Featured Articles in National News

MOUSEKETEERS ON PATROL Disney World to reopen in July with ‘high-energy squads’ roaming park to make sure people wear masks

Officials from the theme park, located in Orlando, Florida, announced their proposed phased reopening on Wednesday during a meeting with a local economic recovery task force. Jim McPhee, senior vice president of operations at Disney World, said that as part of the plan, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom would reopen on July 11. Epcot and Hollywood Studios Read More…

Pence aide who had COVID-19 returns to work

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence’s chief spokeswoman said Tuesday that she has recovered from coronavirus and is back at work. President Donald Trump confirmed on May 8 that Katie Miller, Pence’s press secretary, had tested positive for COVID-19. She is one of two people working at the White House complex known to have tested positive for the virus. Miller Read More…

Can NASA and Elon Musk lift off?

A lot will be riding on the 230-foot rocket that lifts off this week from Cape Canaveral: The lives of two NASA astronauts. The United States’ ambitions to reclaim its independence as a spacefaring nation. And hopes for a reimagined era of space travel in which private companies ferry humans to low-Earth orbit and beyond. Read More…

FDA approves at-home sample collection kit for coronavirus

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Food and Drug Administration announced Saturday that it has authorized an at-home sample collection kit that can then be sent to specified laboratories for COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Specifically, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Everlywell, Inc. for the Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit. Everlywell’s kit is authorized to be Read More…

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MOUSEKETEERS ON PATROL Disney World to reopen in July with ‘high-energy squads’ roaming park to make sure people wear masks

Officials from the theme park, located in Orlando, Florida, announced their proposed phased reopening on Wednesday during a meeting with a local economic recovery task force. Jim McPhee, senior vice president of operations at Disney World, said that as part of the plan, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom would reopen on July 11. Epcot and Hollywood Studios Read More…

Pence aide who had COVID-19 returns to work

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence’s chief spokeswoman said Tuesday that she has recovered from coronavirus and is back at work. President Donald Trump confirmed on May 8 that Katie Miller, Pence’s press secretary, had tested positive for COVID-19. She is one of two people working at the White House complex known to have tested positive for the virus. Miller Read More…

Can NASA and Elon Musk lift off?

A lot will be riding on the 230-foot rocket that lifts off this week from Cape Canaveral: The lives of two NASA astronauts. The United States’ ambitions to reclaim its independence as a spacefaring nation. And hopes for a reimagined era of space travel in which private companies ferry humans to low-Earth orbit and beyond. Read More…

FDA approves at-home sample collection kit for coronavirus

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Food and Drug Administration announced Saturday that it has authorized an at-home sample collection kit that can then be sent to specified laboratories for COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Specifically, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Everlywell, Inc. for the Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit. Everlywell’s kit is authorized to be Read More…

Wisconsin Governor Urges Social Distancing After Court Blocks Statewide Lockdown

Local governments across Wisconsin moved to implement new public health guidelines Thursday after the state’s highest court overturned a statewide stay-at-home order, prompting the governor to warn of “massive confusion.” Some businesses began reopening Thursday, but it wasn’t clear whether they would do so on a broad scale. Some that did reopen closed again within Read More…

Uber to require all drivers, passengers to wear masks in fight against coronavirus spread

Starting Monday, Uber (UBER) will require its drivers and passengers to wear face coverings as the coronavirus crisis rages on around the world. Even as some countries and U.S. states debate relaxing lockdown orders, the ride-hailing giant is implementing new rules to protect both drivers and customers. The company plans to enforce the new policy using technology Read More…

Scientists race to find a cure or vaccine for the coronavirus. Here are the top drugs in development

Health officials and scientists across the world are racing to develop vaccines and discover effective treatments against the coronavirus, which has infected more than 4.2 million people worldwide in as little as four months, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. There are no proven, knockout treatments and U.S. health officials say a vaccine could take Read More…

Will international travel resume this year? Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says it’s ‘too hard to tell’

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin encouraged Americans to focus on domestic travel this year as the international travel outlook for the rest of 2020 remains uncertain amid the coronavirus pandemic. In response to a question from Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business Network Monday about whether international travel will be opened up this year, he responded, “Too hard to tell at Read More…

Texas governor will allow state’s stay-at-home order to end on Thursday and open businesses Friday

(CNN)Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday he will allow his stay-at-home order for the Lone Star State to expire on Thursday, commencing a phased exit from the social distancing measures meant to mitigate the novel coronavirus pandemic.   The Republican’s new order, which supersedes local orders, will allow businesses like retail stores, malls, restaurants and theaters to reopen Friday Read More…

Car-rental giant Hertz is reportedly preparing for a potential bankruptcy after it missed lease payments

Car-rental company Hertz is preparing for a potential bankruptcy filing, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, as the coronavirus pandemic brings nearly all travel to a standstill. People familiar with the matter told the paper that Hertz is working to reduce its debt payments and is in talks on a forbearance agreement that could help it Read More…

USNS Comfort Set to Return to Virginia on Thursday

NORFOLK, Va. — The Navy hospital ship sent to relieve stressed New York City hospitals as coronavirus cases surged is set to leave this week and return to its homeport in Virginia, the U.S. Navy said. The USNS Comfort will set sail for Norfolk on Thursday, officials said in a statement Tuesday. The ship docked in Manhattan on March Read More…

From Montana to Massachusetts, states approach economic restarts at different speeds

As governors around the country weigh reopening their economies amid the fight against COVID-19, a patchwork of stay-home orders and other business restrictions exist. Some states are moving faster to reopen, like Georgia, where the governor is allowing nail salons, bowling alleys and other businesses to reopen Friday. Other states such as New Hampshire are Read More…

Wuhan abruptly increased its coronavirus death toll to 50% higher than previously reported

The central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus first appeared late last year, revised its death toll sharply higher on Friday. Local authorities changed the previous figure of 2,579 to 3,869, China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. The change, 1,290 additional deaths, is an increase of almost exactly 50%. Officials also added another 325 Read More…

Billionaire Blackstone boss Steve Schwarzman expects coronavirus to wipe out $5 trillion of US GDP

Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman expects the novel coronavirus outbreak to wipe out nearly a quarter of US economic output this year. “We have a GDP of somewhere around $21 trillion and we’re probably going to miss $5 trillion of it,” the chief of the private equity titan told Bloomberg on Tuesday. The pandemic is temporarily “putting Read More…

The UK plans to issue coronavirus ‘immunity passports’ so Brits can leave the lockdown early

The UK plans to roll out “immunity passports” to Brits who have already contracted the COVID-19 disease in order to allow them to return to “normal life,” the Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Thursday. “We are looking at an immunity certificate,” Hancock told a Downing Street press conference. “How people who have had the Read More…

FDA relaxes guidance on giving blood, reduces deferral period for gay men from 1 year to 3 months

The FDA announced Thursday that it is relaxing some of the recommendations regarding blood donations to address “a dramatic reduction in donations” amid the COVID-19 pandemic — but the department still recommends that sexually active gay men should not give blood. According to a press release from the department, it is now recommending that male donors can Read More…

Mnuchin says checks from coronavirus bill coming “within 3 weeks”

Washington — Americans who are eligible to receive one-time payments from the federal government as part of a massive coronavirus economic relief package will see that money deposited into their bank accounts “within three weeks,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday. “We expect that within three weeks, that people who have direct deposit with information with us will Read More…

Coyotes are being seen on the empty streets of San Francisco

While families’ cats and dogs are enjoying the upside of spending days with their owners working from home during the coronavirus shutdown, wild coyotes in San Francisco are reportedly also taking advantage of the benefits of a suddenly empty city. There have been several recent fake stories circulating about unusual wildlife showing up in cities during the Read More…

Yale’s most popular class ever is available free online — and the topic is how to be happier in your daily life

In the spring of 2018, the Yale psychology professor Laurie Santos unveiled a new course, Psychology and the Good Life. The subject was happiness. Santos’ course was a blend of abstract and concrete. It combined positive psychology with the real-life applications of behavioral science. It debunked popular notions of what makes people happy (like the Read More…

Walmart deploys new emergency leave policy after Kentucky associate tests positive for coronavirus

Walmart said Tuesday it is deploying an emergency employee leave program as the retailer confirms one of its store associates in Cynthiana, Kentucky, has tested positive for the coronavirus. The infected employee is a woman and Walmart said she is improving with medical care. The new policy comes as the coronavirus spreads throughout many U.S. states where the Read More…

Airlines are burning thousands of gallons of fuel flying empty ‘ghost’ planes so they can keep their flight slots during the coronavirus outbreak

Airlines have wasted thousands of gallons of fuel running empty “ghost” flights during the coronavirus outbreak because of European rules saying operators can lose their flight slots if they keep their planes on the ground. Demand for flights has collapsed across the globe amid growing fears about the outbreak. Under Europe’s rules, airlines operating out of Read More…

Moscow targets Chinese with raids amid virus fears

MOSCOW — Bus drivers in Moscow kept their WhatsApp group chat buzzing with questions this week about what to do if they spotted passengers who might be from China riding with them in the Russian capital. “Some Asian-looking (people) have just got on. Probably Chinese. Should I call (the police)?” one driver messaged his peers. “How do Read More…

Migrant woman gives birth at Border Patrol office

CHULA VISTA — A pregnant Guatemalan woman, arrested on suspicion of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization on Sunday, gave birth about a half-hour later in a Border Patrol station in Chula Vista, authorities said. The 27-year-old woman was spotted walking with a man and two children about a mile east of the Otay Mesa Port of Read More…

Bethenny Frankel to Topline HBO Max Competition Series

Bethenny Frankel is returning to her reality TV roots with a competition series at HBO Max. The Skinnygirl founder and former Real Housewives of New York City star will front an eight-episode series called The Big Shot With Bethenny, in which aspiring business moguls compete for a job on Frankel’s executive team. The Apprentice-like show hails from MGM TV, Read More…

Attorney General William Barr to testify before House Judiciary Committee

Attorney General William Barr has accepted an invitation to testify to the House Judiciary Committee on March 31, ending a year-long standoff that began when the panel first demanded his testimony in the aftermath of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The arrangement comes as Democrats have demanded answers about Barr’s apparent intervention in the sentencing of President Read More…

GOING VIRAL Shocking moment Instagram pranksters spark panic by pretending to spill ‘coronavirus’ on NY subway train

INSTAGRAM comedians sparked panic when they pretended to spill coronavirus on a New York subway train. The jokers got on an L train in Brooklyn dressed in hazmat suits and carrying a plastic container filled with red liquid and covered in warning labels. They then tipped the contents on the floor and told passengers it Read More…

Amazon wants to depose Trump over $10B Pentagon contract

Amazon is seeking sworn testimony from President Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper after the corporation missed out on a $10 billion Pentagon contract last year, according to court documents unsealed Monday. Amazon Web Services alleges Trump is part of the reason why rival Microsoft won out instead. Amazon blames “improper pressure from President Donald J. Trump, who launched repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks Read More…

US companies suspend China operations, restrict travel as coronavirus outbreak spreads

Disney, McDonald’s, Starbucks and other U.S. companies with significant footprints in China are suspending operations and instituting travel restrictions as they respond to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The virus has now taken the lives of at least 82 people in China and sickened 2,900 worldwide, including in the U.S. and Europe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Read More…