News and Headlines. 3/31/2020

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

In The News:

New Jersey cops buy 300 pizzas to cheer up residents struggling to make ends meet in Corona crisis

They ordered a couple of hundred pizzas and safely invited residents in the neighborhood to pick them up. Needless to say, it was a huge hit.

Three police associations in Toms River, New Jersey, came together to pull off the event.

Officer Jesse Robertazzi was inspired to hold the celebration after he saw a post on Facebook of his colleagues hosting their own Pizza Day.

After making a call to his fellow officers to let them know he was “stealing” their idea, he set off on planning the big day.

Officer Robertazzi sent out a quick group text to a few union members and made a couple of calls to local pizza shops.

Then, he was set! The officers paid for the pies with charitable funds from their organizations and uploaded posts on their social media accounts about the event.

‘Drone Guy’ who asked out a girl dancing on a roof just went on a date with her in a giant inflatable ball

He saw a girl dancing on her roof and asked her out using his drone.

Since they couldn’t really interact with each other, they had their first dinner date separately.

Jeremy Cohen, otherwise known on the internet as Drone Guy, ate on his balcony while his date Tori Cignarella ate on the roof she was dancing on.

Jeremy recently found an inventive way to go out on a “real” date with Tori while practicing safe social distancing.

Los Angeles supervisors remove sheriff as head of emergency operations

The change replaces Villanueva with the county CEO, who will be responsible for coordinating response activities.

Villanueva blasted the board’s decision, calling it a “silent coup.” In a statement, he said he is committed to the safety of Los Angeles County residents.

Villanueva and the board have repeatedly clashed since his 2018 election over issues ranging from hiring to oversight.

The timing of the move comes as the sheriff reversed a decision to close gun shops in the county by deeming them nonessential businesses.

The move drew the ire of gun-rights advocates and prompted the National Rifle Association to file a lawsuit against the sheriff and California Gov. Gavin Newsom last week.

‘My Pillow’ CEO Exhorts Nation to Return to God Amid COVID-19 Crisis

President Donald Trump listens as Michael J. Lindell, CEO of MyPillow Inc., speaks during the daily briefing on the CCP virus,
President Donald Trump listens as Michael J. Lindell, CEO of MyPillow Inc., speaks during the daily briefing on the CCP virus, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, on March 30, 2020. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Lindell briefly spoke about how MyPillow started converting 75 percent of its production from pillows to manufacturing safety masks last week and that the company is currently ramping up from producing 10,000 masks per day to 50,000 per day.

After Lindell was done, he asked Trump whether he could make some “off-the-cuff” remarks, which Trump agreed to.

After Lindell was finished, Trump took the stage and said he was taken by surprise. “I did not know he was going to do that,” Trump said.

“But he is a friend of mine, and I do appreciate it.”

Lindell’s spontaneous action was the talk of the town on social media, with many praising his opinion.

Media Freaks Out On ‘MyPillow’ CEO Mike Lindell For Encouraging Americans To Read The Bible

Lindell, who just announced his company will produce 50,000 masks a day by the end of the week, was mocked for sharing his faith from behind the lectern, and encouraging Americans to turn to God in this time of crisis.

But after Trump invited Lindell to speak at a press briefing in the White House Rose Garden Monday afternoon, verified blue checkmarks and members of the media did not take kindly to Lindell’s remarks to Americans.

As an ex-crack addict who established a recovery network to help addicts, Lindell is widely known for his testimony of becoming sober after years of addiction, starting MyPillow out of his basement, and finding a transformative Christian faith. “Jesus showed up, and I did a full surrender,” he says.

Report: FBI warned of Chinese researchers transporting disease samples in US before coronavirus

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a medical worker writes their colleague's name on a protective suit
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a medical worker writes their colleague’s name on a protective suit to aid in identification as they work at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Firday, Jan. 24, 2020. (Xiong Qi/Xinhua via AP/TNS)

Another incident in May 2018 saw a Chinese national stopped while transporting what he described as different influenza strains through DTW. The vials in his possession were marked with the acronym WSN, associated with the H1N1 Swine Flu virus.

The vials were confiscated and the Chinese national was released to go to work at a U.S. research institute in Dallas, Texas.

In all three cases, the Chinese nationals did not have supporting documentation declaring their transport of biological materials.

Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding, who served as a China policy expert for the National Security Council for President Donald Trump, has warned of Chinese efforts to transport biological materials to the U.S. and has said “Some likely could be deliberate, to test our ability to identify and intercept. Others could be opportunistic.”

11 veterans die amid coronavirus outbreak at MA vets home – superintendent placed on leave

The Soldiers' Home in Holyoke. (Simtropolitan, Wikimedia Commons/Released)

The Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. (Simtropolitan, Wikimedia Commons/Released)

In total, 11 other residents at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home and five staff have also tested positive for coronavirus. An additional 25 residents are still awaiting test results.

Val Liptak, RN and CEO of Western Massachusetts Hospitals, was assigned to replace Walsh and take over the administration of the Soldiers’ Home, according to a statement by Massachusetts Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Dan Tsai.

The department also sent an “onsite clinical command team” to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

Data Suggests Spread of the Coronavirus Is Slowing

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Washington.
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

A ray of hope today that the spread of the coronavirus across American appears to be slowing down.

Data compiled by the New York Times suggests that while the overall number of infections is still rising, even in states hardest hit by COVID-19, the rate of infections is easing.

It’s not just the NY Times reporting that is showing a decline in infections.

University of California Tells Students “Do Not Allow Others” To Refer To “Chinese Virus”

The Council of Chief Diversity Officers at the University of California has issued a “guidance document” to reject racism, sexism, xenophobia and all hateful or intolerant speech, both in person and online” during this crisis.

Specifically, it tells students to stop others from referring to the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus.”

The guideline raises renewed questions over the use of diversity rules to restrict or regulate free speech, particularly terms that have strong political or social meaning for students.

National Guardsman At NY Testing Center Says Media Has Overblown COVID19 Pandemic “It’s the Flu!”

At the Glen Island Park drive-thru COVID-19 testing entrance, New York National Guardsmen told Project Veritas founder and CEO James O’Keefe the media reaction to the virus outbreak was overblown and to him it was just a flu.

The guardsman then instructed O’Keefe to turn his hazard lights on, follow the car in front of him and observe the testing center’s drive-thru directional signage.

After receiving the instructions, O’Keefe engaged with the guardsman.


AOC hits Cuomo on coronavirus response that gives ‘preferential treatment’ to wealthy

“If you called for a suspension or moratorium on mortgage payments, then we should also call for that same treatment on rent payments,” Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show.”

“We’re kind of creating a class and race issue. We’re essentially rewarding and offering preferential treatment to landowners and folks who are more wealthy, and we’re not offering that same kind of relief to renters.”

“There’s absolutely … racial and class inequities baked into the crisis,” she told WNYC. “If you are able to stay home. You are a privileged person in this moment.”

Trump Calls for New $2 Trillion Infrastructure Package

President Donald Trump departs for the Naval Station Norfolk from the White House in Washington on March 28, 2020. (
President Donald Trump departs for the Naval Station Norfolk from the White House in Washington on March 28, 2020. (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

Trump took to Twitter on March 31 calling for lawmakers to take advantage of the near-zero-interest-rate environment to adopt a “very big and bold” package “focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our country.”

The president said the funds should be included in the next bill lawmakers are currently drafting to respond to the coronavirus crisis, which they refer to as “Phase 4.”

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has expressed caution about moving forward with a fourth stimulus package.

DOJ IG Checked 29 More FBI Spy Warrants, And Found Problems With All Of Them


The audit is a follow-up to an investigation of the FBI’s surveillance of Carter Page, the former Trump campaign aide.

A report of that investigation blasted the FBI for making dozens of errors and omissions in four applications the bureau submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).

The findings prompted the Justice Department to retract two of the warrants because they were based on faulty information.

The OIG review released Tuesday suggests that the FBI’s problems are widespread.

Republican Rep. Bryan Steil Introduces Bill To Rescind $25 Million For Kennedy Center In Coronavirus Package, As They Lay Off Musicians

“Nancy Pelosi literally held the bill up for days to get her pet projects… Interesting she’d use the choice of words, ‘fiddlers,’ because it was the fiddlers, the violin players, all the musicians at the Kennedy Center that got laid off,” Scalise said Monday night on Fox News.

This comes as Kennedy Center sent an email to musicians in the National Symphony Orchestra saying their checks would be cut off starting April 3, the Washington Free Beacon first reported.

This happened just hours after the news they received the news that they would be receiving the $25 from the coronavirus package.

“The Covid-19 Advisory Committee was broadsided today during our conversation with [Kennedy Center President] Deborah Rutter,” the email states.

“Ms. Rutter abruptly informed us today that the last paycheck for all musicians and librarians will be April 3 and that we will not be paid again until the Center reopens.”

World News:

Italy has lowest daily coronavirus infections in 2 weeks — but risks losing control in south with fear of riots, looting

Police have been deployed to the streets of Palermo, the capital of Sicily, amid concerns gangs were using social media to plan attacks on local grocery stores, Bloomberg reported.

Meanwhile, the ferry company that shuttles people, as well as food and medicine, to and from the island went bankrupt. And Italian officials fear the mafia will intervene during a period of civic unrest.

“We need to act fast, more than fast,” Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando told the daily La Stampa. “Distress could turn into violence.”

Medical supplies, such as ventilators and masks, have been allocated mostly to Italy’s historically more prosperous industrial north, leaving many officials in the south demanding the government send reinforcements to hospitals as the infections continue to advance down the peninsula.

US offers Venezuela sanctions relief for power-sharing agreement

China has been sending aid to help Venezuela deal with the outbreak
China has been sending aid to help Venezuela deal with the outbreak.REUTERS

The proposal, laid out by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, echoes a statement issued over the weekend by Juan Guaidó, the country’s main opposition leader who is recognised as interim Venezuelan president by the US and about 60 other countries.

Mr Guaidó argues that a transitional government is urgently needed, especially given that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) turned down a $5bn (£4bn) loan request two weeks ago.

The IMF pointed to the fact that Mr Maduro’s legitimacy has not been recognised by the international community.

The US proposal bars both Mr Guaidó and Mr Maduro from sitting on the transitional council. Under the plan, elections would be held within a year.

Netanyahu enters self-quarantine; Israel plunged into dire economic crisis TV7 Israel News 31.03.20

1) The number of confirmed coronavirus cases throughout the Jewish state continues to rise, with the latest data published by the Israeli health ministry revealing that 4,831 individuals tested positive to the disease, out of whom 83 are in critical condition.

2) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has entered self-quarantine, after his adviser for the ultra-orthodox sector tested positive for the corona contagion

3) Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon announced the state’s economic aid package, which aims to assist the Jewish State during these times of crisis.

How the Wuhan Death Toll Could Be Astronomically Higher

Information provided by residents at the epicenter of the CCP virus in Wuhan, China, indicates that the real death toll there could be over 32,000, which is 12.7 times the official figure.

The Hubei provincial health commission announced on March 23 that in the whole of Wuhan, 2,524 people had died of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus. Wuhan is the capital of Hubei.

Recently, as the families of those who died of the virus were permitted to collect their relatives’ cremated remains from seven government-run funeral homes with crematoriums, a clearer idea of the true death toll began to emerge.

Russia pushing coronavirus lies as part of anti-NATO influence ops in Europe

Russia is directing coronavirus-related disinformation at Eastern European audiences in a bid to drive anti-NATO sentiment among virus-spooked populations.

The tactics range from the usual sort of anti-Western commentary on pro-Russian sites to hacking a legitimate news site to post a false story.

A key target has been Lithuania, which sits between Russia’s client state Belarus and its exclave of Kaliningrad.

In January, someone posted a false story on the Lithuanian news site, or Kaunas Day, claiming that a U.S. soldier in Lithuania had COVID-19.

Facebook joins resistance to Bolsonaro virus claims

Bolsonaro is one of few world leaders who insist the virus itself will cause less harm than shutting down the economy.

He has received vocal backing from his supporters — both on social media and in several cities where they staged demonstrations demanding life return to normal — but his attitude has also been rejected by mayors, state governors and judges.

Even some members of Bolsonaro’s own administration have insisted on broad lockdown measures that run contrary to his statements.

Last Thursday, Bolsonaro issued a decree that added religious activities to the list of “essential services,” meaning churches could remain open even though governors had banned large gatherings.

The decree was overruled by a federal court the following day.


No, Sen. Burr Is Not Likely To Be Charged With Insider Trading

The investigation therefor is more likely to succeed in giving political cover and deterring future trades.

The solution has always been obvious: require blind trusts with supporting criminal penalties.

Every time these trading scandals hit, members pretend that they are shocked by the news, call for ethics investigations, and then shelter in place until the ethics outbreak has subsided.

FBI visits are simply shiny objects for the public. The only real solution is as obvious as it is unpleasant for members of Congress.

The Moment I Realized Media Were Wrong On Trump (Pt. 1)| Bret Easton Ellis | POLITICS | Rubin Report

Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report talks to Bret Easton Ellis (best-selling author, screenwriter, and podcast host) about the decline of the mainstream media, cancel culture and why he is anti-anti-Trump.

Bret is the author of “American Psycho,” “Less Than Zero,” and his latest hit, “White”, and he has been described as the dark laureate of Generation X.

Bret shares the inside story of how American Psycho was almost cancelled and a precursor to the cancel culture that we see today.

Bret also reveals how the media’s coverage of Trump was a political awakening for him and why he considers himself anti-anti-Trump.

He shares how he thinks news institutions like the New York Times and CNN have lost their way.

He also reveals the moment that he realized that the media were getting the Trump narrative wrong.