‘It’s getting worse by the day’: India’s Covid battle rages on

The first official cases of coronavirus arrived at Niramaya hospital in Mumbai in early May, but they did not come as much of a surprise to Dr Amit Thadhani. Thadhani, the hospital director, had suspected for weeks that the virus was being virulently transmitted in India’s financial capital, home to 20 million people, after seeing a steady stream of patients with unseasonable viral symptoms. But strict testing restrictions – and a vehement government denial of community transmission – meant he had no way to prove or prevent it. “Our limitations in availability in testing back then is partially responsible for the infections we have now, as we could have picked up a lot more early cases,” he said. Five months on, Mumbai has 1.8 million coronavirus cases and on Thursday, India crossed the dubious threshold of reporting more than5 million cases nationwide. With the fastest rate of infection in the …

Top White House aide’s interview goes haywire over Trump coronavirus remarks

An interview with top White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday went off the rails after he was pressed about revelations last week that President Donald Trump intentionally downplayed coronavirus in the early months of the pandemic. Clashing with host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Navarro’s interview cut out as the two men began shouting over one another. Tapper confronted Navarro about Trump’s tape-recorded comments in journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, “Rage,” set to be released this week. In it, Trump told Woodward in a Feb. 7 phone call that coronavirus “is deadly stuff” and worse than the flu. After that conversation, though, Trump publicly downplayed the virus and repeatedly compared it to the flu. “In February, nobody knew,” Navarro said of the novel coronavirus’ potential impact, despite Trump’s comments to Woodward, which were taped. “No, nobody knew. Not the president, not you, not Nancy Pelosi, …

Netflix’s Reed Hastings on Rejecting Brilliant Jerks, the Power of Big Vacations, and Spending $15 Billion on Content

  The pandemic has exacerbated the winner-take-all economy, and Netflix has been a prime beneficiary of the global lockdown. Before the recent tech-stock rout, the company’s stock price had increased by roughly 40% since March, to the mid-$550s, and its market cap of $242 billion briefly exceeded that of the Walt Disney Co., which is no Mickey Mouse operation and has far more in the way of concrete assets and IP. Membership has also increased dramatically for the global streaming service. The company now has 193 million subscribers in 190 countries. So, how do you get to be like Netflix? In a new book, No Rules Rules, company co-founder Reed Hastings (with co-author Erin Meyer) lays out his management philosophy, which includes paying talent top dollar—while steering clear of brilliant jerks—pumping up candor and taking lots of vacations. Hastings, 59, a former Peace Corps volunteer, acknowledges that his approach is …

North and South Dakota Lead in U.S. COVID-19 Growth as Both States Reject Mask Requirements

(SIOUX FALLS, S.D.) — Coronavirus infections in the Dakotas are growing faster than anywhere else in the nation, fueling impassioned debates over masks and personal freedom after months in which the two states avoided the worst of the pandemic. The argument over masks raged this week in Brookings, South Dakota, as the city council considered requiring face coverings in businesses. The city was forced to move its meeting to a local arena to accommodate intense interest, with many citizens speaking against it, before the mask requirement ultimately passed. Amid the brute force of the pandemic, health experts warn that the infections must be contained before care systems are overwhelmed. North Dakota and South Dakota lead the country in new cases per capita over the last two weeks, ranking first and second respectively, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. South Dakota has also posted some of the country’s highest positivity rates …

Crowds rally in New Zealand’s Auckland against coronavirus lockdown

People wait for a walk-up Covid-19 test on August 14, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. Covid-19 restrictions have been reintroduced across New Zealand. Fiona Goodall | Getty Images News | Getty Images Large crowds of people rallied in Auckland on Saturday against the government’s social distancing restrictions imposed on the country’s largest city after an outbreak of the novel coronavirus last month.  Local television footage showed tightly packed crowds, with many people not wearing masks, with estimates of the attendance varying in reports between a thousand and a few thousand people. “We are all here today because we believe we need to stand up for our rights,” the public Television New Zealand cited Jami-Lee Ross, the leader of the Advance New Zealand party, one of the organizers of the protest, as saying. “We’re all here today because we believe it’s time to stand up and say, ‘We need to get our rights and freedoms back’.” …

Trump and Biden attend 9/11 memorial ceremonies – US politics live

  Florida can require former felons to pay fines before voting, court rules The Guardian’s Sam Levine reports: Florida can require people with felony convictions to repay all outstanding debts before they are eligible to vote again, but does not have to tell them how much they owe, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. The hugely consequential decision will likely shut out hundreds of thousands of voters in the key battleground state in this fall’s presidential election. The 6-4 ruling from the US Court of Appeals for the 11th circuit came in a lawsuit challenging a 2019 Republican-backed law imposing the restrictions. After Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a 2018 measure – often called Amendment 4 – to automatically restore voting rights to people once they complete their criminal sentences, Republicans authored a new law requiring repayment of all fines, fees, and court costs before they can vote again. An estimated …

Coronavirus live news: French PM rules out full national lockdown as cases rise by 9,406

  A summary of today’s developments France has ruled out imposing a new national lockdown despite recording more than 9,000 new cases for the second consecutive day. Instead the prime minister, Jean Gastex, announced an increase in test and trace measures and a reduction the quarantine period for those with the virus from 14 to seven days. There were 80 deaths in the past 24 hours from the virus, according to the country’s health ministry. The total is now 30,893. Spain has reported 4,708 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours. It brings its cumulative total to 566,326 – the highest in western Europe. A further 3,539 people have tested positive in the UK, the largest daily figure since mid-May. It was also announced that the R value for both the UK and England is between 1 and 1.2. The US government’s infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, said …

Trump tries to deflect blame but stands by comments made in Woodward interview

President Donald Trump, at a White House news conference Thursday, continued to defend comments he made to journalist Bob Woodward in which he admitted he deliberately downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus to the public despite knowing its deadly danger, and argued that if the comments were so bad, Woodward should have made them public sooner. “If Bob Woodward thought it was bad, he should have immediately gone out publicly, not wait for months,” Trump said, appearing to try to deflect any blame. Woodward told The Associated Press Wednesday that he needed time to confirm that Trump’s private comments were accurate. “If I had done the story at that time about what he knew in February, that’s not telling us anything we didn’t know,” Woodward said, saying he made it a priority to get his story out before the election. “Had I decided that my book was coming out on …

Feds seek halt to civil lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell

To continue “would adversely affect” the criminal prosecution, they argued. September 10, 2020, 8:47 PM • 8 min read Federal prosecutors pursuing the criminal case against Ghislaine Maxwell in New York are asking a judge to temporarily halt proceedings in a civil lawsuit filed by an alleged child sex-abuse victim against Maxwell and the estate of the late sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein, arguing that there is a “significant risk” that proceeding with the case “would adversely affect the ongoing criminal prosecution against Maxwell.” In a letter posted to the court docket of the civil case this week, prosecutors from the Southern District of New York asserted that there is a “factual overlap between the civil and criminal cases” that could result in premature disclosure of evidence and testimony from witnesses who may be called upon in both cases. “Such witnesses may be forced to testify about any efforts to assist the …

Denied entry to U.S., Cuban dissident left stranded in border town as cancer spreads

A Cuban dissident is languishing in a Mexican border town as his cancer spreads, his attorneys say, asking for answers as to why the U.S. has denied him asylum. The man, Ramón Arboláez, 45, had not been feeling well since he arrived in Mexico a year ago on his quest to reach the U.S. A doctor in Mexico diagnosed him with a cancerous tumor in his tongue that had spread to his jaw and lymph nodes. Unable to afford medical treatment, he has lost 35 pounds, and he can no longer chew and consumes only liquids. Too weak to walk, he presented himself in a wheelchair at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge to request asylum on July 17, but he was told by the Customs and Border Patrol officer to “return to Guatemala or Honduras and request asylum there,” his wife, Yaneisy Santana Hurtado, who is with him in Reynosa, said …

U.S. Crime Victims Often Don’t Get the Government Money Meant to Help Them Heal—and Say They Feel ‘Excluded’

Aswad Thomas’ dream of pursuing a career in basketball was disrupted about a decade ago when he was shot twice in the back during an attempted armed robbery in Connecticut. In the following years, Thomas—like many other victims of violent crime—didn’t know that Congress had set aside money and resources for his recovery decades ago. Had Thomas known, the 37-year-old says he would have been better able to deal with the injury as well as his PTSD by tapping into counseling services, physical therapy and relocation support. “I was shot just blocks away from where I live so the fear of going outside was something I struggled with for years,” Thomas says. “I would have loved physical therapy to help me get back on my feet and see if I could continue my basketball career.” Thomas was 26 when he was shot, just three months after he became a first-generation …

Biden to visit Michigan as fallout from Cohen’s book on Trump continues – live

  Michigan Republicans are offering some counter-programming to Joe Biden’s visit today, holding a media call before the Democrat’s speech in Warren. David Eggert (@DavidEggert00) Michigan GOP chair Cox, Rep. Moolenaar, Walberg holding media call before Biden’s visit. Emphasizing Trump’s USMCA trade deal, funding for Soo Locks project, pre-pandemic economic record, virus relief aid. ‘President Trump has delivered on what he said he would do.’ – Walberg September 9, 2020 Congressman Tim Walberg, who represents part of southern Michigan, said during the call that Trump “has delivered on what he said he would do.” In reality, the president has broken about half of the promises he has made to the American people, according to Politifact. Despite that fact, Trump will likely deliver a similar message tomorrow, when he gives a campaign speech in Freeland, Michigan. 9.38am EDT 09:38 Biden’s Michigan visit marks new stage of presidential campaign This is Joan …

China accuses Australia of raiding its journalists’ homes amid reports Canberra cancelled academics’ visas

Australia has cancelled the visas of two Chinese scholars because of security concerns, according to reports, adding a new element to the spiralling diplomatic dispute over the treatment of journalists. Chinese diplomats have also aired claims that Australian intelligence agents have questioned several journalists from Chinese media organisations and searched their devices “in violation of legitimate rights”. The ABC reported on Wednesday evening that Australia’s Department of Home Affairs had cancelled the visas of two Chinese scholars in line with advice from intelligence agency Asio about security concerns – although it is unclear exactly when the authorities took that step. Prof Chen Hong, director of the Australian studies centre at East China Normal University in Shanghai, told the ABC he was “shocked to receive an email notifying me of visa cancellation on security grounds”. The step is reportedly linked to the joint investigation by Asio and the Australian federal police …

Belarus opposition figure Maxim Znak taken from office by masked men

Belarusian authorities have detained one of the last leading members of an opposition council who had remained free, moving methodically to end a month of protests against President Alexander Lukashenko. Maxim Znak, a lawyer and member of the coordination council created by the opposition to facilitate talks with the country’s leader on a transition of power, was taken out of the council’s office by unidentified people in ski masks, his associate Gleb German said. He said Znak only had time to text message “masks” before they took the phone away from him. Unidentified people were also trying to enter the apartment of the last member of the council’s executive presidium who remained free, Svetlana Alexievich, who won the 2015 Nobel prize in literature. Last month Alexievich was questioned by Belarusian investigators, who have opened a criminal investigation into members of the coordination council, accusing them of undermining national security by …

Afghan officials: Kabul bomb targets VP, kills 10 civilians

Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry says a bombing in Kabul targeting the convoy of the country’s first vice president killed 10 people and wounded more than a dozen others, including several of the vice president’s bodyguards By RAHIM FAIEZ Associated Press September 9, 2020, 8:04 AM • 4 min read KABUL, Afghanistan — A bombing in the Afghan capital on Wednesday targeted the convoy of the country’s first vice president, killing 10 people and wounding more than a dozen others, including several of the vice president’s bodyguards, the Interior Ministry said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing and the Taliban quickly denied they were behind the attack. First Vice President Amrullah Saleh suffered minor burns in the blast. Saleh, who is also Afghanistan’s former intelligence chief, said in his first television appearance immediately after the attack that he was fine and had sustained only slight burns. He appeared in the …

Shark kills man on Australia’s Gold Coast tourist strip

Authorities will investigate whether a dead tiger shark caught in a net off an Australian beach killed a surfer September 9, 2020, 4:13 AM • 3 min read CANBERRA, Australia — Authorities will investigate whether a dead tiger shark caught in a net off an Australian beach killed a surfer, an official said Wednesday. Nick Slater, 46, was fatally mauled on Tuesday off popular Greenmount Beach on the Gold Coast tourist strip in a rare attack off a beach protected by shark netting. His death is only the second fatal shark attack at one of Queensland’s 85 beaches that have been protected by nets and drum lines since as early as 1962, the state government said. The first was a 21-year-old swimmer who was mauled by more than one bull shark off a netted beach on North Stradbroke Island, north of the Gold Coast, in 2006. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk …

Peloton cuts prices, capitalizing on people staying at home

As gyms reopen with new rules after the coronavirus pandemic forced them to shut down for months, Peloton is making a play for new members who would rather work out from home. The at-home fitness company announced on Tuesday that it will reduce the cost of its most popular spin bike by $350 “to make it more accessible to more people,” according to an email from Peloton. The bike will now cost $1,895. Peloton is also offering a premium new Bike+ with added features, such as a rotating touchscreen and four-speaker sound system. A new lower-priced treadmill will also be available for $2,495 early next year, offering an alternative to Peloton’s premium $4,295 product. “As consumers increasingly work out from home amid the pandemic, these new product offerings should help Peloton expand its [market base], particularly as they help reduce the total cost of ownership for consumers,” said a note …

Search continues for woman last seen leaving Super 8 hotel in Grants Pass, Oregon

Fauna Frey has been missing since the end of June and her family and friends tell Dateline they are growing increasingly worried with each day that passes. “I’ve searched half the state of Oregon,” Fauna’s distraught father, John Frey, told Dateline. “We’re at a standstill and don’t know where to go from here. We just want her home safe.” Fauna, 45, is John’s last surviving child. Her sister passed away in 2006, just two years after their mother. Fauna’s older brother, Dallas, died unexpectedly of a heart attack on June 19. It was Fauna who found his body. “She was still really distraught about losing her brother,” John said. “She had been through so much. We all have.” Fauna had been temporarily living in Dexter, Oregon, with her father and brother. Together, they all run a family business that builds and sells homes. John told Dateline that on June 27, …

Pennsylvania voting access suit could have national repercussions

The Donald Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee have intervened in a closely watched election lawsuit over voting access in Pennsylvania that could reverberate nationally ahead of voting in November, especially for voters of color. Hearings kicked off Tuesday in the lawsuit filed by the Pennsylvania NAACP against the commonwealth over what it argued were inadequate provisions for voting during the coronavirus outbreak. The complaint argues that during Pennsylvania’s June primaries, numerous polling locations were closed or consolidated due to coronavirus concerns and poll worker unavailability, and information about where to vote was not clear. Because Black and Latino groups have fallen ill from coronavirus at greater rates, many in those communities, as well as the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, were uncertain about how and whether it was safe to vote, Kenneth Huston, president of NAACP Pennsylvania, testified. Let our news meet your inbox. The news and …

Rochester Police Leaders Retire After Protests Over the Suffocation Death of Daniel Prude

(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) — Top police leaders in New York’s third-largest city are retiring en masse amid criticism of the city’s handling of the suffocation death of Daniel Prude, the mayor of Rochester said Tuesday. La’Ron Singletary, the city’s police chief, is among those retiring, as is Deputy Chief Joseph M. Morabito and possibly other senior commanders, Mayor Lovely Warren said. Warren made the surprise announcement of the retirements at a City Council briefing being held online. Council members had expected the chief to appear in person to discuss ongoing protests over the death of Prude, a 41-year-old Black man who died several days after an encounter with police March 23. “As you all know, this has been a very challenging time for the city of Rochester, and the chief was not asked to give his resignation because I do believe that he’s giving his very best,” Warren told council members. …