US & World News

WHO Expert Clarifies Remarks on Virus Spread

GENEVA — A top World Health Organization expert has tried to clear up “misunderstandings” about comments she made that were widely understood to suggest that people without COVID-19 symptoms rarely transmit the coronavirus. Maria Van Kerkhove, the U.N. health agency’s technical lead on the virus pandemic, insisted Tuesday that she was referring only to a few studies, not a complete…

With Recovery of Last Case, New Zealand has Eradicated Virus

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand appears to have completely eradicated the coronavirus — at least for now — after health officials said Monday the last known infected person had recovered. The announcement was greeted with joy around the country and means the nation of 5 million people will be among the first to welcome throngs of fans back…

Duty To Intervene: Floyd Cops Spoke Up But Didn’t Step In

Minneapolis was among several cities that had policies on the books requiring police officers to intervene to stop colleagues from using unreasonable force, but that didn’t save George Floyd and law enforcement experts say such rules will always run up against entrenched police culture and the fear of being ostracized and branded a “rat.” Power dynamics may have been magnified…

US Cities Erupt in More Violence Amid Threats From Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — American cities erupted in violence and destruction in a seventh straight night of unrest, with several police officers shot or run over, amid boasts and threats from President Donald Trump to send in troops to “dominate the streets.” In New York, nonviolent protests Monday night were punctuated by people smashing shop windows near Rockefeller Center and breaching…

Amid Protests, President Trump Talks of War — and Re-election

WASHINGTON (AP) — Embracing the language of confrontation and war, President Donald Trump on Monday declared himself the “president of law and order” and signaled he would stake his reelection on convincing voters his forceful approach, including deploying U.S. troops to U.S. cities, was warranted in a time of national tumult and racial unrest. Trump made his Rose Garden declaration…

On The Spot Where George Floyd Died, His Brother Urges Calm

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — George Floyd’s brother pleaded for peace in the streets Monday, saying destruction is “not going to bring my brother back at all.” Terrence Floyd’s emotional plea came as the United States braced for another night of violence in response to Floyd’s killing a week ago. Chants of “What’s his name? George Floyd!” filled the air as a…

SpaceX’s Astronaut-Riding Dragon Arrives at Space Station

(NASA TV via AP) CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX delivered two astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA on Sunday, following up a historic liftoff with an equally smooth docking in yet another first for Elon Musk’s company. With test pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken poised to take over manual control if necessary, the SpaceX Dragon capsule…

US Cuts World Health Organization Ties Over Virus Response

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon) WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. will be terminating its relationship with the World Health Organization, saying it had failed to adequately respond to the coronavirus because China has “total control” over the global organization. He said Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the WHO to mislead…

Twitter Adds ‘Glorifying Violence’ Warning to Trump Tweet

(Twitter via AP) WASHINGTON (AP) — Twitter has added a warning to one of President Donald Trump’s tweets about protests in Minneapolis. The company says the tweet violated the platform’s rules about glorifying violence. Trump has been at war with Twitter since earlier this week when it applied fact checks to two of his tweets about mail-in ballots. The third…

CNN Crew Arrested While Reporting Live on Minneapolis Protests

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota State Patrol on Friday arrested a CNN television crew as they reported on violent protests in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck. Atlanta-based CNN said that the crew, which included CNN reporter Omar Jimenez, was released later Friday morning….

Boston Marathon Canceled for First Time in 124-Year History

BOSTON (AP) — Organizers canceled the Boston Marathon on Thursday for the first time in its history, bowing to the social distancing requirements of the coronavirus outbreak and ending a 124-year run that had persisted through two World Wars, a volcanic eruption, and even another pandemic. The race, which draws a field of 30,000 and already had been postponed from…

Trump Escalates War on Twitter, Social Media Protections

(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump escalated his war on social media companies, signing an executive order Thursday challenging the liability protections that have served as a bedrock for unfettered speech on the internet. Trump said the fact checks were “editorial decisions” by Twitter and amounted to political activism. He said it should cost those companies…

US Layoffs Climb to 41 Million, Despite Business Reopenings

WASHINGTON (AP) — An estimated 2.1 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country, bringing the running total since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March to about 41 million, the government said Thursday. The figures underscored the continuing damage to businesses and livelihoods from the outbreak that has now killed…

Canada, US Extend Border Closure to Non-Essential Travel

(AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File) TORONTO (AP) — Canada and the US have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday the border is a source of vulnerability, so the agreement will be extended by another 30 days. The restrictions were announced…

US Retail Sales Plunged a Record 16% in April as Virus Hit

BALTIMORE (AP) — U.S. retail sales tumbled by a record 16.4% from March to April as business shutdowns caused by the coronavirus kept shoppers away, threatened the viability of stores across the country and further weighed down a sinking economy. The Commerce Department’s report Friday on retail purchases showed a sector that has collapsed so quickly that sales over the…

Whistleblower: US Could Face Virus Rebound ‘Darkest Winter’

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak) (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) WASHINGTON (AP) — America faces the “darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act decisively to prevent a rebound of the coronavirus, says a government whistleblower who alleges he was ousted from his job for warning the Trump administration to prepare for the pandemic. Immunologist Dr. Rick Bright makes his sobering prediction in testimony…

Trump Says Americans Could see a Second Round of Stimulus Payments

FOX NEWS – President Trump said Monday his administration is considering a second round of coronavirus stimulus payments. “We’re talking about that,” Trump said when asked about a Democratic proposal to send another round of relief checks. “We’re talking about that with a number of different people. We’re talking about a payroll tax,” the president said. “I want to see various things, but…

Fauci Warns of ‘Serious Problems’ if States Reopen too Soon

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, says states that ignore the national guidelines for reopening the economy run the risk of spikes in coronavirus cases that may turn into new outbreaks. “The consequences could be really serious,” Fauci tells the Senate Health, Labor and Pensions committee. Problems will escalate if states do not have the…

Shutdown of Tribal Casinos Deals Blow to Indian Country

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — When the Kalispel Tribe of Indians closed its casino as the coronavirus took hold in Washington state, it essentially shut down its economy. That difficult choice has played out nationwide as some 500 Native American casinos have voluntarily closed during the pandemic, often taking away tribes’ main source of income in an effort to protect people’s…

Minnesota Company to Close North Dakota Coal-fired Plant

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The company that operates the largest coal-fired power plant in North Dakota announced Thursday it will close the factory and replace most of its energy with new wind farms in Minnesota. Maple Grove, Minnesota-based Great River Energy said its Coal Creek Station near Underwood in west-central North Dakota will be shuttered in the second half of…

Trump Administration Buries Detailed CDC Advice on Reopening

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Trump administration shelved a document created by the nation’s top disease investigators with step-by-step advice to local authorities on how and when to reopen restaurants and other public places during the still-raging coronavirus outbreak. The 17-page report by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team, titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up…

33 Million Have Sought US Unemployment Aid Since Virus Hit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 3.2 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week as the business shutdowns caused by the viral outbreak deepened the worst U.S. economic catastrophe in decades. Roughly 33.5 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the seven weeks since the coronavirus began forcing millions of companies to close their doors and slash their…

Canada Bans Assault-Style Weapons After Shooting Rampage

TORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an immediate ban Friday on the sale and use of assault-style weapons in Canada, two weeks after a gunman killed 22 people in Nova Scotia. “Canadians need more than thoughts and prayers,” he said, rejecting the reaction of many politicians after mass shootings. Trudeau cited numerous mass shootings in the country, including…

FDA Allows Emergency Use of Drug for Coronavirus

(Gilead Sciences via AP) WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators on Friday allowed emergency use of an experimental drug that appears to help some coronavirus patients recover faster. It is the first drug shown to help fight COVID-19, which has killed more than 230,000 people worldwide. The FDA said in a statement that Gilead Science’s intravenous drug would be specifically indicated…

US Economy Shrank at 4.8% Rate Last Quarter as Virus Struck

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy shrank at a 4.8% annual rate last quarter as the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country and began triggering a recession that will end the longest expansion on record. The Commerce Department estimated Wednesday that the gross domestic product, the total output of goods and services, posted a quarterly drop for the…

Trump to Sign Order Keeping Meat Processing Plants Open

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday meant to stave off a shortage of chicken, pork and other meat on American supermarket shelves because of the coronavirus. The order will use the Defense Production Act to classify meat processing as a critical infrastructure to keep production plants open. The order comes after industry leaders warned that consumers…

Pence to Visit Mayo Clinic Tuesday

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence has an appointment today at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic to learn about a new coronavirus testing “moonshot” that has the famed clinic partnering with the state and its flagship university to quickly boost the state’s capacity to 20,000 tests a day. It’s an approach that leverages a health care infrastructure not all states can…

Trump Signs $484 Billion Measure to Aid Employers, Hospitals

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has signed a nearly $500 billion coronavirus aid package into law, the latest federal government effort to stimulate a reeling economy and overwhelmed hospitals. The legislation is the fourth coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress. All told, Congress has delivered at least $2.4 trillion for business relief, testing and treatment, and direct payments to individuals…

26 Million Have Sought US Jobless Aid Since Virus Hit

WASHINGTON (AP) – More than 4.4 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week as job cuts escalated across an economy that remains all but shut down, the government said Thursday. Roughly 26 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the five weeks since the coronavirus outbreak began forcing millions of employers to close their doors. About…

2 Cats in NY Become First US Pets to Test Positive for Virus

NEW YORK (AP) – Two pet cats in New York state have tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first confirmed cases in companion animals in the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the finding Wednesday. The agencies say the cats had mild respiratory illnesses, are expected to recover, and…

Senate Approves $500B Virus Aid Deal; Sends to House

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) WASHINGTON (AP) — A nearly $500 billion coronavirus aid package flew through the Senate on Tuesday after Congress and the White House reached a deal to replenish a small business payroll fund and provided new money for hospitals and testing. It now goes to the House. Passage was swift and unanimous, despite opposition from conservative Republicans,…

Schumer: Deal Reached on Major Parts of $500B Virus Aid

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer says an agreement has been reached on major elements of a nearly $500 billion coronavirus aid package for small businesses, as well as additional help for hospitals and virus testing. Schumer said post-midnight talks among Democratic and Republican leaders, along with Trump administration officials, including White House Chief…

16 Killed in Shooting Rampage, Deadliest in Canadian History

(Tim Krochak/The Canadian Press via AP) TORONTO (AP) — A gunman disguised as a police officer shot people in their homes and set fires in a rampage across the Canadian province of Nova Scotia that killed 16 people, the deadliest such attack in the country’s history. Officials said Sunday the suspected shooter was also dead. A police officer was among…

President Trump Tweets: “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!”

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — President Donald Trump has tweeted his support for a protest by conservatives Friday outside Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s official residence in St Paul. The protest is being organized under the theme “Liberate Minnesota” by grassroots Trump supporters who oppose Walz’s stay-at-home order. It’s one of several taking part across the country this week as conservatives push back against economic…

Small Business Lending Program on Hold After Reaching Limit

NEW YORK (AP) — The government’s lending program for small businesses is tapped out, and business owners who still need loans are waiting on Congress to approve more funding. The Small Business Administration said Thursday that it reached the $349 billion lending limit for the program, after approving nearly 1.7 million loans. Thousands of small business owners whose loans have…

Virus Closes Some Meat Plants, Raising Fears Of Shortages

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Some massive meat processing plants have closed at least temporarily because their workers were sickened by the new coronavirus, raising concerns that there could soon be shortages of beef, pork and poultry in supermarkets. The meat supply chain is especially vulnerable since processing is increasingly done at massive plants that butcher tens of thousands of animals…

Easter Storms Sweep South, Killing at Least 19 People

Nicolas Galindo/The News-Star via AP) JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Severe weather has swept across the South, killing at least 19 people and damaging hundreds of homes from Louisiana into the Appalachian Mountains. Many people spent part of the night early Monday sheltering in basements, closets and bathroom tubs as sirens wailed to warn of possible tornadoes. Eleven people were killed…

Two Duluth Landmarks Will #LightItBlue Tonight for Healthcare, Essential Workers

(courtesy: MN Department of Transportation) DULUTH, Minn. – Two Duluth landmarks will be lit up with blue lights tonight in an effort to recognize healthcare providers and essential workers. According to a press release from the City of Duluth, the Aerial Lift Bridge and Enger Tower will be lit up in blue lights, along with other landmarks throughout Minnesota and…

IRS Speeds up Coronavirus Check Printing

(FOX 9) – Americans hard hit financially due to the fallout from the coronavirus who are anxiously waiting for cash relief may catch a break. FOX Business has learned that the Internal Revenue Service has sped up its process and is now targeting “early next week” for the direct deposit checks. The first checks could be directly deposited as early as Monday or Tuesday with the first…

16.8M Americans Thrown Out of Work as Economic Toll Rises

NEW YORK (AP) — A staggering 16.8 million Americans have been thrown onto the unemployment rolls in just three weeks, underscoring the speed with which the coronavirus outbreak has brought world economies to a near standstill. Meanwhile, world leaders and health officials are fervently warning that hard-won gains in the fight against the scourge must not be jeopardized by relaxing…

Sanders Drops 2020 Bid, Leaving Biden as Likely Nominee

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders, who saw his once-strong lead in the Democratic primary evaporate as the party’s establishment lined swiftly up behind rival Joe Biden, ended his presidential bid on Wednesday, an acknowledgment that the former vice president is too far ahead for him to have any reasonable hope of catching up. The Vermont senator’s announcement makes Biden…

Trump Removes Watchdog Tapped for $2T Virus Rescue Oversight

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has removed the inspector general tapped to chair a special oversight board for the $2.2 trillion economic relief package on the coronavirus, the latest in a series of steps Trump has taken to confront government watchdogs tasked with oversight of the executive branch. In the past four days, Trump has fired one inspector general tied…