Officials say a minivan crashed into a Publix liquor store in Florida, injuring an employee and a customer and leaving many broken bottles
The Associated Press
May 24, 2020, 4:48 PM
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DADE CITY, Fla. — A minivan crashed into a Publix liquor store in Florida, injuring an employee and a customer and leaving many broken bottles.
The Tampa Bay Times reports an elderly woman left the parking area and jumped a curb and kept going for another 24 feet before striking the entrance of the store in Dade City.
Photos taken by the Dade City Police Department showed the minivan completely inside the store, shattered glass and broken liquor bottles on the floor and around the vehicle.
Police say a man working in the main aisle was struck by the minivan, and a female customer was possibly injured by broken glass and debris. They were both taken to the hospital along with the driver, but none of the injuries appear to be life threatening.
The first astronauts launched by SpaceX are breaking new ground for style with hip spacesuits, gull-wing Teslas and a sleek, matching rocketship
MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer
May 24, 2020, 3:34 PM
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The first astronauts launched by SpaceX are breaking new ground for style with hip spacesuits, gull-wing Teslas and a sleek rocketship — all of it white with black trim.
The color coordinating is thanks to Elon Musk, the driving force behind both SpaceX and Tesla, and a big fan of flash and science fiction.
NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken like the fresh new look. They’ll catch a ride to the launch pad in a Tesla Model X electric car.
“It is really neat, and I think the biggest testament to that is my 10-year-old son telling me how cool I am now,” Hurley told The Associated Press.
“SpaceX has gone all out” on the capsule’s appearance, he said. “And they’ve worked equally as hard to make the innards and the displays and everything else in the vehicle work to perfection.”
The true test comes Wednesday when Hurley and Behnken climb aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and, equipment and weather permitting, shoot into space. It will be the first astronaut launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center since the last shuttle flight in 2011.
It will also mark the first attempt by a private company to send astronauts into orbit. Only governments — Russia, the U.S., and China — have done that.
The historic send-off deserves to look good, according to SpaceX. It already has a nice ring. Musk named his rocket after the “Star Wars” Millennium Falcon. The capsule name stems from “Puff the Magic Dragon,” Musk’s jab at all the doubters when he started SpaceX in 2002.
SpaceX designed and built its own suits, which are custom-fit. Safety came first. The cool — or wow — factor was a close second.
“It’s important that the suits are comfortable and also are inspiring,” explained SpaceX’s Benji Reed. a mission director. “But above all, it’s designed to keep the crew safe.”
The bulky, orange ascent and entry suits worn by shuttle astronauts had their own attraction, according to Behnken, who like Hurley wore them for his two previous missions. Movies like “Armageddon” and “Space Cowboys” stole the orange look whenever actors were “trying to pretend to be astronauts.”
On launch day, Hurley and Behnken will get ready inside Kennedy’s remodeled crew quarters, which dates back to the two-man Gemini missions of the mid-1960s. SpaceX techs will help the astronauts into their one-piece, two-layer pressure suits.
Hurley and Behnken will emerge through the same double doors used on July 16, 1969, by Apollo 11′s Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins — the Operations and Checkout Building now bears Armstrong’s name.
But instead of the traditional Astrovan, the two will climb into the back seat of a Tesla Model X for the nine-mile ride to Launch Complex 39A, the same pad used by the moonmen and most shuttle crews. It’s while they board the Tesla that they’ll see their wives and young sons for the last time before flight.
Making a comeback after three decades is NASA’s worm logo — wavy, futuristic-looking red letters spelling NASA, the “A” resembling rocket nose cones. The worm adorns the Astro-Tesla, Falcon and even the astronauts’ suits, along with NASA’s original blue meatball-shaped logo.
The white-suited Hurley and Behnken will transfer from the white Tesla to the white Dragon atop the equally white Falcon 9.
“It’s going to be quite a show,” Reed promised.
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has a new pitch to voters for this fall: Trust me.As the economy faces a once-in-a-century recession, with more than 38 million people out of work, Trump is increasingly talking up a future recovery that probably won’t materialize until after the November election. He’s asking voters to look past the pain being felt across the nation and give him another four-year term on the promise of an economic comeback in 2021.
“It’s a transition to greatness,” Trump says over and over, predicting a burgeoning economy come the fall. “You’re going to see some great numbers in the fourth quarter, and you’re going to end up doing a great year next year.”
His chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, echoes the wait-until-next-year sentiment, holding out hope for a “big bang 2021.”
It’s a delayed-reward tactic Trump was using long before the global pandemic gut-punched the country. He has turned to it with new urgency as the coronavirus has robbed him of the booming economy that was to be the core of his reelection message.
Trump had already pledged to finally release a Republican health care plan after the polls closed — despite having served more than three years in office — along with a postelection tax cut and a “Phase 2” trade deal with China.
Now, Trump is making the case to voters that if he helped bolster the economy once, he can do it again.
“We built the greatest economy in the world,” Trump says frequently. “I’ll do it a second time.”
It’s not just next year that will be a mystery to voters on Election Day. Trump and his team have been talking up the fourth quarter — October through December — but economic reports on that period won’t be released until 2021. Preliminary figures for the third quarter will be released Oct. 29, days before the Nov. 3 election.
Still, Trump and his campaign are hoping they can convince the public that Trump, not Democrat Joe Biden, is the candidate who can turn things around, even as they push the recovery timeline into next year.
“The president has a clear record of building the economy to unprecedented heights before it was artificially interrupted by the coronavirus, and they know he will build it a second time,” said Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh.
Economists, however, warn that the “snap back” Trump’s advisers have been talking up is unlikely, given the severity of the recession. It will take years for the economy to recover, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Polling data suggests Trump has some work to do to persuade Americans that all will be well next year.
Americans are split on whether they think the economy will improve (41%) or worsen (40%) over the coming year, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Their opinions differ based on their politics. A majority of Republicans (62%) think the economy will get better in the coming year, while a majority of Democrats (56%) think it will get worse.
The poll finds that only 49% of Americans now approve of how Trump is handling the economy, compared with 56% in March, though the numbers remain split largely on party lines.
While a majority of Americans in households that lost a job do think it’s at least probable that the job will return, 70% now describe the state of the nation’s economy as poor, versus just 29% who say it’s good — down from 67% in January.
Trump has been encouraging states to begin easing restrictions and reopening their economies. But that doesn’t necessarily mean jobs will return. While most of those who say they got a haircut at least monthly before the outbreak or shopped regularly in person for nonessential items would definitely or probably do so in the next few weeks if they were allowed, Americans may be wary to return to life as normal.
Only about half of those who did so at least monthly before the outbreak say they’d travel, go to bars and restaurants, use public transportation, or exercise at a gym or studio. Just 42% of those who went to concerts, movies, or theater or sporting events at least monthly say they’d do so in the next few weeks if they could.
Still, the poll shows that 66% of Americans continue to say that their personal financial situation is good — a number that has remained steady since before the outbreak began. Americans are also more likely to expect their personal finances to improve than worsen in the next year, 37% to 17%.
In the end, that’s what is going to matter most, said Michael Steel, a Republican political strategist.
“This election will turn on facts more than messages,” he said. “The president is placing a bet by reopening the economy before public health officials believe it is safe. If the economy recovers sharply and infection rates remain steady or go down, then voters will reward his boldness, but if we continue to see massive unemployment and a spike in new infections and deaths, all the political wordsmithery the world will offer won’t help him.”
AP Director of Public Opinion Research Emily Swanson contributed to this report.
JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday launched a tirade against the nation’s justice system as his long-awaited corruption trial got underway, accusing police and prosecutors of conspiring to “depose” him.Netanyahu’s comments opened what is sure to be a tumultuous period for Israel as he becomes the country’s first sitting prime minister ever to go on trial. Hundreds of protesters calling him the “crime minister” demonstrated outside his official residence, while hundreds of supporters, including leading members of his Likud party, rallied in support of him at the courthouse.
Netanyahu faces charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in a series of corruption cases stemming from ties to wealthy friends. He is accused of accepting lavish gifts and offering to grant favors to powerful media moguls in exchange for favorable coverage of him and his family. He denies the charges, which come after years of scandals swirling around the family.
Netanyahu entered the Jerusalem courtroom wearing a blue surgical mask, in line with public health restriction due to the coronavirus pandemic. He stood and talked to his lawyer and attorneys for other defendants, refusing to sit until TV cameras left the room.
As the proceedings began, the lawyers and judges also wore masks, with the three-judge panel sitting behind a glass divider. In a hint of what could lie ahead, his lawyers said they would need two to three months to respond to the arraignment, and said they needed additional funds to add to their defense’s legal team. Netanyahu sat silently.
When he arrived at the courthouse, Netanyahu revived his claims that he is the victim of a deep state-type conspiracy by media, police, prosecutors and judges out to oust him.
“The objective is to depose a strong, right-wing prime minister, and thus remove the nationalist camp from the leadership of the country for many years,” he said.
He said police and prosecutors had conspired to “tailor” a case against him, and said the evidence was “contaminated” and exaggerated. He called for the court proceedings to be broadcast live on TV to ensure “full transparency.”
“While the media continues to deal with nonsense, with these false, trumped up cases, I will continue to lead the state of Israel and deal with issues that really matter to you,” he said, including to resuscitate the economy, and “continue to save the lives of thousands of Israelis ahead of the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus.”
Critics have said that Netanyahu’s arguments have undermined Israel’s court system and risk deeper damage to the country’s democratic institutions.
Netanyahu’s fitness for office was the key issue in three inconclusive elections over the past year. After vowing never to sit with an indicted prime minister, Netanyahu’s challenger, Benny Gantz, agreed in March to form a power-sharing coalition with his rival.
In a tweet, Gantz said he was sure Netanyahu will receive a fair trial.
“I repeat and emphasize that my colleagues and I have full faith in the justice system and law enforcement,” he said.
Netanyahu was forced to attend Sunday’s hearing at the Jerusalem district court, after his request to have his lawyers represent him instead was rejected.
The dramatic scene came just days after the long-serving leader swore in his new government, breaking more than a year of political stalemate following three inconclusive elections.
Netanyahu held his first Cabinet meeting with the new government just hours before heading to court. Neither he nor any of his ministers addressed the looming trial but the country’s outgoing religious affairs minister wished Netanyahu that “God will bring the truth out” at his trial.
Netanyahu and his allies have spent months lashing out the country’s law enforcement system, and the charges against him have deeply divided the nation.
Ahead of the trial, two sets of protests and counter-protests gathered outside the courthouse and the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem. Dozens of Netanyahu supporters outside the court in east Jerusalem wore masks with the prime minister’s face and held posters lambasting the attorney general who indicted him.
“We won’t allow an image of Netanyahu being humiliated,” said Ran Carmi Buzaglo, one of the protesters. “The only reason that they forced him to come here, even though the law allows him to be absent, is to show an image of him in the defendant’s chair.”
Across town, several hundred anti-Netanyahu demonstrators gathered outside his residence wearing face masks and t-shirts with the words “crime minister” and bearing posters calling for his resignation. They faced off across police barricades with the prime minister’s backers.
Several of Netanyahu’s Likud Cabinet ministers, including the newly appointed internal security minister who overseas the police, came to the court to back him.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid accused them of fomenting violence and trying to intimidate the judges. “Netanyahu is trying to drag us into a civil war to save himself from trial,” he told the Ynet website.
Netanyahu’s court appearance Sunday caps a three-year investigation. It also comes after more than a year of political turmoil, with three inconclusive elections — each seen as a referendum on Netanyahu — finally ending last month with the power-sharing deal with Gantz.
As part of their deal, Netanyahu will remain prime minister for the next 18 months, and alternative prime minister for the 18 months after, and will not be legally required to step down during what is expected to be a lengthy trial.
Netanyahu’s proceedings were supposed to begin in March, but were delayed by his justice minister who issued restrictions on the courts amid the coronavirus crisis.
Associated Press writer Ilan Ben Zion contributed to this report.
Canlis is a renowned fine-dining restaurant that has been a staple of the Seattle restaurant scene for nearly 70 years.It features a James Beard Award-winning chef and has boasted menu items like caramelized mussels, fried rabbit with garden herbs and souffle, all prepared as works of art.
But as the coronavirus pandemic tore through the country, first in the Pacific Northwest and then in New York and elsewhere, Canlis and other fine dining establishments have had to do some serious soul-searching as they scrambled to stay alive and afloat amid orders that banished in-person dining.
Even as those restrictions have been eased in recent days, questions remain about what the future of dining will look like and top-notch eateries surveyed by ABC News have answers, from menu changes to mission changes.
The answer, for Canlis was straightforward, but not easy: “fine dining is not what people need right now.”
Mark Canlis — co-owner of the iconic Seattle restaurant with a decades long reputation for outstanding food service — was among the first to say that out loud.
A classic makes an update — and fast
Shortly after the first U.S. case of the deadly virus hit Seattle in January, Canlis got the team together to assess it options and plan for a new normal, where fine dining would potentially no longer be a fit.
“We sat down and said, ‘OK it seems like the writing’s on the wall, but what are the new rules here?’ And that was the first thing that hit us was, I don’t think that fine dining is what people need right now,” Canlis said.
After 69 years with three generations of Canlis men at the helm, he said, “now we have an obsolete businesses — let’s just admit it and then we started listing those new rules — It’s easily the hardest thing we’ve ever done.”
Since March, when the restaurant announced it would close its dining room, Canlis has successfully reimagined itself as a multifaceted food supply service.
“Six days later we opened an entirely different company — we opened three different concepts in a week,” Mark Canlis said, excited and proud of their new ventures. “A lot has been stripped away from us and also a lot is still here. And one of the things that’s still here is a huge kitchen, a big staff, a willingness to work and we’re on a freeway basically,” he joked, noting they have found a way to make their relatively undesirable location work to their advantage.
“So we opened as a drive-through,” Canlis said. “We could take 20 cars in the driveway and serve eight of them at a time. We completely restructured the entrance to the restaurant and traffic pattern because on day one the lines were over an hour to get a burger.”
They utilized their abundant meat supply, which would ordinarily go to a dinner service, ground it up into hamburgers, baked fresh buns and he said the move “was wildly successful.”
Bagels baked by staffer Melissa going into the oven at Canlis in Seattle.
Bagels baked by staffer Melissa going into the oven at Canlis in Seattle.Canlis
“The next day we opened up a bagel shed. We happened to have a shipping container in our parking lot that has a bread oven and a flour mill in it. Our expediter who no longer had a job was from [Manhattan’s] Lower East Side, this Jewish woman who said, ‘I am a bada– baker,'” Canlis said with a laugh.
Their chef Brady Williams who had tasted her bagels, asked how many she could make in a day and she confidently cranked out 600, Canlis recalled. “So we just opened at 8 in the morning for coffee and bagels and again, the lines were nuts.”
On the third day, Canlis started a family meal-delivery service that put its employees, from servers and reservationists to dish washers and pianists, who would have been without jobs, into the drivers seat — literally. “We just hired our entire staff as drivers and started delivering the dinners all over the city,” he said.
Family box meals change by the day and include options like Wagyu beef meatloaf with spicy ketchup, for instance and dry-aged duck carnitas enchiladas. as well as buttermilk fried chicken and a “weekend kit” that includes burgers, pasta salad and more.
The to-go family meal with salad, fried chicken and sides offered by Canlis in Seattle.
The to-go family meal with salad, fried chicken and sides offered by Canlis in Seattle.Canlis
Canlis also began rounding up the produce from its local farm purveyors to sell community-supported agriculture (CSA) boxes. “We started buying from all of our same vendors and when we had all this extra stuff we would make CSA boxes out of them. Then we started delivering cocktail kits and wine out of our cellar,” he said.
Their private dining coordinator shared another idea to riff off a game the staff “love to play together” and suggested “what if we play bingo with the city and put bingo cards in the dinners we’re delivering, and just livestream it to people?”
So every Friday night at 8:30 p.m. local time, Brian Canlis suits up in a tuxedo and hosts the livestream event “to like 4,000 people,” he said. They’ve even enlisted top-name musical talent to provide some additional entertainment, like The Fray singer Isaac Slade, who will perform next week. “It’s the goofiest, hokiest, homespun thing,” Canlis said with a laugh, “but hundreds and hundreds of [messages] from families have come in that say, ‘this is the highlight of our week, will you send us more bingo cards?'”
The dinner boxes that Canlis sells also include a flower, a candle and other things to set the ambiance, even a link to livestream the restaurants’ piano players, “so you can have the experience with the Canlis dinner.”
In lieu of using third-party delivery service apps to communicate orders from consumer to restaurants, Canlis invented a new option with their former reservation platform Tock.
“We called them and said, ‘we’re trying to hack your reservation system to make it a delivery system, can you guys help?'” Canlis said. The Chicago-based company was also shutdown due to the pandemic, but it’s CEO “Nick Kokonas called in a team of programmers who worked round the clock for 72 hours” to build the new system that “allows a restaurant to basically be the restaurant and delivery without relying on a third-party carrier to make it a more profitable venture.”
Thinking back, Canlis said, “12 weeks ago it was like how do we keep 150 employees working and fine dining is a really inefficient labor model, so it took all of those different ideas to keep everybody employed. But we have not had to layoff a single person.”
Although things look “scary and devastating,” he highlighted the importance of remembering “the truth, which is that we can do this.”
“I think so many people think this is so far from what Canlis used to do, but I think it has been more Canlis than ever in these past few weeks and I feel very much like we’re the same company we always were even if our product looks wildly different,” he said.
‘It’s not dead forever’
Famed French chef Ludo Lefebvre removed art from the walls of his intimate 26-seat dining room at Michelin-starred Trois Mec after being forced to shut down and tried to think of a way forward.
Even a reinvented service would be a far cry from a thoughtfully curated and exceptionally executed tasting menu experience that high-level chefs and owners worked passionately for decades to cultivate.
“It’s like somebody broke up with you. And now I’ve got to figure out how to create a new relationship with them,” Krissy Lefebvre, who helms front-end operations for her husband’s Los Angeles group of restaurants, told ABC News.
Now, Trois Mec has flipped the script on its fine-dining approach to instead help with meals that support the philanthropic World Central Kitchen, run by his longtime friend and fellow chef Jose Andres.
“We had a closed Michelin starred restaurant, but it didn’t feel right to try to force a to-go program. It will be a long time before we return to pre-COVID life and until then, I feel better about using Trois Mec in a way that can help the community,” Krissy Lefebvre said. “[WCK] hired and engaged restaurants all across the country to allow restaurants to keep the lights on and hire some staff to cook good quality meals to people who need it right now.”
Krissy Lefebvre said her husband and staff, who chose to come back into the kitchen when they felt comfortable, serve 400 of these family-style meals five days-a-week.
“The Trois Mec menu as of now is non-existent. So it was really sitting down with the staff and figuring out what kind of food that they could produce with the sources they had,” she said of the family meals that include “a vegetable, a protein, like chicken and a pasta dish.”
Her chef husband and business partner has been in the kitchen since he was 13 years old and said, “all he’s been taught is to cook and serve people.”
“Ludo doesn’t cook tiny tweezer portion food at home,” Krissy Lefebvre said with a laugh. “I think you have to kind of go to the other compartment in you brain and kitchen and say, ‘let’s find the way we feed our family. This is not a special occasion. This is life. This is survival.’ And let’s give people what they need to survive,” she said of the restaurant’s thought process behind their new approach.
“On Mother’s Day last year we had over 600 reservations at Petit Trois. This year Ludo got up early to cook something like 60 chickens for the to-go menu and he came home and said, ‘I almost cried on the line today,'” his wife recalled. “The special occasion moments are just not what it was. He cooks for people he brings food to the table, you see families experiencing it. Now he cooks it and puts it in a box and somebody in a mask and gloves puts it in their trunk.”
The chef’s wife said, “I think part of the satisfaction for chefs is the reinforcement that you’ve brought joy to people. So that point of connection has just been cut off.”
Asking about the fate of fine dining is a bit of a loaded question with the dynamic health and business ripple effects constantly changing, but Krissy Lefebvre shared a poignant perspective.
“As of today it’s dead. But it’s not dead forever,” she said. “If you look at something like Trois Mec you only have 28 guests maximum and we built Trois Mec so that you felt like you were in the chef’s kitchen.” But with new social distancing and health restrictions, like seating people six-feet apart and only allowing limited capacity, Krissy Lefebvre said, “it becomes so bare and sanitized that is that the experience that people want?”
Krissy Lefebve argued that “fine dining can’t survive at 50% — it’s just a business model,” she said.
Although some cities have loosened restrictions for bars and restaurants to reopen, like in San Diego where people can again dine-in, Canlis echoed Lefebvre saying, “it doesn’t really work for us or most restaurants that I know to operate with all those restrictions and at 50% capacity.”
“We’re planning the whole the next stage, which I think will look very different from opening up a fine dining restaurant,” he said. “We’re just gonna change the restaurant to work for the rules and we’re going to open as a completely different restaurant, like a casual crab shack.”
The team is preparing to launch a drive-in movie theater concept and will take any next steps in stride with local, state and government health authorities.
While the current plan has “a completely different everything” from uniforms and decor to its menu, Canlis said, “it will be a restaurant built around this economy and these people. Because I still don’t think fine dining is what people need right now.”
“This only works if we all follow the guidelines and protect one another”: Birx
May 24, 2020, 12:52 PM
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As Americans continue to emerge from quarantines and stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the leaders of the government’s response to the virus, pinned the success of reopening efforts on the public’s ability to follow the direction of public health experts.
“I think it’s our job as public health officials, every day to be informing the public that what puts them at risk,” said Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday. “We’ve learned a lot about this virus, but we now need to translate that learning into real change behavior that stays with us so we can continue to drive down the number of cases.”
“This only works if we all follow the guidelines and protect one another,” Birx continued.
Her comments come as the United States approaches a grim milestone: 100,000 COVID-19 deaths. The figure is one that early models cited by government officials in the initial weeks of the outbreak indicated might not arrive until late summer or fall.
But despite the ominous total, Birx struck a cautiously optimistic tone Friday during a White House press conference — her first in several weeks — sharing approval of increased public activity over Memorial Day weekend, provided precautionary measures, like social distancing, continue to be adhered to.
“You can go to the beaches if you stay 6 feet apart,” she said. “But remember that is your space, and that is the space you need to protect to ensure you are socially distancing for others.”
Response coordinator for White House Coronavirus Task Force Deborah Birx speaks to the press on May 22, 2020, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington.
Response coordinator for White House Coronavirus Task Force Deborah Birx speaks to the press on May 22, 2020, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington.Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
The doctor did note, however, that while overall there has been a “dramatic decline” in the percentage of positive test results across the country in the past month, there continue to be spikes in several cities, such as Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
She also urged caution regarding President Donald Trump’s non-binding demand that the nation’s governors allow houses of worship to reopen.
“If there is a heightened number of COVID cases, maybe they wait another week,” she said.
Birx, and fellow coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci, quickly became the public faces of the administration’s response to the pandemic via their regular participation in White House briefings throughout March and April. But as the pair’s public appearances, and the briefings themselves, have waned in quantity in recent weeks, critics have accused Trump of muzzling the advisers, with whom he has sometimes offered conflicting guidance.
One of the topics that has spurred disagreement among health experts is the president’s promotion of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment or preventative measure. Trump himself took a two-week regimen of the drug that he said was ending this week.
Asked about the president’s use of the medication Friday, Birx repeated warnings from the Food and Drug Administration.
“I think the FDA has been very clear on their website about their concerns about hydroxychloroquine, particularly when it’s combined with a macrolide,” she said, referring to an antibiotic class.
This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.
What to know about the coronavirus:
How it started and how to protect yourself: Coronavirus explained
What to do if you have symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms
Tracking the spread in the U.S. and worldwide: Coronavirus map
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An alligator rumored to have once belonged to Adolf Hitler has died in the Moscow Zoo
The Associated Press
May 24, 2020, 10:08 AM
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MOSCOW — An alligator that many people believe once belonged to Adolf Hitler has died in the Moscow Zoo.
The zoo said the alligator, named Saturn, was about 84 years old when died on Friday.
According to the zoo, Saturn was born in the United States and later sent to the Berlin Zoo, from which he escaped when the zoo was bombed in 1943. His whereabouts were unknown until 1946, when British soldiers found him and gave him to the Soviet Union, the zoo said.
“Almost immediately, the myth was born that he was allegedly in the collection of Hitler and not in the Berlin Zoo,” the zoo said in a statement.
But, it noted, “animals are not involved in war and politics and it is absurd to blame them for human sins.”
Fifteen-year-old Jyoti Kumari rode a bicycle hundreds of miles with her disabled father riding on the back to escape the constraints of India’s coronavirus lockdown
SHEIKH SAALIQ and EMILY SCHMALL Associated Press
May 24, 2020, 11:41 AM
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NEW DELHI — From her village in eastern India, 15-year-old Jyoti Kumari reflected on her desperate 1,200-kilometer (745-mile) bicycle journey home with her disabled father that has drawn international praise.
“I had no other option,” she said Sunday. “We wouldn’t have survived if I hadn’t cycled to my village.”
Kumari said that she and her father risked starvation had they stayed in Gurugram, a suburb of New Delhi, with no income amid India’s coronavirus lockdown.
Her father, whose injury in an accident left him unable to walk, had earned a living by driving an auto rickshaw. But with all nonessential travel banned, he found himself among millions of newly unemployed. Their landlord demanded rent they couldn’t pay and threatened to evict them, Kumari said.
So she decided to buy a bicycle and, like thousands of other Indian migrant workers have done since March, make her way home.
As the temperature climbed, Kumari pedaled for 10 days, with her father riding on the back of the hot-pink bike. They survived on food and water given by strangers, and only once did Kumari give her legs a break with a short lift on a truck.
The daughter and father arrived in Darbhanga, their village in Bihar state, more than a week ago, reuniting with Kumari’s mother and brother-in-law, who’d left the capital region after the lockdown was imposed on March 25. Kumari, an eighth-grade student who moved from the village to Gurugram in January to take care of her dad, stayed on.
She said Sunday that she was still exhausted from the trip.
“It was a difficult journey,” she said. “The weather was too hot, but we had no choice. I had only one aim in my mind, and that was to reach home.”
Upon their arrival, village officials placed Kumari’s father in a quarantine center, a policy many state and local governments in India have implemented to try to keep returning migrants from spreading the coronavirus. They are now all quarantining at home.
India’s ongoing two-month lockdown appears to have staved off an immediate spike in virus cases, buying the country time to build up reserves of medical supplies and expand intensive care unit capacity. India has confirmed 125,102 cases, including 3,867 deaths.
But the lockdown triggered a humanitarian crisis, with thousands of poor people heading back to distant villages on foot, carrying the elderly on shoulders and with small children slumped over rolling suitcases. Dozens of people have died on the way, struck by trains or trucks, from hunger or suicide.
India’s expansive railway system, the country’s lifeline, was closed to passenger service as part of the lockdown. Buses, planes and taxis were also banned. But earlier this month, the government resumed limited train travel for migrants wishing to return home.
For India’s economy, mostly composed of informal sector jobs, the lockdown has been crippling. The government has been easing restrictions in recent weeks to allow more people to go back to work.
Kumari heard about the special trains, but her father, unable to walk, wouldn’t have been able to reach the railway platform. So she decided they would bike.
Kumari’s journey caught the attention of the Cycling Federation of India. The racing body, which sends teams to the Olympics, has offered to bring her back to New Delhi by train for a tryout next month. It also resonated in Washington, with President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump calling it “a beautiful feat of endurance and love” on Twitter.
Kumari said that while she was happy with the recognition, she hadn’t cycled her father home in pursuit of fame.
“It was a decision taken in desperation,” she said.
SEPAHUA, PERU — Mario Dispupidiwa recalls a way of life that is only a distant memory now.”I watched my mother give birth in the forest and cradle the baby by the fire to keep it warm,” he recalled. “We moved constantly from place to place.”
But then the loggers and oil workers arrived, bringing with them terrifying diseases without cure, ending that life forever.
Dispupidiwa is a member of the Nahua tribespeople, who crossed a threshold into the modern world after their forced contact with the outside world in Peru’s southeast Amazon nearly 40 years ago. In the years that followed, more than half of the Nahua died of influenza and whooping cough, for which they had no immunity, according to research by Peruvian anthropologist Beatriz Huertas.
Indigenous tribes have suffered from contagious diseases dating back to 16th century European incursions into the Amazon basin. Today, as COVID-19 reaches some of the most remote corners of the globe, highly vulnerable tribal peoples like the Nahua, with limited contact with the outside world, are sealing off their isolated villages and bracing for the arrival of a deadly new pathogen.
A Nahua elder displays a scar from an arrow wound. The Nahua live in a protected territorial reserve home to several bands of isolated tribes.
A Nahua elder displays a scar from an arrow wound. The Nahua live in a protected territorial reserve home to several bands of isolated tribes.Neil Giardino
Although the Nahua have had sustained contact with society since the 1980s, they are still defined by Peru’s government as a tribe in “initial contact” with the outside world. Numbering roughly 400, they live within a federally protected area called the Kugapakori Nahua Nanti Territorial Reserve.
But extreme poverty, inadequate access to modern medical care, and a way of life incompatible with social distancing could devastate communities like the Nahua, experts warn.
“The people who have survived [earlier epidemics] may have the genetic capacity to resist … but it’s not enough. They’re still vulnerable. They have to avoid contact with potential bearers of outside diseases,” said Thomas Moore, an anthropologist who has studied tribal peoples in Peru’s Amazon for decades.
Avoiding contact has proven difficult. Despite a staggering expanse of lowland jungle here, the outside world is rapidly encroaching. Nearby the Nahua village of Santa Rosa of Serjali, narcotraffickers are suspected of illegally entering the reserve, moving cocaine paste from the Andean slopes into Brazil. Christian missionaries, illegal loggers and frontiersmen also trespass, posing increased risk of disease outbreak within Nahua territory.
“We’re trying to guarantee their land and health is protected. If they choose to maintain relations with those outside their territory, we want to ensure they’re not affected by contagious illnesses,” said Nancy Portugal, director of Peoples in Isolation and Initial Contact within Peru’s Ministry of Culture, the state agency which advocates for tribes in Peru.
Despite the Ministry of Culture’s attempts to prevent illegal entry into protected areas, powerful timber, oil and gas companies often operate with impunity within protected native territory.
The Nahua, who live in one of the most biologically diverse regions on Earth, not only share their reserve with several bands of isolated tribes, but also with Peru’s most lucrative energy project, the Camisea Gas fields. The multinational gas concession, managed by PlusPetrol, has operated here since 2004. Most Nahua men work as seasonal laborers for the company, which pays the tribe a monthly stipend in order to operate within the reserve.
The Camisea gas concession, Peru’s largest hydrocarbon project, overlaps Nahua territory in the Kugapakori, Nahua, Nanti Territorial Reserve. Nahua men work as seasonal laborers for the gas company.
The Camisea gas concession, Peru’s largest hydrocarbon project, overlaps Nahua territory in the Kugapakori, Nahua, Nanti Territorial Reserve. Nahua men work as seasonal laborers for the gas company.Neil Giardino
While most Nahua welcome the ability to earn a wage, contact with national society has exposed them to a host of illnesses like diabetes, gastritis, and malnutrition. The Nahua also suffer from severe mercury poisoning from an unconfirmed source.
“We demand to know the source of what keeps contaminating our Nahua brothers,” said Edwin Humanga, president of regional indigenous organization CORPIAA. “In the meantime our brothers will continue to die, little by little.”
For the Nahua, who mere decades ago lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers, the urge to travel is deep-rooted. Most Nahua make frequent trips to the logging town of Sepahua, a day’s journey by boat, where they maintain relations with the Dominican Church.
Sepahua is a remote logging town in Peru’s Amazon. The Nahua make regular trips to town from their remote village of Santa Rosa of Serjali.
Sepahua is a remote logging town in Peru’s Amazon. The Nahua make regular trips to town from their remote village of Santa Rosa of Serjali.Neil Giardino
Father Ignacio Iraizoz, who leads the Dominican mission in this remote hamlet — and advocates for the contact of isolated tribes into national society — minimized biological threats to isolated and initial contact tribes like the Nahua.
Father Ignacio Iraizoz, of Spain, is a priest in the jungle outpost of Sepahua, Peru. His Dominican mission has encouraged contact of isolated tribes in the region. An unintended consequence has been tribes’ exposure to Western diseases.
Father Ignacio Iraizoz, of Spain, is a priest in the jungle outpost of Sepahua, Peru. His Dominican mission has encouraged contact of isolated tribes in the region. An unintended consequence has been tribes’ exposure to Western diseases.Neil Giardino
“Today contact must be made … they’re seeking contact. They want it, and we have the means to keep them safe,” Iraizoz told ABC News.
While the Dominican Mission has promoted education and health services for the Nahua, they are also criticized for aggressively assimilating them into national society and stripping them of their indigenous cosmovision.
“[I]t’s a nefarious influence. It’s ethnocidal. It’s hostile to their culture,” said Moore. “A lot of Nahua died because they were brought into the Dominican Mission with inadequate health attention.”
Although the Nahua live within a protected reserve, illegal entry by loggers, narco-traffickers, and frontiersman could bring outside disease to this highly vulnerable tribe.
Although the Nahua live within a protected reserve, illegal entry by loggers, narco-traffickers, and frontiersman could bring outside disease to this highly vulnerable tribe.Neil Giardino
COVID-19 has claimed over 3,000 lives in Peru, with hospitals in the country’s vast Amazon reaching a breaking point.
In late April, Peru’s largest indigenous federation, the Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon estimated at least 1,400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 11 Amazon regions of the country. But, due to a lack of testing in native communities, that number is likely much higher, a spokesman for AIDESEP told ABC News.
Native leaders representing 1,800 communities throughout Peru’s Amazon recently signed a formal complaint to the United Nations and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
The letter, published by AIDESEP, demands the government address the “constant and growing” threat of COVID-19 in indigenous communities and warns of “high risk of ethnocide” without state action.
The Nahua people were forcibly contacted by loggers and oil workers in the 1980s. Since contact, the tribe has maintained a relationship with the Dominican church.
The Nahua people were forcibly contacted by loggers and oil workers in the 1980s. Since contact, the tribe has maintained a relationship with the Dominican church.Neil Giardino
In response to the pandemic, the Ministry of Culture — along with Peru’s national park service — suspended all non-essential entry into the Kugapakori Nahua Nanti Territorial Reserve, granting access only to the state’s health sector, in the event of a medical emergency within. The ministry has also coordinated with regional authorities to bring food and medical supplies to the Nahua.
In a written response to ABC News, the Ministry of Culture indicated that while there are 11 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the greater province of Atalaya, there are no known cases in Nahua territory or in the town of Sepahua, which they frequent.
Nahua elder Mario Dispupidiwa was born into a nomadic hunter-gatherer family until his tribe’s contact in the 1980s. As COVID-19 spreads through the Amazon, experts warn tribes like the Nahua could be decimated by the virus.
Nahua elder Mario Dispupidiwa was born into a nomadic hunter-gatherer family until his tribe’s contact in the 1980s. As COVID-19 spreads through the Amazon, experts warn tribes like the Nahua could be decimated by the virus.Neil Giardino
Mario Dispupidiwa, who has survived at least one earlier epidemic, said he still dreams of the life he once lived before his people were drawn out of isolation.
“I loved being free to travel the forest from one place to the next. I wonder what it would be like to return to that life, when we didn’t need money or medicine,” said Dispupidiwa.