In the News

News and Headlines. 3/18/2020

News and Headlines: In The News, Politics, World News, Commentary/Opinion.

In The News:

California man gets 30-to-life in Boise rape case

Credit: Ada County Jail
Credit: Ada County Jail

Reginald Burley, 58, will have to serve at least 30 years of that sentence before he can become eligible for parole.

Burley was indicted for rape and first-degree kidnapping after the attack, but left Idaho before police could arrest him.

Just two months later, he was arrested in his home state of California for kidnapping a child.

After he was sentenced in that case, he was extradited back to Ada County to face the rape charge. He was convicted by a jury in Boise in January.

World Health Organization Recommends Against Ibuprofen for Treating COVID-19

The most commonly used medicines based on ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug, in a file photograph.
The most commonly used medicines based on ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug, in a file photograph. (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)

Asked about the Lancet study at the World Health Organization’s Geneva headquarters, spokesman Christian Lindmeier said health experts at the United Nations’ health agency were looking into it “to give further guidance.”

“In the meantime, we recommend using rather paracetamol, and do not use ibuprofen as a self-medication. That’s important,” he said, according to AFP.

Paracetamol, most commonly sold as Tylenol, treats pain and fever.

Ibuprofen is sold under brand names including Advil and Nurofen.

A spokesman for Reckitt Benckiser (RB), the British company that makes Nurofen, said in a statement that the company was aware of concerns about ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory products in treating COVID-19 symptoms.

But the company “has neither received new safety information nor been involved in the evaluation of any adverse events regarding the use of ibuprofen in COVID-19,” according to the statement.

Baltimore mayor asks residents to stop shooting each other so coronavirus patients can have hospital beds

A mass shooting in a park on Tuesday left seven Baltimore residents hospitalized.

In a statement about the shooting, Young said hospitals don’t have room to tolerate gunshot victims as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the United States.

“We cannot clog up our hospitals and their beds with people that are being shot senselessly, because we’re going to need those beds for people who might be infected with the coronavirus,” Young said on Wednesday.

“And it could be your mother, your grandmother, or one of your relatives. So take that into consideration.”

4-Time Felon Sentenced to 6 Years for Hit-and-Run Crash that Killed 9-Year-Old Girl

YOUCARING/ MONGE FAMILY
YOUCARING/ MONGE FAMILY

Kevin Lee Payne Jr., 23, pleaded no contest last month to vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving with serious injury and leaving the scene of an accident in the death of Zayda Monge.

The crash also injured three others, including two children.

Payne was previously convicted for burglary, possession of an assault weapon and receiving stolen property, the Chronicle reports.

Doing a favor for a friend leads to $4M lottery jackpot

A North Carolina man who gave a friend a ride to work gave in to the other man's insistence that he accept a $60 reward and spent it on a lottery ticket that won him $4 million.
A North Carolina man who gave a friend a ride to work gave in to the other man’s insistence that he accept a $60 reward and spent it on a lottery ticket that won him $4 million. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Kenneth Crews, a retired Shelby firefighter, told North Carolina Education Lottery officials he sometimes gives a friend who doesn’t have his own vehicle a ride to work.

Crews said he usually refuses his friend’s offer of payment, but on a recent rainy day the other man insisted he accept $60.

“He said, ‘Please, put it on a scratch-off, you might hit something today,'” Crews recalled.

Americans would get two checks under Treasury Department proposal

The two rounds of direct payments to taxpayers, each a total of $250 billion, would be sent on April 6 and then the second round would be sent on May 18, according to the proposal.

They would be tiered payments, with the amounts based on income level and family size, the proposal says. Both payments would be for the same amount.

President Donald Trump was asked about the proposal at a coronavirus briefing at the White House on Wednesday, and said, “I don’t want to get in that right now” because there are “different numbers” being discussed. But, he added, “we want to go big.”

The White House first floated its support for sending checks directly to Americans during a news conference Tuesday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump wanted Americans to get relief as soon as possible.

The Latest: Trump: Mexico border crossers to be turned back

President Donald Trump listens as Vice President Mike Pence speaks during press briefing with the Coronavirus Task Force, at the White House, Wednesday, March 18, 2020,
President Donald Trump listens as Vice President Mike Pence speaks during press briefing with the Coronavirus Task Force, at the White House, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

U.S. President Donald Trump says he plans to invoke extraordinary powers to immediately turn back to Mexico anyone who crosses the border illegally.

The president says at a White House briefing that he will announce the measure “very soon,” probably later Wednesday.

Trump says he isn’t planning a full shutdown of the U.S. border with Mexico but that the powers he will invoke to respond to a health emergency give him “great latitude.”

Asked about new restrictions on the Canadian border, the president says he only wants to allow travel that is deemed essential, such as movement related to the medical industry, the military or certain industries.

Coronavirus questions answered: ‘Should I be overly concerned about going to the grocery store?’

As coronavirus cases rise in New York, Fox News medical correspondent Dr. Marc Seigel answered your questions about the coronavirus pandemic in an interview on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning.

“We’re seeing over a thousand cases that are documented and there must be a lot more than that [in New York],” Siegel told “Fox & Friends,” noting that the asymptomatic coronavirus carriers could be attributed to the increasing spread in the Empire State.

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Truckers Are Keeping American Supply Chains — and Americans — Alive

A crucial part of that supply chain is the American trucker, who makes sure that goods are delivered in a timely fashion.

That is always the case, but it is especially true in the sudden global emergency we face today.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported last year that 3.5 million Americans are employed as truck drivers. Many work long hours, and a disproportionate number of them are military veterans.

They are on the front lines once again.

The American Trucking Association (ATA) noted Sunday:

Cuomo: Trump to deploy ‘floating hospital’ ship to N.Y. harbor

USNS Comfort (T-AH 20)
USNS Comfort (T-AH 20)

“It’s an extraordinary step, obviously. … It’s literally a floating hospital, which will add capacity and the president said that he would dispatch that immediately,” he said.

Mr. Cuomo also said the state was mandating that nonessential businesses have no more than 50% of their employees working outside their homes, in an effort to limit the density of gatherings.

He said the mandate would exempt essential services like groceries, pharmacies, and health care.

New York has been the hardest-hit state in the ongoing outbreak, with at least 2,382 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state as of Wednesday.

DOCTOR: What You Can Do To Stop Coronavirus (Pt. 1) | Dr. Amesh Adalja | CORONAVIRUS | Rubin Report

Commentary/Opinion:
Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report talks to Dr. Amesh Adalja (Infectious Disease MD) about what you need to know about the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Coronavirus outbreak is still in its infancy in the US and Dr. Amesh Adalja gives you the information you need to be able to navigate this constantly changing public health crisis.

He provides vital information on Coronavirus prevention and what you need to do to keep you and your loved ones safe.

President Trump & Coronavirus Task Force Hold News Conference 3/18/20

Trump announces he is invoking Defense Production Act to fight coronavirus

The act ensures the private sector can ramp-up manufacturing and distribution of emergency medical supplies and equipment.

The move gives the White House the authority to increase production of masks, ventilators and respirators, as well as expand hospital capacity to combat the coronavirus.

He made the announcement at a press conference along members of the coronavirus pandemic task force.

He also announced that the Housing Department is suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April.

Man convicted in killings of 2 gay men, transgender woman

This undated booking photo released by the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office shows Devon Robinson. Robinson was convicted Tuesday, March 17, 2020,
This undated booking photo released by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office shows Devon Robinson. Robinson was convicted Tuesday, March 17, 2020,
(Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office via AP, File)

A Wayne County jury convicted Devon Kareem Robinson on Tuesday of first-degree premeditated murder, assault with intent to murder and felony firearm in the killings of 21-year-old Alunte Davis, and 20-year-olds Timothy Blancher and Paris Cameron, The Detroit News reported.

Robinson could face life behind bars without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced April 13 for the May 2019 killings.

The three victims were slain in the living room of a Detroit home following a party attended by about 15 people. Robinson allegedly shot and wounded two other people inside that house.

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits Utah; power outages reported in Salt Lake City

About 55,000 people lost electricity in the Salt Lake City Area, utility Rocky Mountain Power said.

Some people ran from their homes and into the streets as dishes fell from shelves and pictures from walls. Operations at Salt Lake City International Airport stopped, and the control tower and concourses were evacuated, the airport tweeted.

The quake also shut down the light rail service for Salt Lake City and its suburbs.

Off-duty Border Patrol agent stops mass stabbing inside Texas Sam’s Club.

BP Agent Bernie Ramirez reunites w/ Sam’s Club employee Zach Owen days after both intervened during a stabbing incident
BP Agent Bernie Ramirez reunites w/ Sam’s Club employee Zach Owen days after both intervened during a stabbing incident inside Sam’s in Midland, Tx. Owens’s hand was cut and he was stabbed in the leg too.

While police have not gotten an understanding as to why the stabbing occurred in the first place, the suspect was taken into custody thanks to a Border Patrol agent who happened to be at the scene as it played out.

The incident took place at around 7:30 p.m. that evening, when Gomez allegedly stabbed two children and two adults inside of the store.

One of the victims was an employee of the store who’d approached Gomez after catching wind of customers being stabbed.

Politics:

McGrath Hits McConnell With False Attack From Washington Post Op-Ed

Amy McGrath / Getty Images
Amy McGrath / Getty Images

Amy McGrath, who is running to unseat Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), criticized McConnell Tuesday using a false attack from a Washington Post opinion writer.

McGrath’s campaign message on Twitter included Post columnist Jennifer Rubin’s claim that the “failure to take an immediate vote” on a coronavirus relief package “was emblematic of the sloth and irresponsibility of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

McGrath argued that this shows McConnell “doesn’t care” about Kentucky or America, but the Post had to remove Rubin’s claim and add a lengthy correction to the article, titled “Trump’s damage is already done.”

Ilhan Omar slammed for response to Ivanka Trump’s ‘family together’ tweet

The president’s daughter’s post called for families to make the best of their time at home together during the coronavirus outbreak, suggesting they have a “living room camp out” along with sandwiches and other treats.

“A fun activity that also brings family together for a meal!” the 38-year-old Trump wrote. The post included a past photo of Trump with two of her and husband Jared Kushner’s three children.

“It won’t mitigate the fear and pain,” Trump wrote in another tweet, “but it may foster some joy.

Let’s come together as a community and share ideas on how to entertain our children (and each other) and create some positive memories in an otherwise frightening moment.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders to ‘assess his campaign’ following string of primary losses

Bernie Sanders celebrates after winning Nevada caucuses
(Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders celebrates after winning Nevada caucuses
(Getty Images)

The announcement comes after Sanders won in two of the first three nominating states, then lost heavily to rival Joe Biden on Super Tuesday, in which 14 states balloted.

On Tuesday, Sanders lost in all three primaries – Arizona, Florida and Illinois.

“Sen. Sanders is going to be having conversations with his supporters to assess his campaign,” the Sanders campaigned said.

“In the immediate term, however, he is focused on the government response to the coronavirus outbreak and ensuring that we take care of working people and the most vulnerable.”

World News:

Italy Reports Nearly 500 Deaths in 24 Hours From CCP Virus

 Medical workers in overalls stretch a patient under intensive care into the newly built Columbus Covid
Medical workers in overalls stretch a patient under intensive care into the newly built Columbus Covid 2 temporary hospital to fight the new coronavirus infection, at the Gemelli hospital in Rome on March 16, 2020. (Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images)

Italy has been essentially on full lockdown for about two weeks as officials attempt to curb the spread of the disease, which first emerged in Wuhan, China, late last year before spreading to more than 150 countries worldwide.

Italy is currently the worst-affected country in Europe and the hardest hit outside of China.

“It is necessary to limit travel as much as possible,” Borrelli said, adding that “correct behavior must be adopted.”

The Italian national health authority said in a study released Wednesday that about 99 percent of those who died from COVID-19 had previous medical problems, reported Bloomberg News.

Pompeo announces new round of sanctions against Iran

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, shown at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month,
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, shown at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, announced new sanctions against Iran Wednesday.
Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI

March 18 (UPI) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday new sanctions against Iran after suspected Tehran-supported militias fired rockets at U.S. military forces in neighboring Iraq.

The Pentagon said Sunday rocket attacks on Camp Taji base, north of Baghdad, killed two U.S. service members. The facility houses coalition forces who are fighting Islamic State militants.

The United States responded by firing at targets believed to be in control of Kataeb Hezbollah militia members.

The militias have continued their attacks since, shooting rockets near Baghdad’s Green Zone and another nearby training base where NATO trainers and coalition soldiers live.

South Africa’s coronavirus cases nearly double in ‘explosive’ rate, local transmissions diagnosed

Passengers sit inside a minibus taxi on their way home to Kwa-Thema, a town east of Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday.
Passengers sit inside a minibus taxi on their way home to Kwa-Thema, a town east of Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

The sub-Saharan country, which has the most cases in the region, said there are now 116 new COVID-19 cases, including 14 from a local transmission and six in children under 10.

South Africa’s health minister, Zweli Mkhize, earlier this week called that kind of increase “explosive.” Health experts have warned that facilities in Africa’s richest nations could be overwhelmed as the virus spreads.

“We have low-income workers who cannot afford to self-isolate or take time off work,” said public health expert Dr. Atiya Mosam, who also worried about the large population without clean water or sanitation.

‘Total lockdown inevitable’ says Erdan as coronavirus patients reaches 433

General view of the empty square outside the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on March 16, 2020.
General view of the empty square outside the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on March 16, 2020. For Fear of Coronavirus, Israel Closes all Borders decreasing the number of tourits. The government orders all bars, restaurants and malls to close in an effort to contain the spread of virus. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Erdan instructed the police and other security forces in Israel to prepare for the decision of a total lockdown in a phone call with the heads of internal security bodies throughout the country on Tuesday evening.

Of the 427 people infected in Israel as of Wednesday morning, 236 are hospitalized, 26 are in the process of being hospitalized, 71 are isolated at home or in a designated hotel, and 83 tested positive but the decision on how to treat them is yet to be made, while 11 already recovered and were discharged.

Moreover, 401 patients are described in mild conditions, ten in moderate and five in critical conditions. Israel has not registered any death due to the outbreak.

Israel, Palestinians set up joint operations room to combat coronavirus

Palestinian women work in a sanitiser factory amid precautions against the coronavirus
Palestinian women work in a sanitiser factory amid precautions against the coronavirus, in Hebron in the West Bank March 12, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/MUSSA QAWASMA)

The PA announced on Wednesday that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to 44. It said three new cases were discovered in the Bet Sahour, near Bethlehem, on Tuesday night, prompting the Palestinian security forces to impose a curfew on the town.

“We have been working with the Israeli authorities from day one to fight the virus,” said a Bethlehem-based Palestinian health official.

“Most of the measures we took in the Bethlehem area after the first cases were detected were done in full coordination with the Israeli authorities.”

The official pointed out that Israel has delivered 200 coronavirus test kits to the PA Ministry of Health.

Before that, he said, the samples taken from Palestinians suspected of having contracted the virus were sent to an Israeli hospital.

Iran sees biggest single-day spike in coronavirus deaths, as toll surpasses 1,135

In this photo taken on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, a shopkeeper waits for customer as a woman wearing a face mask to help protect against the new coronavirus, walks at the Tehran's Grand Bazaar, Iran
In this photo taken on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, a shopkeeper waits for customer as a woman wearing a face mask to help protect against the new coronavirus, walks at the Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Officials said Wednesday that another 147 people have died, meaning at least 1,135 people are dead nationwide.

Meanwhile, the number of cases continues to grow, with about 17,361 infections across the Islamic Republic, the deputy health minister, Alireza Raisi, said in a briefing.

Health officials have urged the public to avoid travel and crowded places, but some food markets in the capital of Tehran still were packed on Wednesday.

Highways were crowded as families traveled in anticipation of the Persian New Year, Nowruz, a normally joyous holiday that begins Friday.

Commentary/Opinion:

The Latest On COVID-19 Suggests Most Of Us Will Be Fine

The reporting out of China suggests the Chinese Communist Party is artificially pushing the new infections rate down, reporting fewer than 1,000 new cases in the past two weeks while the number of cases reported worldwide exceeded that in China on March 15 at 81,700 and is now rising rapidly.

It is highly likely that the total infections numbers out of China cannot be trusted.

In fact, Chinese authorities have been highly effective in preventing independent reporting out of Wuhan, forcing the outside world to rely solely on Beijing’s word.

So, should Americans be worried? Mounting evidence suggests that if you don’t smoke or aren’t 70 or older or have underlying health conditions, you’ll be fine—although you can spread it to other, more vulnerable people.

Even as the Trump administration and state and local officials enact prudent measures and provide guidance to mitigate the rapid spread of the virus, coronavirus-induced panic may be overwrought.

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