News and Headlines. 3/27/2020

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

In The News:

4 passengers dead on Holland America cruise ship, currently en route to Fort Lauderdale

The company said 53 guests and 85 crew have reported to the Zaandam’s medical center with influenza-like illness symptoms.

There are 1,243 guests and 586 crew on board. There are four doctors and four nurses on the ship, the company said.

The ship was previously denied permission to dock in Chile, and is seeking to land at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The Zaandam plans to transfer groups of healthy guests to its sister ship, the Rotterdam, “with strict protocols for this process developed in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” They will undergo health screenings before transferring.

One dead, 16 injured in New York City subway car fire

A fire on a New York City subway car, seen here destroyed in the fire, killed one person and injured at least 16,
A fire on a New York City subway car, seen here destroyed in the fire, killed one person and injured at least 16, several of them firefighters, on Friday.
Photo courtesy of FDNY/Twitter

Two Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers evacuated passengers, but the train operator, identified as Garrett Goble, was found unconscious on the tracks. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

Of those injured, several are firefighters and at least four of the injured are hospitalized in critical condition.

Two senior law enforcement officials said an apparent emotionally disturbed man has been held for questioning in connection with the fire leading to the fatality.

Two other fires were reported at other train stations prior to the incident, and one more afterward.

Dr. Birx to media: Stop frightening Americans

Dr. Deborah Birx at a White House briefing
(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
Dr. Deborah Birx at a White House briefing
(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

“Please, for the reassurance of people across the world … there is no situation in the United States right now that warrants that kind of discussion right now,” Birx said during the task force’s daily White House briefing Thursday.

“To make the implication that when they need a hospital bed, it’s not going to be there, or when they need that ventilator, it’s not going to be there, we don’t have any evidence of that right now.

It’s our collective job to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Birx also said.

“There is no model right now – no reality on the ground where we can see that 60% to 70% of Americans are going to get infected in the next eight to 12 weeks. I want to be clear about that.”

California Approves Goal to Double Green Energy

The California Public Utilities Commission cast the plan as a critical component of the state’s ambitious quest to source 100% of its electricity from zero-carbon resources by 2045 and left open the potential for a stricter mandate in the near future.

If the mark is met, the commission claims it would be comparable to removing the annual emissions of 12.5 million cars.

“The decision adopted today provides guidance to load-serving entities to go out and procure approximately double the amount of renewable and storage capacity that is currently online in the electric system in California,” said CPUC Commissioner Liane Randolph.

Kentucky AG: Abortions Should Cease During Virus Pandemic

“Kentucky’s only abortion clinic is certainly not ‘life sustaining,’ but it is still open,” Family Foundation Executive Director Kent Ostrander said in a news release Thursday. “And clearly its services are ‘elective,’ so … it should be closed.”

Cameron’s decision to step forward on the hot-button issue comes as Kentucky lawmakers consider a bill to empower the attorney general’s office to regulate abortion.

The measure was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday and goes to the full Senate next.

It already passed the House. The GOP controls both chambers.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky has denounced the bill as a “blatant power grab.”

Governor Of Missouri Mobilizes National Guard

(Photo by Jacob Moscovitch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jacob Moscovitch/Getty Images)

Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tweeted Friday morning that he signed an executive order mobilizing the National Guard.

His declaration came after the Missouri Health Department reported 502 cases of coronavirus in the state as well as nine deaths from the deadly virus.

Parson’s announcement came a day after President Donald Trump approved Missouri’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration, which Parson requested March 24.

US Army asks retired soldiers in medical fields back to fight coronavirus

An Army medic sorts through blood samples for prescreening during a Walking Blood Bank training program at Camp Lejeune, N.C.,
An Army medic sorts through blood samples for prescreening during a Walking Blood Bank training program at Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 21, 2017.
(Lance Cpl. Gloria Lepko/U.S. Marine Corps)

The message was put out to soldiers trained in various medical specialties, such as: medics, respiratory specialists, ER nurses, nurse practitioners, critical care nurses, nurse anesthetists, anesthesiologists and critical care officers.

“We need to hear from you STAT!” the message said.

Soldiers without those various medical specialties were told they could still reach out and communicate their interest to help the Army in whatever capacity they may be able.

The message did come with the request that personnel currently working at a civilian hospital or medical facility notify the Army, as they do not want to pull from those already assisting the public health effort against coronavirus.

Pics/Videos: Space Force’s first-ever launch took off with a next generation of military spacecraft Thursday

An Atlas V AEHF-6 rocket successfully launches from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., March 26, 2020.
An Atlas V AEHF-6 rocket successfully launches from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., March 26, 2020. The launch of the AEHF-6, a sophisticated communications relay satellite, is the first Department of Defense payload launched for the United States Space Force.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Joshua Conti)

At 4:18 p.m. local time, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying the sixth and final Lockheed Martin-built Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) communications satellite. The mission took off late into a planned two-hour launch window due to a hydraulics issue.

The satellite that launched Thursday is part of the $15 billion AEHF program, which has been launching the spacecraft on ULA rockets since 2010.

The advanced satellites have three times better accuracy and eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities to provide better communication for U.S., U.K., Canadian and Dutch troops around the world.

They’ll be part of the new constellation that will replace the current MILSTAR satellites in orbit since the early 2000s.


Border Patrol agents expelling illegal immigrants to reduce virus risk

A Border Patrol vehicle sits along the border fenceline separating San Diego and Tijuana Mexico watching for illegal crossings in March 2016.
A Border Patrol vehicle sits along the border fenceline separating San Diego and Tijuana Mexico watching for illegal crossings in March 2016.
(Donna Burton/Customs and Border Protection)

Officials said agents encountering people attempting to enter the country illegally, between ports of entry, will process them at a mobile processing unit out in the field, and immediately expel them from the country through the nearest port of entry.

The only exception would be for anyone who has a prior aggravated criminal offense, and is deemed to be a “threat to the U.S. and or Mexico,” the officials said.

Those people will be arrested, and taken in to be processed at a detention center.

The switch in procedure with regard to how Border Patrol agents approached newly apprehended persons was expected after DHS announced the travel restrictions at the border.

Police & Hazmat investigating after suspicious package explodes, disperses white powder inside UPS Store

The NC Hazmat Regional Response Team (File Image)
The NC Hazmat Regional Response Team (File Image)

A city spokesperson said it happened just after 11 a.m. at the UPS Store on Spartanburg Highway.

A person walked in the store and left the package, which then detonated and released the white powder. The building was then evacuated and police and firefighters responded.

The NC Hazardous Materials Regional Response Team is working to identify the unknown white powder.

New Jersey officials receive flood of complaints alleging price gouging

A customer browses aisles Friday, March 20, 2020, while wearing a protective face mask at a Stop & Shop supermarket in Teaneck, N.J.
A customer browses aisles Friday, March 20, 2020, while wearing a protective face mask at a Stop & Shop supermarket in Teaneck, N.J. John Minchillo / AP

“To date, our Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has received over 1,400 COVID-19 related complaints concerning some 900 distinct business locations across New Jersey,” Gurbir Grewal, attorney general, said at a coronavirus briefing this week. “We’ve issued about 160 cease-and-desist letters and served nearly 30 subpoenas.”

Of the approximately 350 inspections completed by the DCA, most of the price increases were determined to be appropriate because suppliers have raised the prices on retailers.

People who violate the price gouging laws can expect to pay $10,000 for the first offense and $20,000 for subsequent offenses, with each sale considered a distinct violation.

In a recent complaint, one convenience store allegedly diluted foaming sanitizer to sell to the public.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser Says One Of Her Staffers Died Of Coronavirus

Washington D.C. has 267 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Friday, with neighbors Maryland and Virginia having an additional 1,378 combined.

“It’s devastating,” Bowser said. “We are just very sorry.”

Bowser confirmed the death at a press conference where she announced the city was requesting that residents vote by mail for the upcoming primary and special elections in June

Judge orders release of 10 immigration detainees from N.J. jails

The Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse,
The Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, which hears cases from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The group, all held in New Jersey county jails and facing deportation proceedings in Manhattan, appears to be the largest in the nation subject to a court-ordered release since the pandemic broke out.

There are about 40,000 immigrants in ICE custody across the country.

Immigrant rights activists have called for the vast majority of them to be released to minimize their risk of contracting the virus.

At least two other courts — the U.S. District Court in Boston and the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit — have ordered releases of individual immigration detainees in recent days due to virus concerns.


Here Are The Pro-Life Protections In The $2 Trillion Coronavirus Emergency Relief Package

(Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The relief package passed the House on Friday afternoon after it passed the Senate 96-0 on Wednesday night.

Senate Republicans won several pro-life protections in the CARES Act that ensured federal funding will not be used to pay for abortions.

These protections include disqualifying Planned Parenthood from receiving aid, ensuring that health care spending in the bill is covered by Hyde Amendment protections, and extending the Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Program — a program that teaches abstinence until marriage.

The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List spoke out in a statement following the passage of the act.

Real News Insights with Herman Cain

The private sector is playing a very important role in helping us combat the Virus!

Congress OKs $2T stimulus in historic coronavirus response, as rep’s objections sidelined

The legislation, approved by voice vote despite 11th-hour drama arising from a GOP lawmaker’s objections, amounts to the costliest stimulus plan in U.S. history.

It includes checks for most Americans, boosted unemployment aid, help for small business as well as a massive loan fund for corporations – at a time when unemployment is surging at a record pace, a consequence of businesses closing in compliance with social distancing guidelines.

The bill, already approved by the Senate, now goes to President Trump’s desk.

‘Crumbs For Our Families’: Ocasio-Cortez Unloads On ‘Shameful’ Senate Coronavirus Relief Bill

Calling the measure “shameful,” Ocasio-Cortez accused Senate Republicans of fighting for “greed” and “one of the largest corporate bailouts with as few strings as possible in American history.”

The New York Democrat had voice concerns about the bill on Twitter in recent days, in part due to the fact that the relief bill would not send stimulus checks to non-citizens.

Republican Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie has also voiced concerns about the bill, threatening to stand in the way of a simple voice vote on the measure.

Is Donald Trump A Dictator?

Democrats have told us time and time again that Donald Trump is a dictator. Are they right?

Here’s the Simple Truth.

Trump blasts GOP lawmaker who may delay House coronavirus vote

President Trump tweets that Rep. Thomas Massie is a ‘third rate Grandstander’ who should be thrown out of the Republican Party; John Roberts reports from the White House.

Tucker: How local leaders failed their cities

Why has the coronavirus outbreak been so especially devastating in New York City?

Tucker Carlson focused the top of his Thursday show on New York City’s battle with the coronavirus, ripping city officials for increasing the “risk” for citizens and not taking the outbreak seriously in its early stages.

World News:

Fighting erupts at Chinese bridge between Hubei, Jiangxi provinces

Video taken at the bridge Friday afternoon at the Yangtze River shows the escalation of violence as people try to leave Hubei, while police on the other side in Jiangxi try to block their passage, Canada’s Globe and Mail reported.

The skirmish was filmed two days after Chinese authorities lifted travel restrictions against Hubei residents.

China has resumed operations of trains and buses out of the coronavirus-hit province.

On Friday, the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, was reclassified as a “medium risk” zone after being assigned a “high risk” rating since January.

When Jiangxi police blocked people leaving Hubei, Hubei police fought back.

Israel’s Netanyahu Wishes ‘Full and Speedy Recovery’ to UK’s Johnson After Coronavirus Diagnosis

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at 10 Downing Street in London, Sept. 5, 2019.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at 10 Downing Street in London, Sept. 5, 2019.
Photo: Reuters / Hannah McKay.

In a video statement published on Twitter earlier on Friday, the 55-year-old Johnson said, “I’ve taken a test. That has come out positive.

I’ve developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus. That’s to say — a temperature and a persistent cough.”

“So I am working from home,” he added, referring to his official 10 Downing Street residence. “I’m self-isolating.

Be in no doubt that I can continue, thanks to the wizardry of modern technology, to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fightback against coronavirus.”

Dramatic political maneuver heralds end to Jerusalem’s political deadlock – TV7 Israel News 27.03.20

1) Israel continues to battle the spread of the coronavirus, as it seemingly struggles to retain control over the unpredictable situation.

2) A dramatic turn of events in Jerusalem’s political arena is now projecting light at the end of the tunnel, heralding an imminent formation of national emergency government.

3) The Israeli Foreign Ministry is racing against time to bring all of the stranded Israelis that are keen on returning home, ahead of an anticipated global lockdown.

Italy logs highest death toll of any country in a single day

Since Monday, at least 3,659 people have died in the European country from the coronavirus.

Italy has more than 80,500 confirmed cases as of Friday afternoon, with at least 8,215 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.

More than 10,300 people in Italy have recovered since contracting the virus.

Italy has been one of the hardest-hit countries. The United States and China each have more confirmed cases, but Italy’s death toll is higher.

Four Kidnapped Christian Aid Workers Returned From Iraq


“SOS Chrétiens d’Orient welcomes the release of its four collaborators who disappeared on January 20 in Baghdad, Iraq,” the group tweeted Thursday. “The association warmly thanks the French authorities for their work, as well as the Iraqi authorities.”

Their liberation comes the day France began pulling out troops from Iraq as the French military is deployed to help fight the coronavirus, the Associated Press reported. President Macron did not provide details.

SOS Chrétiens d’Orient is a French non-governmental organization that provides aid to Christians in conflict zones.


Make America Laugh Again

Comedians are leading the way for free speech!

Dave Chapelle, Tim Allen, and Ricky Gervais are taking Hollywood’s cancel culture head-on.

Isabel Brown breaks it down.

New York Times Op-Ed Blames Christians, Not China, For Spread Of Wuhan Coronavirus

The crux of Stewart’s piece is that the Republican Party has become embedded with a spiritual movement whose beliefs fly contradictory to science, blaming the idiocy and extreme actions of a few who defied public health orders against large gatherings to stigmatize half the country.

Stewart’s piece however, only further exposes a deep disdain for the Christian faith through the employment of hypocritical arguments in an attempt to smear the religious right.

Stewart’s remarkable condemnation of Christians is littered with the type of ignorant mockery so common in the modern media landscape today, where increasingly secular elites point at prayer as supposed evidence of religious lunacy.