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Scalise to self-quarantine in response to Diaz-Balart test

Scalise to self-quarantine in response to Diaz-Balart test | 18 March 2020 | House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said Wednesday evening that he will self-quarantine for the next two weeks after Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) tested positive for the coronavirus, citing a meeting between the two congressmen last week. "I have just been informed that my colleague, Mario Diaz-Balart, tested positive for COVID-19. Since I had an extended meeting with him late last week, out of an abundance of caution, I have decided it would be best to self-quarantine based on the guidance of the Attending Physician of the United State Congress," Scalise said in a statement.

Trump signs coronavirus aid package with paid sick leave, free testing

Trump signs coronavirus aid package with paid sick leave, free testing | 18 March 2020 | President Trump on Wednesday signed into law a multibillion-dollar emergency aid package aimed at helping Americans impacted by the coronavirus. The House-passed measure was approved by the Senate earlier Wednesday and includes provisions offering paid leave benefits for Americans, bolstered unemployment benefits and free diagnostic testing for the virus. "The [Families First Coronavirus Response Act] makes emergency supplemental appropriations and other changes to law to help the Nation respond to the coronavirus outbreak," Trump said in a statement Wednesday evening announcing he had signed the bill. 

Colorado county issues shelter-in-place order

Colorado county issues shelter-in-place order | 18 March 2020 | A county in Colorado issued a shelter-in-place order Wednesday in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. San Miguel County's shelter in place order will be in effect until at least April 3 at the discretion of the public health director, according to the county's announcement. As part of its mitigation plan, San Miguel officials will also test the entire county [!?!] for COVID-19.

S&P Level 1 Circuit Breaker Is Triggered

Breaking: S&P Level 1 Circuit Breaker Is Triggered --Stock trading is suspended for fifteen minutes, the fourth time since coronavirus crisis emerged --Stocks to resume trading at 1:11 P.M. E.T. | 18 March 2020 | (Wires)

5 doctors reportedly test positive for coronavirus after attending NYC medical conference

5 doctors reportedly test positive for coronavirus after attending NYC medical conference | 17 March 2020 | Five doctors who attended a New York City medical conference last week have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus. The medical professionals were among roughly 1,300 physicians and educators who traveled from across the country and Canada for a Midtown assembly organized by the Council of Residency Directors (CORD) in Emergency Medicine, opening the possibility that hundreds of emergency room doctors have been exposed to the disease, Buzzfeed News reported Tuesday.

Coronavirus fears force Pentagon to curtail large Defender-Europe 20 exercise

Coronavirus fears force Pentagon to curtail large Defender-Europe 20 exercise | 16 March 2020 | The Pentagon has ordered a halt to the deployment of forces for Defender-Europe 20, which would have been the military’s largest exercise on the Continent in a generation, because of concerns about the coronavirus, U.S. European Command said Monday. Parts of the exercise have been completely eliminated including Dynamic Front, Joint Warfighting Assessment, Saber Strike and Swift Response, which involved paratroops dropping into the Republic of Georgia and the Baltics, officials said. Forces already deployed to Europe for exercises will return to the United States, EUCOM said.

Trump admin to begin turning back all undocumented immigrants, asylum seekers at borders - report

Trump admin to begin turning back all undocumented immigrants, asylum seekers at borders - report | 18 March 2020 | The Trump administration is reportedly planning to turn back all asylum seekers at both the northern and southern borders over concerns regarding the coronavirus outbreak. Four administration officials told The New York Times on Tuesday that the policy would apply to asylum seekers and any other migrant seeking to cross the border illegally. Ports of entry would remain open to American citizens, green card holders and some foreigners with proper documentation as well as commercial traffic, according to the report.

Reported coronavirus death toll in U.S. tops 100

Reported coronavirus death toll in U.S. tops 100 | 17 March 2020 | At least 100 people in the United States have now died from coronavirus, according to an unofficial count compiled by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, and the disease has spread to all 50 states. The grim milestone comes less than a month after the first reported case of community spread of the virus on Feb. 26... According to the Johns Hopkins database, there are now 5,894 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including presumed positives, reported in the country, and 105 reported deaths from the virus. West Virginia announced its first confirmed case on Tuesday, making it the 50th U.S. state to have confirmed cases. The database lists almost 200,000 confirmed cases globally.

Trump wins enough delegates to become GOP's presumptive nominee

Trump wins enough delegates to become GOP's presumptive nominee | 17 March 2020 | President Donald Trump has clinched the Republican Party nomination, surpassing the necessary delegate threshold. Trump, who had only token opposition, now has more than the 1,276 delegates needed after winning Tuesday’s Florida and Illinois primaries, according to The Associated Press's delegate count. That makes Trump the undisputed Republican nominee as Democrats continue to wage a contested primary contest between former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. This is the earliest the delegate calendar permits a Republican to clinch the nomination.

Biden projected to win Florida and Illinois primaries, as Arizona remains too close to call

Biden projected to win Florida and Illinois primaries, as Arizona remains too close to call | 17 March 2020 | Joe Biden has decisively won the delegate-rich Florida and Illinois primaries, Fox News projects, further cementing the former vice president as the dominant frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination over rival Bernie Sanders. Florida and Illinois will award a hefty 219 and 155 pledged delegates, respectively, meaning Biden will significantly pad his growing delegate lead from these victories.

TV Station Broadcasts Biden-Sanders Results Day Before Election

TV Station Broadcasts Biden-Sanders Results Day Before Election | 16 March 2020 | A television station in Illinois broadcast results from the Joe Biden-Bernie Sanders Democratic Primary contest on Monday-the day before the actual election was scheduled to occur. Paris, Illinois, resident Sherry Daugherty noted the discrepancy in a widely-shared and commented upon Facebook post. "While watching The Price Is Right our station accidentally runs tomorrow's election results," she said. "It's Monday our election in Illinois is tomorrow." ...Local CBS affiliate WCIA ran the graphic showing Biden leading on 50 percent of the vote with 986,341 votes. Sanders had 45 percent of the vote in the WCIA graphic with 893,249 votes.

First coronavirus case on U.S. Navy ship - sailor tests positive

First coronavirus case on U.S. Navy ship - sailor tests positive | 17 March 2020 | A sailor aboard a U.S. Navy ship has returned "presumptive positive" test results for coronavirus, in what is the first instance of a coronavirus case for a sailor aboard one of the service's ships. The incident was first confirmed on the USS Boxer on Friday, the U.S. Navy said in a press release. The U.S. Navy is now awaiting confirmation of the sailor's test results from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Six CBS News employees test positive for coronavirus

Six CBS News employees test positive for coronavirus | 16 March 2020 | Six people at CBS News have tested positive for coronavirus, including a correspondent stationed in Italy, as media organizations fought Monday against the same epidemic they're charged with describing. Five employees with the virus work in CBS's New York offices, where most of its journalists [sic] were ordered to stay away as a result... ABC News said Monday that a journalist who worked on the network's coverage team of the outbreak in Seattle had tested positive for coronavirus.

Mnuchin Warns Virus Could Yield 20% Jobless Rate Without Action

Mnuchin Warns Virus Could Yield 20% Jobless Rate Without Action | 17 March 2020 | Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin raised the possibility with Republican senators that without government intervention, the U.S. could see 20% unemployment, according to people familiar with the matter. Mnuchin didn't predict unemployment would reach that level, the people said, but told the senators that he believes the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak is potentially worse than the 2008 financial crisis. Extraordinarily high unemployment, he said, is a possibility if lawmakers don't swiftly provide financial assistance to wage workers and small- and medium-sized businesses. During the meeting with Senate Republicans today, Secretary Mnuchin used several mathematical examples for illustrative purposes, but he never implied this would be the case, Treasury spokeswoman Monica Crowley said.

Justice Department files motion to dismiss charges against firms accused of funding 'Russian troll farm'

Justice Department files motion to dismiss charges against firms accused of funding 'Russian troll farm' | 16 March 2020 | The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday filed a motion to dismiss charges against a pair of shell companies accused of financing a 'Russian troll farm' that [allegedly] sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Prosecutors argued that the companies, Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering, were taking advantage of the discovery process [right, can't let the truth emerge] to obtain material about U.S. efforts to combat election interference and that a court proceeding was not necessary because it wouldn't lead to "meaningful punishment in the event of conviction." In a nine-page filing, the prosecutors said that the Concord companies were intent on reaping "the benefits of the Court's jurisdiction while positioning itself to evade any real obligations or responsibility."

Dow futures jump beyond 700 points after Wall Street suffers worst day since 1987 market crash

Dow futures jump beyond 700 points after Wall Street suffers worst day since 1987 market crash | 17 March 2020 | Stock futures traded higher on early Tuesday morning after Wall Street suffered massive losses on Monday amid concerns over the economic blow from the coronavirus outbreak. As of 2:23 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were 765 points higher. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were also higher. Those moves came after President Donald Trump tweeted: "The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!"

Ohio health director to order closure of polls on primary day

Ohio health director to order closure of polls on primary day | 16 March 2020 | Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced late Monday that his administration will order that polls be closed on Tuesday due to a health emergency, capping a day of mixed messages and confusion over whether the state's primary would proceed as planned... He said Dr. Amy Action, director of the Ohio Department of Health, would issue the order and that Secretary of State Frank LaRose would then seek a remedy through the courts to extend voting options to Ohio residents. The announcement came at the end of a day marked by disputes over whether Ohio's presidential primary would be delayed amid a coronavirus outbreak that has spread throughout the U.S., prompting federal, state and local officials to recommend against large gatherings.

Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus

Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus | 13 March 2020 | US President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to help handle the growing outbreak of coronavirus. The declaration - "two very big words", according to Mr Trump - allows the federal government to tap up to $50bn (£40bn) in emergency relief funds. The move loosens regulations on the provision of healthcare and could speed up testing - the slow pace of which has been criticised widely. There are 1,701 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US, and 40 deaths.

Coronavirus: NY, NJ, CT coordinate restrictions on restaurants, limit events to fewer than 50 people

Coronavirus: NY, NJ, CT coordinate restrictions on restaurants, limit events to fewer than 50 people | 16 March 2020 | The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, citing "a lack of federal direction and nationwide standards" announced Monday they have agreed to jointly reduce density throughout the region, closing movie theaters and limiting public gatherings to fewer than 50 people. The federal government has "been behind from day one on this crisis," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said... He called on U.S. officials to coordinate closings across the country, saying state and local leaders have adopted a "hodge podge" of different actions in response to COVID-19.

'Stay home!' France mobilizes 100,000 police to enforce coronavirus lockdown

'Stay home!' France mobilizes 100,000 police to enforce coronavirus lockdown | 16 March 2020 | France will deploy 100,000 police officers along fixed checkpoints around the country to enforce President Emmanuel Macron’s two-week lockdown order, the latest dramatic measure taken to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Anyone caught violating the far-reaching restrictions "must be able to justify the reason for their movements," or will face legal penalties, including a fine of up to €135, Castaner said. Pedestrians and drivers will be required to obtain permits to travel, which will be presented to police manning a network of checkpoints throughout France. The minister noted that police and gendarmes only -- not military personnel -- will enforce the restrictions.

Illinois mayor signs executive order granting power to ban sale of guns and alcohol while addressing coronavirus

Illinois mayor signs executive order granting power to ban sale of guns and alcohol while addressing coronavirus | 13 March 2020 | The mayor of Champaign, Illinois, gave herself the power to ban the sale of guns and alcohol after declaring a citywide emergency to address the coronavirus. Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen signed the executive order on Thursday declaring a state of emergency for the city. That executive order, which is in line with municipal code, comes with extraordinary powers for the mayor to enact over a short period of time as the city combats the spread of the coronavirus. Among the powers Feinen gained after signing the executive order was the power to ban the sale of guns, ammunition, alcohol, and gasoline.

Gov. Brown orders restaurants, bars to close starting Tuesday

Gov. Brown orders restaurants, bars to close starting Tuesday | 16 March 2020 | Gov. Kate Brown ordered bars and restaurants statewide to close starting Tuesday for four weeks in an effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. Take out, drive through and delivery will still be allowed, she said Monday afternoon, but no onsite consumption of food will be permitted. She also is canceling gatherings of 25 or more people for four weeks, and urging Oregonians to avoid gatherings of ten people or more.

US halts deployment and recalls troops from NATO's biggest drill 'Defender Europe 2020' due to coronavirus threat

US halts deployment and recalls troops from NATO's biggest drill 'Defender Europe 2020' due to coronavirus threat | 17 March 2020 | The Pentagon has announced it will drastically reduce the "size and scope" of its participation in the NATO 'Defender Europe 2020' exercise, stopping just short of calling quits on the much-touted drill set to run until May. Some 20,000 American soldiers, who were expected to form the backbone of the massive 37,000-strong drill involving forces from 18 NATO member states, will now either stay home or -- for those already moved into Europe -- return to the US. "As of March 13, all movement of personnel and equipment from the United States to Europe has ceased," US Army Europe confirmed in a press release on Monday.

Canada closing borders to non-citizens because of coronavirus, U.S. citizens exempt from ban 'for the moment'

Canada closing borders to non-citizens because of coronavirus, U.S. citizens exempt from ban 'for the moment' | 16 March 2020 | Canada is closing its borders to noncitizens because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted that the ban does not apply to U.S. citizens "for the moment." Canada will make some exceptions to the border closure. And the ban does not affect the shipment of goods into the country. Trudeau's announcement came hours after the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, proposed a ban on nonessential, incoming foreign travel for one month in the European Union.

Coronavirus in Florida: DeSantis vows election will proceed, saying 'we are not going to panic'

Coronavirus in Florida: DeSantis vows election will proceed, saying 'we are not going to panic' | 16 March 2020 | Florida's presidential primary election will move forward despite the threat from the new coronavirus, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday afternoon. DeSantis's announcement came right after President Donald Trump had separately in the afternoon urged everyone to avoid groups of more than 10 people. But DeSantis said there still is a way to carry out the election in Florida. On Tuesday, the polls will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

DOJ ends practice of allowing polluters to pay for environmental projects

DOJ ends practice of allowing polluters to pay for environmental projects | 16 March 2020 | The Department of Justice (DOJ) will no longer allow polluting companies to reduce their fines by footing the bill for environmental projects, putting an end to a tool that's been popular with both industry and government agencies. Special Environmental Projects (SEPs), which have been used for roughly 30 years, let businesses reduce their civil penalties by taking steps such as cleaning streams or replacing old gas-guzzling school busses. But a DOJ memo on Friday said the program violates the Miscellaneous Receipts Act, which requires money acquired by the government go to the U.S. Treasury. DOJ argued that SEPs could only legally be allowed with express authorization from Congress.

6 Bay Area counties ordered to shelter-in-place; Trump urges public to avoid gatherings of more than 10

6 Bay Area counties ordered to shelter-in-place; Trump urges public to avoid gatherings of more than 10 | 16 March 2020 | The outbreak of COVID-19 is having a major impact across the world but also in cities across Northern California. A shelter-in-place has been issued for at least six Bay Area counties, including San Francisco. There are confirmed cases in all nine Bay Area counties and California's first COVID-19 related death was a Placer County man who was a passenger on a cruise out of San Francisco. Local emergencies related to coronavirus have been declared in Solano, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Sonoma, and Alameda counties.

San Francisco Shutting Down for 3 Weeks; 24-Hr Curfew Starts Tonight

San Francisco Shutting Down for 3 Weeks; 24-Hr Curfew Starts Tonight | 16 March 2020 | San Francisco is going the way of Italy with its coronavirus safety measures -- the Mayor's instituting around-the-clock curfew, banning almost everyone from leaving their homes. Mayor London Breed announced what she calls a "defining moment" in U.S. response to the pandemic. Beginning at 12 AM, all residents within the city can only leave home for doctor's appointments or runs to the grocery store. It's the strictest new policy enacted in the nation, and matches the current rules in Italy...which has been the 2nd hardest-hit country in the world. The Mayor says the rule will remain in effect for at least the next 3 weeks.

Dow drops 2,999 points, in worst point-drop on record

Breaking: Dow drops 2,999 points, in worst point-drop on record --The Federal Reserve cut rates to near zero and launched a $700B asset-purchase program | 16 March 20 | U.S. equity markets tumbled Monday with selling accelerating during the final hours of trading as the coronavirus task force updated the nation on the crisis. In response to a question, President Trump said the crisis could extend until August. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 3,000 points or nearly 13 percent. The worst point drop on record. This is the Dow's third onsecutive move in either direction of 9 percent or more, the longest streak since October 1929, as tracked by the Dow Jones Market Data Group.

Romney proposes giving $1K to every US adult amid coronavirus

Romney proposes giving $1K to every US adult amid coronavirus | 16 March 2020 | Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Deep-State-Utah) on Monday [stealing from Andrew Yang] proposed giving $1,000 to every American adult as lawmakers scramble to try to bolster the U.S. economy amid growing concerns over the coronavirus. Romney outlined a handful of proposals on Monday, saying that while the Senate should take up the House-passed coronavirus package, Congress needs to start working on additional steps. The checks would go to every American adult "to help ensure families and workers can meet their short-term obligations and increase spending in the economy."

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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