News and Headlines. 3/25/2020

News and Headlines: In The News, Politics, World News, Commentary/Opinion.

In The News:

‘It’s a joke’: 4-year-old lays into ‘annoying’ shoppers hoarding all the food at supermarkets

You’ve probably heard about local supermarkets running out of essentials like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and even food. In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, those who are privileged enough have taken to hoarding necessities.

Whether it’s canned goods or fresh veggies and fruit, the supply chain has been disrupted because of consumers who are actively stockpiling goods.

While this may seem like the best idea for those who can afford to do so, others who live paycheck-to-paycheck are left with little to nothing at their grocers.

Evidently, this is a problem. A 4-year-old on Twitter expressed her frustration with this whole situation in a now-viral video.

Man arrested after being filmed licking items at Walmart


Authorities have identified Cody Pfister of Warrenton, Missouri, as the man shown in a viral video licking toiletries at Walmart and saying, “Who’s scared of coronavirus? Don’t touch your mouth,” KMOV reported.

Court documents say the video was filmed on March 11, and that Pfister has since been charged with a terrorist threat in the second degree, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The court documents say that by posting the video, Pfister “knowingly caused a false belief or fear that a condition involving danger to life existed,” and acted “with reckless disregard of the risk causing the evacuation, quarantine or closure of any portion” of the Walmart he was in.

Pfister is not the only person to get in trouble for allegedly licking surfaces in stores, despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

U.S. Department of Defense Successfully Tests Hypersonic Weapon System

Hypersonic glide bodyThe U.S. Department of Defense
Hypersonic glide body The U.S. Department of Defense

Hypersonic weapons are capable of flying at speeds five times the speed of sound, Mach 5, and even up to Mach 20. They are highly maneuverable and can operate at different altitudes.

They represent a different type of weapon compared with ballistic missiles and their warheads, which can travel at speeds up to Mach 24.

The main point of difference is that hypersonic weapons remain in the atmosphere while they travel, whereas ballistic missile warheads spend a lot of their flight in lower Earth orbit.

“This test was a critical step in rapidly delivering operational hypersonic capabilities to our warfighters in support of the National Defense Strategy,” said U.S. Army LTG L. Neil Thurgood, Director of Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition.

Tax Policy Center analysis: Stimulus bill to provide relief to lower, middle income families

The Senate is scheduled to vote on the package Wednesday afternoon before it moves to the House, where its fate is uncertain. President Donald Trump says he supports the stimulus measures.

Gleckman says the payments start to phase out for individuals with income of $75,000, or income of $150,000 for couples filing jointly and $112,500 for single parents.

“TPC found that the lowest-income households (those with incomes of about $25,000 or less) would receive an average payment of $1,480 and their after-tax income would increase by nearly 11 percent,” Gleckman wrote.

“Middle-income households (those making between about $51,000 and $91,000) would get a payment of about $1,810, on average, or about 3 percent of their after-tax income.”

Wisconsin consumer protection division dings 16 companies for price gouging

Kunal Mehta |
Kunal Mehta |

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) on Wednesday sent cease and desist orders to 16 companies after receiving several complaints of price gouging.

“While it is not uncommon for prices to increase during times of high demand or low supply, DATCP will be closely monitoring the marketplace to ensure Wisconsin consumers are being treated fairly,” Trade and Consumer Protection Administrator Lara Sutherlin said.

The list of gouged items include face masks, bleach and toilet paper, as well as beans and cookies. DATCP says there are also complaints of exorbitant price spikes for limes.

Latest emergency coronavirus funding package includes tens of billions for defense, VA

Senior Airman Keith Orlino, left, and Tech. Sgt. Shawn Morrison, right) of the Guam Air National Guard provide security support
Senior Airman Keith Orlino, left, and Tech. Sgt. Shawn Morrison, right) of the Guam Air National Guard provide security support at a COVID-19 isolation facility in Barrigada, Guam, on March 23.(JoAnna Delfin/Army National Guard)

The money includes $1.4 billion in direct funding for National Guard deployments to help state governments respond to emerging health needs, $1.5 billion for the expansion of military hospitals and mobile medical centers if needed, and $1 billion for the Defense Department to help with production of medical supplies running short because of the pandemic.

The measure — which if passed would be the third major coronavirus response by Congress this month — also includes provisions to deliver billions of dollars to hospitals, new state and local government support, expanded unemployment compensation and massive business loans, all designed to help stabilize the economy amid unprecedented social shut-downs to curb the virus spread.

Lawmakers who worked on the agreement said the Defense Department funding is targeted “primarily for the protection of members of the Armed Forces, their families, and military retirees.”

Ryan Reynolds mocks fellow celebrities for their coronavirus response in new PSA

Ryan Reynolds shared a hilarious PSA about the coronavirus in which he lightly jabbed other celebrities.
Ryan Reynolds shared a hilarious PSA about the coronavirus in which he lightly jabbed other celebrities. (Michael Stewart/FilmMagic)

The Canadian actor shared the brief one-minute video on his Twitter page Monday in response to a social media chain launched by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In it, the actor struck a serious tone while asking fellow Canadians to stay at home in an effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

“Thank you, Prime Minister Trudeau,” Reynolds says in the video of himself sitting on the couch and speaking directly to camera. “We need to work together to flatten the curve and fight off COVID-19.”

For the sake of levity, that’s when the 43-year-old “Deadpool” star joked about the many ways in which celebrities are seizing the current world health crisis for attention on social media.

Coronavirus concerns in homeless community spur San Diego to use convention center as shelter during pandemic

 San Diego Convention Center as a homeless shelter.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said more than 5,000 people in the city do not have the option to “stay home” during the coronavirus pandemic and that the city will use the San Diego Convention Center as a homeless shelter. (Google Maps)

“We are taking dramatic actions to help keep the coronavirus from spreading in the homeless community.

This is a new, coordinated, system-wide approach to serve homeless individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Faulconer said in a statement.

“The Convention Center is a centerpiece of San Diego’s economy. During this pandemic, it will be a centerpiece of our fight against the coronavirus.”

Two years ago, San Diego faced a hepatitis A outbreak that killed 20 people and sickened hundreds that spurred calls to do something about the region’s homeless population.

Dr. Siegel: Covid-19 ‘breakthrough’ good news for vaccine development

(Fox News Video) Coronavirus research show the virus is not mutating quickly, Dr. Marc Siegel explains why this is good news for vaccine development and anti-viral treatment.

California teen’s suspected coronavirus-related death would be one of youngest in US

People visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame during the coronavirus pandemic
People visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame during the coronavirus pandemic.Credit…Philip Cheung for The New York Times

“Though early tests indicated a positive result for COVID-19, the case is complex and there may be an alternate explanation for this fatality,” health department officials said in the updated statement.

If confirmed by the CDC, however, the fatality would mark the first known instance of a minor dying from the virus in the U.S.

Mayor R. Rex Parris of Lancaster said the teen, who was reportedly healthy and did not have any underlying health issues, went to a local hospital after he began to experience “acute respiratory problems,” the New York Times reported.

He was treated but was purportedly released from the hospital without being tested for the virus, the mayor said.

The teen then sought treatment at a second hospital, where he died. He tested positive for COVID-19 posthumously, as per the outlet.

“Peace and All Good”: Italian Priest Dies After Giving His Ventilator To Young Patient

Rev. Giuseppe Berardelli, 72.
Rev. Giuseppe Berardelli, 72. 

Berardelli was known for his warm personality and his love for his motorbike.

He contracted coronavirus like many priests who are struggling to attend to the sick and the dying. Sixty priests in Italy have died in this pandemic and many others are sick.

Berardelli is the face of humanity in this pandemic.

It is easy to succumb to cynicism in reading of religious opportunists and fringe figures. However, hundreds of priests like Berardelli have joined doctors and nurses in confronting this menace.


Highlighting the Helpers: Fayette County bikers collect food and deliver to elderly

The VFW Riders post 3762 in Fayette County is helping elderly residents during the coronavirus crisis. (Duke Hanscel)

We are highlighting our helpers – a group of veterans who are beginning their second week of collections after serving 50 households on Saturday.

“We have to do something. We have people living in cars. So many are in need.

Many of them are 75 years old or more and some are disabled,” said Duke Hanscel, Commander of VFW Riders post 3762.

The group is collecting donations to purchase food from area stores. They have received donations from Florida, Kentucky and all over Ohio.

The group is planning to continue the home delivery service on Saturdays through April and if needed into May.

Hanscel said they are getting more calls, so they are teaming up with Southern Ohio Buckeye Bikers, who have started a GoFundMe account.


Bernie Sanders Threatens to Hold Up Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Over GOP ‘Anti-Worker Objections’

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a campaign rally in Dearborn, Mich.,
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a campaign rally in Dearborn, Mich., Saturday, March 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

“This drafting error made me pause for a moment,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said, referring to the provision that unemployed workers should be paid $600 in addition to normal unemployment payments.

“We cannot encourage people to make more money in unemployment than they do in employment.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) expressed doubt that the provision was merely a “drafting error.”

Sanders’ decision to leap into action seems particularly noteworthy since he skipped a key procedural vote on the bill on Monday, choosing instead to appear in a live stream with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). He spoke from his home in Vermont.

From airlines to unions, Democrat-leaning donors found largesse in Pelosi’s pandemic plan

American Airlines flight
(Tom Pennington / Getty Images)
American Airlines flight
(Tom Pennington / Getty Images)

The airline industry has sent a total of almost $23 million to Democrats and Republicans running for election and reelection and to the parties’ Political Action Committees (PACs) since the 2014 election cycle, including $10 million to the GOP.

In the 2018 election cycle, labor unions made $174 million in campaign contributions, which favored Democrats 86 percent to 14 percent for Republicans.

According to, the $219.4 million in contributions made in the 2016 cycle favored Democrats 86 percent to 14 percent.

In 2018, most of the $4.7 million in contributions from the alternative energy sector went to Democrats at 54 percent to 45 percent for Republicans.

GOP senators warn they will oppose coronavirus bill unless ‘massive drafting error’ fixed

“You want to destroy what’s left of the economy? Pass it the way it’s written,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in a press conference.

“If you want to help people, pay them their wages, but don’t pay them more not to work.”

The concern from Sens. Graham, Tim Scott, R-S.C., Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., is that the current version could pay workers more in unemployment benefits than they’re currently making, by sticking a $600 per week payment on top of ordinary benefits that are calculated as a percentage of income.

This could disrupt the labor market further, the lawmakers warn.

Unions go all-in for Biden as Sanders defies pressure to drop out

The senator’s campaign said last week that Sanders is “reassessing” his presidential bid. Sanders has stopped criticizing Biden and is no longer fundraising for his White House bid.

But he’s remained very active – holding virtual campaign events to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and raise funds to benefit the response to the outbreak.

But the optics of the flurry of major union endorsements in recent days is another setback for Sanders, a longtime friend to organized labor whose progressive political revolution is all about helping workers.

Senate stimulus bill contains cash payments, unemployment for Americans

Many Americans will be seeing cash payments as part of the plan; John Roberts reports from the White House.

World News:

Afghanistan: dozens killed in attack on Kabul Sikh temple

Items strewn around a Sikh religious complex after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan
Items strewn around a Sikh religious complex after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photograph: Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

The attack lasted hours as the gunmen held hostages on Wednesday while Afghan special forces and international troops tried to end the siege in a complex that is home to many families, as well as a place of worship.

Narender Singh Khalsa, a member of parliament who represents the Sikh community, told Reuters that there were three attackers, who arrived when the buildings were full of worshippers.

Islamic State, which has targeted Sikhs in Afghanistan before, said it carried out the attack.

“The attackers arrived on the stairs and started killing the women.

My nephew shouted and said to me ‘Uncle, please go downstairs’, and when I tried to go downstairs, they shot my nephew in the head,” said Harander Singh, who lost several other relatives including his wife, father and daughter.

11 Ways Engineers Are Helping out to Fight Against the Pandemic

That’s why the global scientific community is pulling together in order to develop viable treatments and vaccines to combat the spread of the infectious disease.

Much in the same vein, the world is in desperate need of ingenious solutions to widespread issues such as supply shortages of medical equipment.

Here are 11 ways the engineering community has stepped up to the challenge.

Israeli Defense Minister clarifies ‘National Plan’ to battle coronavirus – TV7 Israel News 25.03.20

1) Since yesterday morning, the number of infected individuals throughout the Jewish State rose by more than 500, with 2,030 confirmed cases – including four new fatalities – as of eight O’clock this morning.

2) Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett revels that authorities are currently ill-informed about the extent of the contagion’s spread, which consequently, demands the continuation of “massive social isolation” for the purpose of granting the relevant health authorities enough time to obtain a clear picture of the situation.

3) Political bickering in the Israeli capital has reached a new low – as acting Parliament Speaker Yuli Edelstein announces his resignation.

France sees 24-hour spike in coronavirus casualties, becomes 5th nation with death toll topping 1,000

Beds line up at the military field hospital in eastern border city of Mulhouse on Tuesday.
Beds line up at the military field hospital in eastern border city of Mulhouse on Tuesday. The Grand Est region is the epicenter of the outbreak in France.
(Mathieu Cugnot, Pool via AP)

The total number of deaths in France now stands at 1,100, while the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surged to at least 22,300, an increase of 2,444 from the previous day.

France is the fifth nation in the world to top 1,000 deaths from the disease after hard-hit Italy, China, Spain and Iran.

President Emmanuel Macron ordered a field hospital built to help treat the increasing number of sick in Mulhouse, where the local newspaper has had to add extra obituary pages as the deaths from the coronavirus increase – a grim practice also done in some areas of Italy.

Exclusive: Iran Imprisoning Coronavirus Whistleblowers, State Department Says

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani walks past a portrait of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei / Getty Images
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani walks past a portrait of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei / Getty Images

“The regime has imprisoned dozens of Iranians for sharing statistics and forced hospital officials across Iran to falsify the number of cases and deaths,” said State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus.

In a bid to keep the actual infection rate and death toll secret, Iranian officials have resorted to violence and subterfuge.

“We can be sure that the same regime that lied about shooting down a passenger jet and that still hasn’t revealed the number of protesters killed last November is not being transparent with the number of cases and deaths from coronavirus today,”


Wuhan Coronavirus: The Mainstream Media’s Inconsistencies

The Wuhan Coronavirus originated in China and the communist Chinese government suppressed information.

Whose side is the American mainstream media on?

James Lindsay: Deep Dive Into “Critical Social Justice” & How It Took Over the Humanities

To “expose the political corruption that’s taken hold of the university,” James Lindsay, Peter Boghossian, and Helen Pluckrose made headlines in 2018 with a series of hoax papers that were accepted in peer-reviewed journals.

Since then, Lindsay has made it his life’s mission to understand the ideas and theories underpinning what they dubbed “grievance studies.”

Just how are these identity-oriented academic fields rooted in deeply flawed methodologies?

And how has neo-Marxism and what Lindsay recently named “critical social justice” permeated the education system in America?

Lindsay documents his work on his website “New Discourses”, where a constantly updated “Social Justice Encyclopedia” can also be found.