Sun, 23 Feb 2020 13:51:18 -0500

Opinions on the race appear to be firmly set for most voters, with 63% saying they know how they will vote no matter who is the Democratic nominee.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 12:37:00 -0500

'Business is soft, people are scared to travel,' said Frank Del Rio, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 17:33:00 -0500

One expert tells you why.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 16:42:24 -0500

A 46-year-old American woman with reported links to a doomsday cult and to at least three people whose deaths are being investigated has been arrested in Hawaii over the disappearance of her two children. Lori Vallow was arrested Thursday on the island of Kauai and charged with felony desertion of the children, 7-year-old Joshua Vallow, who is autistic, and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, police said in a statement. According to US media reports, the children, who have different fathers, were last seen on September 23, 2019.

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 23:35:00 -0500

Cases of the coronavirus in South Korea have tripled. The government says it must now take a different approach.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 06:15:05 -0500

The lockdown followed a confirmed 79 cases of coronavirus in Italy along with two deaths, and affects some 50,000 Italian citizens.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 12:17:30 -0500

US officials say thousands of social media accounts linked to Russia are part of a coordinated effort to spread disinformation about the new coronavirus.The campaign allegedly aims to damage the US’s image and spread unfounded conspiracy theories that it is behind the outbreak which has infected nearly 78,000 globally and killed over 2,500 people.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 14:37:56 -0500

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haitian police officers exchanged gunfire for hours Sunday with soldiers of the newly reconstituted army outside the national palace, in a dangerous escalation of protests over police pay and working conditions. At least three police officers were wounded, fellow officers told The Associated Press. Haiti's raucous three-day Carnival celebration was to have started Sunday afternoon in Port-au-Prince and other major cities but the government announced Sunday night that Carnival was cancelled in the capital “to avoid a bloodbath.” Police protesters and their backers had burned dozens of Carnival floats and stands at recent protests, saying they did not believe the country should be celebrating during a crisis.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 20:49:58 -0500

The family of Harry Dunn has called for Julian Assange not to be extradited as long as the US refuses to send the suspect in the teenager's death back to the UK. They have accused the American government of "demonstrating an extraordinary amount of hypocrisy" in seeking the extradition of the Wikileaks founder, despite rejecting a request for Anne Sacoolas to return to Britain. Mr Dunn, 19, died when his motorbike collided with a car outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27. Ms Sacoolas, 42, the wife of an intelligence official based at the US military base, claimed diplomatic immunity and was able to return to her home country, sparking an international controversy. The US refused an extradition request for Ms Sacoolas last month.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 19:36:45 -0500

Bernie Sanders has a succinct and biting response to all the establishment Democrats who are freaking out over the prospect of a cranky socialist leading the party into battle this November. They are wrong, he says. Indeed, only he can be the savior of the party.“The only way that you can beat Trump is by having an unprecedented campaign, an unprecedentedly large voter turnout,” he says. Faiz Shakir, his campaign manager, claims that Sanders has such a great appeal to young people and alienated voters that they “will vote in percentages that they have never voted before.”That’s just swamp gas, counters James Carville, the now retired Louisiana political consultant who helped engineer Bill Clinton’s 1992 election by summarizing his strategy as “It’s the economy, stupid.” Carville isn’t mincing words when he says that Sanders is peddling a turnout theory akin to a belief in unicorns. “If you’re voting for him because you think he’ll win the election, because he’ll galvanize heretofore sleepy parts of an electorate, then politically, you’re a fool,” he told MSNBC on Saturday as Sanders was sweeping Nevada.Ruy Teixeira, a voting specialist at the Center for American Progress, agrees. “It is truly magical thinking to believe that, in a highly polarized situation, only your side gets to increase turnout,” he wrote in the Washington Post this month.Indeed, a new study of non-voters by the Knight Foundation looked at 12,000 “chronic non-voters in America, across the country, and in key battleground states.” They concluded that if they all went to the polls, Democrats would increase their popular-vote margin and lose the Electoral College even more decisively than they did in 2016. Most of the untapped vote in such states as Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, and Arizona consists of white voters who have little to no college education. Many like Trump’s blowtorch rhetoric and anti-elitist attitude and are suspicious of left-wing social planners.Bernie supporters say that all of this is theory; on their side, they cite the 2018 midterm elections, which saw the highest voter turnout of any off-year election since 1914. Democrats gained control of the House by winning 40 seats, and they captured then–GOP governorships in swing states that Trump had carried, including Michigan, Wisconsin, and Maine.But Teixeira says this analysis is electoral fool’s gold. “The overwhelming majority of the Democrats’ improved performance” in the midterms did not come from “fresh turnout of left-of-center voters,” he wrote. Catalist, a respected liberal data center, found instead that 89 percent of the improved performance by Democrats came from Trump voters who switched to their side. But they switched their vote to Democrats not because they favored radical change but because they didn’t like Trump’s “tax cuts for the rich” and attempt to gut Obamacare.“Sanders’s bouquet of unpopular positions hardly seems likely to help the Democrats make up ground among these voters,” Teixeira concluded.The problem that establishment Democrats face in making the argument that Sanders would lose to Trump is simple. Bernie’s base of supporters simply can’t bring themselves to accept that their guy’s positions on issues could be less popular than those of Trump The Fascist. “Even if people give credit on the economy to Trump, his personality disorder will draw people to Bernie,” Alice Charters, a New Hampshire Democrat told me this month.The problem with that is that a lot of Americans think that Bernie Sanders has a personality problem, too. He comes across as an irritable, red-faced scold, waving his arms while he calls for revolution, sort of the crazy uncle of American politics. Trump may come across as the neighborhood bully, but that persona is probably more appealing for many voters as long as they think he will protect their interests.I am inclined to welcome a matchup between Sanders and Trump, not because I’m enamored of either of them but because the campaign would be fought over an important issue: Should America move rapidly toward socialism? That’s an important debate to have, and in between the name-calling, perhaps the country would render a useful and definitive answer.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 14:31:51 -0500

The plan was to move dozens of patients who tested positive for the coronavirus from Travis Air Force Base in Northern California to Costa Mesa.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 08:44:19 -0500

While coronavirus has not spread in the United States, CDC officials said they're preparing for the coronavirus to become a pandemic.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 14:59:06 -0500

(Bloomberg) -- As the jurors in Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial wrestle with a pair of charges that could send the fallen movie mogul to prison for life, the testimony of three women who don’t even appear in his indictment could help seal his fate.They’re known as Molineux witnesses in New York, where Weinstein is being tried, and they testified to their own encounters with him as prosecutors sought to persuade the jury that the two women he is charged with attacking never gave their consent to sex. Such witnesses testified in the retrial of Bill Cosby in Pennsylvania, which ended in his conviction.On Friday the jury sent a note to the judge referring to two counts of predatory sexual assault -- counts one and three on the verdict sheet it’s working from -- and suggesting it might be deadlocked.“We the jury request to understand if we can be hung on one and/or three and unanimous on the other charges. Thank you,” the jurors told the judge. He told them to keep trying.The other charges are a criminal sexual act and rape. Weinstein is accused of forcing oral sex on “Project Runway” assistant Miriam Haley in his SoHo loft in 2006 and raping aspiring actor Jessica Mann in a midtown Manhattan hotel in 2013.In a category by herself is the actor Annabella Sciorra, who told the jury that Weinstein raped her in the early 1990s. Her allegations are a linchpin for the two predatory sexual assault counts, the gravest charges facing the former Hollywood power broker.Predatory sexual assault requires a serious attack on at least two people. To find Weinstein guilty on count one, the jury would need to be persuaded by the evidence for the alleged attacks on both Haley and Sciorra. To convict him on count three, it would need to find that he assaulted both Mann and Sciorra.Read More: Weinstein Jury Stuck on Most Serious Charges, Told to Keep at ItThe testimony of the Molineux witnesses may come into play as well. Weinstein’s lawyers argue that any encounters their client had were consensual. If the jury finds the allegations of assault from these three women credible, it may decide Haley and Mann never gave Weinstein their consent either, and convict him of rape and a criminal sexual act.And if the jurors believe Sciorra, too, that will meet the requirements of predatory sexual assault -- the two counts they seem to be stuck on -- and Weinstein, 67, could spend the rest of his life behind bars.Weinstein’s lawyers have told the jury that the women had consensual, and even transactional, sex with their client, and that they “re-labeled” the encounters as assaults years after the fact in the wake of the MeToo movement.The first of the three witnesses, Dawn Dunning, testified that in 2004, when she was an aspiring actor waiting tables, Weinstein lured her to a business meeting in a hotel room and digitally penetrated her. The second, Tarale Wulff, told the court that minutes after meeting the producer in 2005, when she was working as a cocktail waitress, he dragged her up a secluded stairwell and masturbated, and later raped her in his SoHo apartment. The third, Lauren Young, said she was a model trying to make it as a screenwriter in 2013 when Weinstein trapped her in his hotel suite’s bathroom, where he stripped off the top of her dress and groped her.Such testimony about uncharged crimes is typically considered too prejudicial to allow, but it’s permitted under limited circumstances. While it can’t be used to suggest a defendant has a propensity to commit a crime, it can explore the defendant’s intent or a common theme. In New York it dates back to a landmark 1901 decision involving a chemist named Roland Molineux who was accused in a fatal cyanide poisoning.Read More: Weinstein’s ‘Trial of the Century’ Gets Its Own PodcastNew York State Supreme Court Justice James Burke ruled in December, over the objections of the defense, that the three accusers could be called to rebut Weinstein’s argument that the encounters were consensual and to show his “intent to use forcible compulsion” on Haley and Mann. The decision was unsealed on Feb. 7, revealing that prosecutors sought to call a total of five such witnesses, the same number as at the Cosby trial.In the end, Burke allowed three.“The consistent theme is that the defendant used his business stature in the movie industry to lure women to believe that he would connect them to careers in the entertainment industry,” Burke wrote, adding that the testimony could help the jury of seven men and five women understand why Haley and Mann feared reprisals if they went to the police.He said it could help the jurors decide whether Weinstein “created an engineered situation where he could be alone” with Mann and Haley “and then sexually assault them.”Weinstein’s lawyers have cited Burke’s Molineux ruling, as well as other decisions that went against them, in calling for a mistrial. Burke has denied the requests.The case is People v. Weinstein, 450293/2018, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).Read MoreJurors Focus on Predatory Assault, Most Serious ChargeSciorra Describes Gift of Popcorn, Then RapeWeinstein Was Jekyll and Hyde, Witness Testifies‘I Think I Was Raped’: Jury Hears Rosie Perez Back Up SciorraJessica Mann Is Grilled on Contact After Alleged Assault Accuser Called Weinstein a ‘Soul Mate,’ Friend TestifiesWeinstein’s Dream Jury Is Conservative, Traditional, SkepticalA MeToo Moment Two Years in the MakingTo contact the reporter on this story: Patricia Hurtado in Federal Court in Manhattan at pathurtado@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter JeffreyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 15:00:00 -0500

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 12:08:29 -0500

A Twitter spokesman said the identical posts violated its policy against manipulation and spam that was created in response to the 2016 election.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 13:54:53 -0500

Greyhound, the U.S.’s largest bus company, said on Friday that it will stop allowing Border Patrol agents without a warrant to board its buses to conduct routine immigration checks.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 22:44:26 -0500

Clad in black, they joined wailing women and men beating their chests in grief at Wadi al-Salam (valley of peace), an ever expanding cemetery. All eyes were on the grave of Iraqi paramilitary commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Killed alongside top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Baghdad on January 3, Muhandis is now revered as a martyred icon of anti-American resistance.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 03:41:01 -0500

The center-left Social Democrats won the most votes in the Hamburg state election Sunday, according to exit polls, followed by the environmentalist Green party in a vote that was overshadowed by a racist massacre and political turmoil in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats appeared to lose badly, receiving the weakest results in Hamburg, which is Germany's second-biggest city and its own state, in the last seven decades. In what would be a large upset, the far-right Alternative for Germany — which has been especially successful in state elections in eastern Germany where it got up to about a quarter of the vote — appears to not have received the 5% of the vote needed to get into the state assembly.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 11:27:31 -0500

The former mayor's campaign is fighting for second place and isn't challenging Bernie Sanders' runaway win in the state.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 06:57:00 -0500

As Italy experiences a surge in coronavirus cases, here is the latest for Sunday, Feb. 23.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 19:35:58 -0500

A U.S. federal judge on Sunday denied a request by Roger Stone's lawyers that she be removed from the case in which she last week sentenced the long-time adviser to President Donald Trump to three years and four months in prison. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson had been accused of bias by Stone's attorneys in a filing on Friday that called for her recusal. Stone, 67, was convicted on Nov. 15 of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness tampering.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 19:35:21 -0500

Six people, including three children, were killed early Sunday in a head-on crash on Interstate 95, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 14:40:57 -0500

The 17-year-old boy told police he had sex with his sister about 100 times but did not know she was pregnant, according to charging documents.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 10:58:53 -0500

Former Vice President Joe Biden, 77, has mentioned at three campaign events about being arrested while trying to visit Nelson Mandela in the 1970s.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 19:30:00 -0500

Pakistan sees itself as a major regional power but recent events show that Beijing considers Pakistan little more than a subordinate colony to be exploited but not heard.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 14:48:11 -0500

Police patrolled perimeters of virus-stricken town in northern Italy Sunday as tens of thousands of people were placed under lockdown and public events cancelled to stem Europe's worst outbreak of the new coronavirus. "Virus -- Northern Italy under Siege," read Sunday's headline in the Il Fatto Quotidiano daily, as television stations delivered a steady stream of images of masked locals and hospital workers in protective suits. "Virus Paralysis," read La Repubblica.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 12:54:40 -0500

Warning that China’s virus epidemic is “still grim and complex,” President Xi Jinping called on Sunday for more efforts to stop the outbreak, revive industry and prevent the disease from derailing the spring planting of crops.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 09:51:53 -0500

* Calls for firing of Chris Matthews after widespread anger * Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist is JewishMSNBC host Chris Matthews compared Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Nevada caucuses on Saturday to the Nazi invasion of France, spurring calls for his firing.“I was reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940 and the general, Reynaud, calls up Churchill and says, ‘It’s over,’” Matthews said on air on Saturday night.“And Churchill says, ‘How can that be? You’ve got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?’ He said, ‘It’s over.’”“So I had that suppressed feeling,” Matthews also said.Sanders, a senator from Vermont and self-proclaimed democratic socialist, is Jewish.He won the Nevada caucuses easily, helping solidify his status as the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in a primary split between moderates and progressives. Sanders’ win came in the wake of a strong showing in Iowa and victory in New Hampshire.> MSNBC’s Chris Matthews likens Sanders victory in Nevada to Nazi Germany overrunning France in 1940: “It’s too late to stop him … it’s over” pic.twitter.com/6GJetLoDkq> > — Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 22, 2020Matthews’ words prompted widespread anger.“Bernie is Jewish and his family was killed by the Nazis,” tweeted David Sirota, a Sanders speechwriter and former Guardian contributor. “None of this is OK.”“This is absolutely disgusting on [Matthews’] part,” tweeted Parker Molloy, editor-at-large at Media Matters for America. “Retire, get fired, whatever. Bottom line is that Matthews needs to be out of a job.”On air, Matthews said Republicans would disclose opposition research on Sanders that would “kill him” in the general election against Donald Trump.“It looks like Bernie Sanders is hard to beat,” Matthews said of the primary, adding: “I think it’s a little late to stop him, and I think that’s the problem.”MSNBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 09:29:25 -0500

When Virginia lawmakers pass sweeping new gun control laws in the coming days, it will mark the culmination of nearly 13 years of often thankless work for two parents whose children were shot in one of the country's worst mass shootings. Lori Haas and Andrew Goddard started pressing lawmakers to enact new gun laws shortly after a gunman killed 32 people and wounded more than a dozen others at Virginia Tech in 2007. Haas and Goddard have been Virginia's most visible gun-control lobbyists for years, but until recently had little to show for their work.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 04:36:10 -0500

Iran on Sunday announced a 42% turnout in its parliamentary election, the lowest rate since the 1979 Islamic revolution, while its top leader said Tehran's enemies played up the new coronavirus threat to dissuade people from voting. With Iran facing growing isolation and threats of conflict over its nuclear standoff with the United States, and increasing discontent at home, the turnout is seen as a referendum on the popularity of the Islamic republic's rulers. The final results, announced by the Interior Ministry, showed big gains by hardline loyalists close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last say on all state matters.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 19:38:29 -0500

Amy Berman Jackson accuses the defense of abusing the court’s docket with claims of bias.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 13:35:16 -0500

This article was updated on February 23, 2020, at 11:55 p.m. local time in South Korea.SEOUL—A South Korean church whose founder says, rather mysteriously, that he represents the second coming of Christ on Earth and has unique insights into God’s revelations is getting much of the blame for a major surge in the spread of the deadly coronavirus here.Coronavirus Now a ‘Tremendous Public Health Threat’: CDCFear of the disease now known as COVID-19 actually had been on the decline in South Korea until a fresh outbreak was traced to a 61-year-old woman who belonged to the Shincheonji Church in Daegu, a city of 2.4 million about 170 miles southeast of Seoul. Soon it was clear that more than half the known cases were connected to Shincheonji parishioners.As the number of infections started climbing with disconcerting speed on Sunday, the government here put the country on the highest possible alert, opening the way for it to lock down whole cities if deemed necessary. All told, as of this writing late Sunday night local time, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 602 cases, including six people who have died. Of the total number diagnosed, 329 were members of Shincheonji or had had contact with members.A former member of the church told South Korea's Yonhap news agency that Shincheonji’s practices during worship may heighten the risk of coronavirus contagion, since participants kneel close together and sing songs with their arms on each others’ shoulders during services. There are also concerns about its presence outside South Korea, possibly including Hubei province in China, the epicenter of the growing epidemic. Lee Man-hee, the 88-year-old founder and leader of the church, has called the disease the “devil's deed” and a test of faith meant to stop the growth of Shincheonji, according to Yonhap.Leaders of more traditional churches have been quick to denounce Shincheonji, which means “New Heaven and Earth.” And the spread of COVID-19 from one of the 74 Shincheonji “sanctuaries” strengthens the view among the mainstream that Shincheonji is a dangerous cult that keeps many of its 200,000 members in secret compounds while pressuring them to absorb its teachings and recruit other followers.Christian critics for years have denounced Lee Man-hee as “a heretic” who has exploited thousands of adherents since opening his first congregation 36 years ago. He calls himself “the promised pastor.”“They are not real Christians,” says a member of Korea’s Presbyterian church, the country’s largest Christian organization. “They are fake.”* * *SEWING UP SEOUL* * *Park Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul, has picked up on the hostile sentiment, warning against the evil the church poses in the metropolitan region of the Korean capital. “Shincheonji sect, also known as ‘Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony’ in Daegu, has become a hotbed of the infections in local communities,” he warned in a lengthy media briefing as the extent of the outbreak became known, calling for measures to stop the disease from spreading.Already, he said, confirmed cases elsewhere were “related to the church in Daegu” and “another confirmed patient in Seoul attended the chapel in that church.” It was “to proactively prevent the further spread of the virus,” he said, that “the Shincheonji churches in Seoul will be closed.”That crackdown was not the only severe measure ordered by Park. He also banned street demonstrations, notably by conservatives hostile to his own municipal government and the national government.Park, a left-leaning politician who has long advocated dialogue with North Korea, insisted he had in mind the health of old people who join in such protests waving American and Korean flags. “The symptoms and prognosis of the confirmed cases could be fatal to people with underlying conditions, and the elderly in particular,” he said, ordering the closure of welfare facilities, senior citizen centers and an historic park in central Seoul where old men frequently gather.Conservatives, hoping to defeat ruling party legislators in national assembly elections in April, denounced the ban as “politics” and promised to turn out in defiance of rows of policemen massed on the main avenue running by city hall.* * *MESSIANIC TENDENCIES* * *The role of Shincheonji in spreading the disease, however, seems far more important than political protests in a country where religious groupings often fight one another. About a third of South Korea’s 51 million people identify as Christians, but there are deep divisions among them, and these movements like Shincheonji draw adherents despite social and cultural barriers to proselytizing and preaching. Cults and cult-like groupings have proliferated, seeming to fill some sort of spiritual void in this fast-moving fast-growing country always under threat from its neighbor to the north. If the COVID-19 epidemic is striking down members of Shincheonji its critics “will say God has struck heretics,” says Michael Breen, author of books on Korean culture and a former member of the Unification Church of the late Rev. Moon Sun-myung. “A lot of people will be thinking, they kind of deserve this.”In fact, in the years since Lee Man-hee first mesmerized young Koreans with his claim to embody Jesus Christ, the Shincheonji Church has proven about as controversial as the “Moonie” Unification Church. Lee may not call himself “the messiah” or “true parent” of mankind as did Moon, but he preaches an extremist view of Christianity whose message is essentially that he came to know the meaning of Christ on Earth through the Bible’s Book of Revelation.“More people are upset with Lee than with Moon,” says Breen. “They will go after him. They are very dogmatic and judgmental.”The secrecy of the church adds to the build-up of emotions against its activities. “Health authorities are having difficulties as they could not reach or contact more than 400 followers of the church,” reported Dong A Ilbo, a leading newspaper in Seoul. It was only through GPS tracking, the paper said, that the church member who was first diagnosed was discovered to have visited Cheongdo, where an outbreak was reported in a hospital and the first person in Korea died of the disease.“Since the entire nation is experiencing a national crisis, Shincheonji religious followers should voluntarily report symptoms and self-quarantine at home while fully cooperating with the authorities in quarantine efforts,” the paper editorialized. At the same time, Dong A called on citizens not to attack patients “even for the sake of ensuring the success of quarantine efforts.”Kukmin Ilbo, a Christian newspaper with strong ties to South Korea’s largest congregation, the evangelical Full Gospel Church in Seoul, suggested Shincheonji members are reluctant to cooperate with authorities tracing the course of the disease.North Korea’s Secret Coronavirus Crisis is Crazy Scary“It seems to be the tendency to act in a closed manner without showing much of its beliefs,” said the paper, describing Shincheonji as “a pseudo-religion or cult.” It claimed that “there were even allegations that Shincheonji sent an internal notice to the congregation telling them to say, ‘I didn’t go to church that day’ and ‘I worshipped somewhere other than there.’”Shincheonji says such claims are concocted by its mortal enemies. “There is no such thing as an internal notice,” a church official responded. More to the point, Mayor Park said, “Anyone who attended the chapels of the Shincheonji Church in Daegu must report to an emergency telephone number.” Seoul will quickly get the list of names, he said. “This is an inevitable measure to ensure and protect the health, safety and life of citizens.” Seoul, he promised, “will exert all its administrative effort.”Shin Hyun-wook, a pastor who specializes in deprogramming Shincheonji members, says they are told not to let their families know they belong to the church. “They believe in eternal life,” he says, dying only from “lack of faith.”* * *UPDATES* * *The warning “EMERGENCY ALERT” in capital letters, preceded by loud beeping sounds, flashed simultaneously on the screens of the mobile phones of millions of South Koreans late Sunday as the government elevated the fast-spreading coronavirus, now known as  COVID-19, to the highest level.President Moon Jae-in, who several days earlier had tried to calm fears and warn against panic, came on South Korean TV networks announcing “the  COVID-19 incident has been confronted by a grave watershed.”“A few days from now is a very important moment,” he said.Moon did not say what he believed had to happen in that short time span to stem the crisis other than to call for “unprecedented, powerful measures,”  but never before had the government gone to such extremes as to warn Korea’s 51 million citizens of the danger to health and safety.Armed with the authority to stop public gatherings, including political protests, the government postponed the opening of schools from next Monday, March 2, until the following Monday.Seeking to get on top of a situation about which he had been criticized for acting too slowly, Moon said his government now would “perceive the crisis” in the southeastern city of Daegu and the surrounding province as “a national one.” Henceforth, he said, the government would focus on “riding out the difficulty without sparing any support.”Earlier, the health and welfare minister, Park Neung-hoo, assured the country the virus was “limited within a specific region and group”—a reference to the members of Shincheonji. Four of the six victims of the virus died in the same hospital in Cheongdo, near Daegu. “The nation's health authorities are concerned that more virus cases will be identified at the hospital as most patients have underlying illnesses,” according to the Yonhap news service. “Transmissions taking place in hospitals and clinics are also of grave concern because of the risk of exposing sick people, who are more vulnerable to infections, to the virus.”A sign of concern about the spread of the virus was that Shinsegae, an historic department store featuring luscious displays and popular food courts, shut down the restaurants in a major branch in one of Seoul's most upscale high-rise office and apartment districts. A customer, the store announced, was reported to have come down with the virus after attending a Shincheonji gathering in Daegu.Moon pointedly urged the cooperation of Shincheonji members, noted for standing close together in mass meetings closed to outside observers and refusing to answer questions about what they are doing. “Trust and cooperation are the way to win the fight against the virus,” he said.He coupled that remark with a demand that Koreans in general refrain from mass meetings—a remark that his political foes interpreted as an effort to suppress large-scale mass protests against his policy of reconciliation with North Korea. The protests were expected to climax next Sunday, the anniversary of a short-lived revolt on March 1, 1919, against Japanese rule.The urgency of the need to halt the COVID-19 before it got out of the Daegu region and spread all over the country provided another week of vacation for Korean students of all ages and education levels.Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae postponed the opening of schools from March 2 to March 9 “to prevent the spread of infection and for the safety of students and school faculty.”The frankness with which South Korea announced the numbers of those who had suffered from the disease, including deaths, contrasted with the secrecy imposed by North Korea, which continues to tighten controls but denied any victims.Most recently, North Korea announced a quarantine on all imports, most of which come from China, many in violation of United Nations sanctions. The North’s leading newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, said the quarantine for 10 days was needed since "materials being brought from another country could be used as a carrier to spread the virus."Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 16:04:20 -0500

We believe that if the BSA sees this moment as a wake-up call, the organization can continue its century-long tradition of positively influencing millions of lives.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 19:09:00 -0500

What are the strategic implications of Moscow and Beijing working closely together in a sensitive domain?

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 19:33:02 -0500

75 years ago, Ira Hayes was one of the six Marines captured in the historic photograph raising the American flag on Iwo Jima.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 15:43:22 -0500

"People are worried about the Coronavirus, which we're watching in this state – there's also a virus of hate, and it's spreading," Cuomo said.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 22:01:00 -0500

Sanders has now won the popular vote in the first three primary contests and holds his biggest lead yet in the diverse state of Nevada.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 14:00:29 -0500

Around 10,000 protesters marched through the central German town of Hanau on Sunday to mourn the nine people who were killed by an immigrant-hating gunman four days ago. “These days and hours are the blackest and darkest our town has ever experienced during peace times,” Hanau mayor Claus Kaminsky told the somber crowds, according to the German news agency dpa. Five of the victims were reported to be Turkish citizens.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 20:02:52 -0500

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday urged Iraq's designated prime minister to protect US troops and meet grievances of a months-long protest movement ahead of a parliamentary confidence vote. In the first substantive US comment on Mohammad Allawi since he was named on February 1 as a consensus candidate, Pompeo said he told him by telephone that the United States backed a "strong, sovereign and prosperous" Iraq. Pompeo "stressed Iraq's obligation to protect US and coalition diplomats, forces and facilities," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 07:41:52 -0500

The White House is about to turn to Congress and request emergency funds in an attempt to curb the coronavirus outbreak, four people with knowledge of the request told Politico.So far, the vast majority of cases of the respiratory virus are in China where it originated, but it has been spreading across the globe, and over 30 people are infected in the United States. Because scientists know so little about the virus, including its incubation time, they're worried an outbreak could eventually hit the U.S.But it looks like the amount the White House plans to ask for — $1 billion — might be lower than some public health officials consider necessary, per Politico. If that's all there is, it could reportedly be exhausted swiftly by vaccine development, lab tests, and other investments. For comparison, the Obama administration requested $6 billion to fight Ebola in 2014 and received $5.4 billion.One White House official told Politico the amount is still subject to change, however. Read more at Politico.More stories from theweek.com The stunning Southern Baptist controversy over Donald Trump and Russell Moore, explained CNN analyst: Republicans 'may regret' hoping Sanders wins nomination White House officials are reportedly hoping to scale back surveillance powers

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 12:38:52 -0500

In a fiery CNN segment, host Anderson Cooper called out an unrepentant Rod Blagojevich, on his third day out of prison following the commutation of his sentence by Donald Trump.Mr Blagojevich, the former Democratic governor of Illinois, imprisoned in late 2011 following convictions in 17 out of 20 corruption charges, claimed that he was a “political prisoner” not dissimilar to Nelson Mandela and made excuses as to why he should not have been in prison.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 08:55:07 -0500

(Bloomberg) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in raised the country’s infectious-disease alert level to the highest and signaled the potential for unprecedented steps to contain a coronavirus outbreak that has killed six and infected hundreds.The government ordered that schools delay resuming lessons after a holiday break as more than 600 people were confirmed to have been infected, a 20-fold surge in reported cases over five days. More than half are linked to members of Shincheonji Church of Jesus, an opaque religious sect, while almost an entire hospital psychiatric ward of over 110 patients and staff tested positive for the virus.The worsening outbreak may add further pressure on South Korean assets. The won recorded its biggest five-day drop in more than four years last week when the number of infections jumped. Government bonds could extend gains as the economic fallout from the outbreak bolsters the case for the central bank to ease policy again.The quick spread in South Korea has triggered travel advisories around the world. Israel is closing its borders to foreign nationals who live in or have visited South Korea in the past two weeks, while the U.S. and the U.K. also raised their alert levels for travel in the Asian country.South Korea was last on red alert in 2009, during the H1N1 virus outbreak that resulted in 250 deaths in the country. At the red level, the government has the power to stop military personnel from going on vacation leave, control the activities of aircraft, suspend public schools from restarting, as well as impose stricter measures to bar foreigners from entering the country, the DongA Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an official.A day after the prime minister asked citizens to stop mass religious activities for safety reasons, President Moon said the government could take “powerful measures like never before without being tied to regulations” to contain the outbreak. He emphasized that shutting down Shincheonji facilities was a safety measure, not a suppression of religion.Daegu, the southeast Korean city where the Shincheonji group is located, has deployed some 600 police officers to track down members who have been unreachable, according to the Maeil Business newspaper. There are about 670 people who have been uncontactable, the paper said.Health officials in that city have a list of residents who are members of the sect, and are getting in touch to explain self-quarantine measures. Authorities have stationed a total of about 500 military personnel at two hospitals in Daegu to implement stricter measures for patients who are confirmed to be infected.Daegu is one of two cities, along with nearby Cheongdo, subject to a U.K. travel advisory on Saturday. Britain’s Foreign Office advised against “all but essential travel” to the two locations. The U.S. separately raised its guidance to Level 2 -- “exercise increased caution” -- for the country as a whole. That level warns of sustained community transmission and calls for “precautions for high-risk travelers,” such as those with chronic medical conditions.Israel took sterner measures after from a group of Catholics from South Korea who went on a Holy Land Pilgrimage of religious sites was confirmed to have the virus.South Korea’s CDC said 18 people out of the 39 who went on the tour in Israel were confirmed to have the virus. Authorities are conducting further tests on the remaining 21. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Andong has halted all masses and assemblies until March, the CDC said in the statement.(Updates with markets in third paragraph)\--With assistance from Liau Y-Sing.To contact the reporter on this story: Jihye Lee in Seoul at jlee2352@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Christopher AnsteyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 04:39:00 -0500

Government-enforced moves to deal with coronavirus outbreak are forcing millions of Chinese people to deal with the emotional and psychological fallout.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 21:53:42 -0500

After Holland America's MS Westerdam disembarked, a passenger tested positive for coronavirus. Following a re-test, the CDC says she never had it.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 10:50:52 -0500

The city of Ahmedabad in India was jostling with activity on Sunday as workers cleaned roads, planted flowers and hoisted billboards featuring President Trump, a day ahead of his maiden two-day visit to India after Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised him a lively public reception.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 20:49:23 -0500

"In 30-plus years of politics, I’ve never seen this level of doom," said one prominent centrist Democrat.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 14:15:00 -0500

The Korean War was no joke and millions died.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 00:50:13 -0500

Thich Quang Do, a dissident Buddhist monk who has effectively been under house arrest since 2003 and was nominated multiple times for the Nobel Peace Prize, has died aged 93. Head of the banned Unified Buddist Church of Vietnam (UBCV), the vocal patriarch was born on November 27, 1928 in northern Thai Binh province and spent most of his life advocating for religious freedom and human rights in communist-run Vietnam.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 02:28:57 -0500

Bus drivers in Moscow kept their WhatsApp group chat buzzing with questions this week about what to do if they spotted passengers who might be from China riding with them in the Russian capital. The befuddlement reflected in screenshots of the group exchanges seen by The Associated Press had a common source - instructions from Moscow's public transit operator Wednesday for drivers to call a dispatcher if Chinese nationals boarded their buses, Russian media reported. A leaked email that the media reports said was sent by the state-owned transportation company Mosgortrans told dispatchers who took such calls to notify the police.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 10:11:05 -0500

A northwestern Indiana couple allegedly used a car to force two teenage boys off a road, angered that the twin brothers were riding bicycles adorned with flags supporting President Donald Trump, before ripping one of the sibling's flag from his bike, police said Friday. Hobart police said Snapchat videos helped officers secure charges against Kyren Gregory Perry-Jones, 23, and Cailyn Marie Smith, 18, in connection with a July 22 incident. Police Capt. James Gonzales said the Hobart couple are accused of driving in their car, running the 14-year-old boys off of the road, and making threats toward them.