risk” in rolling back the rigid curbs.
    Although there was noticeably more traffic on the roads of major cities on Monday morning, some people appeared hesitant to resume their old habits.
    Angelo Lombardo, owner of Cocco Caffe in the northern city of Bologna, is allowed to serve a maximum four customers at any one time, but he said he wasn’t having to worry about social distancing rules at present.
    “A lot of people are just walking past and looking in from outside wondering whether they can come in or not,” he said, criticising the government for doing too little to explain how the rules had changed.
    “Let’s give it time,” he said.    “It’s the first day.”
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer, Giulio Piovaccari; Stephen Jewkes and Gabriele Pileri; Editing by Nick Macfie)

5/19/2020 Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll and new cases climb
Business owners practice social distancing as they protest against restrictions set by the government to prevent
the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as shops, restaurants and bars are allowed to reopen but under
strict social distancing rules, at Piazza Universita in Catania, Italy May 19, 2020. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello
    ROME (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 162 on Tuesday, against 99 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new cases rose sharply to 813 from 451 on Monday.
    The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 32,169 the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.
    The number of confirmed cases amounts to 226,699 the sixth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Russia, Spain, Britain and Brazil.
    People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 65,129 from 66,553 the day before.
    There were 716 people in intensive care on Tuesday, down from 749 on Monday, maintaining a long-running decline. Of those originally infected, 129,401 were declared recovered against 127,326 a day earlier.
    The agency said 2.0 million people have so far been tested for the virus, against 1.959 million on Monday, out of a population of around 60 million.
(Reporting by Gavin Jones, editing by Crispian Balmer)

5/19/2020 Though pandemic ebbing, Spain seeks two-week extension of emergency state by Emma Pinedo and Inti Landauro
A woman wearing a protective mask walks past a sculpture wearing traditional "Chulapo" attire and a mask as she leaves a
lottery shop amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Madrid, Spain, May 19, 2020. REUTERS/Juan Medina
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s government is to ask parliament for a two-week extension of a state of emergency in place since mid-March to help battle one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks.
    Even though COVID-19 deaths and infections have been ebbing, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s government wanted the decree granting it exceptional powers to continue until the end of June when a national lockdown should be largely eased.
    But with support for his left-wing coalition waning both in parliament and among the public, cabinet instead opted on Tuesday for an extension until June 6 from the next expiry on May 24, government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero confirmed.
    The compromise came in a last-minute agreement with the centre-right Ciudadanos party, whose 10 lawmakers will back the shorter extension in exchange for a commitment to study how the crisis can be handled in future without an emergency state.
    “Without the state of emergency, the government has no capacity to restrict the mobility of the whole population,” Montero said.
    At the peak of the outbreak, Spain was losing hundreds of citizens a day as stretched hospitals and care homes struggled to treat patients, but on Tuesday it reported deaths of under 100 for the third consecutive day.
    The 83 new fatalities took the total to 27,778, with overall reported infections at 232,037.
    Also on Tuesday, Spain lifted a ban on direct flights and ships from Italy but retained a block on cruise ships and a two-week quarantine for all travellers from abroad along with the state of emergency.    That means a further wait for the tourism-dependent economy to welcome holidaymakers back.
    The travel sector is a large driver of the gross domestic product, which the central bank fears could contract between 9.5%-12.4% in 2020.
    A new poll showed the pandemic was Spaniards’ biggest worry, with most likely to change habits when they are free to move.
    Just 14% of those surveyed by the government’s Centre for Sociological Studies planned to travel abroad when the lockdown is lifted.    Big purchases are also on hold – only 4.2% were thinking about buying a new car and 3.4% a house.
    Bars and restaurants will have to coax back the 30% of people who said they preferred not eat outside their homes.
    While the poll reported 48.4% of Spaniards do not trust the government, it showed 75% want to leave criticism aside for now.
(Reporting by Emma Pinedo and Isla Binnie; Additional reporting by Belén Carreño; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

5/19/2020 Spain’s daily death toll inches up on Tuesday
FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks walk on a crosswalk, as some Spanish provinces are allowed to ease lockdown restrictions
during phase one, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Valencia, Spain May 19, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce/File Photo
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s daily coronavirus death toll rose on Tuesday to 83 from 59 in the previous 24-hour period, the health ministry said.
    The overall number of fatalities was now 27,778, the ministry said, while the number of diagnosed cases rose to 232,037 cases.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

5/19/2020 EU resolution on pandemic adopted at WHO assembly: official
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting
on update on the coronavirus outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – A resolution on the need to investigate the global response to the coronavirus pandemic won endorsement at the World Health Organisation’s annual ministerial meeting on Tuesday.
    None of the WHO’s 194 member states – which include the United States – raised objections to the resolution brought by the European Union on behalf of more than 100 countries including Australia, China and Japan.
    “Is the (World) Health Assembly prepared to adopt the draft resolution as proposed?    As I see no requests for the floor, I take it that there is no objection and the resolution is therefore adopted,” said Keva Bain, the Bahamas ambassador who serves as the assembly’s president.    Applause erupted from officials hosting the annual gathering.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge)

5/19/2020 U.S. praises Taiwan’s coronavirus response, hails ‘shared vision’
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters during a media briefing
at the State Department in Washington, U.S., May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Pool/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday congratulated Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen on her re-election, praised the country’s coronavirus response and called it a reliable partner, in a statement that sharply contrasted with recent U.S. criticism of China, which claims Taiwan as a province.
    “We have a shared vision for the region – one that includes rule of law, transparency, prosperity, and security for all," Pompeo said in a statement.    “The recent COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity for the international community to see why Taiwan’s pandemic-response model is worthy of emulation.”
    China views Tsai, who will be sworn into office for her second and final term on Wednesday, as a separatist bent on formal independence for Taiwan.
    At her inauguration, Tsai will say that Taiwan will seek to “actively participate” in international bodies and deepen its cooperation with like-minded countries, generally a reference to the United States and its allies.    One of the top international bodies is the World Health Organization, which currently has locked Taiwan out, at China’s request.
    Since the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease was discovered in China’s Wuhan province less than six months ago, tensions have mounted between the United States and its trade-war foe China.
    President Donald Trump’s administration has cast China as secretive and ineffective in dealing with the virus now sweeping across the United States, and has pushed the massive Asian economy to uphold agreements on ending the countries’ trade war.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Bernadette Baum)

5/19/2020 Moderna, Inc. vaccine candidate shows promising preliminary results by OAN Newsroom
A sign marks an entrance to a Moderna, Inc., building, Monday, May 18, 2020, in Cambridge, Mass. Moderna announced
Monday, May 18, 2020, that an experimental vaccine against the coronavirus showed encouraging results in very
early testing, triggering hoped-for immune responses in eight healthy, middle-aged volunteers.(AP Photo/Bill Sikes)
    A COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed in the U.S. is showing promise.    On Monday, Massachusetts-based Moderna, Inc. announced preliminary results on a vaccine trial carried out in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health.
    According to the released reports, the immune responses of eight candidates have been analyzed already and showed that all eight experienced heightened antibody production as a result of the vaccine.
    “What we learned today from a biotech company in Massachusetts is that a vaccine that it has been testing with the federal government showed some promising antibody responses,” said Marilynn Marchione, chief medical writer for the Associated Press.
    “That is, it generated the kind of immune responses that should be protective, but we can’t really say that for sure.”
    According to experts, what this means is that all eight people who received the vaccine showed it boosted the body’s immune response and triggered the production of antibodies that could potentially fight off an actual COVID-19 infection.
    So far, 45 patients have been injected with the vaccine.    While results are not available for all test subjects, the success rate among the eight who have been analyzed is certainly encouraging.
    “And today’s news was just a very first step, but it’s a very encouraging one because to get eight out of eight people showing the kind of responses that you hope to see is a really good sign,” Marchione continued.
    According to medical researchers, this is only the first of many steps needed in order to ascertain the safety and efficacy of this vaccine, which must still undergo several phases of clinical trials in order to reach the distribution stage.
FILE – In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Neal Browning receives a shot in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a
potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in
Seattle. The vaccine by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc., generated antibodies similar to those seen in people who have
recovered from COVID-19 in a study of volunteers who were given either a low or medium dose. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
    Even so, experts have repeatedly commented on the unprecedented speed with which American pharmaceutical companies are advancing through these stages, which they credit in part to the government’s efforts at accelerating the process.
    “The government has announced an initiative called ‘Operation Warp Speed’ to try to get a vaccine up and running, at least for many people, by January,” said Marchione.    “That’s a really tall order when you make a vaccine from scratch for a novel germ like this coronavirus, it’s never before been seen.”
    This initiative from the White House also means some steps in the path from research to production are being carried out simultaneously with the stated purpose of reducing the time needed to make a vaccine available to the general public should it be proved effective in staving off COVID-19 infections.
    “So through this ‘Operation Warp Speed’ that the government is trying to ramp up, several different candidate vaccines are being looked at,” she continued.    “The government is planning to perhaps even start manufacturing some of these even before we know if they fully work because they need to get a head start, so that once one does prove effective, they can they can move ahead.”
    While researchers highlight there is a limit on how much clinical trials can be accelerated, they also point out that unlike with previous vaccine development efforts, the timeline for the availability of an effective COVID-19 vaccine is to be measured not in years but months.

5/19/2020 Aid groups slam U.N. council failure to take coronavirus action by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: Paramedics wheel a patient from a triage area to the emergency entrance outside Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn
during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York city, New York, U.S., May 13, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Several aid groups criticized the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday for being unable to agree on a resolution backing U.N. chief Antonio Guterres’ call for a global ceasefire so the world can focus on combating the coronavirus pandemic.
    The 15-member council has been negotiating for two months, but talks have been stymied by a stand-off between veto-powers China and the United States over whether to urge support for the World Health Organization.    Washington does not want a reference to the global health body, while Beijing wanted it included.
    “The paralysis of the Security Council in the face of COVID is shameful.    To millions of people, it is also incomprehensible,” said David Miliband, chief executive of the International Rescue Committee, in a joint statement with International Crisis Group, CARE USA and Save the Children.
    The new coronavirus causes the illness COVID-19, which has infected more than 4.8 million people and killed over 319,000 globally.
    Rob Malley, chief executive of International Crisis Group, criticized the United States and China for treating the council negotiations as an opportunity for a “blame game” instead of a chance to “make a straightforward call for a reduction in violence during the pandemic.”
    “Neither Washington nor Beijing seems able or willing to show leadership at the U.N. during a global crisis,” he said.
    The United States suspended funding to the WHO last month, accusing it of promoting Chinese “disinformation” about the novel coronavirus outbreak, although WHO officials denied the accusation and China said it was transparent and open.
    “The U.N. Security Council has a historic opportunity to stop the fighting globally and to ensure aid workers have full access,” said Inger Ashing, chief executive of Save the Children.    “Countries should not be counting their dead children but focus on battling the virus within their borders.”
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Grant McCool)

5/20/2020 Oil down $0.38 to $32.36, DOW down 391 to 24,207.
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5/20/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

5/202020 State reports daily death record - Beshear says total COVID-19 cases appear to be leveling off by Matt Mencarini, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    Kentucky saw its highest number of reported daily deaths from the coronavirus Tuesday, even as businesses and public places slowly begin to reopen.
    During his daily briefing, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that 20 more Kentucky residents had died, bringing the total number of deaths in the state since the pandemic started to 366.
    To date, the state has seen 8,069 total cases, Beshear said, with 165 new cases since Monday.    He added that despite the high water mark for daily reported deaths, total cases seem to continue leveling off.
    With the state in the process of easing restrictions on businesses and public gatherings, Beshear stressed the importance of residents wearing face masks to limit the spread of the virus.
    On Tuesday, Louisville’s total confirmed cases of COVID-19 reached 2,067, after 58 new cases since Monday, the city said in a news release.
    There have been 1,290 recoveries.    The city also said there were three new coronavirus deaths since Monday, bringing the city’s total to 132.    The new deaths were an 84-year-old woman, a 77-year-old woman and a 64-year-old man, the city said, As of Tuesday afternoon, 47 members Louisville first responders or public safety personnel had tested positive for COVID-19, the city said, with 33 who have recovered and returned to work.

5/20/2020 Fed-up Trump says US might drop out of WHO - Letter alleges ‘repeated missteps’ on COVID-19 by Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY
    President Donald Trump threatened to permanently cut U.S. funding to the World Health Organization and “reconsider” membership of the global health body if the WHO does not adopt “major substantive improvements” within 30 days.
    Trump’s demands, made in a letter Tuesday to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, are an escalation of Trump’s attacks on the organization.    He accused the WHO of “repeated missteps” during the coronavirus pandemic and demanded it “demonstrate independence” from China.
    “My administration has already started discussions with you on how to reform the organization.    But action is needed quickly.    We do not have time to waste,” Trump wrote in his ultimatum, which comes about a month after he froze WHO funding pending a formal investigation into the international health body and its coronavirus response.
    The letter lists Trump’s allegations that the United Nations agency missed warning signs of the virus’s spread and then blithely accepted China’s lack of transparency about the outbreak, such as whether the coronavirus could be transmitted between humans.    The WHO initially circulated preliminary Chinese claims that there was no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus.
    In his letter, Trump did not outline actions the WHO needs to take to satisfy his demands.    On Monday, he called the U.N.’s health body a “puppet of China.”
    Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said Trump’s letter was “smearing and slandering China’s efforts in epidemic prevention and to shift responsibility in its own incompetence in handling the epidemic.”
    The WHO said in a statement that it was “considering the contents” of Trump’s letter but had no further comment.
    The organization has previously disputed claims from the Trump administration that it acted too slowly in sounding the alarm about coronavirus.    Public health experts have warned the agency is overly bureaucratic and in need of reform.
    Little evidence has emerged to substantiate accusations from Trump administration officials that the WHO deliberately acted in concert with China to obfuscate what it knew about the outbreak.
    On Monday, Tedros said he would launch an independent evaluation of the WHO’s coronavirus response “at the earliest appropriate moment.”    Chinese leader Xi Jinping said he supports an independent investigation into the pandemic, though it remains unclear if any such review would probe the origins of the virus.    Trump has floated theories that the coronavirus escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China, where the virus first emerged late last year.
    The U.S. is the WHO’s biggest donor, paying $400million for 2018-2019, according to the organization’s website.    That money represents about 15% of the WHO’s budget.
WHO leader Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has promised an independent evaluation of the organization’s coronavirus response. WHO/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

5/20/2020 ‘It’s up to us’: how Merkel and Macron revived EU solidarity by John Chalmers and Gabriela Baczynska
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds a joint video news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Berlin, Germany, May 18, 2020. Kay Nietfeld/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – It took a courtroom of scarlet-robed judges to spur Angela Merkel to make one of her boldest moves in 15 years as German chancellor: propose huge cash handouts to the European Union’s weaker economies.
    Merkel was already worried about the future of the Union after the coronavirus pandemic struck Europe in February, triggering a wave of deaths and crippling lockdowns.
    But it was Germany’s own Constitutional Court that tipped her hand, sources said.    Its bombshell ruling on May 5 challenged the EU’s reliance on European Central Bank (ECB) money-printing to keep its weaker members’ economies afloat – and the EU’s governance.
    Until then, Merkel had opposed a proposal by French President Emmanuel Macron for a Recovery Fund that would, for the first time, bind all 27 member states to raise debt jointly.
    “Initially they were on quite different positions,” said one senior diplomat.    “They reviewed the risk of a split in the EU.    But then the Constitutional Court decision came and Merkel … said: ‘It’s up to us, the governments’.”
    A series of video calls between Merkel and Macron led to a plan for the European Commission, the EU executive, to borrow 500 billion euros ($550 billion) as common debt and transfer it to the regions and industries hit hardest.
    It would be a top-up to the EU’s 2021-2027 budget, already close to 1 trillion euros.
    Diplomats in Brussels, Paris and Berlin familiar with the discussions said Merkel had dropped Germany’s long-held opposition to mutualising debt to fund other member states – when it became clear the EU itself was in peril.
    The court ruling in effect put the onus on EU governments themselves to fund any fiscal response.
    European leaders agree that, if they fail to rescue economies now in freefall, they risk something worse than the debt crisis 10 years ago – which exposed faultlines, fanned euroscepticism and almost blew up the eurozone.
UNION IN NAME ONLY?
    The pandemic has derailed the recovery of the EU’s most indebted countries.    Italy’s debt is shooting towards 170% of national output, Greece is losing gains wrung from years of belt-tightening and, across the south, a collapse in tourism threatens millions of jobs.
    Surely the moment for the Union to live up to its name.
    But members’ initial slowness to share medical equipment, and readiness to close their borders, seemed to demonstrate Brussels’ irrelevance when national interests are at stake.
    Divisions erupted at an all-night videoconference of EU leaders on March 27 as fiscally conservative northern countries resisted pressure from a “Club Med” group to raise a splurge of mutual EU debt to tackle the effects of the pandemic.
    Finance ministers agreed on April 9 to an EU-wide rescue plan worth half a trillion euros, but it was too little to fund long-term recovery, and the feud festered on.    Berlin insisted any recovery plan must consist of short-term, repayable loans.
    Then Merkel and Macron began talking.
    “Merkel became increasingly aware that it was making Europe look really bad,” said an EU official familiar with Macron and Merkel’s consultations with the Commission.
    Just when it seemed that this latest in a series of traumas, from sovereign debt crisis to a chaotic wave of migration to Brexit, could finally tear the bloc apart, the deal hints that the two founder members can still provide the EU’s steady core.
    It may also boost Macron’s standing and his vision of more integration as Merkel ends her long tenure.
    The Commission, which presents its own proposal on May 27, warmly welcomed the initiative, but the deal is not yet done.
    To pass, it needs backing from all 27 capitals, and Austria’s leader has already said that he, along with the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, will offer only loans, not grants.
(Additional reporting by Michel Rose in Paris and by Andreas Rinke in Berlin; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

5/20/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 797 to over 176,000: RKI
FILE PHOTO: Members of the District Administration Department patrol through the city to check if the corona regulations are
respected, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Munich, Germany, April 27, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 797 to 176,007, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday.
    The reported death toll rose by 83 to 8,090, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

5/20/2020 Mexico coronavirus cases hit new daily record of 2,713
FILE PHOTO: A motorcycle taxi driver wearing a protective face mask is pictured in Iztapalapa neighborhood, as the
outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Mexico City, Mexico May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico registered 2,713 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, the health ministry said, its biggest daily increase yet in infections, bringing its overall tally to 54,346 cases.
    Authorities also registered 334 more fatalities, only the second time that the daily death toll has exceeded 300.    The country has now tallied 5,666 overall deaths from the virus.
(Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom)

5/20/2020 CDC releases detailed reopening guidelines by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Oct. 8, 2013, file photo, a sign marks the entrance to the federal Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
    For the first time in months, all 50 states are relaxing social distancing restrictions and they now have CDC guidelines to aid in the transition.
    Over the weekend, the CDC posted a 60-page report addressing a range of topics from testing and contact tracing to high risk employees returning to work.
    The CDC believes strict testing policies will be the key to avoiding a resurgence of the virus in the fall.
    “Rapid, extensive and widely available timely testing is essential to reopening America,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield.    “CDC’s role in testing continues to support diagnosis and contact tracing surveillance and outbreak.”
    The CDC is also working to improve current data gathering and reporting to allow labs across the country to combine their efforts and share their findings more efficiently.    Through several “surveillance operational plans,” the CDC aims to monitor “disease trends” such as asymptomatic cases, anti-bodies and outbreaks in workplace environments.
    Moving forward, the report outlines a three phased system that analyzes six “gating” factors to help an area determine if it is safe to reopen.    The factors include a jurisdiction’s number of visits to emergency rooms for flu-like symptoms, ability to treat patients without “crisis care” and the amount of usable personal protection equipment on hand.
    The White House rejected an earlier draft of the reopening plan with reports indicating administration officials felt it was too “prescriptive” and limited states that had already begun to ease restrictions.
    The report notably does not address concerns from religious facilities that have arisen during the lockdown and White House officials said it will likely be up to individual congregations to decide what is best.
    So far, no governor has said whether the CDC report will impact their current reopening plans.

5/20/2020 Wis. to improve mail-in ballot system after thousands of primary ballots went unaccounted for by OAN Newsroom
Workers are seen outside a city building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin which set up drive-up early voting
for the state’s April 7 election in response to the coronavirus outbreak. (Morry Gash/AP Photo)
    Election officials in Wisconsin are looking to improve their social distance friendly election system after experiencing technical difficulties with absentee ballots.
    The difficulties began about two weeks before the April 7 primary. Absentee ballot records were created in the middle of the night at a time clerks would not be creating ballot records.
    Election staffers believe that while clerks were printing mailing labels, the voting system restarted and created additional ballots.    This led clerks to think the ballots from the new batch were already mailed out.
    “There’s always a concern that something would happen, but I hope what we’ve done would eliminate that or keep that at a minimum,” stated     Dave Shively, Election Commissioner for Lancaster County.    “And I truly hope that, you know, our push to get people to vote early will keep fewer number of peoples, people going to the polling sites on Election Day.”
    A report by the Wisconsin Election Commission revealed this glitch caused more than 2,600 absentee ballots in Oshkosh to be unaccounted for.    Despite the discrepancy, the report indicated the election was successful as the state received record numbers in mail-in and absentee votes during a primary.
    “Normally, a turnout for a state primary, presidential primary will probably be between 50 and 55,000 for Lancaster County,” said Shively.    “So, we already know that our turnout’s going to probably be a record.”
    As the general election approaches, Wisconsin voters are suing the state’s election committee and are demanding it provide safe in-person voting options.    They are requesting absentee ballot request forms to be sent to all voters in time to ensure successful voting this November.
    The Wisconsin Election Commission will meet Wednesday to brainstorm solutions for any potential problems that could arise in future elections.

5/20/2020 WHO reports most coronavirus cases in a day as cases approach five million
FILE PHOTO: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO)
attends the virtual 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
in Geneva, Switzerland, May 19, 2020. Christopher Black/WHO/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization expressed concern on Wednesday about the rising number of new coronavirus cases in poor countries, even as many rich nations have begun emerging from lockdown.
    The global health body said 106,000 new cases of infections of the novel coronavirus had been recorded in the past 24 hours, the most in a single day since the outbreak began.
    “We still have a long way to go in this pandemic,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference.    “We are very concerned about rising cases in low and middle income countries.”
    Dr. Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergencies programme, said: “We will soon reach the tragic milestone of 5 million cases.”
    The WHO has come under fire from U.S. President Donald Trump, who accuses it of having mishandled the outbreak and of favouring China, where the virus is believed to have emerged late last year.    This week Trump threatened to withdraw from the WHO and permanently withhold funding.
    Tedros acknowledged receiving a letter from Trump, but declined to comment further.
    Tedros said he was committed to accountability and would carry out a review into the response to the pandemic.    Such a review was demanded by member states in a resolution this week that was passed by consensus, although the United States expressed reservations about some elements of it.
    “I said it time and time again that WHO calls for accountability more than anyone.    It has to be done and when it’s done it has to be a comprehensive one,” Tedros said of the review, while declining to say when it would start.
    Ryan said such assessments are normally conducted after an emergency is over.
    “I for one would prefer, right now, to get on with doing the job of an emergency response, of epidemic control, of developing and distributing vaccines, of improving our surveillance, of saving lives and distributing essential PPE to workers and finding medical oxygen for people in fragile settings, reducing the impact of this disease on refugees and migrants,” he said.
    Tedros said he had long been looking for other sources of funding for the WHO, saying its $2.3 billion budget was “very, very small” for a global agency, around that of a medium sized hospital in the developed world.
    In comments that could further annoy Trump, Ryan, said people should avoid using the malaria medicine hydroxychloroquine to treat or prevent coronavirus infection, except as part of a clinical trial to study it.
    Trump has said he is taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection.
    “At this stage, (neither) hydroxychloroquine nor chloroquine have been as yet found to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19 nor in the prophylaxis against coming down with the disease,” Ryan said.    “In fact, the opposite, in that warnings have been issued by many authorities regarding the potential side effects of the drug.”
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Emma Farge in Geneva and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi in Zurich; Writing by Peter Graff; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Giles Elgood)

5/20/2020 Colombian police use drones to detect high body temperatures by Luis Jaime Acosta
A Colombian police officer operates a drone that measures body temperature, in an area of ??high contagion amid
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Bogota, Colombia May 20, 2020. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez
    BOGOTA (Reuters) – It is not a bird, a plane or Superman: the aircraft humming in the skies above Colombia’s capital Bogota are instead police drones that are meant to detect people with high temperatures or those violating the country’s coronavirus quarantine.
    If a drone detects someone with a potential fever it sends the location to a medical team that seeks out the person to determine if they have coronavirus symptoms, officials said on Wednesday.
    “It facilitates the location of groups of people day or night,” said Captain Jorge Humberto Caceres, head of the police drone unit, as he monitored an area of northern Bogota with a thermal camera-equipped drone.
    “It gives us an approximate body temperature and directs the case to a national system so it can be attended to.”
    The drones only detect temperatures or groupings of people who are out on the street, the police said, and do not penetrate into houses or apartments.    The country has been in a coronavirus lockdown for nearly two months.
    Each drone can fly for up to 30 minutes at a height of 500 meters (1,640 feet) and can get as far as 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the vehicle that serves as its control center.
    Bogota – home to some 8 million people – has more than a third of Colombia’s nearly 17,000 coronavirus cases.
    Bogota’s mayor, Claudia Lopez, has placed a dozen areas with high infection rates under special restrictions, tightening rules for outings even as other parts of the country have begun re-opening.
    The Mazuren neighborhood in the Suba district, where the drone was flying on Wednesday, is one such zone.
    “Without a doubt the use of these technologies from the national police has been very useful in these orange alerts areas,” Julian Moreno, the district mayor for the Suba district, told Reuters.
    Suba is the city’s most populous district, with 1.4 million residents, and has its second-highest infection rate.
(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Paul Simao)

5/20/2020 Discontent bubbles in Spain even though coronavirus cases wane by Inti Landauro and Michael Gore
Lucia Nistal, member of left-wing group 'Coordinadora 25S', speaks to the media outside Spanish parliament against
government, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, May 20, 2020. REUTERS/Juan Medina
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s fragile left-wing coalition won backing from political foes to extend a state of emergency on Wednesday as public protests simmered over the coronavirus’ damage to the economy and tough social restrictions.
    Even though deaths are slowing and Spain hopes to mostly lift a strict lockdown by the end of June, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wants to keep special powers for two more weeks to control the easing of restrictions.
    After four previous extensions, he was back in parliament to drum up support again and narrowly passed the measure with the help of small parties.    “No one has the right to waste what we have achieved together,” Sanchez said.
    Spain has recorded 27,888 deaths and 232,555 cases of COVID-19, but new fatalities have slowed to under 100 a day.
    With the Bank of Spain forecasting the tourism-dependent economy to contract up to 12.4% in 2020, frustration is bubbling up.
    Pablo Casado, leader of the conservative People’s Party, accused Sanchez of wrecking the economy and pledged to block his minority government’s legislative agenda.    “Every vote is an agony for you and the rest of the term will be an ordeal,” he told parliament.
    On the streets, groups of up to a few hundred have been gathering daily at 9 p.m. to bang pots and pans and call for the government’s resignation, sometimes violating social-distancing rules.
    Initially associated with the far-right Vox party, the movement, which began in Madrid’s wealthy Salamanca neighbourhood, has spread from the capital to other cities such as Seville and Zaragoza.
    On Monday and Tuesday, about a dozen masked protesters gathered outside the Madrid home of Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos.    Videos showed a woman goading him to come out.
    At the weekend, dozens of people draped in flags protested with pots and pans in front of the house that Vice President Pablo Iglesias and Equality minister Irene Montero share in the affluent suburb of Galapagar, north of the capital.
DISASTROUS HANDLING
    Pockets of discontent have been breaking out elsewhere around Europe, from businesses demanding aid to some more overtly political demonstrations.
    “Say no to dictatorship” and “Stop health fascists” have been some of the slogans on banners in largely right-wing-organised protests in Germany that have capitalised on rising unemployment and unease over lockdown.
    One demonstration in Stuttgart drew tens of thousands.
    But in France and Italy, both hard-hit by the pandemic, protests have been notably rare.    Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s approval rating remains high even though his nation was the first to be locked down in Europe.
    Pablo Simon, a political science professor at Madrid’s Carlos III university, said protests were inevitable given the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, but in Spain’s case were fuelling previous political fragility.
    “The difference between Spain and other countries in Europe is that the level of polarisation was already very high before the crisis,” he said.    “The coronavirus is exacerbating it.”
    The risk from this, the analyst said, was that it obscures legitimate criticism.    “If the debate is whether the government is waging a coup or not, there’s no space to raise questions on concrete things like the use of face masks,” he said.
    Spain has eased restrictions to allow children outdoors and some shops and beaches to reopen.    But it has a quarantine for overseas travellers and ordered all citizens, including children over six, to wear masks in public.
    “They didn’t consult anyone…It was a disastrous handling of the situation,” said Madrid resident Paloma.
(Reporting by Julien Hennequin, Nathan Allen, Emma Pinedo, Jessica Jones and Ingrid Melander in Madrid; Madeline Chambers in Berlin; Christian Lowe in Paris and Gavin Jones in Italy; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

5/20/2020 Ukrainian Lawmakers: Biden tapes show quid pro quo by OAN Newsroom
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks to media during a news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine,
Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Zelenskiy announced an investigation Wednesday into the leaked tapes that allegedly
feature the country’s former president Petro Poroshenko and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and appear to be yet
another episode of an anti-Biden campaign waged by a Ukrainian lawmaker. (Sergey Dolzhenko/Pool Photo via AP)
    Ukrainian lawmakers released the recording of a 2016 phone call between Joe Biden and then-President Petro Poroshenko.    In the recording, Poroshenko told Biden he asked prosecutor general Viktor Shokin to resign.
    Biden has since admitted that he blocked aid to Ukraine unless the prosecutor was fired over Shokin’s investigation into gas company Burisma and his son Hunter.
    “I’m a man of my word and now that the new prosecutor general is in place, we’re ready to move forward to signing the $1 billion loan guarantee,” Biden stated.
    He also asked Poroshenko to nationalize Ukraine’s largest bank, which is a move that was reversed because it’s considered illegal by the new Ukrainian government
.
FILE – In this March 12, 2020, file photo Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President
Joe Biden arrives to speak about the coronavirus in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
    The former vice president can be heard making the following comments in the recording:
    “This is getting very, very close.    What I don’t want to have happen.    I don’t want Trump to get into the position where he thinks he’s about to buy into a situation where the financial system is about to collapse, where he is going to be looking to pour more money into Ukraine.    That’s how he’ll think about it before he gets sophisticated enough to know details.”
    Ukrainian lawmakers said the recording confirms Biden’s quid pro quo and conflict of interest in their country.
[Well the Biden quid pro quo that he committed which is on video and he is still denying it today which makes him a liar and he is denying sexual assault charges, and he I hope he did not do any denying of masking on Flynn to so it seems like mister wants to be president if elected is probably lying to you about everything he is going to do also.    Wake up Americans who may vote for a Democrat it is time to stop the DEEP STATE in their tracks and vote for "America First".].

5/20/2020 Senate approves subpoena in GOP’s Hunter Biden-Burisma probe by OAN Newsroom
Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., gavels a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee meeting to a close on Capitol
Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 20, 2020, after voting to issue a subpoena to Blue Star Strategies. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    The Senate Homeland Committee has voted along party lines to subpoena Blue Star, a consulting firm for Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings.    Wednesday’s vote followed growing speculation over why Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, had worked on the top advisory board of the Ukrainian firm, despite his inexperience.
    The first subpoena requested all records “related to work for or on behalf” of Burisma Holdings, along with those involved.
    Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has said the American people deserve to know the truth about Burisma, as well as the large swath of corruption within the presidential transition process.
    “What we’ve witnessed here and we’re gaining more evidence of is the corruption of that transition process, transition designed primarily to sabotage the incoming administration,” stated Johnson.
    “The American people need to understand what happened so it can never happen again.”
    Democrats on the Senate panel have opposed the investigation, arguing that Republicans should refocus their energy on COVID-19 related issues.
FILE – In this Jan. 30, 2010, file photo, then-Vice President Joe Biden, left, with his son Hunter,
right, at the Duke Georgetown NCAA college basketball game in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
    Meanwhile, Joe Biden has criticized the latest probes into “Obamagate” and his dealings in Ukraine, which have been gaining momentum.    In a recent video address to Columbia Law School graduates, Biden accused Trump administration officials of abuse of authority and leading a political crusade against him.
    However, new evidence revealed he and Barack Obama knew of illicit surveillance of the 2016 Trump campaign.    Biden also reportedly used the office of vice president to protect his money interests in Ukraine.
    “Yes, our legal system is adversarial by design, but it depends on rules, norms and ethics.    Our democracy is messy, but a free press and checks and balances hold that democratic project together.    As we know, power corrupts, democracy doesn’t just happen.” – Joe Biden, former Vice President of the United States
    He also called on the class of 2020 to advance far-left agenda and “rewrite the social contract” to reshape America after COVID-19.
[Joe Biden is part of the "Obamagate" issue where power corrupted and dissed our constitution and laws the crusade has been going on since 2016 and you only ignored it but it has raised its ugly head now and you will have to answer to it.].

5/20/2020 President Trump to stop taking hydroxychloroquine soon by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly
in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Wednesday, May 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The president has confirmed he will stop taking hydroxychloroquine pills within the next few days. On Wednesday, President Trump said he thinks his regimen will be finished in a day or two.
    The White House has not provided details on the dosage or how long he has been taking it.    This came after the president told reporters Monday he had started taking the anti-malaria drug as a potential treatment for the coronavirus a couple weeks prior.
    Despite backlash, he has defended his decision to take the drug.
    “I think it gives you an additional level of safety.    You can ask, many doctors are in favor of it.    Many front line workers won’t go there unless they have the hydroxy.    So this is an individual decision to make.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning against the use of the drug outside a clinical setting.    However, the White House physician stated he believes the possible benefits outweighed its risks.

5/20/2020 RNC raises more than $27M in April by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 28, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump arrives in
North Charleston, S.C., for a campaign rally. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
    The Republican National Committee (RNC) has recorded its best month for fundraising this year.    The RNC recently announced it raised more than $27 million in April, which brought its total funds to more than $77 million.
    On Wednesday, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel stated April’s numbers showed momentum for the president’s reelection effort.    She went on to say Republicans are growing stronger as “we are investing our resources to win.”
    The large haul reportedly came after the committee called more than 10 million voters to highlight the president’s accomplishments in office.
    Meanwhile, a pair of pro-Trump super PACs have raised nearly $17 million for the president’s reelection bid.    According to reports, the America First Policies and America First Action PACs raked in $16.8 million just last month.
    The funds added to the more than $60 million the RNC and Trump campaign raised in April.
    As of Wednesday, the president’s campaign has about $255 million cash on hand.    Officials have already put the funds to work with a $10 million ad blitz, which targeted presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden.

5/20/2020 Barbers offer free haircuts to protest Mich. lockdown by OAN Newsroom
A hair stylist gives a man a free haircut at the State Capitol during a rally as the Michigan
State Police watch in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, May 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
    Barbers gathered outside the Michigan state capitol this week to give free haircuts in defiance of the state’s stay-at-home restrictions.
    Nearly 400 people attended the demonstration on Wednesday.    “Operation Haircut” was organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition.
    Protesters have accused Governor Gretchen Whitmer of “killing small businesses” and called the restrictions overbearing.
People protest at the State Capitol during a rally in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, May 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
    “Here are these people who are small business owners, they’ve been sidelined for months.    They’ve been unable to feed their families, support themselves, pay their mortgages, pay for their cars and unable to make a living.    The governor has not done anything to allow these people to go back to work.” – Matt Seely, Michigan Conservative Coalition
    According to Michigan state police, at least three of the barbers were given citations for disorderly conduct.

5/20/2020 White House denies report stating CDC officials are being ‘muzzled’ by OAN Newsroom
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway speaks with reporters at the White House, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    The White House has denied reports from CNN, which claimed CDC officials are being “muzzled” by the administration. On Wednesday, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway shot down questions regarding the report.
    The report cited internal documents and unnamed health officials within the agency, which claimed the White House has been putting politics before science.
    Conway downplayed the reporting and questioned the validity of those leaked reports.
    “Nobody is muzzling them, but I do wonder why some people there leak.    As the United States of America’s infectious disease agency, we want them on the front lines.    Dr. Redfield has been a full member of the task force since day one…he’s doing a fantastic job.    I would ask those who really do care about the public’s health, as we all do, to tell us if there’s an issue, and not always CNN or the press.” – Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President
    She also noted Director Redfield continues to be an outspoken voice at the White House regarding the COVID-19 response.

5/21/2020 Oil up $1.57 to $33.53, DOW up 369 to 24,576.
.
5/21/2020 Justices block Russia grand jury material - House Dems say it’s vital to obstruction case by Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily blocked Congress from obtaining secret grand jury material from the Russia investigation, putting on hold a lower court’s ruling that would’ve allowed such disclosure while it decides whether to take the case on appeal.
    House Democrats and the Justice Department have been locked in a legal battle over grand jury testimony gathered during former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.    In March, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., ruled that the House committee is entitled to the evidence.
    The Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to review the ruling.    The high court gave the government until June 1 to file its legal papers arguing why the high court should take the appeal.
    The House Judiciary Committee argued that the secret grand jury material “is central” to its inquiry into possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump and could reveal new evidence of impeachable offenses. If so, the committee said it will consider recommending new articles of impeachment.
    After being impeached in the House, Trump was acquitted of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in the Senate in February.    The proceedings focused on the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine.
    The Justice Department said House Democrats aren’t entitled to grand jury evidence because they have yet to explain which specific testimony they need access to or how it would help their investigation. Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued the House has no “urgent need of the requested materials for a hypothetical second impeachment.”
    At issue before the high court is a more basic legal question: Is a Senate impeachment trial a judicial proceeding?
    The lower court ruled that it is, saying the Framers of the Constitution understood impeachment to involve the exercise of judicial power.
    Douglas Letter, general counsel for the House, quoted Kenneth Starr, who defended Trump in the Senate impeachment trial: “For literally decades, this body was referred to this in this context as the High Court of Impeachment.    So we are not a legislative chamber during this proceedings ... We are in court.”
    The Justice Department said the lower court’s expansive definition of judicial proceeding and when grand jury secrecy must be enforced contradicts Supreme Court precedent.    The “ordinary meaning” of the term suggests that a judicial proceeding happens before a court – “not an impeachment trial before elected legislators,” Francisco argued.
    The House Judiciary Committee’s investigation focuses on the instances of obstruction of justice possibly committed by the president during the course of the Mueller investigation.
    A separate but related subpoena seeks testimony from former White House counsel Donald McGahn, a key witness on possible obstruction by Trump.    The Trump administration has blocked McGahn from testifying, saying Congress can’t force high-ranking presidential aides to testify.
    In February, a three-judge appeals court panel ruled that McGahn does not have to testify, saying the judiciary can’t be an “ombudsman” who resolves disputes between the executive and legislative branches of government.    The full appeals reheard the case last month.
Adam Schiff, left, Trump and Mueller. USA TODAY AND GETTY IMAGES

5/21/2020 Global coronavirus cases surpass 5 million, infections rising in South America by Lisa Shumaker and Cate Cadell
FILE PHOTO: Gravediggers carry the coffin of Antonia Rodrigues during her funeral who passed away from the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes/File Photo
    (Reuters) – Global coronavirus cases surpassed 5 million on Wednesday, with Latin America overtaking the United States and Europe in the past week to report the largest portion of new daily cases globally.
    It represents a new phase in the virus’ spread, which initially peaked in China in February, before large-scale outbreaks followed in Europe and the United States.
    Latin America accounted for around a third of the 91,000 cases reported earlier this week.    Europe and the United States each accounted for just over 20%.
    A large number of those new cases came from Brazil, which recently surpassed Germany, France and the United Kingdom to become the third-largest outbreak in the world, behind the United States and Russia.
    Cases in Brazil are now rising at a daily pace second only to the United States.
    The first 41 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 10 and it took the world until April 1 to reach its first million cases.    Since then, about 1 million new cases are reported every two weeks, according to a Reuters tally.
    At more than 5 million cases, the virus has infected more people in under six months than the annual total of severe flu cases, which the World Health Organization estimates is around 3 million to 5 million globally.
    The pandemic has claimed over 326,000 lives, though the true number is thought to be higher as testing is still limited and many countries do not include fatalities outside of hospitals.    Over half of the total fatalities have been recorded in Europe.
    Despite the continued increase in cases, many countries are opening schools and workplaces following weeks of lockdown that have stemmed the spread.
    Financial markets have also been boosted slightly by promising early results from the first U.S. vaccine trial in humans.
(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker and Cate Cadell; editing by Jane Wardell)

5/21/2020 President Trump to withdraw from Open Skies Treaty, teases possible new agreement by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this June 28, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin walk
to participate in a group photo at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    President Trump has confirmed he is prepared to withdraw from the 1992 Open Skies Treaty, which was designed to reduce conflict with Russia.
    On Thursday, the president said based on their deal with the arms treaty, Russia and the U.S. have had a good relationship.    However, when they break a deal, he said the U.S. must “pull out.”
    This followed concerns from the White House, which claimed Russia has repeatedly violated the pact’s terms.
    Senior officials said the pullout will formally take place in six months, based on the treaty’s withdrawal terms.
    “When we have an agreement where we have a treaty and the other side doesn’t adhere to it – in many cases, they’re old treaties, old agreements – then we pull out also. So I think what’s going to happen is we’re going to pull out, they’re going to come back and want to make a deal.    We’ve had a very good relationship lately with Russia.    You can see that with respect to oil and what’s happening with oil.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    The president also mentioned there’s a “very good chance” there may be a new agreement moving forward.

5/21/2020 President Trump says G7 summit likely to take place at White House and Camp David by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump pumps his fist while boarding Air Force One as he departs
Thursday, May 21, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump has announced he anticipates this year’s Group of Seven summit will take place primarily at the White House.    On Thursday, he said it appears the annual meeting with world leaders is still on.
    According to him, the U.S. is ahead of schedule in containing coronavirus, while other countries are doing well also.
    “We’re going to have it probably at the White House, maybe a little combination of Camp David, but primarily at the White House,” stated the president.    “So if we do the G7, when that all comes together, probably it will be in D.C. at the White House, but there could be a piece of it at Camp David, which is nearby.”
    The summit is expected to take place in June.    The president added there will be an announcement about the meeting early next week.

5/21/2020 Study: Nearly 36K COVID-19 deaths could have been avoided with earlier social distancing by OAN Newsroom
Friends and loved ones sing happy birthday for Jenna Pelaez while engaging in social distance at a surprise birthday party for
her in the parking lot of the Garden State Plaza Mall, Thursday, May 21, 2020, in Paramus, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
    Columbia University has suggested nearly 36,000 coronavirus deaths could have been prevented if lockdowns were enforced one week earlier.    According to their recent study, social distancing and stay-at-home orders greatly helped reduce the spread and fatalities of COVID-19.
    Scientists have said if measures were implemented seven days before March 15th, when most states enacted them, the U.S. could have avoided 700,000 COVID-19 cases and thousands of deaths.
    However, President Trump has disputed the study, noting Columbia’s research is political and didn’t factor how difficult it was to begin implementing restrictions.
    “Everybody fought me on that, they didn’t want it.    Nancy Pelosi, a month later, was dancing in the streets of San Francisco in Chinatown so that people wouldn’t believe what’s happening.    I don’t even blame that, but I was way early.    Columbia is an institution that is very liberal.    I think it’s just a political hit job, if you want to know the truth.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    The government began to enact restrictions in mid-March, nearly two months after the first cases of coronavirus were reported in the U.S.
Columbia researchers claimed they reached their findings by studying virus transmission rates from mid-March until the beginning of May.

5/21/2020 Mich. Gov. Whitmer relaxes certain COVID-19 restrictions by OAN Newsroom
In this Thursday, May 21, 2020 photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen
Whitmer speeks during a news conference in Lansing, Mich. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool)
    Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced her state will soon begin to ease some coronavirus restrictions.    On Thursday, she stated she’s signed a number of executive orders that will “phase in additional sectors of the economy.”
    According to the governor, small gatherings can immediately resume.    Retail shops can reopen as long as they maintain 10 or fewer customers inside at once.    Non-essential medical and dental procedures will be allowed to reopen next week.
    Though the governor relaxed some restrictions, she has said Michigan’s stay-at-home order will likely be extended beyond May 28th, when it is set to expire.
    “The reengagement of construction, manufacturing, the reengagement of retail by appointment, the reengagement of medical…we’re taking a lot of steps,” stated Whitmer.    “We’ve got to take a pause and see what it means in terms of what happens with COVID-19 numbers.”
    She noted businesses and employees must still take necessary precautions, including mask wearing and social distancing, to help limit further spread of the virus.
President Donald Trump gives thumbs up after stepping off Air Force One as he arrives at Detroit Metro Airport,
behind him are Kurt Heise, left, Supervisor of Plymouth Township, Mich., and Speaker Lee Chatfield, of the
Michigan House of Representatives, Thursday, May 21, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Earlier that day, Governor Whitmer fired back at President Trump after he threatened to withhold funding over the state’s absentee ballot initiative.    During an interview, she called the president’s suggestion “dangerous.”
    She claimed its “ridiculous” the president would take money from a state “hurting as bad as we are” amid the historic flooding the state experienced after two local dams burst.
    The governor has stated she wants the president to put politics aside.
    “Threatening to take money away from a state that is hurting as bad as we are right now is just scary and something, I think, that is unacceptable,” said Whitmer.    “…We are hard working, good Americans and we need the support of our federal government as much as anybody else, if not more, right now because of this added challenge.”
    She added the president appeared to walk back on his remarks after speaking on the phone with her Wednesday.

5/21/2020 D.C. announces phase one reopening could begin May 29th by OAN Newsroom
The U.S. flag flies over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    The Reopen D.C. Advisory Group has released their guidelines for the district’s reopening plan. During Thursday’s press conference, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the district could begin phase one as early as next Friday.
    Low risk activities and gatherings of less than 10 people will be allowed, while working from home and avoiding travel will still be encouraged.    These recommendations were based on CDC guidelines and a citywide survey, which aimed to best balance safety with residents’ wishes.
    “Nearly two-thirds of respondents support a phased reopening/i>,” stated Ambassador Susan Rice.    “Many recognize the economic damage, especially to small businesses, that closing has cost.”
    The district has reported 11 consecutive days of declining coronavirus cases.    Current guidelines require 14 days in order to enter phase one.
    Meanwhile, the Senate is seeking to quickly pass the Paycheck Protection Program revision before Memorial Day, which will give small businesses more time to utilize the money.    This came after lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle agreed it makes sense to extend the PPP spending window for hard hit businesses.
    The March stimulus package required loans to be used within eight weeks.    However, those businesses have called for an extension of the time frame to spend the stimulus money, in case of a “second wave.”
    According to Sen. Marco Rubio, lawmakers are planning to vote on a 16-week window.

5/21/2020 States attempt to stop spread of COVID-19 amid reopening efforts
Salt Lake County Health Department public health nurse Lee Cherie Booth performs a coronavirus test outside the
Salt Lake County Health Department, Wednesday, May 20, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
    As states continue taking steps towards reopening, local governments are looking at ways to avoid a potential second surge in new coronavirus cases.
    One of those possible solutions is contact tracing.    The process can be used in two ways to trace the spread of this virus.
    The state can hire a group of tracers or health investigators, who will call people that were confirmed to have COVID-19.    They will question these individuals to figure out all the places they have been and then notify others who may have been exposed.
    However, officials claimed this process can be long and troublesome.
    “I get people that lie all the time,” stated health investigator Maria Dicaro.    “I try to get as much information from the beginning, but it’s just not always the case.”
Health officials have to work down the chain of contacts that starts with someone who tests positive with COVID-19 (AP Photo).
    States can also use contact tracing technology on a phone app, which will track a person’s movements and notify them if they came into contact with an infected or COVID positive person.
    “If both of us were on a subway for ten minutes, which is the CDC guidelines for minimum exposure time, I went back home and submitted a report that said that I was positively diagnosed – and this would, of course, be validated by a health care authority – you would then get an automatic notification on your phone saying you might have been exposed,” explained doctoral student Justin Chan.    “You’d potentially want to quarantine or self-isolate to prevent further spread of the disease.”
    At least 22 states have launched some form of contact tracing phone app, in hopes of curbing the spread in their areas.
    “As we attempt to transition to open back up our economy, we’re simultaneously moving to this second initiative of testing, contact tracing and isolation of people who, in fact, are infected,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee.    “We think of this as a smart weapon against this virus.”
    However, states have seen glitches and other tech issues with these apps, making the method less effective.
A smartphone belonging to Drew Grande, 40, of Cranston, R.I., shows notes he made
for contact tracing Wednesday, April 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
    Apple and Google recently released a new update for the iPhones’ IOS system, which included contact tracing technology.    America’s more than 100 million iPhone users will now have access to the tech, which Apple is hoping will help combat the pandemic.
    Other countries like Australia and the U.K. are also utilizing such technology and remain optimistic.
    According to researchers, it will take time to tell whether these applications are effective in fighting the spread of the coronavirus.    In the meantime, maintaining personal hygiene and social distancing is a good way to flatten the curve.
[I hope you have not fallen for this scam which is really to get access to know who you are and connected to so they can send you upcoming election information as they did in the last election.].

5/21/2020 U.S. to pull out of Open Skies treaty, Trump’s latest treaty withdrawal by Steve Holland and Jonathan Landay
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response
during a meeting with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and Kansas Governor Laura Kelly in the Cabinet Room at the
White House in Washington, U.S., May 20, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Thursday it would withdraw from the 35-nation Open Skies treaty allowing unarmed surveillance flights over member countries, the Trump administration’s latest move to pull the country out of a major global treaty.
    The administration said Russia had repeatedly violated the pact’s terms.    Senior officials said the pullout would formally take place in six months, but President Donald Trump held out the possibility that Russia could come into compliance.
    “I think we have a very good relationship with Russia.    But Russia didn’t adhere to the treaty.    So until they adhere, we will pull out,” Trump told reporters.
    His decision deepens doubts about whether Washington will seek to extend the 2010 New START accord, which imposes the last remaining limits on U.S. and Russian deployments of strategic nuclear arms to no more than 1,550 each.    It expires in February.
    Trump has repeatedly called for China to join the United States and Russia in talks on an arms control accord to replace New START.    China, estimated to have about 300 nuclear weapons, has repeatedly rejected Trump’s proposal.
    White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien told Fox News Channel later on Thursday that he did not expect the United States to leave the New START accord.
    NATO allies and other countries like Ukraine had pressed Washington not to leave the Open Skies Treaty, whose unarmed overflights are aimed at bolstering confidence and providing members forewarning of surprise military attacks.
    In Moscow, RIA state news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko as saying that Russia had not violated the treaty and nothing prevented the continuation of talks on technical issues that Washington calls violations.
    The Open Skies decision followed a six-month review in which officials found multiple instances of Russian refusal to comply with the treaty.
    Last year, the administration pulled the United States out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia.
    A senior administration said U.S. officials had begun talks in recent days with Russian officials about a new round of nuclear arms negotiations to “begin crafting the next generation of nuclear arms control measures.”
TREATY TOOK EFFECT IN 2002
    Trump’s arms control negotiator mounted a full-blown defense of the administration’s arms control policies, focusing on the president’s proposal that China join the United States and Russia on a replacement for New START.
    “We know how to win these races and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion.    If we have to, we will, but we sure would like to avoid it,” Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea told the Hudson Institute think tank.
    The Open Skies treaty, proposed by U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower in 1955, was signed in 1992 and took effect in 2002.    The idea is to let member nations make surveillance flights over each other’s countries to build trust.
    The officials cited a years-long effort by Russia to violate the terms, such as by restricting U.S. overflights of Russia’s neighbor Georgia and the Russian military enclave in Kaliningrad on the Baltic coast.
    In addition, they said Russia had been using its own overflights of American and European territory to identify critical U.S. infrastructure for potential attack in time of war.
    Some experts worry that a U.S. exit from the treaty, which will halt Russian overflights of the United States, could prompt Moscow’s withdrawal, which would end overflights of Russia by the remaining members, weakening European security at a time that Russian-backed separatists are holding parts of Ukraine and Georgia.
    Trump’s decision to leave the treaty is “premature and irresponsible,” said Daryl Kimball, head of the Washington-based Arms Control Association.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Jonathan Landay; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu, Arshad Mohammed and Mohammad Zargham in Washington and Andrey Ostroukh in Moscow; Editing by David Gregorio, Steve Orlofsky and Peter Cooney)

5/21/2020 Brazil suffers record 1,188 daily coronavirus deaths
FILE PHOTO: Workers of a funeral parlour, wearing protective clothing, are pictured after removing the body of
Valnir Mendes da Silva, 62, from a sidewalk of Arara community, where he died after residents requested help from the emergency
service as he was suffering from breathing problems, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 17, 2020. According to the residents, the body took about 30 hours to be removed. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
    RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil registered a record of 1,188 daily coronavirus deaths on Thursday, with more than 20,000 total fatalities from the coronavirus outbreak, the Health Ministry said.
    Brazil now has 310,087 confirmed cases, the ministry said, just a few thousand fewer than world No. 2 hot spot Russia, which trails the United States.
(Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Editing by Chris Reese)

5/21/2020 Brazil suffers record daily coronavirus death toll, soon to be world No. 2 by Pedro Fonseca and Lisandra Paraguassu
FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro adjusts his mask as he leaves Alvorada Palace, amid the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Brasilia, Brazil May 13, 2020. REUTERS/Adriano Machado
    RIO DE JANEIRO/BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil suffered a record of 1,188 daily coronavirus deaths on Thursday and is fast approaching Russia to become the world’s No. 2 COVID-19 hot spot behind the United States.
    Brazil also passed 20,000 deaths on Thursday and has 310,087 confirmed cases, up over 18,500 in a single day, according to Health Ministry data.    The true numbers are likely higher but Brazil has not carried out widespread testing, the ministry said.
    President Jair Bolsonaro is under growing pressure for his handling of the outbreak, which looks set to destroy the Brazilian economy and threatens his re-election hopes.    He strongly opposes social distancing measures and has repeatedly pushed for greater usage of chloroquine as a remedy for the virus, despite health experts’ warnings about risks.
    Bolsonaro’s relationship with governors and mayors has also grown increasingly bitter.    The president is angry over local shutdowns to slow the spread of the virus and argues that keeping the economy running is more important.
    Bolsonaro said he will approve on Thursday or Friday a 60 billion-real ($10.72 billion) federal aid program for states and cities hit by coronavirus but asked governors for support freezing public sector pay increases.
    The bill to distribute federal money to states and municipalities was approved by Congress earlier this month.    However, Bolsonaro has not signed off on it due to pressure from Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, an avowed free-marketeer who wants more fiscal austerity.
    In return for signing off on the aid package, Bolsonaro asked governors for their backing in specific measures freezing public sector pay increases for two years.
    Speaking later on Thursday, Bolsonaro said it was normal for politicians to begin to lose some popularity after more than a year in office.
($1 = 5.5970 reais)
(Reporting by Pedro Fonseca and Lisandra Paraguassu; Editing by Gabriel Stargardter, Marguerita Choy and Lisa Shumaker)

5/21/2020 U.S. prepared to spend Russia, China ‘into oblivion’ to win nuclear arms race: U.S. envoy
FILE PHOTO: Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing in the U. S. Department of the Treasury
Marshall Billingslea speaks during a news conference in Riga, Latvia May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s arms control negotiator on Thursday said the United States is prepared to spend Russia and China “into oblivion” in order to win a new nuclear arms race.
    “The president has made clear that we have a tried and true practice here.    We know how to win these races and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion.    If we have to, we will, but we sure would like to avoid it,” Special Presidential Envoy Marshall Billingslea said in an online presentation to a Washington think tank.
(Reporting by Jonathan Landay nd Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Chris Reese)

5/22/2020 Oil up $0.49 to $34.01, DOW down 107 to 24,474.

5/22/2020 Kentucky restaurants prepare to open at 33% capacity on Friday as part of Gov. Andy Beshear’s “Healthy at Work“ guidelines, numerous new social distance and safety policies will be implemented at restaurants across the board, including requirements on personal protective equipment, or PPE, guidelines on how employees should wear face masks and gloves as well as how hand sanitizer should be available in addition to hand-washing stations and tissues.
    Restaurant owners are adapting to the new policies amid staff shortages and uncertainty about the future of their businesses.    While customers can’t wear masks while eating, they are encouraged to wear masks when coming in for curbside or pick up inside the store.

5/22/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 460 to 177,212: RKI
FILE PHOTO: Members of the District Administration Department patrol through the city to check if the corona regulations are
respected, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Munich, Germany, April 27, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 460 to 177,212, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday.
    The reported death toll rose by 27 to 8174, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

5/22/2020 Mexico posts record 2,973 coronavirus cases in single day
Veronica, 55, who is suspected to have contracted the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), leaves her house to travel to a
hospital with members of the Red Cross, at Naucalpan neighbourhood in Mexico City, Mexico May 20, 2020. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican health authorities on Thursday 2,973 more coronavirus cases, a daily record for new infections, bringing the country’s total tally to 59,567 cases.
    Mexico also registered another 420 deaths, just slightly lower than its record one-day death toll the prior day.    A total of 6,510 coronavirus deaths have been reported in Mexico since the start of the pandemic. (Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Abraham Gonzalez)

5/22/2020 George Soros says coronavirus threatens EU’s survival
FILE PHOTO: Billionaire investor George Soros speaks to the audience at
the Schumpeter Award in Vienna, Austria June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
    LONDON (Reuters) – George Soros, the billionaire financier, has cautioned that the European Union’s survival was threatened by the novel coronavirus unless it could issue perpetual bonds or “consols” to help weak members such as Italy.
    “If the EU is unable to consider it now, it may not be able to survive the challenges it currently confronts,”     Soros said in a transcript of a question-and-answer session emailed to reporters.    “This is not a theoretical possibility; it may be the tragic reality.”
    Soros said the EU would have to maintain its AAA credit rating to issue such debt – and thus have to have tax raising powers to cover the cost of the bonds – so suggested it could simply authorise the taxes rather than imposing them.
    “There is a solution,” said Soros, who earned fame by betting against the pound in 1992. “The taxes only have to be authorized; they don’t need to be implemented.”
    Asked about Brexit, Soros said he was particularly worried about Italy: “What would be left of Europe without Italy?
    “The relaxation of state aid rules, which favour Germany, has been particularly unfair to Italy, which was already the sick man of Europe and then the hardest hit by COVID-19,” Soros said.
    Soros used Quantum Fund in 1992 to bet successfully that sterling was overvalued against the Deutsche Mark, forcing then-British Prime Minister John Major to pull the pound out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM).
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden)
[As you can see one of the biggest Globalist entity is trying to get the European Union up to par to become the main attack as it is required to promote the Globislist policies on the rest of the world since the U.S. with Trump getting out of all their controlling policies of the World Government that will envelop you.    It was nice knowing you EU, and you will find yourself in coexistense with China, Russia and Iran before long and Italy will be China's bitch and the Scarlet Woman will be riding on the back of the Beast as prophesied.].

5/22/2020 President Trump commemorates veterans, prisoners of war with ‘Rolling to Remember’ ceremony by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump gives thumbs up during a “Rolling to Remember Ceremony,” to honor the nation’s veterans and
POW/MIA, from the Truman Balcony of the White House, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump participated in a Memorial Day ceremony on Friday, which honored veterans, prisoners of war and service members missing in action.    The president spoke on the Blue Room balcony ahead of the annual Rolling Thunder rally, which has been redubbed this year as “Rolling to Remember.”
    The president commemorated the veteran organizations present and noted they are helping honor American heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
    He went on to say he will also continue honoring veterans and those in the military, pointing to his administration’s work in boosting defense spending.

President Donald Trump speaks during a “Rolling to Remember Ceremony,” to honor the nation’s veterans and POW/MIA,
from the Truman Balcony of the White House, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    This year’s Rolling Thunder will be held in a virtual format due to the pandemic.    Instead of riding their motorcycles in D.C., attendees have been encouraged to ride 22 miles in their own communities during the event on Sunday.

5/22/2020 Lawmakers debate unemployment benefits by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill,
Wednesday, May 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    The debate over coronavirus unemployment measures is heating up on Capitol Hill and is reportedly one of the key issues slowing down passage of the next relief package.
    In March, the $2.2 trillion CARES Act made available an extra $600 a week for unemployment recipients.    However, this measure is set to expire at the end of July.
    As unemployment reached a record high of more than 38 million claims in the past nine weeks, Democrats began pushing to extend the July 31st expiration date.
    “Even if infection rates go down in May and June, unemployment will keep going up,” stated Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.).
    Democrat legislators have argued this money will effectively go towards the economy, since it will theoretically be spent on groceries and other essentials.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks with reporters after meeting with Senate Republicans at
their weekly luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    However, many Republicans have voiced opposition to the extension.    According to some GOP lawmakers, the expansion would disincentivize employees to return to work and make it harder for small businesses to resume operations.
    “Democrats encourage millions of Americans to stay unemployed, even if a good, safe job is offered,” explained Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas).    “If you get paid more than your salary not to work and have good health care, why would you go back?
    The House has already voted to pass the extension as part of the $3 trillion HEROES Act.    The Senate is set to discuss the next bill sometime after the Memorial Day recess.
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently confirmed the next coronavirus relief bill will not extend the enhanced unemployment insurance.
    In the meantime, unemployment is expected to rise as high as 20 percent in the coming months.

5/22/2020 Joe Biden faces backlash over black voter comments by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Sunday, March 15, 2020, file photo, former Vice President Joe Biden participates in a Democratic
presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
    Joe Biden has come under fire for remarks he made during an interview this week.
    During his Friday appearance on radio show “The Breakfast Club,” he tried to cut the interview short.    Before logging off, the host asked Biden for another interview at a future date and added he still had questions for the presidential hopeful.
    The former vice president then responded, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
    The host replied by saying, “It has nothing to do with Trump, it has to do with the fact I want something for my community.”
    Trump campaign senior advisor Katrina Pierson spoke out on Twitter, saying “White liberals have always dictated which blacks are allowed in the house or kept outside.”
    Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) also slammed the presidential hopeful following his controversial comments on black Trump supporters.    He stated said he’s “offended, but not surprised” and referred to Biden’s remark as the “most arrogant, condescending comment I’ve heard in a very long time.”
    On Twitter, the senator claimed the former vice president attempted to invalidate 1.3 million black Americans who voted for President Trump in 2016.
    He went on to point out Biden sponsored the controversial 1994 Crime Bill, which the lawmaker has said contributed to the incarceration of “more African American males than any other piece of legislation.”
    Biden has since walked back his remarks, which he said were too “cavalier.”

5/22/2020 Dr. Fauci: Lockdowns could cause ‘irreparable damage’ if imposed too long by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 22, 2020, file photo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,
speaks about the new coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    On Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke out in favor of reopening the nation’s economy.    The leading medical expert of the White House coronavirus task force has said prolonged stay-at-home orders could cause irreparable harm.
    The doctor noted that while the lockdowns were crucial during the peak of virus cases, now is the time to “get back to some degree of normal.”
    According to him, if states and cities follow the guidelines in place, we can move forward in a safe way, boost morale and regain our economy.
    “We can’t stay locked down for such a considerable period of time that you might do irreparable damage and have unintended consequences, including consequences for health,” stated Dr. Fauci.    “It’s for that reason that the guidelines are being put forth, so that the states and the cities can start to reopen.”
    He went on to say Americans can expect phase three of reopening to start by the beginning of summer, possibly July.
    His remarks come as businesses across the nation are starting to reopen ahead of schedule in defiance of prolonged stay-at-home orders.

5/22/2020 President Trump: Governors need to let faith leaders reopen their churches now or I will override them by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing
Room of the White House, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump has stated governors need to let faith leaders reopen places of worship this weekend.    He made the remarks at the White House on Friday, when he deemed churches, synagogues and mosques as “essential places that provide essential services.”
    According to the president, it’s not right that governors have allowed liquor stores and abortion clinics to reopen, but have left out houses of worship.    He added faith leaders love their congregations and will make sure they are safe as they gather to pray in their houses of worship.
    President Trump then slammed governors by saying, “If there’s any question, they’re going to have to call me, but they’re not going to be successful in that call.”
    “The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important, essential places of faith to open right now, for this weekend,” he stated.    If they don’t do it, I will override the governors.”
    This comes as faith leaders in various states, including California, are planning to reopen their churches in defiance of lockdown restrictions.    President Trump also recently announced CDC guidelines on reopening places of worship, which he said could be available as early as Friday.
[Trump cannot override them but the Justice system can, so lets see what the governor's do or don't do.    I think every church in the U.S. should just open up any way because the governor's do not have enough resources to handle that demonstration and they will get no help from the federal government if so only the antichristian facilties would do that.].

5/22/2020 Biden says he would repeal President Trump tax cuts, raise corporate tax rate back to 28% if elected by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 3, 2020, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden
speaks at a primary election night campaign rally in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)
    Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden said he will repeal some of President Trump’s tax cuts if he’s elected.
    During an interview Friday, Biden said that wealthy Americans and corporations “shouldn’t get off so easy.”    He’s looking to repeal the $2 trillion tax cut for those who make over a million dollars a year.
    The former vice president is also aiming to move the corporate tax rate back to 28 percent, which had been lowered to 21 percent under President Trump.
    Biden said he wants to refocus the money toward the middle class and small businesses.
    “I would get the money to Main Street, the Paycheck Protection Program, the Small Business Program with the Main Street Lending Program,” he stated.    “It’s out there with billions of dollars, it hadn’t lent a single solitary dollar in over three months.”
    During a different interview Friday, Biden called on Amazon to pay more taxes and said “capitalism should ensure there is fairness.”
[I HOPE EVERYONE WHO IS READING THIS IS THAT TRUMP LOWERED YOUR TAXES SO YOU WOULD HAVE MORE OF YOUR MONEY TO SPEND OR SAVE OR INVEST AS YOU WISHED INSTEAD OF IT SITTING IN THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE TO WAIT TO SEE IF YOU GET IT BACK FROM YOUR TAX RETURN EVERY YEAR IF YOU DO AND AS YOU READ ABOVE JOE BIDEN WANTS TO TAX 28% SO THE PROGRESSIVE SOCIALIST WILL HAVE MORE OF YOUR MONEY TO SPEND ON THEIR PROJECTS WHICH JUST ABOUT DID US IN DURING THE 8 YEARS THAT OBAMA WAS IN OFFICE COMPARED TO THE FINANACIAL GROWTH THAT DONALD J. TRUMP HAS BOOMED OUR ECONOMY IN EXTREME IN ALL AMERICANS PROFITING SINCE 2017 UNTIL THIS CHINA LOVING DEMOCRATS WHO PROMOTE CHINA IN 2020 WHO CAUSED A WORLD PANDEMIC AND DID NOT GIVE A DAMN ABOUT ANY AMERICANS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES SO WHEN YOU VOTE IN NOVEMBER 3RD THINK WHAT IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN TO YOU WHEN YOU VOTE.].

5/22/2020 European NATO allies voice concern over U.S. plan to quit Open Skies
FILE PHOTO: Banners displaying the NATO logo are placed at the entrance of new NATO headquarters during
the move to the new building, in Brussels, Belgium April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European members of NATO told the United States on Friday they were uneasy about its plan to withdraw from the 35-nation Open Skies treaty that allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries, an official of the defence alliance said.
    Senior officials in President Donald Trump’s administration, which says Russia has repeatedly violated the treaty’s terms, said on Thursday that Washington would formally pull out of Open Skies in six months.
    The U.S. move deepens doubts about whether Washington will seek to extend the 2010 New START accord, which imposes the last remaining limits on U.S. and Russian deployments of strategic nuclear arms to no more than 1,550 each.    The accord expires in February.
    Envoys to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), meeting in response to the U.S. announcement, agreed “on the importance of arms control, and on the need to bring Russia back to compliance,” the NATO official said.
    “A number of allies expressed concern that the U.S. may be leaving the treaty,” the official added.
    Some allies worry that a U.S. exit from Open Skies, which will halt Russian overflights of the United States, could prompt Moscow’s withdrawal.    That would end overflights of Russia by the remaining members, weakening European security at a time when Russian-backed separatists hold parts of Ukraine and Georgia.
    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that for many years Russia had “imposed flight restrictions inconsistent with the treaty, including flight limitations over Kaliningrad, and restricting flights in Russia near its border with Georgia.”
    “Russia’s ongoing selective implementation has undermined the Open Skies Treaty,” he said in a statement after the meeting of ambassadors to the Brussels-based alliance.
    He noted that Washington would reconsider its withdrawal if Russia respected the treaty’s terms, and said NATO allies were engaging with Moscow to seek its early return to compliance.
(Reporting by John Chalmers; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

5/22/2020 South America a new COVID epicenter, Africa reaches 100,000 cases, WHO says
Gravediggers wearing protective suits prepare to bury the coffin of a person who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a ceremony with no
relatives, at Vila Formosa cemetery, Brazil's biggest cemetery, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 22, 2020. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli
    GENEVA (Reuters) – South America has become a new epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic with Brazil hardest-hit, while cases are rising in some African countries that so far have a relatively low death toll, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.
    “The COVID-19 pandemic today reached a milestone in Africa, with more than 100,000 confirmed cases.    The virus has now spread to every country in the continent since the first case was confirmed in the region 14 weeks ago,” the WHO said in a statement, noting there were 3,100 confirmed deaths on the vast continent.
    Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, who is from Botswana, said: “For now COVID-19 has made a soft landfall in Africa, and the continent has been spared the high numbers of deaths which have devastated other regions of the world.”
    Even so, she said, “We must not be lulled into complacency as our health systems are fragile and are less able to cope with a sudden increase in cases.”
    About half of African countries are experiencing community transmission of the virus, the WHO said.
    The situation in South America appeared graver.    Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergencies expert, speaking earlier to a news conference, said: “In a sense South America has become a new epicenter for the disease.”
    Brazil is the “most affected,” and authorities there have approved broad use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19, he said.    He reiterated that clinical evidence does not support the drug’s widespread use against the disease, given its risks.
    Nine African countries had 50% rises in cases in the past week, while others have seen a decline or have stable rates, Ryan said.
    The low mortality rate may be because half the continent’s population is 18 or younger, he said, while saying he remains worried the disease will spread on a continent with “significant gaps” in intensive care services, medical oxygen and ventilation.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and John Miller in Zurich; Editing by Leslie Adler)

5/23/2020 Oil down $0.36 to $33.56, DOW down 9 to 24,465.

5/23/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 638 to 177,850: RKI
FILE PHOTO: People cross a bridge over the Rhine River, as the spread of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) continues, in downtown Cologne, Germany May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 638 to 177,850, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday.
    The reported death toll rose by 42 to 8,216, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

5/23/2020 Mexico reports another single-day record for coronavirus deaths
FILE PHOTO: An employee of the municipality of Iztapalapa gives sanitizing gel to a woman arriving to the San Nicolas Tolentino
cemetery, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Mexico City, Mexico May 9, 2020. REUTERS/Gustavo Graf
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico on Friday registered a record for coronavirus deaths on a single day, posting 479 more deaths along with 2,960 new infections, according to data from the health ministry.
    Authorities have now reported 62,527 total cases of the coronavirus and 6,989 deaths since detecting the first cases in Mexico in late February.
    The previous peak in fatalities was May 20, when authorities reported 424 deaths.
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Abraham Gonzalez; Editing by Leslie Adler)

5/23/2020 Argentina hits 10,000 coronavirus cases, outpaced by LatAm neighbors by Cassandra Garrison and Miguel Lobianco
FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective face mask walks past Puente de la Mujer during the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Buenos Aires, Argentina May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian
    BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina surpassed 10,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday, after recording the highest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic.
    There are 10,649 cases, up by 718 from a day earlier, mostly in capital Buenos Aires, government data showed.    The death toll is at 433.
    The rate of daily confirmed infections has steadily increased in the last week, though Argentina is still heavily outpaced by its regional neighbors.    Brazil has the highest infection rate on the continent and became the world no.2 hotspot in terms of case numbers on Friday.
    Argentina has been under a mandatory lockdown in most parts of the country since March 20 and has one of the strictest travel bans in the world, blocking the sale and purchase of flights until September.
    The government extended the lockdown until May 24 for some parts of the country, while relaxing some limited restrictions on movement and businesses.
    The city of Buenos Aires, which has the highest concentration of cases in the country, is still under the toughest restrictions, though people have begun to venture out more as some business sectors reopen.
    “The measures that were taken at the beginning were good, but due to the greater flexibility, many more people began to go out and today we are getting to what we did not want, the peak of infections,” said Buenos Aires resident Alan Godoy, wearing a mask on the street outside a subway station.
    “Unfortunately, we are in a country that lacks funds and people have to go out to work.    It is reality,” he said.
(Reporting by Cassandra Garrison and Miguel Lo Bianco, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

5/23/2020 Scott Turner on fight against COVID-19: ‘We will be victorious together’
President Donald Trump listens as Executive Director of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Scott Turner
speaks during a listening session with African-American leaders at Ford’s Rawsonville Components Plant that has been converted
to making personal protection and medical equipment, Thursday, May 21, 2020, in Ypsilanti, Mich. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Former NFL player-turned-politician Scott Turner has highlighted the president’s efforts in combating COVID-19.    On Saturday, the executive director of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council discussed how he and his colleagues are contributing to the fight.
    “The White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council has been inside of the distressed communities over the past year, making sure we bring revitalization and new energy to those forgotten places, to those forgotten people in our country that are so vital to the success of America,” explained Turner.
    The council was established by President Trump’s executive order in 2018 for the purpose of encouraging investment in urban and low-income areas.    More recently, its focus has shifted to equipping vulnerable communities with the tools to combat the invisible enemy.
    “We have retooled, refocused and refashioned different sectors of our society to attack this enemy that we know as COVID-19,” said Turner.
Pedestrians wear protective masks as they walk in Times Square during the coronavirus
pandemic, Saturday, May 23, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
    The council has also provided those communities with opportunities to overcome the economic impacts of the pandemic shutdowns, which have led to mounting unemployment across the nation.
    “We will continue to come inside these communities, partner with you, the American people, to make sure that we have victory against this enemy,” added Turner.    “We will be victorious together.”

5/23/2020 Pence: U.S. will hold China responsible for pandemic by OAN Newsroom
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a meeting with restaurant industry executives about the coronavirus
response, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, May 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Vice President Mike Pence has announced the U.S. will hold China accountable for its role in the COVID-19 pandemic.    On Saturday, Pence stated “China let the world down” with their lack of transparency when the virus first broke out in Wuhan.
    He claimed the country withheld critical information from the CDC and the rest of the world that could have significantly helped contained the virus.
    The vice president reaffirmed the Trump administration will ensure this won’t happen again.
    “We’re going to continue to demand that the World Health Organization enact the kind of reforms that will ensure, going forward, that what the world needs to know about any potential health threat, we’ll know in the future,” stated Pence.
    In recent days, the U.S. has taken a strong stand against Chinese military activities and the country’s treatment of Uighur Muslims.    The U.S. also recently added dozens of Beijing companies to an economic blacklist, all of which had ties to efforts to spy on Muslims.

5/23/2020 German anti-lockdown demonstrations mark 3rd weekend in a row by OAN Newsroom
The vegan chef Attila Hildmann delivers a speech during a demonstration against restrictions and
measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in front of the Reichstag building, home of the
German federal parliament, in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
    German demonstrators again gathered in protest against ongoing restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.    Around 200 protesters reportedly gathered in the city of Frankfurt Saturday, where around 60 people were taken into custody by police.
    According to officials, some protesters fought with police and violated official guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.
    Protests against the measures, which were instituted by Chancellor Angela Merkel, have continued for three weekends in a row now.
    “I’m here because I believe that we need freedom for each person to be responsible for themselves in Germany,” stated one protester.    “We need to show our faces and confirm that each person is responsible for themselves in dealing with this virus.”
The Reichstag building, home of the German federal parliament, is mirrored in the glasses of a woman wearing a
face mask with the slogan “Don’t Give (Bill) Gates A Chance” during a demonstration against restrictions and measures
to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
    Merkel confirmed she is aware citizens are concerned about possible human rights interference.
    The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany recently rose to around 178,000, with more than 8,200 dead.

5/23/2020 N.Y. relaxes restrictions, Gov. Cuomo announces gatherings up to 10 people allowed by OAN Newsroom
FILE – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference in New York (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
    The state of New York has reversed its ban on non-essential gatherings.    On Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order, which will allow groups of up to 10 people to congregate.
    New York is regarded as one of the most COVID-devastated regions in the country and its prohibition on gatherings has been in place since March.
    The governor announced the eased restrictions just one day after lifting the ban on religious ceremonies and Memorial Day celebrations.
    “I think those religious ceremonies can be very comforting,” he said.    “But we need to find out how to do it safely and smartly.”
Pedestrians use an umbrella to protect themselves from the rain as they walk along Sixth Avenue during
the coronavirus pandemic, Saturday, May 23, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
    Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio has been working on plans for reopening New York City, which has recorded more than 20,000 coronavirus related deaths.    De Blasio, however, did detail a condition for reopening.
    According to him, before the city can consider entering phase one of reopening, the city must maintain a set of coronavirus case thresholds for 10 to 14 days.    The mayor has said strict social distancing will still be enforced and beaches will be closed.
    “Anyone who’s unhappy about that, anyone who thinks it’s unfair, the buck stops with me,” stated de Blasio.    “This is a decision I’m making as the elected leader of this city to protect all of us.”
    Governor Cuomo has argued the decision to reopen should be founded in statewide metrics based on the number of hospitalizations and availability of hospital beds.    Based on those metrics, he said the Long Island and mid-Hudson regions can reopen next week, so long as their coronavirus death tolls continue to go down.
    The rest of the city is projected to meet the requirements laid out by the state and be ready to reopen by early June.

5/23/2020 Dr. Birx highlights D.C., Chicago, L.A. as possible virus hot spots by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks with reporters about the coronavirus in the
James Brady Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Despite social distancing efforts, some areas are still facing an increase in coronavirus cases and have been labeled as potential “hot spots.”    During Friday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing, Dr. Deborah Birx outlined the top three areas officials are concerned about.
    “The number one metro with the highest positivity rate is District of Columbia, which includes Northern Virginia, Montgomery and PG (Prince George’s) County,” said Dr. Birx.
    She compared the CDC’s cases to other areas like New York and New Jersey, which have seen the number of daily cases per 100,000 people drop by nearly 80% since early April.
    However, cases in some hot spot cities, including Baltimore, Chicago and Los Angeles, have yet to fall below 10% of the population.
    L.A., Chicago and D.C. all went on lockdown in March and saw an initial decrease in the spread of the infection, only to reach a plateau in recent weeks.
Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, listens as White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks with reporters about
the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    “Even though Washington has remained closed, L.A. has remained closed, Chicago has remained closed, we still see these ongoing cases,” explained Dr. Birx.    “The CDC is working with the local areas to really understand where these new cases are coming from and what we need to do to prevent them in the future.”
    While Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently came under fire for extending his city’s lockdown, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser have released tentative reopening plans.
    The CDC is working with the White House moving forward to ensure hard-hit areas receive testing supplies as soon as possible.    This will help diagnose and trace cases, especially amid a rise in asymptomatic cases.
    “There’s a lot of healthy people out there with COVID that look healthy, so we’re asking continuously for you all to be outside, enjoy your Memorial Day weekend,” added Dr. Birx.
    The doctor finished by saying she believes the American people are strong enough to be able to maintain social distancing as the country continues to recover.

5/23/2020 Thousands protest in Spain as lockdown restrictions damage economy by OAN Newsroom
People wave Spanish flags during a drive-in protest organised by Spain’s far-right Vox party against the Spanish government’s
handling of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, May 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
    Thousands gathered in Spain Saturday as part of a nationwide demonstration, where they spoke out against the country’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
    Cars and motorcycles could be seen driving in procession through Madrid, honking horns and waving Spanish flags.    Protesters demanded officials ease lockdown restrictions, which have been some of the toughest in Europe.
    Members from the far-right Vox political party have called for current left-leaning Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to resign over the damaged economy.
    “The situation we have at the moment (in) Spain is intolerable.    We have an intolerable president, we live in a sociocommunist country.    I have had enough.    We have to shout it out loud, ‘Out Sanchez and long live Spain!” – Unnamed protester
A man holds a Spanish flag and banner reading in Spanish: “Sanchez go away” during a protest against the Spanish government
amid the lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Alcorcon, Spain, Friday, May 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
    This demonstration marked the first organized protest against government authorities since the start of the pandemic.
    Spain is currently facing small outbreaks across the country.    Officials anticipated slowly easing their lockdowns on Monday to allow outdoor dining and gatherings of up to 10 people.

5/23/2020 French COVID-19 cases slow and patient tallies continue to fall
FILE PHOTO: A woman, wearing a protective face mask, sits on the beach of the Promenade des Anglais,
after France reopened its beaches to the public as it softens its strict lockdown rules following the
outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Nice, France, May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
    PARIS (Reuters) – Coronavirus infection rates in France have slowed further and the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital and intensive care continued to fall, health ministry figures showed, a sign that social distancing is keeping contagion in check for now.
    Nearly two weeks after lockdown ended, health ministry data on Saturday showed the number of confirmed cases rose by 250 to 144,806 over 24 hours, an increase of 0.2%, below the average 0.3% increase of the past seven days and well below the average 0.8% increase seen in the last week of lockdown.
    Italy and Spain have also reported confirmed cases going up by 0.3% on average in the past seven days.
    The number of people in hospital with coronavirus in France fell by 205 to 17,178 on Saturday, continuing a gradual decline that has continued for more than five weeks since a high of 32,292 on April 14.    The number of people in intensive care fell by 36 or 2.1% to 1,665, a slide that has been uninterrupted for six weeks since the April 8 peak at 7,148.     Both numbers are key measures of a national health system’s ability to cope with the epidemic.     The French government is watching the infection rate and the hospital numbers closely in order to decide whether to loosen lockdown measures further in the weeks ahead.
    The ministry said France’s cumulative coronavirus death toll stood at 28,332, an increase of 117 or 0.4% compared to Thursday.    Friday’s death toll data were not available.
    The ministry said it will update the death toll again on Monday.
    After showing a higher death toll than Spain for 10 days, France again fell below Spain, which reported an increase of several hundred deaths on Friday.
    On Saturday, Spain’s cumulative death toll stood at 28,678, or 346 more than France, making Spain again the country with the world’s fourth-highest death toll after the United States, Britain and Italy.
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; editing by David Evans)

5/23/2020 Spain’s coronavirus death toll climbs by 48
Demonstrators gather during a drive-in protest organised by Spain's far-right party Vox against the government's
handling of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Madrid, Spain, May 23, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s overnight death toll from the new coronavirus rose by 48 on Saturday to a total of 28,678, the health ministry said.
    The number of diagnosed cases rose to 235,290 from 234,824 cases the previous day, the ministry added.
(Reporting by Jessica Jones; Editing by Peter Graff)

5/23/2020 UK COVID-19 death toll rises 282 to 36,675
People are seen in Trafalgar Square, following the outbreak of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 23, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley
    LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom’s death toll from confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose by 282 to 36,675, the government said.
    “Tragically, 36,675 people have now died,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told reporters at a Downing Street briefing.    The government publishes the death toll based on those who definitely had COVID-19; broader figures based on suspected COVID-19 deaths give a bigger toll.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Peter Graff)

5/23/2020 GOP leaders hope to flip House of Representatives by OAN Newsroom
This photo shows a view of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    House Republicans are turning up the heat as they look to gain control of the lower chamber. California congressman Mike Garcia and Wisconsin congressman Tom Tiffany recently secured seats in House of Representatives for the GOP, gaining a decisive win over their Democrat challengers.
    These wins indicated a different landscape than what analysts previously predicted, suggesting a scenario in which Republicans may take back the House.
    “Early indications in these races show what will happen in November.    What’s interesting to me is that the Democrats aren’t talking much about it, because they planned on winning these two seats.    A whole different change is arising.” – Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader (R-Calif.)
    Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, wrote to GOP representatives after the special elections, saying the tide could turn.    He highlighted Garcia’s victory in California’s 25th district.    The congressman recently won back the seat, which was flipped by the Democrat Party in 2018 after being held by Republicans for around 25 years.
    Garcia’s victory was the first congressional seat in the state to be flipped from blue to red since 1998.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., left, conducts a ceremonial swearing-in for Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., second from right,
joined by his wife Rebecca and son Preston, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    According to House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, this is a wake up call for experts, who discounted Republican momentum.
    “You are seeing the leading edge of it right now.    People want reform, they want our country to get back up on its feet again.    That means government needs to be responsive to the citizens of this country, and that’s what I will fight for.” – Tom Tiffany, U.S. Representative (R-Wis.)
    GOP leaders have called on supporters to back Republican candidates, who are challenging Democrats in swing states such as Pennsylvania and Georgia. They have stressed this is how they won in California and Wisconsin.
    They also claimed the party doesn’t need to match Democrat spending, but they need to effectively allocate resources to help Republican candidates win their respective districts.
    Leaders have urged party members to “step on the gas” for the next six months, in hopes continuing recent successes through the general election in November.

5/24/2020 More on coronavirus deaths up to 5.3 million world-wide.

5/24/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 431 to 178,281: RKI
FILE PHOTO: People spend time at the Rhine River, as the spread of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) continues, in Cologne, Germany May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 431 to 178,281, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.
    The reported death toll rose by 31 to 8,247, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

5/24/2020 President Trump: Biden doesn’t remember what he did yesterday by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 22, 2020, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President
Joe Biden speaks during a caucus night event in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
    President Trump has said Joe Biden is not mentally fit to serve as U.S. president.    On Sunday, the president pointed to the latest reports of Biden’s alleged dementia and stated the former vice president is not mentally sharp enough to lead the nation.
    This followed a series of Biden’s gaffes and erratic behavior observed on his campaign trail.
    During a recent interview, President Trump struggled to name one good thing about his presumptive opponent in this year’s election.
    “Well, I would’ve said experience, but he really doesn’t have experience, because I don’t think he remembers what he did yesterday,” explained the president.    “How is that experience?
    He added Biden doesn’t even know he’s still alive and may serve as a tool to advance Democrat’s deep state agenda.
    During the interview, the president also trashed researchers at Columbia University over their false coronavirus predictions.    The president criticized Columbia as a “disgraceful institution” over its study, which suggested COVID lockdowns should’ve been imposed earlier.
    Columbia researchers claimed early lockdowns could have saved up to 36,000 lives.
    According to President Trump, Columbia is serving the purpose of reinforcing Democrat attacks on his administration.    The president stressed he imposed early travel restrictions on China, which greatly reduced the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S.
    “You know, it’s a disgrace what I watch from this fake news media and some of these liberal institutions.    Columbia is a liberal, disgraceful institution to write that.    All the people they cater to were months after me, they said we shouldn’t close it.    I took tremendous heat, you know this, when I banned China from coming in.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States

5/24/2020 Gov. Cuomo: Sending coronavirus patients to nursing homes was based on federal guidance by OAN Newsroom
In this April 24, 2020 photo provided by the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Gov. Cuomo addresses the media while holding an N-95 mask during
his daily press briefing on COVID-19, coronavirus, at the State Capitol in Albany, N.Y. (Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP)
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has doubled down on his office’s handling of elderly COVID-19 patients.    On Saturday, the governor said he was following orders from the Trump administration when he put over 4,500 senior coronavirus patients in nursing homes.
    He noted he understands the controversy behind the decision, but claimed he isn’t trying to politicize the move.
    “New York followed the president’s agency’s guidance, so that depoliticizes it,” stated Cuomo.    “What New York did was follow what the Republican administration said to do.”
    Over 3,000 virus patients died in nursing homes under this policy.    Critics have suggested the governor is unfairly placing blame on President Trump.
Mary Mack, right, a resident of senior housing, is tested for COVID-19 in Paterson, N.J., Friday, May 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
    Earlier this week, state assembly member Ron Kim urged the governor to acknowledge “it was a mistake” to let nursing homes accept coronavirus positive patients. Kim said Cuomo’s decision ended up costing thousands of lives.
    “I was absolutely shocked that the state of New York sent so many people back to nursing homes, when nursing homes aren’t hospitals,” he said.    “These are COVID positive patients that should have been treated at hospitals or other facilities that were equipped to take them in.”
    According to Kim, it would be helpful to those who lost loved ones to see Cuomo step up and admit the state’s wrongdoing.
[WHY WOULD ANYONE SEND ELDERY PERSONS WHO ARE KNOWN COVID-19 CARRIERS BACK TO THE NURSERY HOMES WHICH WERE PLACES THAT WERE NOT EQIPPED TO HANDLE THE PANDEMIC DISEASE WHEN THEY HAD ENTIRE MEDICAL SHIP AND BUILT FACILITIES THAT APPARENTLY WERE NOT EVEN USED TO TAKE THEM FOR WHAT THEY WERE PREPARED FOR, OF COURSE IT WAS BLUE STATE RATIONALITY WAS THE ISSUE AND NOT LIKE THE RED STATE RATIONALITY AS DONE IN FLORIDA AND GEORGIA.    WHAT YOU DID IS WHAT YOU DID NOT DONALD TRUMP SO OWN UP TO IT.].

5/24/2020 National Security Adviser: G7 summit possible late June by OAN Newsroom
Robert O’Brien listens as President Donald Trump speaks before they board Air Force One at
Los Angeles International Airport, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien recently confirmed the G7 summit could happen in person in Washington.    On Sunday, he said the summit could take place at the end of June, if all the planning comes together to bring foreign leaders to the U.S.
    He also announced that everyone will be tested for the coronavirus to ensure the safety of those who are invited.
    The adviser emphasized the opportunity presented by the meetup as the world continues to work through the health crisis.
    “It’s the chance for the leaders of the democracies of the free enterprise countries to get together and decide how to get their economies reopened,” stated O’Brien.    “We can work together to make sure we all come out of this COVID crisis, bring back health, peace and prosperity.”
    The president discussed the potential Group of Seven summit on Thursday.    He said he was hopeful it could happen in D.C., or possibly Camp David.

5/24/2020 White House economic adviser predicts 20% unemployment in June by OAN Newsroom
White House senior adviser Kevin Hassett speaks with reporters at the White House, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Despite all 50 states and the District of Columbia bringing people back to work, the unemployment rate is still expected to rise from its current level of 14%.
    On Sunday, senior White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett predicted June will see the unemployment rate surpass 20%.
    “So my expectation is that, since there’s still initial claims for unemployment insurance in May, the unemployment rate will be higher in June.    After that, it should start to trend down.    So, I think we’re very, very close to an inflection point in terms of business activity and probably about a month away in terms of employment.” – Kevin Hassett, White House economic adviser
    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 43 states are facing their highest ever unemployment rates.    Their reports showed unemployment in Louisiana is currently worse than it was in 2005, when unemployment doubled after Hurricane Katrina.
FILE – In this March 13, 2020, file photo, unionized hospitality workers wait in line in a basement garage to apply
for unemployment benefits at the Hospitality Training Academy in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
    Across the country, the unemployment rate for teenagers spiked in April at 32%, the highest it has been since 1948.    This number is expected to only get worse if usual summer jobs do not become available.
    Despite this, Hassett reassured the data only looks back, not ahead.
    “It’s going to be quite a bit higher,” he explained.    “There were some technical things they kind of messed up, but it could be, if they fix the numbers, that you’ll end up with a number north of 20%.”
    His remarks likely referred to reports from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, which relied on a household survey to calculate the unemployment rate of each state.    To be counted by the federal government, an unemployed worker must be actively seeking employment or be recently laid off.
FILE – In this May 7, 2020, file photo, a pedestrian walks by The Framing Gallery, closed
due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Grosse Pointe, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
    Some states have changed their policies regarding unemployment benefits by dropping the job searching requirement.
    Due to the pandemic, many workers are not actively looking for work.    For those who are, the recent data showed the number of job openings has been steadily decreasing.    Millions have also gone uncounted.
    Moving forward, the Senate is set to debate the unemployment issue when they return from recess.

5/24/2020 Hundreds attend ‘Liberty Fest’ in Sacramento to protest extended stay-at-home orders by OAN Newsroom
Protesters gathered outside the “Liberty Fest” rally in front of California State Capitol, Saturday, May 23, 2020, in
Sacramento, Calif., to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Stay At Home Order to stem the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Cuneyt Dil)
    Hundreds of protesters flocked to California’s capital city this week to participate in a so-called ‘Liberty Fest’ demonstration.    According to local reports, Sacramento’s 10th Street was packed with people calling for the state to fully reopen on Saturday.
    Social distancing was not on display and masked attendees were few and far between at the peaceful protest.    However, signs reading “End Newsom’s Tyranny” were seen throughout the gathering, which included food trucks and flyovers, as well as a sea of red, white and blue.
    Some attendees expressed frustration over not being able to see loved ones or being forced to lay off employees, while others showed patriotism and spoke on Americans’ right to be free.
Protesters gathered outside the “Liberty Fest” rally in front of California State Capitol, Saturday, May 23, 2020, in
Sacramento, Calif., to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Stay At Home Order to stem the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Cuneyt Dil)
    “Whether you’re Democrat, Republican, conservative, freedom is non-partisan,” stated one protester.    “Everybody can agree on freedom.”
    Most counties in the Golden State entered into phase one of reopening last week, which allowed restaurants and some businesses to reopen at a limited capacity.    Meanwhile, gyms, hair salons, entertainment venues and certain business have been forced to remain closed.

5/24/2020 Coronavirus ‘cover-up’ is China’s Chernobyl: White House adviser
National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien walks after being interviewed at the
White House in Washington, U.S., May 24, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top White House official on Sunday likened China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak to the Soviet Union’s cover-up of the meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986.
    National security adviser Robert O’Brien said Beijing knew what was happening with the virus, which originated in Wuhan, from November but lied to the World Health Organization and prevented outside experts from accessing information.
    “They unleashed a virus on the world that’s destroyed trillions of dollars in American economic wealth that we’re having to spend to keep our economy alive, to keep Americans afloat during this virus,” O’Brien said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
    The cover-up that they did of the virus is going to go down in history, along with Chernobyl.    We’ll see an HBO special about it ten or 15 years from now,” he added, referring to a television miniseries.
    The disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine, released radioactive nuclear material that killed dozens of people within weeks and forced tens of thousands to flee.    Moscow delayed revealing the extent of what is regarded as the worst nuclear accident in history.
    U.S. President Donald Trump regularly complains about China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
    China has denied the accusations against it, and its top diplomat on Sunday accused the United States of spreading lies and attacking the country.
    “This is a real problem and it cost many, many thousands of lives in America and around the world because the real information was not allowed to get out,” O’Brien said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”    “It was a cover-up.    And we’ll get to the bottom of it eventually.”
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

5/24/2020 Germany tries to trace people who attended church service at which COVID-19 spread
General view of the entrance to the prayer room of Evangelical Christian Baptist church, as the spread of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Frankfurt, Germany May 24, 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German authorities are trying to trace everyone who attended a church service in Frankfurt this month after more than 107 people tested positive for the coronavirus.
    Churches in the state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, have been able to hold services since May 1 following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, provided they adhere to official social distancing and hygiene rules.
    “This situation shows how important it is that all of us stay alert and avoid becoming careless, especially now during the easing of restrictions.    The virus is still there and will spread,” Hesse state health minister Kai Klose said.
    He said the authorities hoped that identifying those who attended the service at a Baptist church on May 10 would help prevent others being infected.
    It was not immediately clear whether all the 107 with the coronavirus attended the service, or whether the tally includes people who were infected by those who did.
    The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has risen to 178,281, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.    The reported death toll rose by 31 to 8,247.
(Writing by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Timothy Heritage)

5/24/2020 Chile’s hospitals under strain as coronavirus cases near 70,000, president says by Natalia A. Ramos Miranda
FILE PHOTO: A screen shows a thermal imaging system taking the corporal temperature of health workers inside a public hospital to
identify people potentially infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Valparaiso, Chile April 23, 2020. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido
    SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile’s healthcare system is under strain and “very close to the limit,” President Sebastian Pinera said on Sunday, as the number of confirmed novel coronavirus infections approaches 70,000 after a rapid increase in recent days.
    The Ministry of Health reported 3,709 new cases in the last day, bringing the total to 69,102.    The death toll is at 718.
    “We are very close to the limit because we have had a very large increase in the needs and demands for medical care, and for intensive care unit beds and ventilators,” Pinera said during a visit to a hospital in Santiago, which has the highest concentration of cases.
    More than 1,000 people have been hospitalized for disease associated with the coronavirus, according to the government.
    Chile, the world’s top copper producer, confirmed its first case of coronavirus in early March and surpassed 50,000 infections this week.
    A third of Chile’s population of about 19 million is under mandatory quarantine after the government put Santiago and several other cities under lockdown.
(Reporting by Natalia Ramos, writing by Cassandra Garrison; editing by Grant McCool)

5/25/2020 Spain to welcome foreign tourists back from July by Inti Landauro and Ingrid Melander
FILE PHOTO: Beachgoers gather on the eastern coast to enjoy the last days of the
summer season in Gandia near Valencia, Spain, September 2, 2018. REUTERS/Heino Kalis
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain urged foreign tourists on Monday to return from July as one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns eased, with streets gradually filling again and some pupils returning to school.
    The world’s second-most visited nation closed its doors and beaches in March to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, but has seen out the worst and plans to lift a 14-day quarantine requirement on overseas arrivals within weeks.
    “It is perfectly coherent to plan summer vacations to come to Spain in July,” Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto told radio station Onda Cero as Spain geared up to salvage a tourism industry that normally draws 80 million people a year.
    The hard-hit capital Madrid was coming back to life on Monday, with people allowed back into its main Retiro park and a few bars and restaurant terraces reopening.
    “This is great, I was really looking forward to it.    And so was my dog!” said interior designer Anna Pardo, walking her pet in the sunshine in the Retiro.
    Strolling, jogging and chatting, Madrilenos passed through the park’s shaded alleys or stopped for a moment to enjoy its small lake, still devoid of the usual rowing boats.
TOURISM STOCKS GAIN
    More cars buzzed through streets.
    Though bars and restaurants are now allowed to open terraces at 50% capacity but cannot welcome clients indoors, few restarted in Madrid on Monday morning, as businesses weighed the value of catering to just a few customers.
    While most pupils in Spain still need to stay home and study online, some schools reopened in the northern Basque region.
    Spain has recorded 28,752 coronavirus deaths and 235,772 cases, but has seen daily fatalities drop to fewer than 100 for the last week.
    The tourism minister’s comments, after similar remarks by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, lifted shares of tourism-related stocks, including hotel operator Melia Hotels which rose 14% in early trading.
    In half of the country, including the popular Canary and Balearic Islands, even more restrictions have been lifted as lockdown has moved one notch ahead to a phase 2.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro, Ingrid Melander, Emma Pinedo; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

5/25/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 289 to 178,570: RKI
FILE PHOTO: People spend time at the Rhine River, as the spread of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) continues, in Cologne, Germany May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 289 to 178,570, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday.
    The reported death toll rose by 10 to 8,257, the data showed.
(Reporting by Thomas Seythal)

5/25/2020 President Trump attends Arlington National Cemetery wreath laying ceremony on Memorial Day by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump salutes after placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National
Cemetery, in honor of Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 2020, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump’s campaign issued a statement honoring the nation’s fallen heroes on Memorial Day.
    On Monday morning, retired Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer said, “these patriotic heroes will never be forgotten.”    He also noted the history of the sacrifice Memorial Day honors dates back to the opening shots of the American Revolution.
    The statement ended with him stating that as our nation rises from the pandemic, we should join President Trump and the nation in honoring those who made the supreme sacrifice for our freedoms.    Shaffer is a top member of the Trump campaign.
    Meanwhile, President Trump attended a wreath laying ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery.    The silent event happened Monday at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
    The president was accompanied by First Lady Melania and a handful of officials.    However, this year less people were in attendance and the crowd was spread out to observe social distancing guidelines.
    President Trump looked on in silence and touched the wreath before departing for the Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore.
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1264906543516069894/photo/1

5/25/2020 Trump admin. bans travel to the U.S. from Brazil due to surge in COVID-19 cases by OAN Newsroom
A nurse treats a COVID-19 patient at the intensive care unit of the Dr. Ernesto Che Guevara hospital, that exclusively
treats new coronavirus cases, in Marica, Brazil, Thursday, May 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
    The White House announced new travel restrictions on Brazil as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies in the South American nation.
    President Trump issued the proclamation on Sunday, suspending U.S. entry for any individual who has visited Brazil within the last 14 days of their attempted entry.    The suspension pertains only to non-U.S. citizens and will officially take effect on Thursday.
    In a statement, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany reassured the decision would not effect the “flow of commerce” between the U.S. and Brazil.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany talks with reporters at the White House, Tuesday, May 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Earlier in the day, National Security adviser Robert O’Brien hinted at the move while citing a surge in COVID-19 infections in the country.
    “I think that we’ll have a 212(F) decision today (Sunday) with respect to Brazil, and just like we did with the U.K. and Europe and China,” he stated.    “And we hope that’ll be temporary, but because of the situation in Brazil, we’re going to take every step necessary to protect the American people.”
    As of Sunday, Brazil had over 347,000 confirmed cases and nearly 2,300 deaths.    According to a World Health Organization official, South America is starting to become the new epicenter for the coronavirus with Brazil surpassing Russia in total number of cases.
    The move joins a growing list of nations the administration has restricted travel to, including China, Canada, Mexico as well as multiple European countries like the U.K. and Ireland.

5/25/2020 GOP suing Calif. Gov. Newsom over vote-by-mail directive by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 12, 2020, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks to reporters. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
    The Republican Party is suing California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) over his recent executive order, which calls to send every registered voter in the state a ballot by mail ahead of the November elections.
    The lawsuit was filed Sunday by the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and California’s Republican Party.
    The groups allege Newsom issued the directive with the intent to rewrite the entire election code for the 2020 election and in doing so, deprive Californians of their constitutional right to vote by making fraudulent voting inevitable.
    Specifically, the order requires county officials to send vote-by-mail ballots to every registered voter in the state, effectively also including inactive voters in response to the potential health risks associated with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
    “An election is in front of us, and there’s a lot of concern and anxiety around this November’s election in terms of making sure you can conduct yourself in a safe way,” stated Gov. Newsom.    “…provide an additional asset and additional resources by way of voting by mail.”
    However, GOP officials argue the order is less about protecting the health of Californians and is more about protecting the prospects of the governor’s political party.
    The lawsuit also labels the move as an illegal power grab, which was not authorized by state law and violates both the Elections Clause and Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
    This comes as Republicans have continued to raise concerns that these types of ballots are highly prone to fraud as they could essentially be intercepted by just about anyone and submitted by a third party who isn’t the intended recipient.
    “Voting by mail is done outside the supervision of election officials, so that means they can’t monitor it, they can’t prevent intimidation and pressure on voters, and there’s almost no check on the system,” said Hans Von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
    In a statement, RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel suggested the order was another way Democrats are using the pandemic as a ploy to implement their own partisan agenda.    She said the directive is a recipe for disaster that will “destroy the confidence Californians deserve to have in their elections.”
    Through the suit, Republicans are seeking an injunction against the order’s enforcement and a declaratory judgement from the court deeming the order unlawful.

5/25/2020 President Trump, Democrats continue to clash over mail-in ballots by OAN Newsroom
In this April 14, 2020 photo, ballots for the primary elections are arranged by party affiliation
at the Lancaster County Election Committee offices in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
    Both sides of the political aisle are battling over whether mail-in ballots should be a widespread practice for the upcoming general election.
    President Trump took to Twitter Sunday where he claimed Democrats are using COVID-19 fears to push mail-in voting.
    The president has been vocal about his opposition to absentee voting throughout the pandemic, but has also argued it’s sometimes necessary in certain instances.
    “If somebody has to mail it in because they’re sick or because they live in the White House and they have to vote in Florida and they won’t be in Florida…if there’s a reason for it, that’s okay,” he stated.    “If there’s a reason, but if there’s not, we don’t want to take any chances with fraud in our elections.”
    Several Democrat election officials have increased efforts to issue mail-in ballots to residents and believe it will minimize the risk of coronavirus infections.
    Earlier this month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) issued an executive order requiring officials to send mail-in ballots to every registered voter in the state.    Michigan officials followed suit by issuing applications for absentee ballots to all voting Michiganders.
    Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden also weighed in on the issue by arguing there’s no evidence that voter fraud is tied to mail-in ballots.
    “We ought to be able to make sure that we have ballot by mail, early voting and in-person voting,” he stated.    “You’re able to do that if, in fact, you have enough poll workers ahead of time, they’re trained.”
    However, several states have had issues with mail-in ballot systems amid recent elections, which caused thousands of votes to be miscounted.
    Last week, New Jersey officials had to throw out more than 3,000 mail-in ballots after their mishandling raised suspicions of voter fraud.
    Then in Wisconsin, election officials experienced technical issues during their April 7 primary.    This resulted in nearly 2,700 ballots being misplaced and not reaching voters’ homes.
    “There’s always a concern that something would happen, but I hope what we’ve done would eliminate that or keep that at a minimum,” said Dave Shively, Lancaster County Election Commissioner.
    Meanwhile, several lawsuits are being brought against several states, including California, Texas and Virginia.    Residents are challenging states’ authority to implement mail-in voting.

5/25/2020 Germany’s AFD rallies supporters in Stuttgart by OAN Newsroom
Anti-lockdown protesters hold posters reading “Blind trust?” during a demonstration against restrictions and orders of the
government to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, May 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
    A rising number of German citizens are protesting coronavirus-related lockdowns in their country.    Hundreds took to the streets of Stuttgart on Sunday where they urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to reopen the economy.
    The rally was organized by right-wing party Alternative for Germany and other patriotic groups.    Protesters pointed out that ongoing shutdowns have destroyed thousands of jobs and undermined small businesses across Germany.
    “Politicians and the media have put out a new narrative.    Critics of coronavirus measures are wackos and dummies, right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists.    What arrogance, what disdain for tax-payers, my friends!    Have a look.    Completely normal people are standing here and they’re entitled to be concerned about their rights, freedoms, jobs, future and well-being of their children.” – Alice Weidel, co-leader – Alternative for Germany
An anti-lockdown protester in a prison suit holds a sign reading “mask sets you free” with his family at a demonstration against restrictions and
orders of the government to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, May 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
    Meanwhile, the rally attracted groups of counter-protesters who called for extensions of lockdowns and tighter government restrictions.

5/25/2020 Ill. state lawmakers pass $40B budget by OAN Newsroom
File – Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker (D) gives media briefing. (Amr Alfiky / AP Photo)
    Illinois lawmakers recently passed a massive state budget plan, which relies heavily on federal assistance.    On Sunday, both chambers of the state’s legislature passed the $40 billion measure.
    Lawmakers mainly voted along party lines with many GOP members criticizing the budget for “overspending” amid times of fiscal uncertainty.
    However, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said much of the money would go to services hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
    “In a moment when our workers are and our businesses are struggling to get back on track, we have to ensure that our governments are there to back them up,” he stated.
    The budget plan, which is set to go into effect July 1, is headed to Pritzker’s desk for approval.

5/25/2020 With suitcase and bikini emojis, Spain urges tourists back from July by Ingrid Melander and Jordi Rubio
FILE PHOTO: Beachgoers gather on the eastern coast to enjoy the last days of the summer
season in Gandia near Valencia, Spain, September 2, 2018. REUTERS/Heino Kalis
    MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) – Spain revised down its coronavirus death toll on Monday and urged foreign holidaymakers to return from July as it eases one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns, though tourism businesses were sceptical about salvaging the summer season.
    The world’s second-most visited nation closed its doors and beaches in March to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, later imposing a two-week quarantine on overseas visitors. But that requirement will be lifted from July 1, a government statement said.
    “The worst is behind us,” Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya tweeted with emojis of a bikini, sunglasses and a suitcase.
    “In July we will gradually open Spain to international tourists, lift the quarantine, ensure the highest standards of health safety.    We look forward 2 welcoming you!
    Introduced on May 15 with little warning, the quarantine caused confusion in the tourism industry and tension with neighbouring France.    By lifting it, the government hopes to make up for the earlier communication breakdown and be in a stronger position to attract foreign tourists this summer.
    Spain normally draws 80 million people a year, with tourism accounting for over 12% of gross domestic product and an even bigger share of jobs, so the summer season is crucial to possibilities of mitigating a looming recession.
    The health ministry also revised the death toll lower by nearly 2,000 to 26,834 after checking data provided by regions, and said just 50 people had died of the virus over the past week, a marked fall from previous weeks.    The total number of cases has also been revised down to 235,400.
    Bars and restaurants in Madrid and Barcelona were allowed to open outside spaces at half capacity from Monday, but many stayed closed as owners weighed the value of catering to just a few.
    Some of those who did open were pessimistic.
    “It’s complicated, we are not going to be able to save the tourist season, unless (enough) foreigners come,” said Alfonso Gomez, a restaurant owner in Barcelona.
PARK PLEASURE
    Passersby enjoying new-found freedoms were more upbeat.
    “This is great, I was really looking forward to it.    And so was my dog!” said interior designer Anna Pardo, walking her pet in the sunshine as Madrilenos were allowed back into the main Retiro park.
    Others jogged and chatted in the Retiro’s shaded alleys or stopped to enjoy its lake, devoid of the usual rowing boats.
    While most pupils in Spain still need to study online, some schools reopened in the northern Basque region.    Students’ temperature was taken as they entered wearing masks.
    The prospect of foreign tourism from July lifted shares of tourism-related stocks, including hotel operator Melia Hotels which closed more than 26% higher.
    The tourism and leisure sector tops areas getting most support from state-backed credit lines meant to help businesses.    It has received 6.4 billion euros of the 38 billion euros ($41 billion) granted over recent weeks, according to data from state credit agency ICO.
    Jose Carlos Ramon, head of Madrid’s restaurants association AMER, said only one in four bars and restaurants in the capital has a terrace and reopening is costly.    In Spain as a whole, only about 15% have reopened, he said.
    The government is due to discuss on Tuesday how to move on with the gradual phasing out of the lockdown.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro, Ingrid Melander, Emma Pinedo, Jesus Aguado, Belen Carreno in Madrid, Vincent West in San Sebastian, Jordi Rubio and Luis Castilleja in Barcelona; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne, Andrei Khalip and Timothy Heritage)

5/25/2020 WHO warns of ‘second peak’ in areas where COVID-19 declining
FILE PHOTO: Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO), attends a news
conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland May 3, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – Countries where coronavirus infections are declining could still face an “immediate second peak” if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak, the World Health Organization said on Monday.
    The world is still in the middle of the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak, WHO emergencies head Dr Mike Ryan told an online briefing, noting that while cases are declining in many countries they are still increasing in Central and South America, South Asia and Africa.
    Ryan said epidemics often come in waves, which means that outbreaks could come back later this year in places where the first wave has subsided.    There was also a chance that infection rates could rise again more quickly if measures to halt the first wave were lifted too soon.
    “When we speak about a second wave classically what we often mean is there will be a first wave of the disease by itself, and then it recurs months later.    And that may be a reality for many countries in a number of months’ time,” Ryan said.
    “But we need also to be cognizant of the fact that the disease can jump up at any time.    We cannot make assumptions that just because the disease is on the way down now it is going to keep going down and we are get a number of months to get ready for a second wave.    We may get a second peak in this wave.”
    He said countries in Europe and North America should “continue to put in place the public health and social measures, the surveillance measures, the testing measures and a comprehensive strategy to ensure that we continue on a downwards trajectory and we don’t have an immediate second peak.”
    Many European countries and U.S. states have taken steps in recent weeks to lift lockdown measures that curbed the spread of the disease but caused severe harm to economies.
(Reporting by Emma Farge; Writing by Peter Graff; editing by John Stonestreet)

5/25/2020 Brazil surpasses U.S. in daily coronavirus death toll
FILE PHOTO: A couple walks next to Leblon beach, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
outbreak in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 25, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
    SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil daily coronavirus deaths were higher than fatalities in the United States for the first time over the last 24 hours, according to the country’s Health Ministry.
    Brazil registered 807 deaths over the last 24 hours, whereas 620 died in the United States.
    Brazil has the second worst outbreak in the world, with 374,898 cases, behind the U.S. with 1.637 million cases.    Total deaths in the U.S. has reached 97,971, according to Reuters tally compared with Brazil at 23,473
.
(Reporting by PEDRO FONSECA in RIO DE JANEIRO; editing by Tatiana Bautzer and Grant McCool)

5/25/2020 Greece reopens cafes, restaurants as summer season nears
A waiter wearing a protective face mask serves customers in a coffee shop, with the Acropolis hill in the background, as restaurants reopen following
the easing of measures against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Athens, Greece May 25, 2020. REUTERS/Costas Baltas
    ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece allowed cafes and restaurants to reopen on Monday as part of a gradual lifting of its coronavirus restrictions to reboot its tourism-dependent economy and help draw in foreign visitors ahead of the summer season.
    The country, which has emerged from a decade-long financial crisis in the last couple of years, is relying on tourism to help it recover from a nationwide lockdown that brought its economy to a near standstill.
    With tables set far apart and waitresses wearing masks, restaurants served the many Greeks keen to get out and enjoy food and a cup of coffee again after roughly two months of confinement.
    “We have missed this, this is psychological therapy for us, so of course it’s important, very, very important,” said Katerina Stravaridi from a cafe in Athens.
    So far, the country has managed to contain the spread of COVID-19 infections to just 2,878 cases and 171 deaths – low numbers compared with elsewhere in the EU – mainly by imposing an early nationwide lockdown in March.
    Athens mayor Kostas Bakoyannis said reopening the food services sector is a prelude for the summer holiday season.
    “Greece is open and safe. It’s a destination where one can enjoy one’s holiday while at the same time securing one’s health,” he said.
    Travel to all the Greek islands was also restored on Monday, with passenger ferries operating at 50% of their capacity, as the country prepares to reopen year-round hotels on June 1.
    Seasonal hotels will be open from June 15, when some direct international flights from the Athens international airport will also resume.
(Reporting by Vassilis Triandafyllou; Writing by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

5/25/2020 Italy coalition squabbles over recruiting volunteers to enforce distancing
FILE PHOTO: People sit at a reopened restaurant on the waterfront, as Italy eases some of the lockdown measures put in
place during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Naples, Italy May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca/File Photo
    ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s coalition partners quarrelled on Monday over a proposal to recruit volunteers to enforce social distancing rules as the country gradually rolls back its coronavirus-related restrictions.
    Regional Affairs Minister Francesco Boccia, a member of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), said some 60,000 volunteers would help to avert gatherings, after footage of crowds triggered fears that infections may surge again.
    However, the co-governing 5-Star Movement came out against the initiative, opening another rift within the often quarrelsome ruling coalition.
    Deputy Industry Minister Stefano Buffagni, from 5-Star, wrote on Facebook that Boccia had not consulted his allies before announcing the plan, which Buffagni said he was “absolutely against.”
    The interior ministry, which is responsible for maintaining order, said it had also not been consulted, while the small, centrist Italia Viva party called the proposal “madness” that must be stopped immediately.
    Its Senate leader Davide Faraone told state broadcaster RAI Radio 1 that Italians don’t need “sheriff citizens.”
    Italy is relaxing a nationwide lockdown imposed in early March, permitting travel within regions and meetings between friends, while allowing bars to serve drinks as long as a two-metre security distance is respected.
    TV images over the first post-lockdown weekend showed traffic jams in Naples and crowds in Milan, while the Veneto region published a video with images of patients in intensive care to convince people to comply with security measures.
    Boccia told daily newspaper La Stampa the government would recruit volunteers, called civic assistants, to help with checking crowds and for community services, such as taking groceries to people who need them.
    He said some would be beneficiaries of the government’s support scheme for the poor, known as the Citizen’s Income.
    Early in May, when Italy began to soften lockdown measures, large groups of people gathered in parks and in the canal area of Milan, one of the cities worst-hit by the coronavirus, provoking the ire of Mayor Giuseppe Sala.
    Sala said on Facebook on Monday he was frustrated by some citizens’ failure to follow the rules, adding it was “unthinkable” to repeat what happened over the weekend.
(Reporting by Angelo Amante, editing by Ed Osmond and Hugh Lawson)

5/25/2020 Italy reports 92 coronavirus deaths on Monday, just 300 new infections
FILE PHOTO: Tourists wearing protective masks are pictured at St. Mark's Square following the outbreak of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Venice, Italy, May 24, 2020. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri/File Photo
    ROME (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 92 on Monday, against 50 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new cases dropped to just 300 from 531 on Sunday.
    Sunday’s daily death toll did not include fatalities from the worst-affected Lombardy region, due to technical problems.
    It was not immediately clear if Lombardy’s deaths from Sunday had been added on Monday, when the region reported 34 new fatalities.
    Italy’s total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 32,877, the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.
    The number of confirmed cases amounts to 230,158, the sixth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Russia, Spain, Britain and Brazil.
    People registered as currently carrying the illness fell on Monday to 55,300 from 56,594 the day before.
    There were 541 people in intensive care on Monday, down from 553 on Sunday, maintaining a long-running decline.    Of those originally infected, 141,981 were declared recovered against 140,479 a day earlier.
    The agency said 2.219 million people had been tested for the virus as of Monday against 2.198 million on Sunday, out of a population of around 60 million.
(Reporting by Gavin Jones)

5/25/2020 EU eyes first face-to-face summit in months to haggle over budget by Gabriela Baczynska
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, February 19, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU leaders may meet for a face-to-face summit in the coming weeks to bargain over the next joint budget and a linked coronavirus recovery fund, suspending lockdown rules imposed to contain the pandemic, diplomats and officials said.
    The European Union has struggled to run on video conferences since going into a gradual lockdown in March to curb the spread of coronavirus, which has ravaged the EU’s economy and thwarted regular gatherings of its national leaders.
    Few in the bloc’s hub Brussels, however, believe the intense horse-trading common for EU budget deals could work on Webex, and most EU member states have in any case been easing their lockdowns as infection rates have eased.
    “The budget and Recovery Fund cannot be agreed without a physical summit. I haven’t yet met anyone who would think it possible on a video conference,” said a senior EU diplomat.
    Technical issues, problems with translation and the less personal nature of video calls make it hard for EU leaders to replicate the atmosphere of their all-night summits, a hallmark of Brussels where they meet to haggle over joint policies.
    The bloc’s executive European Commission will propose on Wednesday its blueprint for the 27-nation budget, known as the Multiannual Financial Framework and worth around a trillion euros, and the accompanying coronavirus Recovery Fund.
    The EU’s national capitals will then start jockeying to win the most benefits for themselves after France and Germany came together in support of granting handouts worth 500 billion euros through the new fund to kickstart economic growth.
    Austria, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands stated their opposition to the Franco-German plan, calling for aid to come in the form of repayable loans rather than free grants.
    The poorer, eastern EU countries have warned the generous development aid handouts they normally receive to catch up with their more wealthy peers must be cannibalised by any new assistance to countries hit the hardest by the pandemic.
(This story removes typo from lede paragraph)
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

5/26/2020 Germany wants to end travel warning for 31 European countries: report
FILE PHOTO: Empty check-in counters are seen at the Tegel airport in Berlin, Germany, May 20, 2020,
as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The German government wants to end a travel warning for tourist trips to 31 European countries from June 15 if the coronavirus situation allows, magazine Focus on Tuesday cited dpa news agency as reporting.
    It said a paper on European tourism that may be agreed by the cabinet on Wednesday showed the government wanted to allow travel to the 26 other European Union nations and Britain as well as the four non-EU countries in the Schengen passport-free zone – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
    On May 18, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany was hoping to ease a travel warning on all tourist trips abroad that is in place until June 15.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

5/26/2020 Germany aims to ease distancing, lift European travel warning: media
FILE PHOTO: People enjoy the sun at the Rhine River, as the spread of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) continues, in Cologne, Germany May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany plans to ease social distancing steps from June 29, a week earlier than previously planned, and aims to lift a travel warning for 31 European countries from mid-June, German media reported.
    The reports come as German regions discuss with Chancellor Angela Merkel how to further ease lockdown restrictions introduced in March to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
    The 16 state premiers will try on Wednesday to agree with Merkel on the way forward, balancing the need to revive Europe’s biggest economy, facing its deepest recession since World War Two, with protecting public health.
    Merkel has urged caution and warned of a new wave of infections.
    However, citing a draft document still to be approved by the regions, the Bild daily said Merkel, under pressure from state premiers, had agreed to bring forward the date that social distancing should be relaxed to June 29 from July 5.
    A government spokesman declined to comment, saying he did not want to prejudge the outcome of talks.
    Bild said meetings in public places would be limited to a maximum of 10 people or members of two households.    While there would be no limit on the number of visitors allowed to visit people in their homes, there would have to be space for everyone to keep their distance and have enough fresh air, it said.
    The dpa news agency said Germany would lift a travel warning for 31 European states from June 15, provided the coronavirus situation allows.
    Citing a document that cabinet may agree on Wednesday, it said this would include Britain, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein as well as Germany’s 26 EU partners.
    A row erupted at the weekend when the premier of the state of Thuringia said he would ditch mask-wearing and distancing rules.    Some other states, including hard-hit Bavaria, want to keep stricter measures.
    Germany has kept its COVID-19 death rate relatively low, at 8,302 so far, despite a high number of cases.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Gareth Jones)

5/26/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 432 to 179,002: RKI
FILE PHOTO: People spend time at the Rhine River, as the spread of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) continues, in Cologne, Germany May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 432 to 179,002, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday.
    The reported death toll rose by 45 to 8,302, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

5/26/2020 Study shows 8,000 additional deaths in Mexican capital as coronavirus rages by Daina Beth Solomon
The coffin of Horacio Servando Parada, 65, who died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is carried
to a grave during his burial according to indigenous Mazahua tradition, in San Antonio Pueblo Nuevo,
in the state of Mexico, Mexico May 21, 2020. Picture taken May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Gustavo Graf
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s capital registered 8,072 more deaths in the first five months this year than the average from the same period over the past four years, an analysis by independent researchers showed on Monday, suggesting a possible surge due to the coronavirus.
    Health officials have reported 1,655 deaths from the virus in Mexico City, out of 7,394 deaths nationwide.    They have also acknowledged that the true death toll is higher, but difficult to estimate due to a low testing rate.
    Software developer Mario Romero Zavala and economic consultant Laurianne Despeghel, whose analysis https://datos.nexos.com.mx/?p=1388 was published in Mexican magazine Nexos, tallied 39,173 fatalities this year through May 20 by extracting data from Mexico City’s online database of death certificates.
    Over the prior four years, they calculated just 31,101 deaths on average during the same period, using the same database.
    Mexico City’s official count of deaths from the coronavirus represents just over 20% of the study’s “excess mortality” – a term used by epidemiologists to estimate the increase in deaths, versus normal conditions, attributable to a public health crisis.
    Excess mortality is difficult to calculate in Mexico because the most recent data on fatalities from the national statistics institute is from 2018.
    Despeghel said the analysis was only a first step to measuring the virus’ impact.
    “While studying excess deaths allows us to identify a higher mortality rate during the COVID-19 crisis, it is not sufficient to attribute it directly or solely to the virus,” she said.
    A Reuters review of data from 13 funeral homes in Mexico City showed that the excess mortality rate in the first week of May could be at least 2.5 times higher than the government’s tally of deaths from the coronavirus during that period.
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; editing by Diane Craft)

5/26/2020 President Trump: There’s no way mail-in ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This Nov. 4, 2016, file photo shows mail-in ballots being sorted at the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters in San Jose,
Calif.     Facing an array of unknowns from the coronavirus crisis, California will send every voter a mail-in ballot
for the November presidential election, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday, May 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
    President Trump recently slammed Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order to send mail-in ballots to voters in the state of California.
    In a pair of tweets Tuesday, the president noted that the mail-in ballots would most likely be “substantially fraudulent.”    He added that mail boxes could be robbed, which then could lead to forged ballots.
    The president pointed out that Newsom is sending ballots to everyone in the state “no matter who they are and how they got there.”    His comments echod his remarks during a meeting last week with the governors of Arkansas and Kansas.
    “Mail in ballots are very dangerous, there’s tremendous fraud involved and tremendous illegality,” he stressed.    President Trump went on to say “this will be a rigged election.”
    This comes as the Republican National Committee and two other Republican groups are suing California to stop the state from mailing out absentee ballots.

5/26/2020 Australian researcher says COVID-19 could be man-made by OAN Newsroom
In this photo taken Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, researchers work in a lab of the Wuhan Institute
of Virology in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province. (Chinatopix Via AP)
    A new study has endorsed the possibility of coronavirus being manufactured by humans.
    In an interview with Sky News Australia last week, Professor Nikolai Petrovsky explained the results of his recently published paper.    While using computer modeling, scientists found the virus to be uniquely adapted to humans.
    “We found that the COVID-19 virus was particularly well-adapted to bind to human cells and that was far superior to its ability to bind to the cells of any other animal species, which is quite unusual because typically when a virus is well-adapted to an animal and then it by chance crosses to a human, typically, you would expect it to have lower-binding to human cells than to the original host animal,” Petrovsky explained.    “We found the opposite so that was a big surprise.”
    While most members of the global community have refuted the idea of COVID-19 being man-made, some public figures have questioned the conclusion.    This includes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump.
    When asked at an April press conference if he had seen anything to indicate the virus originated from a Wuhan lab, the president responded by saying:
    “Yes, I have and I think that the World Health Organization should be ashamed of themselves because they’re like the public relations agency for China.”
FILE – In this March 20, 2020, file photo, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the rear, U.S. President Donald Trump
speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
    Amid increasing criticism of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, its director is adamantly denying any leaks from the lab.
    “We didn’t have any knowledge before that nor had we ever encountered, researched or kept the virus,” claimed Director Wang Yanyi.    “In fact, like everyone else, we didn’t even know the virus existed.    How could it have leaked from our lab when we never had it?
    Despite the seemingly worldwide consensus about the animal origins of the virus, Petrovsky maintains that the possibility of it being human-engineered, while not conclusive, cannot be ruled out either.    He speculated fear of tighter lab regulations may be inspiring push-back from scientists.
    “We desperately need to know where this virus came from and the reason for that is not political, it’s actually pragmatic,” he stated.    “If this is a wild virus that came from an animal and we don’t know where it came from in the animal kingdom, then, you know, in a few years time we may be facing a very similar pandemic.”
    Petrovsky’s groundbreaking findings came about through the development of a vaccine for which human trials are expected to begin within the next month.

5/26/2020 President Trump: U.S. will react ‘very strongly’ if China imposes national security legislation on Hong Kong by OAN Newsroom
Protester display placards in a shopping mall during a protest against China’s proposed tough national security legislation for the city in Hong Kong,
Monday, May 25, 2020. Protests in Hong Kong in response to legislation presented to China’s National People’s Congress, which is now meeting
in Beijing, were the largest in months despite bans on large gatherings meant to prevent spreading the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
    President Trump recently sent a stark warning to Beijing.    His comments came as China continues to mull a new law that could affect Hong Kong’s autonomy.
    The country’s set to release more details on that legislation on Friday.    President Trump said he’ll wait to learn more, but suggested a swift response by the U.S. if it were to pass.
    “I don’t know what it is because nobody knows yet,” he stated.    “If it happens, we’ll address that issue very strongly.”
    According to White House officials, if China does approve that law then U.S. sanctions are likely to follow.
    “If China goes through and imposes this law, which I think would be a big mistake, I think it’s going to be very difficult for the people of Hong Kong,” said Robert O’Brien, U.S. National Security Adviser.    “Secretary (Mike) Pompeo will likely be unable to certify that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy and if that happens there will be sanctions that will be imposed on Hong Kong and China.”
    Last year, President Trump approved the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.    If Beijing does pass this new legislation, it would be in violation of that act.
Pro-democracy protesters march during a protest against Beijing’s national security legislation in Hong Kong,
Sunday, May 24, 2020. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp has sharply criticized China’s move to enact
national security legislation in the semi-autonomous territory. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
    On Monday, Chinese officials denied reports the law would impact Hong Kong’s autonomy.    They also slammed the U.S. for getting involved.
    “What legislation the HKSAR introduces and how and when it enacts the legislation is entirely within the scope of China’s sovereignty,” stated Zhao Lijian, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.    “The U.S. has no right to criticize or interfere…if the U.S. is bent on harming China’s interests, China will have to take all necessary measures to fight back.”
    Pro-democracy protests began to erupt across Hong Kong last year over Beijing’s encroachment of its independent legal system.    Protests this weekend caused police in Hong Kong to fire tear gas and water cannons to disperse the growing crowds.

5/26/2020 WHO says the Americas are new COVID-19 epicenter as deaths surge in Latin America by Anthony Boadle
FILE PHOTO: Brazilian army officers wearing protective gears arrive to disinfect the shelter Stella Maris Complex
for elderly people, homeless and patients with mental disorders managed by the Rio de Janeiro City Hall amid concerns of the
spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil May 14, 2020. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
    BRASILIA (Reuters) – The Americas have emerged as the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a Tuesday briefing, as a U.S. study forecast deaths surging in Brazil and other Latin American countries through August.
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