News and Headlines: In The News, Politics, World News, Commentary/Opinion.
In The News:
The explosion happened in the “finished product area” at Valley Proteins, an animal product recycling plant, in Rose Hill at about 10:45 a.m., the company told WITN.
Five workers, who are employees of an outside contractor, were injured, Elizabeth Stalls, spokesperson for Duplin County, told McClatchy News.
Four were airlifted from the plant to a burn center in Chapel Hill, and the fifth was taken to a hospital by ambulance and then airlifted to the center, Stalls says.
A woman with underlying health conditions has died of the coronavirus in the most populous county in the U.S., making her one of at least 33 people nationwide to succumb to COVID-19.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday that the woman lives outside the county and had been visiting friends after recent travel, with a long layover in South Korea. She was over 60 and died in a hospital.
Iran’s information and communications technology minister has tweeted a map of Iran that shows the virus affecting almost the entire country.
More European countries are reporting their first deaths of people with the new coronavirus.
In efforts to prevent child sexual abuse online, the United States, along with the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, have created new voluntary principles that tech companies are promoting.
Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Roblox, and Snapchat have all endorsed the principles, which ask them to prevent child sexual abuse material from being made available on their platforms, and taking action against advertising, soliciting children, and the livestreaming of child-related sexual abuse.
The principles stop short of asking tech companies to address end-to-end encryption, which is an ongoing tussle about where the line exists between privacy protection and the protection of criminals.
The DOJ has said end-to-end encryption without a backdoor for law enforcement stymies criminal investigations. Tech companies say a backdoor presents a security risk for users.
Biden’s lawyers on Tuesday argued he would be unable to attend scheduled hearings this week, citing the approaching due date of his pregnant wife, “intense media scrutiny” caused by his father Joe Biden’s presidential bid, and travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus.
The claims were rejected by Arkansas circuit judge Holly Meyer, who admonished Biden, the defendant in the case, for his repeated attempts to delay the case.
On Wednesday morning, lawyers for plaintiff Lunden Alexis Roberts alerted the judge that they had reached a final settlement with Biden that, pending court approval, will end the nearly 10-month-long legal battle.
Police say mother went into 11-year-old son’s bedroom, dragged him to the balcony, and threw him off the fourth floor. But she won’t say why.
When the officers arrived they found the child on the ground, conscious and breathing but suffering from a multitude of injuries, including a broken femur, a fractured jaw, and several traumatic head injuries.
The child was able to provide details to officers about the incident at the time and instead was rushed to Regions Hospital for treatment. Police said the child is expected to survive.
According to criminal charges filed Tuesday, Lloyd tried to punch an officer during the transport and then later spat at a different officer who was trying to calm her down at the jail.
In the closed-door meeting, Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician of the U.S. Congress, shared the statistical prediction and told staffers they should prepare for the worst, according to Axios.
If the upper end of Monahan’s warning comes true, that would be roughly 30 million short of half the U.S. population.
The Census Bureau estimated the U.S. population was 329.45 million in 2019.
He also told staffers that about 80% of people who get the virus will make a full recovery.
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 1,100 people in the U.S. have been infected with the coronavirus, and 31 patients have died.
Matt Albence, acting director at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the border surge over the past two years added 900,000 more cases to ICE’s non-detained docket, which now totals more than 3.3 million.
He was defending ICE’s significant budget increase request for fiscal year 2021, which envisions being able to detain an average of 60,000 migrants a day.
“Without additional resources to actually effectuate a judge’s removal orders, we will have an immigration enforcement and court system in which billions of dollars a year are spent to obtain orders, that are not worth the paper they are written on,” Mr. Albence told the House Appropriations Committee.
The justices issued a stay on a lower court ruling that would have dissolved the policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocol, in Arizona and California.
The court said the stay would remain in place to give the administration time to argue its case before the high court.
That’s a major relief to Homeland Security officials, who’d feared a massive rush for the border should the MPP be erased.
The high court’s ruling is the latest in a string of decisions where the justices have rescued President Trump’s strict policies after lower courts ruled against him.
In this case, the decision was 8-1, with only Justice Sonia Sotomayor saying she would have refused the government’s request.
While none have tested positive for the virus, the southern border remains a primary focus of the Trump administration, which sees the area as high risk and a gateway for COVID-19 to spread in the U.S.
Under MPP, which stands for the Migrant Protection Protocol, the U.S. has deported some 60,000 migrants to Mexico to await their deportation hearings.
Unless the Supreme Court acts, the policy will be ruled illegal in California and Arizona and those individuals and other migrants claiming asylum will be allowed to remain in the U.S. indefinitely.
The U.S. southern border is a microcosm of the world, with foreign nationals from 122 separate countries apprehended or denied entry already this fiscal year — from October through the end of February.
Dr. Marc Siegel cites the symptoms and discusses when people should get tested for coronavirus.
Josie Harris, Mayweather’s ex-girlfriend, was found unresponsive in her vehicle, law enforcement officials told TMZ Sports.
Responding officers were called to her home at around 9:30 p.m. local time and she was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.
Foul play was not suspected and they were not treating her death as a homicide, according to TMZ Sports.
Harris and Mayweather had a tumultuous relationship. The champion boxer pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery as part of a deal to get prosecutors to drop a felony battery charge in 2010 and served two months in jail because of the incident.
The defense asked for a 5-year sentence, arguing that Weinstein has lost everything.
“His fall from grace has been historic, perhaps unmatched in the age of social media,” read a letter to the judge.
The prosecution had asked for a sentence that “reflects the seriousness of defendant’s offenses,” citing a “lifetime of abuse towards others, sexual and otherwise.”
“Out of an abundance of caution, and to allow time for you to receive additional briefings, I will postpone a vote to subpoena records and an appearance from former Blue Star Strategies consultant Andrii Telizhenko about his work for the lobbying firm,” Johnson wrote in a notice to committee members.
In the runup to Wednesday’s vote, Democrats were calling for intelligence briefings before the committee moves forward with a subpoena, citing concerns that the panel’s investigation could aid Russian disinformation efforts.
They raised alarms in particular about Telizhenko, who has leveled unsubstantiated claims about coordination between the Ukrainian government and the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
Johnson said Republican and Democratic members of the panel suggested that the subpoena instead be targeted at Blue Star Strategies, the firm for which Telizhenko consulted.
The South Carolina lawmaker credited with rescuing Joe Biden’s dying presidential campaign with his timely endorsement now believes it’s time to shut down the Democratic primary race and declare the former vice president the winner over Sen. Bernie Sanders.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., told NPR as the results came in Tuesday in six primaries that if Biden were to win all of them, it would be best for the party to put an end to the primary race, debates and all.
Fox News contributor Donna Brazile, former interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said she believes the debates should go on, FoxNews.com reported.
The piecemeal release of FBI files in the Russia collusion investigation has masked an essential fact:
James Comey’s G-men had substantially debunked the theory that Donald Trump’s campaign conspired with Moscow by the time the 45th president was settling into the Oval Office, according to declassified memos, court filings and interviews.
And that means a nascent presidency and an entire nation were put through two more years of lacerating debate over an issue that was mostly resolved in January 2017 inside the bureau’s own evidence files. The proof is now sitting in plain view.
Other significant red flags also emerged in January 2017 that the Russia collusion theory used by the FBI to open a Trump campaign-focused probe in July 2016 was simply wrong.
So too was the evidence the FBI submitted to secure an October 2016 FISA warrant targeting Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Lee’s SB 664 would require the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to audit companies to ensure compliance with the law and would allow individuals to report businesses they suspect of hiring unauthorized workers.
Adopting an E-Verify bill is a priority for DeSantis and state Republican chair Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, in tandem with President Donald Trump’s crackdown on undocumented aliens.
But the employment-verification measures are both vigorously opposed by Republican-aligned interests, including the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA), tourism, industry and retail interests.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said her goal is to pass a more narrowly drawn measure as soon as Thursday, before lawmakers leave town for a previously scheduled weeklong recess, and revisit potential stimulus measures later on, those familiar with the thinking said.
Larry Kudlow, the president’s director of the National Economic Council, acknowledged on Tuesday that the payroll tax makes up an enormous amount of the money that goes into the federal budget.
However, he said that it would provide a “big growth payoff” to the economy and “help deal with the challenges over the next few months” as the country battles the outbreak of the coronavirus.
“The payroll tax holiday is a bold move and this has always been a bold president,” Kudlow said, adding that the money lost from temporarily eliminating the tax will be made up “with much better economic growth.”
The decision from the populist senator from Vermont came the day after he was pummeled by the former vice president in Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho and failed to have a breakout performance in Washington state.
As the bad news from the six March 10 contests continued to come in on Tuesday night, the self-described democratic socialist headed home to Burlington, Vt., and took the unusual step of not giving a prime-time primary night speech.
He emerged Wednesday afternoon to discuss his plans.
Lawmakers are working on a bill that would enable illegal immigrants in the state of Washington to have access to student loans for college.
Senate Bill 6561, originally sponsored by a group of 11 Democrats, aims to set up a student loan program for Washington’s illegal immigrants, including recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, who are not eligible for federal financial aid.
AOC and her Squad stand against amendment protecting Americans from sexual predators.
Townhall comments on how AOC and her squad have opposed an amendment that would protect Americans from sexual predators.
“I thought I was pretty articulate and respectful,” Jerry Wayne said Wednesday on Fox & Friends about his interaction with Biden.
“I didn’t try to raise any — any feathers. And he kind of just went off the deep end.
I saw that he was digging a hole. And I just kind of let him talk for a while to dig the hole.”
Wayne told Fox News that the former Delaware senator should not try to restrict firearms if he wants to win the 2020 presidential election.
1) The number of Israelis who contracted the coronavirus is steadily rising, with more than 80 confirmed cases to date.
2) In light of Jerusalem drastic measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus, a number of international airliners have cancelled their flights, from and to Israel.
3) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Damascus, and its patrons in Moscow and Tehran; that unless the recently-arranged ceasefire is kept in full, the Turkish military will resume its cross-border offensive – dubbed “Operation Spring Shield – against the Syrian army.
Sophisticated modelling of the outbreak suggests that China had 114,325 cases by the end of February 2020, a figure that would have been 67 times higher without interventions such as early detection, isolation of the infected, and travel restrictions.
But if the interventions could have been brought in a week earlier, 66% fewer people would have been infected, the analysis found.
The same measures brought in three weeks earlier could have reduced cases by 95%.
The population mapping group WorldPop at Southampton ran models on human movement and illness onset to simulate different outbreak scenarios in cities in mainland China.
“Several countries have demonstrated that this virus can be suppressed and controlled,” he said.
“The challenge for many countries who are now dealing with large clusters or community transmission is not whether they can do the same – it’s whether they will.”
Governments had to “strike a fine balance between protecting health, minimising disruption and respecting human life”.
“We’re in this together to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world. It’s doable,” he said.
Germany has a population of about 82 million. Merkel is predicting that more than 57 million people in Germany will be infected with coronavirus.
Mortality rates are hard to nail down right now due to the variables of different nations and a continuing lack of adequate testing capability in some places, but even a conservative death rate applied to Merkel’s prediction means that more than a half a million Germans could die from the virus.
Some, like Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babis, feel that Merkel’s alarming outlook on coronavirus will just create unnecessary panic, CNBC reported.
You see, everything that happens is viewed by the left as a prism of opportunity. I can say this with confidence as having been on the left, and that mindset was the driving factor.
Never was there an effort or even an idea that existed purely based on how it would improve society, help the individual or make this nation safer and stronger.
Enter the Wuhan Virus, something the United States did not create, plan or want. It is an external, biological disaster.
Many add the word “natural” to that, but it’s too soon to draw that conclusion. To say China has not been transparent or forthcoming with information would be an understatement.
We do know there is a governmental biological laboratory in Wuhan experimenting with viruses, including those of the corona class. The Chinese are telling the world to stop calling it the Wuhan Virus and are absurdly demanding an apology from the West for doing so.
This is because the name reminds humanity that the biological catastrophe comes from a nation that has no one’s best interest in mind.
In this episode of American Thought Leaders 🇺🇸, we sat down with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who is on the House Judiciary Committee, to discuss reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).