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Former head of pandemic response team speaks out: 'I'm frankly scared'
One of the two people to survive a plane crash in Pakistan that killed 97 people on board has described jumping from the burning wreckage of the aircraft after it hurtled into a residential neighbourhood. The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane came down among houses on Friday after both engines failed as it approached Karachi airport, the airline said. Pakistan's deadliest aviation accident in eight years came days after commercial flights resumed ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
Western Australia battened down for its worst storm in 10 years on Sunday as the remnants of a tropical cyclone met a cold front with heavy rains and storm surges expected across the state's coast, officials said on Sunday.
MSNBC’s Joy Reid opened her interview with Charlamagne Tha God on Sunday morning by congratulating him on his interview this past week with former Vice President Joe Biden—even if all anyone wants to talk about are the final few seconds. Biden came under swift fire on Friday when he pushed back against the popular radio host’s suggestion that he might still have “questions” for the candidate before the 2020 election. “You’ve got more questions?” Biden asked. “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”Shortly after that interview, Biden apologized for his remarks on a conference call with the Black Chamber of Commerce. Reid played Charlamagne a portion of his apology, in which Biden admonished himself for being “so cavalier” and said, “No one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background.”Asked if there’s a “risk” that Biden and the Democratic Party as a whole take the black vote for granted, Charlamagne said, “I know that's the attitude. That's why I don't ever care about the words and the lip service and the apology is cool, but the best apology is actually a black agenda.”“They’ve got to make some real policy commitments to black people,” he continued. “We’ve got to stop acting like the fact that blacks are overrepresented in America when it comes to welfare, poverty, unemployment, homelessness, drug addiction, crime, coronavirus—that’s no accident. The whole function of systemic racism is to marginalize black people.”‘Wise Guy’ Biden Apologizes for ‘You Ain’t Black’ GaffeOn one side, Charlamagne said he sees “whites telling us to stay in our place” and on the other, “black people saying, ‘Oh, stop, now is not the time, you're going to get Trump re-elected.’” He said, “It has to come to the point where we stop putting the burden on black voters and start putting the burden on Democrats to show up for black voters.” Charlamagne made clear both in his interview with Biden and on MSNBC Sunday morning that Biden picking a progressive black female running mate would go a long way towards demonstrating his commitment to that community. So Reid asked him what he will do if Biden picks someone like Amy Klobuchar instead.“On top of possible Russian interference and voter suppression, they have to worry about voter depression,” he replied. “And that’s people staying home on election day because they aren't enthused by the candidate. You can’t act like this is the most important election ever but run a campaign from your basement and not make some real policy commitments to the black community and not listen to some of the demands that the black community are making. I think people are sitting around hoping that Trump loses instead of going out there and actually beating him.” Joe Biden Shows Trump How to Grieve in Emotional ‘Colbert’ InterviewRead 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.
The crowded Gaza Strip recorded its first death from the coronavirus on Saturday, officials said, amid fears an outbreak could paralyze the territory's already overstretched health care system. The Palestinian health ministry said the deceased was a 77-year-old woman who had underlying health problems and had been placed at a special field hospital near the Rafah border crossing point upon arriving from Egypt. Gaza’s authorities, led by the militant group Hamas, reported 35 confirmed new cases this week, bringing the total to 55.
Shiite Iranians in a rare event mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan this year on separate days -- Sunday or Monday -- depending on different religious authorities' edicts. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced Saturday evening on his official website that the Eid al-Fitr festival would fall on Sunday this year.
The French government does not want its citizens to travel abroad this summer and recommends they take their holidays in France, Environment Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Sunday. Earlier this month, President Emmanuel Macron said it was unlikely that French people would be able to undertake major foreign trips this summer and that even trips within Europe may have to be limited to reduce the risk of a resurgence of the coronavirus epidemic. Borne, in an interview with France Inter radio, also said that next week the government would decide on possibly loosening rules on French domestic travel, currently limited to a maximum 100 kilometers from home.
The official who oversaw epidemic preparedness for the National Security Council under President Obama said the absence of public guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic leaves her “frankly scared.” She also believes and that eliminating her position weakened the American response to the coronavirus when it emerged 18 months later.
Hong Kong's pro-democracy, anti-government protests were back in full force Sunday for the first time since COVID-19 lockdowns began, while riot police fired tear gas on the crowds for the first time in weeks.Thousands of mostly young people took to the streets just days after China signaled it planned to directly impose national security laws against subversion, sedition and terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces on the city. The demonstrators believe Beijing's plan to bypass Hong Kong's local government and legislature violated the "one country, two systems" agreement it signed with the United Kingdom during a territorial exchange in 1997. The plan is backed by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam but faced international condemnation.China has denied the move will affect Hong Kong's autonomy, but many of the protesters now think independence — considered a red line by Beijing — is the only way forward. "I think this is the termination of one country, two systems," one protester told The Wall Street Journal. "Hong Kong is lost. The most important thing is to fight back against the Communist Party." Read more at The Wall Street Journal and Reuters.More stories from theweek.com How pandemics change society We should be grateful for good news in Georgia 17 extra-easy dessert recipes to make in quarantine
With the monument currently closed due to COVID-19, this is the perfect time to experience a new virtual tour, featuring every nook-and-cranny of the statue's interior, including areas traditionally off-limits to visitors
A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand's North Island early Monday but failed to crack Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's trademark composure as she conducted a live television interview. The quake struck just off the coast before 8:00 am local time (2000 Sunday GMT) at a depth of about 52 kilometres (32 miles) near Levin, about 90 kilometres north of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said. St John Ambulance and New Zealand Police both said there were no initial reports of injuries or damage.
For labor organizers working within the restaurant industry, there’s another NRA: the National Restaurant Association. This NRA “represent[s] and advocate[s] on behalf of more than 500,000 restaurant businesses,” including some of the biggest chains in the country. For decades, this has meant keeping tipped workers earning a minimum of $2.13 an hour in 43 states (in California, where I live, tipped workers must earn at least the state-wide minimum wage of $12.00 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees and $13.00 per hour for employers with more than 25 employees). During the COVID-19 pandemic, when many restaurant and cafe workers are realizing that they are much better off financially leaving their jobs and collecting unemployment insurance, there’s a renewed focus on how service work is systemically devalued in the U.S.The so-called logic behind this $2.13 tipped worker minimum wage is that tips will meet or exceed the federal minimum wage of $7.25 and, legally speaking, when they don’t, employers must make up the difference. According to many employees in the industry, in practice, the latter almost never happens—the restaurant industry specifically is notorious for wage and tip theft. Throughout the U.S.—excluding West Coast states, Nevada, Montana, Minnesota, and Alaska—if tips aren’t good or are nonexistent, good luck making rent. In director Abby Ginzberg’s documentary Waging Change, streamable on Women Make Movies from May 22 to May 31, the NRA’s machinations to keep the tipped minimum wage at $2.13 an hour in as many states as possible is exposed for its strategic seediness. In a “Save Our Tips” campaign, the NRA funded an astroturf movement that convinced many restaurant workers that One Fair Wage legislation in Washington, D.C., would compromise their earnings—the idea being that if customers know servers and bartenders are earning the minimum wage or more, they will be less likely to tip or tip well. In fact, studies have shown that in cities where there is one minimum wage across all industries—and when that minimum wage is on the high end of the current spectrum—tipping is much better. White Anti-Quarantine Protesters Have Cruelly Co-opted an Enslaved Black Woman from the 18th CenturyThis Giant Monument to Elon Musk Has Tulsa Residents FuriousThere’s also a prevailing idea that most restaurants cannot afford to pay even the minimum wage, let alone a living wage, and if they did, they would have to lay off many workers. Waging Change goes to small, local restaurants around the country to show that living wage structures and even co-ops (in which the workers own the business) are possible and in fact can improve business. It’s also telling that many of the restaurants with the worst wages and practices are the huge chains, from IHOP to McDonald’s to TGI Friday’s. Even high-end restaurants that charge in the hundreds for a single meal have settled lawsuits for wage theft and other unfair labor practices. In many cases, the problem is at best incompetent management and at worst, greed. The One Fair Wage movement, which has been backed by bartender-turned-congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also aims to address the rampant sexual harassment and abuse that the tipped minimum wage structure doesn’t simply exacerbate, but provides the foundation for. If servers and bartenders have to make tips to make rent, then they’re especially vulnerable to abuse. According to 20 years of government data reported by BuzzFeed in 2017, more sexual harassment claims are filed in the restaurant industry than in any other industry. And according to a survey by Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC), the labor organization prominently featured in Waging Change, 60 percent of women report that they have experienced some form of sexual harassment on the job, and over half say they experience it on a daily basis. This same study also reports that “one-fifth of women working in the restaurant industry live below the poverty line, and nearly one-half (46%) live below twice the poverty line, compared to 40% of men in the restaurant industry and 20% of women in other industries.” One strategy proposed—beyond the organizing that restaurant workers do with ROC and other organizations to spur legislative change—is to vote with your wallet, to only patronize business that pay workers a living wage both in the front and back of house (racism in the restaurant industry is also rampant, with bussers, dishwashers, and prep cooks often being black and brown, and servers, hosts, and bartenders usually being white). But voting with your wallet often means relying on restaurant marketing to “know” who is treating their workers fairly; now that touting fair labor practices—like “sustainability” in the fashion industry—is trendy, it’s hard to know who is just talking the talk. In fact, supporting labor organizations, unions, and campaigns run by restaurant workers themselves is often the most direct way to either vote with your wallet or actions. (You’d also do well to tip in cash, a more reliable way to ensure your server and other workers in the restaurant actually get your tip, and quickly.)Waging Change addresses the curveball thrown by coronavirus on the gains made by the One Fair Wage and $15 minimum wage movements, since many restaurant workers have been furloughed or laid off due to restaurant shutdowns. The documentary points out that are relief funds for those workers ineligible for unemployment insurance (because, cruelly enough, they earn too little to qualify), and as inequity in the U.S. is sharply revealed through this crisis, workers are still protesting for fair wages, including hazard pay and sick leave.But what coronavirus has made clear is how unnecessary worker vulnerability is. In many other countries, robust social safety nets—with free health care, well-appointed public housing, free university, free childcare, and more—mean that even in hard times, workers can still pay the bills and businesses are more incentivized to provide good compensation and working conditions to retain staff (the reality, however, is usually much different for “unskilled” immigrant workers, who are not often provided social benefits no matter where they go). But in the U.S., where business lobbies like the other NRA hold enormous power and regular people are dependent on whatever wages these businesses decide to hand out—anything that might compromise this precarious arrangement, even when it’s as justified as public health protocol, compromises us. As a result, social welfare is looked down upon, and both local and federal governments typically do all they can to make those benefits hard to receive and insufficient for a decent quality of life. To wage change, we’ll also have to look beyond the wage itself. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.
China reported 11 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the mainland as of end-May 24, up from three a day earlier, the National Health Commission reported. The commission said in a statement all of the new infections were imported cases involving travellers from overseas. Ten of the new cases were in Inner Mongolia region, with one in the southwestern province of Sichuan.
The New York Times has identified the names of 1,000 people who have died from coronavirus during the global crisis as America’s death toll continues to soar to almost 100,000.America, where Covid-19 has claimed more lives than any other country in the world, is easing lockdown restrictions despite the fact experts have predicted such reopenings will lead to thousands of further deaths.
When the plane jolted violently, Mohammad Zubair thought it was turbulence. Moments later, the Pakistan International Airlines flight crashed into a crowded neighborhood near Karachi's international airport, killing 97 people, all of whom are believed to be passengers and crew members. Meeran Yousaf, the provincial Health Department spokeswoman, said only 21 of the bodies from Friday's crash have been identified and that most of the bodies were badly burned.
* Congresswoman offers glimpse of running mate role * Opinion: Black Americans are in an abusive relationship * US politics live – rolling reportVal Demings, a Democratic representative from Florida among contenders to be Joe Biden’s presidential running mate, has castigated Donald Trump for having the “gall and nerve” to use a gaffe by Biden as a weapon on the campaign trail.Biden apologised on Friday, for saying that if African Americans “have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black”.The remark prompted gleeful tweets from Trump, fierce attacks from supporters of the president and criticism from Biden’s own backers.“The vice-president shouldn’t have said it,” Demings told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.“But I really think the gall and the nerve of President Trump to try to use this in his campaign, he who has since day one done everything in his power, supported by his enablers, to divide this country, particularly along racial lines …“Look, let’s talk about race because we definitely need to, we see it in housing, we see it in voting rights, we see it in healthcare, we see it in education. Mr President, let’s do have a serious conversation about race in America and how about working for all people that you are supposed to represent, not just the privileged few.”It was the kind of fiery defence Biden would expect from someone talked about as a possible running mate.The former vice-president and presumptive Democratic nominee to face Trump in November has committed to choosing a woman. Many – including the interviewer who elicited the controversial comment on Friday, radio host Charlamagne tha God – think the running mate should also be African American.“I don’t even care about the words,” Charlamagne told MSNBC’s AM Joy on Sunday, “and the lip service and the apology is cool, but the best apology is actually a black agenda. They got to make some real policy commitments to black people.”California senator Kamala Harris and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams – a target of retweets in dubious taste from Trump on Saturday night – are thought to be the most likely running mate picks.But Demings, a former Orlando police chief, delivered a decent mini-audition for a traditional running mate role by going firmly on the offensive.Asked about expressions of outrage from the Republican South Carolina senator Tim Scott and former Utah representative Mia Love, Demings said: “I think it’s interesting that the president searched high and low to find [an] African American member of the Senate and a former member of Congress to speak out on this issue.“It’d be nice to hear other Republicans, male or female, speak out.”In fact many did, including former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, who is of Indian heritage and who many think is lining up a White House run of her own in 2024, or could even be considered as a replacement for Mike Pence as Trump’s own pick for VP.Haley called Biden’s remark “gut wrenchingly condescending”.“Regardless of color, gender, or class, to label any individual with what he or she is expected to think, believe, and vote is demeaning and disrespectful,” she said. “Not to mention arrogant and entitled.”On Sunday, CNN host Dana Bash asked directly if Demings wanted to be vice-president. She did not answer directly, but made it clear she would serve if asked.
Six women were killed by alleged gang members at a women's prison near the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, the National Penitentiary Institute said on Sunday. The killers broke through gates and the roof of a building at the women's prison in Tamara, 10 kilometers to the north of Tegucigalpa, "to go to the gymnasium where six prisoners were staying and murdered them," said the INP. One prisoner had earlier caused a diversion by starting a fire in a dormitory where two inmates quarantined over the coronavirus pandemic were sleeping, in a building housing 1,300 prisoners.
Brazil registered 965 new coronavirus deaths on Saturday, taking the total number of fatalities to 22,013, the Health Ministry said. The country now has 347,398 confirmed cases, according to the ministry, up 16,508 from Friday, when it surpassed Russia to become the world's virus hot spot behind the United States. Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has been fiercely criticized for his handling of the outbreak, which has led to the exit of two health ministers amid his insistence in opposing social distancing measures while advocating the use of unproven drugs for treatment.
Sir David Attenborough has said the coronavirus pandemic has swept the problem of climate change from the front pages. The broadcaster and naturalist, who celebrated his 94th birthday in May, said the outbreak has made the issue feel as if it is in "the distant future". Appearing on the So Hot Right Now podcast, Sir David suggested the virus could make the world's nations see "survival depends on co-operation". He said: "The trouble is that right now the climate issue is also seen as being rather in the distant future because we've got the virus to think about. "And so what are the papers full of? The virus. Quite right, that's what I want to know about, too. "But we have to make sure that this issue, which was coming to the boil with the next COP meeting in Glasgow, has suddenly been swept off the front pages. And we've got to get it back there."
A fire engulfed a warehouse on San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf early Saturday, sending a thick plume of smoke over the waterfront and threatening to spread to a historic World War II-era ship before firefighters brought the flames under control. One firefighter sustained a hand injury while battling the fire at the warehouse the size of a football field on Pier 45, San Francisco Fire Lt. Jonathan Baxter said.
Joe Biden has hit out at Donald Trump for playing golf on Memorial Day weekend as the coronavirus death toll continues to rise in the US to almost 100,000.The former vice president unveiled a 30-second clip displaying Mr Trump playing a round of golf at his Virginia club on Saturday.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani began a process Sunday to release up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners as a goodwill gesture after the insurgents proposed a surprise ceasefire during the Eid holiday. The ceasefire appeared to hold as there were no reports of fighting between the insurgents and Afghan forces by the end of the first day on Sunday. Ghani also said the government was ready to hold peace talks with the Taliban after accepting their offer of a three-day truce over the Eid al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.
More than 40 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus following a church service in Frankfurt, Germany's financial center, earlier this month, the head of the city's health department told a news agency on Saturday. The service took place on May 10 at a Baptist church, the department's deputy chief Antoni Walczok told local newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau. Churches in the German state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, have been able to hold services since May 1 provided they adhere to official social distancing and hygiene rules.
Just days ago, scientists leading the University of Oxford's coronavirus vaccine development expressed optimism about their progress — more than 1,000 people in the United Kingdom have been inoculated already, and 10,000 more will be given the vaccine in May and June. But there's some cause for concern, The Telegraph reports.Professor Adrian Hill, director of the University's Jenner Institute, said what was formerly an 80 percent chance of developing an effective vaccine by September — possibly in time for a potential second wave of infections — has dwindled to 50 percent. That's not because the team no longer believes in its work, which is reportedly still going well. Instead, the U.K.'s infection rate decline may make it tough to gauge the vaccine's efficacy. "It's a race against the virus disappearing, and against time," Hill said.Hill only expects fewer than 50 of the 10,000 trial volunteers to catch the virus, which has faded since the U.K. and other countries implemented strict lockdowns, and if it turns out that fewer than 20 test positive, the study's results may be useless.The vaccine showed promise when it was tested in six rhesus macaque monkeys earlier this year, but it will obviously need to show that it provides the same protection in humans before it can be distributed.More stories from theweek.com How pandemics change society We should be grateful for good news in Georgia 17 extra-easy dessert recipes to make in quarantine
A Miami woman faked her son’s abduction after trying to drown him twice, with witnesses rescuing the boy from a canal the first time, and the second attempt ending in the boy’s death, officials said Saturday. Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Patricia Ripley, 45, is facing attempted and premeditated murder charges and being held in jail with no bond. The boy, Alejandro Ripley, 9, was autistic and nonverbal.
Donald Trump continued to voice his opposition to expanded mail-in voting with a tweet on Sunday spreading falsehoods about the prevalence of fraud in the process, even though confirmed cases of voter fraud have been in the single digits in past presidential elections.“The United States cannot have all Mail In Ballots. It will be the greatest Rigged Election in history,” Mr Trump tweeted, the latest in a recent uptick of attacks on Democrats’ — and even many Republicans’ — desire to expand mail-in voting to mitigate health risks during the coronavirus pandemic.
Republican Doug Burgum called out ‘senseless dividing line’ between Americans over whether masks should be worn in public * Coronavirus – live US updates * Live global updatesIn North Dakota on Friday, the Republican governor, Doug Burgum, decried a “senseless dividing line” between US citizens over whether masks should be worn in public during the coronavirus pandemic.As he pleaded with citizens of his state to “try to dial up your empathy and your understanding”, Burgum was moved to the brink of tears.“We’re all in this together and there’s only one battle we’re fighting,” he said. “And that’s the battle of the virus.”As Donald Trump encourages states to reopen their battered economies, federal authorities are recommending covering the face in public when social distancing is difficult, for example in grocery stores.Some states require residents to wear masks in public settings. North Dakota, where Burgum allowed reopening to start from 1 May, does not.The president has notably refused to wear a mask in public, although he was photographed wearing one on a visit to a Ford plant in Michigan this week.On Saturday, Secret Service officers who were with the president on a trip to a golf course were pictured wearing masks. Trump was not.Some rightwing protesters have attracted publicity by refusing to wear masks, while some shopkeepers have reportedly sought to deny service to people wearing face coverings.Speaking to reporters at the state capitol in Bismarck on Friday, Bergum said he “would really love to see in North Dakota that we could just skip this thing that other parts of the nation are going through, that they’re creating a divide. Either it’s ideological or political or something around mask versus no mask.“This is I would say a senseless dividing line and I would ask people to try to dial up your empathy and your understanding. If someone is wearing a mask, they’re not doing it to represent what political party they’re in or what candidates they support.”As he continued, Burgum struggled not to break down in tears.“They might be doing it because they’ve got a five-year-old who’s been going through cancer treatments,” he said.“They might have vulnerable adults in their life who currently have Covid-19 and are fighting.“So again, I would just love to see our state, as part of being ‘North Dakota smart’, also be ‘North Dakota kind’, ‘North Dakota empathetic’, ‘North Dakota understanding’, to do this thing. Because if somebody wants to wear a mask, there should be no mask shaming.”According to Johns Hopkins University, by Saturday North Dakota had recorded 2,317 coronavirus cases and 52 deaths.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hosted a meeting to discuss the country's nuclear capabilities, state media said on Sunday, marking his first appearance in three weeks after a previous absence sparked global speculation about his health. Ruling Workers' Party officials wore face masks to greet Kim as he entered the meeting of the party's powerful Central Military Commission, state television showed, but no one including Kim was seen wearing a mask during the meeting. Amid stalled denuclearization talks with the United States, the meeting discussed measures to bolster North Korea's armed forces and "reliably contain the persistent big or small military threats from the hostile forces," state news agency KCNA said.