Coronavirus Crisis Caused by Decisions of Chinese Government | National Review

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We’re going to face some extremely consequential decisions about how we choose to treat the Chinese government after their catastrophic secrecy.

As a country, we’ve got our hands full right now. But while we’re sitting in various forms of self-quarantine, we — and a lot of other people around the world — will have a lot of time to read about the Chinese government destroying samples and suppressing information about the coronavirus in December:

Chinese laboratories identified a mystery virus as a highly infectious new pathogen by late December last year, but they were ordered to stop tests, destroy samples and suppress the news, a Chinese media outlet has revealed.

A regional health official in Wuhan, centre of the outbreak, demanded the destruction of the lab samples that established the cause of unexplained viral pneumonia on January 1. China did not acknowledge there was human-to-human transmission until more than three weeks later.

The detailed revelations by Caixin Global, a respected independent publication, provide the clearest evidence yet of the scale of the cover-up in the crucial early weeks when the opportunity was lost to control the outbreak.

And the Chinese government’s attempt to silence doctors warning others about the disease:

As word of a mysterious virus mounted, Li Wenliang shared suspicions in a private chat with his fellow medical school graduates.

The doctor said that seven people seemed to have contracted SARS — the respiratory illness that spread from China to more than two dozen countries and left hundreds dead in the early 2000s. One patient was quarantined at his hospital in Wuhan, China, Li said. He urged people to be careful.

Li and seven other doctors were quickly summoned by Chinese authorities for propagating “rumors” about SARS-like cases in the area — but their warnings were prescient. Soon, health officials worldwide would be scrambling to combat a novel virus with a striking genetic resemblance to SARS.

And the Chinese authorities spending January “denying it could spread between humans — something doctors had known was happening since late December — and went ahead with a Chinese Lunar New Year banquet involving tens of thousands of families in Wuhan.” Doctors say that in Wuhan, people who had no connection to that Hua’nan market were among the first showing the symptoms — suggesting that from the beginning, Chinese authorities should have understood that human-to-human transmission was already happening.

Even by the Chinese government’s own account of events, President Xi Jinping knew about the disease for two weeks before making any public comments about it.

Source: Coronavirus Crisis Caused by Decisions of Chinese Government | National Review

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Here’s why global stocks are plunging despite the ‘big bazookas’ from central banks around the world | Markets Insider

  • Global stocks plunged on Monday morning, despite a decision from the Federal Reserve to cut rates by 100 basis points on Sunday night.
  • Markets seem to be ignoring the global coordinated response from central banks as sell-off deepens.
  • On Sunday night, the Fed slashed its benchmark interest rate by 100 basis points to near zero. The Fed’s key rate is now 0% to 0.25%, matching the record low it was last at in 2015. The Fed also announced it will increase its bond holding by $700 billion. 

Source: Here’s why global stocks are plunging despite the ‘big bazookas’ from central banks around the world | Markets Insider

Coronavirus Update, Map As Death Toll Reaches 3,200, Infections Soar in Italy, Iran and South Korea

The World Health Organization has warned of the severe depletion of protective gear, with a surge in demand across the world since the outbreak of the virus

The COVID-19 virus has hit thousands more across the globe, the majority of cases in China, South Korea, Italy and Iran. The U.S. death toll had risen to nine as of Wednesday, all of which were reported in Washington state.

New cases have also been recently reported in Morocco, Latvia, Saudi Arabia and Senegal, according to the latest report by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday.

The virus, which was first identified in Wuhan city in the Hubei province of China, has now affected at least 93,160 people. Of that figure, 80,270 are in China, including 2,871 deaths. Around the world, the death toll has reached 3,198, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Source: Coronavirus Update, Map As Death Toll Reaches 3,200, Infections Soar in Italy, Iran and South Korea

Brexit’s happened… so what now? – BBC News

What now? It’s happened.

A dreary night didn’t discourage those celebrating in Parliament Square. We wake this morning out of the European Union. But we follow their rules until the end of the year, without a say.

We are separate after more than 40 years, but remember much of the status quo will hold for now – the UK and the EU, the awkward couple, finally divorced – but still sharing a house and the bills.

But what the prime minister hails as a new era, a bright new dawn, starts months of hard bargaining with our neighbours across the Channel.

The UK’s requests: a free trade agreement, cooperation on security, and new arrangements for fishing are just some of the vital arguments that lie ahead.

Within days, Boris Johnson – and the EU too – will set out their opening positions. And at home, the government must hurry to adapt many of our systems that are plumbed into the EU. The prime minister is adamant that process must not run beyond the end of the year.

Source: Brexit’s happened… so what now? – BBC News

Trump moves to ease tensions over China, Iran as G7 summit wraps up – Reuters

BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday offered an olive branch to China after days of intense feuding over trade and opened the door to diplomacy on Iran, easing tension on the last day of a strained G7 summit.

https://www.reuters.com/video/?videoId=OVATQ219B

Source: Trump moves to ease tensions over China, Iran as G7 summit wraps up – Reuters

Trump meets with Britain’s Boris Johnson, promises ‘very big trade deal’ between US, UK after Brexit | Fox News

The U.S. and Britain will work out a “very big trade deal” once the U.K. has left the European Union, President Trump said Sunday morning in France, where Trump and other leaders have gathered for the G-7 summit.

The president also praised new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Brexit during their working breakfast on the second day of the summit.

“He needs no advice. He’s the right man for the job,” Trump said.

Source: Trump meets with Britain’s Boris Johnson, promises ‘very big trade deal’ between US, UK after Brexit | Fox News

Police fire water cannon on protesters at G-7 summit | TheHill

Police fired a water cannon and tear gas on Saturday at protesters in a town near the venue for the  Group of Seven (G-7) economic summit in Paris.

The Associated Press reported that about 400 anti-capitalist protestors gathered to block roads in the town in southwest France. The crowd was largely peaceful, though some demonstrators threw rocks at police.

Police responded with warning shots and then used the water cannon and tear gas, according to the AP.

Thousands of protestors marched peacefully from the same area to the Spanish border earlier Saturday to demand further action against climate change and economic inequality.

President Trump is in Biarritz, France, for the annual meeting with the six other world leaders of the G-7. The event often attracts protesters who come to demonstrate on an array of topics.

 

Source: Police fire water cannon on protesters at G-7 summit | TheHill

An asteroid bigger than the Empire State Building is passing by Earth next week. Here’s why you shouldn’t be worried – CNN

(CNN)Yes, there’s an asteroid bigger than the Empire State building passing by Earth. No, it’s not anything to worry about — it’s actually pretty normal.

Asteroid 2006 QQ23 is scheduled to zoom by Earth on August 10 and, at an estimated diameter of up to 1,870 feet, it’s easy to see why people are worried.
But Lindley Johnson and Kelly Fast of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office say there’s nothing to fear. Both Johnson and Fast help track what they label as “near Earth objects,” such as asteroids and comets that orbit our sun along with the other planets.

Source: An asteroid bigger than the Empire State Building is passing by Earth next week. Here’s why you shouldn’t be worried – CNN

7.3 magnitude earthquake strikes eastern Indonesia, causes panic | Fox News

A 7.3 magnitude earthquake shook the Moluccas islands on Sunday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, creating panic and causing damage to houses in eastern Indonesia.

Source: 7.3 magnitude earthquake strikes eastern Indonesia, causes panic | Fox News

Trump, Kim meet at Demilitarized Zone, face-to-face for first time since Hanoi | Fox News

After days of speculation — and optimistic statements by the two leaders — President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met and shook hands Sunday at the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.

Source: Trump, Kim meet at Demilitarized Zone, face-to-face for first time since Hanoi | Fox News

Four asteroids on COLLISION course with Earth — RT World News

It’s a scenario straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster, an asteroid is careening towards Earth and is set to wipe out human existence. To mark Asteroid Day, here are four space rocks on a collision course with our planet.

Source: Four asteroids on COLLISION course with Earth — RT World News

Hello, Summer! Today’s Solstice Marks Season’s Beginning | Space

Summer will officially arrive in the Northern Hemisphere today (June 21), marking the longest day, the shortest night and the beginning of summer.

The June solstice will occur at 11:54 a.m. EDT (1554 GMT), as the sun reaches the point at which it is farthest north of the celestial equator. To be more precise, when the solstice occurs, the sun will appear to shine directly overhead for a viewer stationed on the Tropic of Cancer (latitude 23.5 degrees north) in the western Atlantic Ocean, roughly 600 miles (965 kilometers) to the northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

From midnorthern latitudes, we can never see the sun directly overhead, but the same principle holds. For example, as seen from Philadelphia at 1:02 p.m. EDT on solstice day, the sun will attain its highest point in the sky for this entire year, standing 74 degrees above the southern horizon.

To gauge how high that is, your clenched fist held at arm’s length measures roughly 10 degrees, so from the City of Brotherly Love, the sun will appear to climb more than “seven fists” above the southern horizon. And since the sun will appear to describe such a high arc across the sky, daylight will be at its longest extreme, lasting 15 hours and 1 minute.

Related: The Brightest Visible Planets in June’s Night Sky: How to See Them (and When)

Source: Hello, Summer! Today’s Solstice Marks Season’s Beginning | Space

Tsunami warning in Japan after 6.8-mag earthquake strikes | Fox News

tsunami warning was in effect Tuesday night in Japan after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake shook a northwestern part of the country.

The earthquake registered off the western coast of Yamagata, roughly 30 miles southwest of the city of Sakata, according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency. The shallow quake hit around 6 miles below the sea’s surface.

Source: Tsunami warning in Japan after 6.8-mag earthquake strikes | Fox News

Breaking record for deepest dive, explorer says Pacific’s Mariana Trench ‘incredibly peaceful place’ | Fox News

Victor Vescovo took the journey to what is believed to be the deepest point mankind has visited in any ocean — finding shocking things from new species to human trash — and told Fox News on Tuesday that the discovery of plastic in such far reaches proves the need for more vigilance to protect the oceans.

Source: Breaking record for deepest dive, explorer says Pacific’s Mariana Trench ‘incredibly peaceful place’ | Fox News

This Week, NASA Is Pretending An Asteroid Is On Its Way To Smack The Earth : NPR

The asteroid is in a horrible orbit and has a 1% chance of striking Earth in just eight years. And — thank goodness — it doesn’t really exist.

It’s a fictitious asteroid that’s the focus of a realistic exercise devised for scientists and engineers from around the world who are attending the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference being held this week outside Washington, D.C.

A real asteroid of this size, should it ever hit the planet, could wipe out an entire city.

“This is a threat that could happen, even though it’s extremely unlikely,” says Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who created this realistic simulation. “Our goal here is to go through all of the steps that we would have to go through.”

He says a lot has been learned from three previous drills held at past international conferences and from other asteroid exercises that have been separately conducted by officials at NASA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Source: This Week, NASA Is Pretending An Asteroid Is On Its Way To Smack The Earth : NPR

34 al Shabaab, two KDF soldiers killed in Somalia | The Star, Kenya

Kenyan troops killed 34 al Shabaab militants in two separate incidents on Saturday and Sunday in Somalia and two of its own soldiers were killed in an ambush, the military spokesman said.On Saturday, the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) killed 21 of the insurgents in the southern town of Afmadow in the ambush in which the two soldiers died.

Source: 34 al Shabaab, two KDF soldiers killed in Somalia | The Star, Kenya

Cubans feel excitement, suspicion as Obama visit nears

A Cuban takes a picture of a sign placed at the entrance of a restaurant with the images of Cuban and U.S. Presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama in Havana on March 19, 2016.(Photo: Yuri Cortez, AFP/Getty Images)

As President Obama prepares to land in Cuba on Sunday evening, the first visit to Cuba by a U.S. president in nearly 90 years, Cubans are brimming with a combination of excitement and trepidation.

Source: Cubans feel excitement, suspicion as Obama visit nears

Lights out: Cities worldwide mark the 10th annual Earth Hour – The Washington Post

Cities around the world turned out the lights Saturday evening to mark the 10th annual Earth Hour, a global movement dedicated to protecting the planet and highlighting the effects of climate change.

Lights went out for the hourlong event — from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time — in Beijing, Moscow, Beirut, Cairo, Athens, Rome, and Paris. The lights atop the Empire State Building in New York were dimmed, and some billboards in Times Square also went dark.

Source: Lights out: Cities worldwide mark the 10th annual Earth Hour – The Washington Post

The True History Behind St. Patrick’s Day | TIME

Here’s what we know about the real St. Patrick

The modern St. Patrick’s Day celebrations that will take place on Thursday, at least in the United States, will likely be characterized by commercial lucky charms and green beer—all of which has very little to do with the historical figure of the saint. As it turns out, it took centuries for the holiday to accrue the elements that now seem crucial to its celebrations.

Legend says St. Patrick was actually born Maewyn Succat, but that he changed his name to Patricius (or Patrick), which derives from the Latin term for “father figure,” after he became a priest. And that supposed luck of his is the root of all the themed merchandise for modern St. Patrick’s Day.

Source: The True History Behind St. Patrick’s Day | TIME

North Korea sentences US college student Otto Warmbier to 15 years hard labour for stealing poster | Asia | News | The Independent

North Korea has sentenced an American student to 15 years’ hard labour for trying to steal a propaganda banner from his hotel. Otto Warmbier was convicted on charges of subversion, in a move which has showcased the secretive and unforgiving North Korean regime and futher deteriorated relations with Washington.

Source: North Korea sentences US college student Otto Warmbier to 15 years hard labour for stealing poster | Asia | News | The Independent