2020-03-19: News Headlines

Stephen Lendman (2020-03-20). China Retaliates Against Hostile Trump Regime Actions. globalresearch.ca Last month, the Trump regime designated five state-run Chinese media in the US as "foreign missions (sic)." | The hostile action requires them to register their locations, properties and staff, including US citizens if among them. | Affected media include Xinhua, China …

Stephen Lendman (2020-03-20). US Economic Relief Measure Enacted, Much More Needed. globalresearch.ca Temporary, longer-term, or permanent closure of business enterprises and mass cancellations of public events in cities and towns across the US is unprecedented — with little guidance on how long things may last. | "As of Wednesday morning, only a few …

Paul Antonopoulos (2020-03-20). Australia Willing to be the U.S. Policeman in the Pacific. globalresearch.ca The U.S. is ramping up pressure on Australia to support hostilities against China in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. Last week in Sydney, the U.S. Ambassador to Australia, Arthur Culvahouse, said that "We'll be pushing Australia to expand …

RT (2020-03-20). Senator Burr enabled Russiagaters for years; now they're accusing him of insider trading & coronavirus lies. rt.com Richard Burr, chair of the US Senate intelligence committee, has been accused of deceiving the public about the coronavirus outbreak and seeking to profit from it by dumping stocks that are crashing due to the pandemic. | Burr (R-North Carolina) found himself under attack from two directions on Thursday. Early in the day, National Public Radio ran a story based on "secret recordings" from a speech he gave in North Carolina in late February, where he gave oddly specific warnings about Covid-19 to an elite group of donors, while keeping the rest of the American public in the dark. | SCOOP: Secret recording obtai…

RT (2020-03-20). Russia testing MULTIPLE prototype Covid-19 vaccines. rt.com Russia's research center of virology and biotechnology, known as the Vector Institute, is testing multiple different vaccine prototypes against the Covid-19 disease, in a race to find a cure for the virus behind a global pandemic. | This week, the institute "began immunogenicity studies in sensitive laboratory animals … of all developed vaccine prototypes," The composition, dose, route of administration of the futur…

RT (2020-03-20). Two LA Lakers players test positive for Covid-19, will self-quarantine. rt.com Two athletes for the Los Angeles Lakers have contracted the coronavirus, the team said in a statement. Both remain without symptoms, but have been placed into isolation after the positive diagnosis. | "We learned today that two Lakers players have tested positive," the Lakers said in a statement on Thursday evening, adding that "All players and members of the Lakers staff are being asked to continue to observe self-quarantine and shelter at home guidelines." | The team did not name either afflicted player. | We learned today that two Lakers players have tested positive for COVID-19. Both players are currently…

RT (2020-03-20). California governor issues mandatory STAY AT HOME order, projects 56% of population infected with coronavirus in 8 weeks. rt.com California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a mandatory "stay at home" order to all residents, shuttering all businesses beyond "critical sectors" while suggesting the state's hospitals could soon hit their breaking point. | "Everyone is required to stay home except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job," reads a

Joseph Essertier (2020-03-19). The DNC Declaration of Dependence: Death, Shackles, and Misery. counterpunch.org We are in trouble in this year of 2020, when global warming is causing ethnic strife and the break-up of states into warring chiefdoms; when there is an intensified nuclear arms race between the United States, China, and Russia; and when India, Pakistan, and North Korea may now also be stockpiling nukes. The expert on

David Swanson (2020-03-19). Top 10 Reasons the U.S. Government Is Blowing This. counterpunch.org 10. Recognizing that a problem that has grown severe in other countries could grow severe in the United States would require thinking of the United States as existing in the same world, susceptible to the same forces, as everyone else. A willingness to recognize that would have led to earlier action and wiser action more

WSWS (2020-03-19). ICE raids continue, asylum seekers turned away, and detention facilities remain potential hotbeds for coronavirus. wsws.org "We do not have access to hand sanitizer or masks, or anything else that could protect as we are all stuck together in close quarters."

WSWS (2020-03-19). Washington imposes new sanctions as Iran's COVID-19 death toll tops 1,000. wsws.org The global pandemic is viewed by US imperialism as a weapon in its war for hegemony in the Middle East.

teleSUR (2020-03-19). Italians Print 3-D Valves for COVID-19 Patients in Record Time. telesurenglish.net As two Italian volunteers used a 3-D printer to produce a much needed respiratory device for coronavirus infected patients, some media reported Tuesday that the original manufacturer threatened to sue them for patent infringement. | RELATED: | "There were people whose lives were in danger, and we acted, Period." Cristian Fracassi, who made the valves with Alessandro Ramaioli, saving at least 10 lives, wrote Sunday in a F…

WSWS (2020-03-19). "Amazon puts us at risk:" Warehouse workers discuss company's inaction in the face the coronavirus pandemic. wsws.org For workers in the the online retail giant's facilities, few precautions have been taken beyond making hand sanitizer available and posting signs instructing workers to wash their hands.

WSWS (2020-03-19). "Amazon puts us at risk:" Warehouse workers discuss company's inaction in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. wsws.org For workers in the the online retail giant's facilities, few precautions have been taken beyond making hand sanitizer available and posting signs instructing workers to wash their hands.

WSWS (2020-03-19). Doctors condemn Australian government's refusal to defend Julian Assange. wsws.org Doctors4Assange has restated its demand that the Australian government immediately fulfil its obligations to Assange, under conditions in which his life is imperilled by the coronavirus pandemic.

teleSUR (2020-03-19). Cargo Arrives in Venezuela With Medical Aid From China. telesurenglish.net A special medicine and medical supplies shipment arrived in Venezuela from China on Thursday, March 19th, as the Asian nation continues to provide assistance to the Bolivarian Republic. . | RELATED: | Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela, announced that the cargo arrived and assured it would allow thousands to be tested for possible Covid-19 cases and diagnose the positive ones. | The mandatary explained that so f…

WSWS (2020-03-19). Pacific Islands nations threatened with disaster by coronavirus. wsws.org The recent measles outbreak in Samoa underscores that COVID-19 could be catastrophic for the indigenous populations of the Pacific.

Hatewatch Staff (2020-03-19). California Anti-Immigrant Activist Robin Hvidston Seeking State Assembly Seat. splcenter.org Robin Hvidston, a longtime anti-immigrant activist, is running as a Republican for a California Assembly seat in District 41.

Staff (2020-03-19). Trump's Deportation Machine Is Still Churning Despite Coronavirus Outbreak. truthout.org This story has been updated. | Federal deportation proceedings for incarcerated migrants and immigration defendants continue nationwide despite pleas from defense attorneys, human rights groups and some judges who fear that in-person court hearings and conditions of confinement inside immigration jails could facilitate the rapid spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. | The Trump administration's decision to continue pursuing deportation orders and immigration charges against jailed immi…

Vijay Prashad, Paola Estrada, Ana Maldonado, and Zoe PC (2020-03-19). IMF Refuses Aid to Venezuela in the Midst of the Coronavirus Crisis. counterpunch.org On March 16, 2020, the chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva wrote a blog post on the Fund's website; it represents the kind of generosity necessary in the midst of a global pandemic. "The IMF stands ready to mobilize its $1 trillion lending capacity to help our membership," she wrote. Countries with

Prof Michel Chossudovsky (2020-03-19). COVID-19 Coronavirus: The Crisis. globalresearch.ca Michel Chossudovsky discusses his new series of research articles on the "pandemic" including, " ***…

Daniel Raventós, Julie Wark (2020-03-19). Covid-19 and the Need, Right Now, For a Universal Basic Income. counterpunch.org Apart from the medical threat revealing a brutal class divide in healthcare, the coronavirus pandemic is creating social and economic havoc among non-rich populations. If ever the need for a universal basic income was evident, it is now. But governments, trying to save the neoliberal system, and making the most of the disaster to lay the foundations for a new round of disaster capitalism, won't see it. To give a couple of examples of this catastrophe profiteering, laissez-faire entrepreneur par excellence, Sir Richard Branson, wants a £7.5 billion government bailout for his airline, and Trump has proposed a…

Doug Johnson Hatlem (2020-03-19). In Loving and Proud Memory of My Friend Derek Soberal. counterpunch.org Derek Soberal, a friend I had lost touch with in recent years, was a proud Canadian whose most inward being recoiled against Canadian fascism. Derek committed suicide on Tuesday morning in awful, spectacular fashion. Emergency personnel received a call about a man covering himself with accelerant in front of the Esso station at Dundas and

Adam Hochschild (2020-03-19). When "Fake News" Was Banned: an America Trump Would Have Loved. counterpunch.org Every month, it seems, brings a new act in the Trump administration's war on the media. In January, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo exploded at National Public Radio reporter Mary Louise Kelly when he didn't like questions she asked — and then banned a colleague of hers from the plane on which he was leaving

The Canary (2020-03-19). Coronavirus: Scientists warn young people not to be complacent as deaths rise. thecanary.co The government's top scientific advisers have warned young people not to be complacent over Covid-19 as they urged the public to keep up social distancing measures to protect themselves.England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the vast majority of people in all age groups would recover but it was a mistake for young people who are healthy to think they would all just "breeze through" the pandemic.He spoke before latest figures revealed that a further 29 people who tested positive had died in England, taking the UK total to 137, and the Bank of England slashed interest rates to a new historic lo…

Eds. (2020-03-19). Crop-protecting insects could be turned into bioweapons, critics warn. mronline.org It sounds like science fiction: A research program funded by the U.S. government plans to create virus-carrying insects that, released in vast numbers, could help crops fight threats such as pests, drought, or pollution. |

Mark Gruenberg (2020-03-19). Trumka praises workers, slams Trump and profiteers on coronavirus pandemic. peoplesworld.org

John Wojcik (2020-03-19). Trump response to pandemic a failing of unimaginable proportions. peoplesworld.org Donald Trump's March 19 press conference on the coronavirus crisis sweeping the country provided the world with yet another display of his massive failure as a president. It was a rambling diatribe that gave the press almost no information about critical issues. Just one example of his failure had to do with the availability of …

Charles Pierson (2020-03-19). Under Capitalism, Every Plague Has a Silver Lining. counterpunch.org However grave the calamity, someone will see it as a way to make a buck. COVID-19, which the World Health Organization declared as a global pandemic on March 11, is no exception. Forget about human misery. The private sector and the Trump Administration see the coronavirus as an opportunity. Because under capitalism, every plague has

Mark Gruenberg (2020-03-19). UAW pressure, coronavirus illnesses force Detroit 3 car company shutdown. peoplesworld.org

David Rovics (2020-03-19). Unprecedented Precedents: What do Donald Trump, 1848, Clovid-19 and Winston Churchill have in common? dissidentvoice.org So much is changing so fast, by the time I publish this piece, it will likely sound very yesterday very soon. But particularly now, there seem to be some salient points worth making, and a few recent moments worth recounting. Over the past several weeks — which up until Sunday morning included a visit to …

Michael Biesecker, Michelle R. Smith (2020-03-19). Health inequality: The rich and famous get coronavirus tests first. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON (AP)—Celebrities, politicians, and professional athletes faced a backlash this week as many revealed that they had been tested for the coronavirus, even when they didn't have a fever or other tell-tale symptoms. That's fueling a perception that the wealthy and famous have been able to jump to the head of the line to get …

Jonathan Cook (2020-03-19). A Lesson Coronavirus is About to Teach the World. counterpunch.org If a disease can teach wisdom beyond our understanding of how precarious and precious life is, the coronavirus has offered two lessons. The first is that in a globalised world our lives are so intertwined that the idea of viewing ourselves as islands — whether as individuals, communities, nations, or a uniquely privileged species —

Al Neal (2020-03-19). Silent streets: Life halts, but not for all workers. peoplesworld.org This is the first installment of a two-part series featuring interviews with the workers in the service, health, and other sectors who are still going to their jobs each day during the coronavirus crisis—the ones keeping our society functioning. ST. LOUIS—The mood is uneasy. The streets are quiet and show their pain through the paint …

Ramzy Baroud (2020-03-19). 'Zionist' Biden in His Own Words: 'My Name is Joe Biden, and Everybody Knows I Love Israel'. counterpunch.org "I am a Zionist. You don't have to be a Jew to be a Zionist," current Democratic Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, said in April 2007, soon before he was chosen to be Barack Obama's running mate in the 2008 elections. Biden is, of course, correct, because Zionism is a political movement that is rooted in

Eliza Relman (2020-03-19). AOC calls for universal basic income and 'Medicare for all'. zcomm.org Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive lawmakers are calling for a significantly more robust federal-government response to the coronavirus than has so far been proposed by both Democrats and Republicans…

Ben Norton (2020-03-19). Brazil begs for Cuban doctors — after expelling them. zcomm.org Brazil's far-right government requested the return of thousands of Cuban doctors to help fight the coronavirus. Months ago, President Jair Bolsonaro smeared the doctors as "terrorists" and expelled them…

Staff (2020-03-19). Naomi Klein Makes the Case for Transformative Change Amid Coronavirus Pandemic. truthout.org Author, activist and journalist Naomi Klein says the coronavirus crisis, like earlier ones, could be a catalyst to shower aid on the wealthiest interests in society, including those most responsible for our current vulnerabilities, while offering next to nothing to most workers and small businesses. In 2007, Klein wrote The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Now she argues President Trump's plan is a pandemic shock doctrine. In a new video for The Intercept, where she is a senior…

teleSUR (2020-03-19). Covid-19 Updates: First Death in Peru, First NFL Case + More. telesurenglish.net Update 5: 30 AM: | More than 200 Argentines and Chileans trapped in Colombia by the coronavirus: Argentine and Chilean travelers are protesting at the El Dorado airport this Thursday in Bogotá (Colombia). More than 200 foreigners, between Argentines and Chileans, denounced this Thursday at Bogotá's El Dorado International Airport that they have been trapped for several days in the Colombian capital because their flights have been canceled due to the crisis by COVID-19. | Peru reports the first death in the country from the coronavirus: A 78-year-old man, who suffered from hypertension, became the first person t…

teleSUR (2020-03-19). Protests Against the "Bolsonaro Virus" Spread in Brazil. telesurenglish.net For the second day in a row, ultra-right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro was the subject of protests in several Brazilian cities, local media reported Wednesday. | RELATED: | The protests began in the country on Tuesday, after residents of some communities in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, from windows and balconies, shouted and pot-banging for Bolsonaro's resignation. | After the call went viral on Twitter, the protests rea…

WSWS (2020-03-19). Reject capitalist xenophobia! For international socialist solidarity in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic! wsws.org Seeking to draw attention from their own disastrous response to the pandemic, governments are attempting to direct the population's fears into xenophobia and national hatreds.

Fight Back (2020-03-19). Socialist countries response to pandemic shows stark contrast to capitalism. fightbacknews.org Minneapolis, MN – As the number of confirmed cases of the viral illness COVID-19 approaches 200,000 worldwide, we can already see how differently issues of public health and human needs are treated in socialist countries vs. capitalist countries. | COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, a major city in the People's Republic of China. Local officials took three to four weeks to recognize its significance. Once the threat was clear, the whole of the country and vast resources were mobilized. Everything was shut down to stop the virus in its tracks. People were quarantined at home as new hospitals were constructed, s…

Ramzy Baroud (2020-03-19). Death at the Border: Syrian Refugees Should Not Be Used as Political Pawns. mintpressnews.com Turkey's use of Syrian refugees as political pawns was one of the most tragic, heart-rendering episodes of the Syrian war and subsequent refugee crisis saga.

Andrew Korybko (2020-03-19). The Coronavirus: Crown Jewel of the New World Order or Crippling Blow to Globalization? globalresearch.ca There's no doubt that the coronavirus has completely changed life as everyone knows it, but many people are divided over whether this outbreak has become the crown jewel celebrating the commencement of the "New World Order" (NWO) or the long-awaited …

Eva Bartlett (2020-03-19). Video: Aleppo Man Imprisoned and Tortured by West's "Rebels" in Terrorist-Occupied Hospital Complex. globalresearch.ca Long, productive, rewarding, and also sad, day in Aleppo. The sad—tragic—part was meeting a man, Abdel Aziz, who was held in the terrorists' underground prison in the Eye/Children's Hospital complex, occupied by terrorist factions until liberation of eastern Aleppo areas …

Lawrence Wittner (2020-03-19). Trump's Budget Proposal Reveals His Values. counterpunch.org It is often said that government budgets are "an expression of values." Those values are clear in the Trump administration's $4.8 trillion budget proposal for 2021, unveiled early this February. The budget calls for deep cuts in major U.S. government programs, especially those protecting public health. The Department of Health and Human Services would be

WSWS (2020-03-19). IMF denies loan to Venezuela as it braces for COVID-19. wsws.org The loan request is only the latest appeal by the Maduro government for foreign finance and signal to world finance capital that it will defend profit interests.

John G. Russell (2020-03-19). Flake News, Bics, PINOcchios, and the War on Bernie Sanders. counterpunch.org Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! — Lewis Carroll Corporate media isn't doing itself any favors. Although constantly assaulted by Trump as Fake News, when it comes to its coverage of Bernie Sanders, Flake News is the more fitting term given the penchant of its pundits to blow

teleSUR (2020-03-19). Huge Meltdown in Greenland Raises Sea Level by 2.2mm. telesurenglish.net The Arctic lost 600 billion tons of ice last year, the warmest on record, causing global sea levels to rise, according to recent research. | RELATED: | A study of satellite data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shows that the loss of island ice on Greenland, the territory between the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, raises the overall sea level by 2.2 mm. | "This analysis explains the impa…

WSWS (2020-03-19). Canadian government's Coronavirus response: Tens of billions for business, a pittance for healthcare and workers. wsws.org While the Liberal government is handing the corporate elite virtually unlimited supplies of cash, it is placing working people and their families on rations amid a global pandemic.

Staff (2020-03-19). 17 Years Later: The Consequences of Invading Iraq. truthdig.com While the world is consumed with the terrifying coronavirus pandemic, on March 19 the Trump administration will be marking the 17th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq by ramping up the conflict there. After an Iran-aligned militia allegedly struck a U.S. base near Baghdad on March 11, the U.S. military carried out retaliatory strikes …

teleSUR (2020-03-19). Colombia: Senators Ask Duque for More Decision to Halt Covid-19. telesurenglish.net More than 60 Colombian lawmakers and senators Thursday asked President Ivan Duque to take more forceful measures in the face of the health emergency caused by the Covid-19. | RELATED: | They argued that while reconnecting water to thousands of homes is fine, Colombians need four things that the government is not doing. | Mandatory isolation is the most effective measure. However, for people to stay at home, the government mu…

Staff (2020-03-19). Economists Demand Trump Immediately Lift Iran, Cuba, Venezuela Sanctions. truthout.org A group of economists and policy experts on Wednesday

Tom Clifford (2020-03-19). Will China's Economy be Revived After the COVID-19 Pandemic? globalresearch.ca There are no signed documents. The agreement, or grand bargain, was not recorded in any physical form. But it shaped China, and through it the world. It was the cornerstone of Deng Xiaoping's post-Mao Zedong reforms. Stay out of politics, …

Marwan Salamah (2020-03-19). Crisis of Capitalism? Two Missing "Black Swan" Events. globalresearch.ca The present status quo of the world reflects neither calm nor confidence. It has become highly charged and the natural human hegemonic tendencies have kicked into high gear for the final battle between the 'uni' and 'multi-polarists'. | The world is …

Abayomi Azikiwe (2020-03-19). Moratorium on Water Shut-offs in Detroit Long Overdue. globalresearch.ca Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a halt to the ongoing water shut-offs in the state of Michigan in the midst of a global healthcare crisis spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic. | In Detroit the suspension of all terminations of water services …

Mark Taliano (2020-03-19). Coronavirus Shock Doctrine. globalresearch.ca Supranational polities, including the World Health Organization (WHO), have created the perception that the coronavirus is a significant global threat — despite evidence to the contrary. (1) | "National" governments have turned the perception into a "consensus", a "truth", and have …

Derrick Z. Jackson (2020-03-19). Coronavirus Pandemic: Science Sidelined in Trump Rose Garden Fiasco: "Double Collapse of Human and Economic Health, Shutdown of Normal Life" globalresearch.ca Having paved over the science on pandemics, the Trump administration puts up parking lots. Literally. | It wasn't enough that President Trump's Rose Garden declaration of a national coronavirus emergency on Friday disintegrated into a self-congratulatory monologue. It wasn't enough that …

Dr. Binoy Kampmark (2020-03-19). Viral Reactions: The Smugness of Celebrity Self-Isolation. globalresearch.ca The rush to elevate self-isolation to Olympian heights as a way to combat the spread of COVID-19 has gotten to the celebrities. Sports figures are proudly tweeting and taking pictures from hotel rooms (Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton being a …

Xinhua (2020-03-19). Collectivism by the Chinese People Played Indispensable Role in China's COVID-19 Fight. globalresearch.ca It is indeed a "people's war" against the epidemic, which demonstrates China's ability to mobilize huge resources and its sheer national strength while relying on its people to win. | *** | China has stabilized the COVID-19 epidemic situation in a short …

John Stanton (2020-03-19). US National Security Strategy Is Meant to Protect Wall Street, Congress, the White House, and the Pentagon. globalresearch.ca "Our fundamental responsibility is to protect the American people, the homeland, and the American way of life." National Security Strategy of the United States, 2017 (President Donald Trump) | "The United States government has no greater responsibility than …

Larry Romanoff (2020-03-19). COVID-19: All Truth Has Three Stages. globalresearch.ca First, it is ignored. | Second, it is widely ridiculed. | Third, it is accepted as self-evident. | With COVID-19, we have now entered Stage 2. At first, the media ignored the claims and the analysis that the virus could have originated in …

teleSUR (2020-03-19). Mexican Gov't Will Respect Contracts Prior to Energy Reform. telesurenglish.net Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), Mexico's President, said on Thursday that his government will respect all the contracts signed during the prior administration. | RELATED: | According to current Mexican mandatary, his administration offers guarantees for these transactions and a secure business environment for both private and public entrepreneurs. AMLO also announced "the end" of the state company "Mexican Petroleu…

teleSUR (2020-03-19). US and Israel Seek to Monopolize Arms Sales in Iraq. telesurenglish.net Iraq said on Wednesday that U.S. and Israeli arms companies are pressuring the country not to buy military equipment from other states, local media reported. | RELATED: | "Companies and businessmen from both countries want Iraq not to buy weapons from other developed countries," Badr al-Ziyadi, a member of the Security and Defense Committee of the Iraqi Parliament, said Wednesday. | According to al-Ziyadi, recently "a d…

teleSUR (2020-03-19). Bolivia: Senkata and Sencaba Events Under Investigation. telesurenglish.net Bolivian Legislative Commission announced on Thursday that they will investigate the Senkata and Sencaba events in the El Alto province that took place in November 2019. | RELATED: | According to Victor Broda, Movement to Socialism (MAS) party deputy and Special Mix Legislative Commission's president, the inquiring process would not be a simple data collection, but a determination on both intellectual and material…

teleSUR (2020-03-19). Covid-19 Updates: Iran: 18,407 People Infected, 1,284 Deaths. telesurenglish.net Update: 11: 00 | US: Florida's Hillsborough County Releases Minor Criminal Inmates | Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister Thursday announced that 164 minor, nonviolent criminal inmates will be released to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading in jails. | Chronister said that these prisoners do not pose a threat to society and that if they break the law they will be arrested again. | "These prisoners are at the lowest point of the public security risk scale and are simply in jail because they could not pay the bonds to be outside," he stressed. | So far, there have been no Covid-19 cases recorded in the c…

teleSUR (2020-03-19). Ecuador: Guayaquil Prevents Plane From Landing Due to COVID-19. telesurenglish.net Guayaquil authorities blocked the airstrip of the airport in this Ecuadorian city on Wednesday to prevent the arrival of a plane from Spain on the suspicion that it was carrying passengers infected with COVID-19. | RELATED: | The Airbus of Iberia, which had departed from Madrid with 11 passengers, intended to land on the runway of the José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport in Guayaquil; however, it was preve…

teleSUR (2020-03-19). Covid-19's Effects Put Argentina on the Verge of a Debt Default. telesurenglish.net Argentina's risk premium rose to 4,044 basis points on Wednesday amid the financial markets crisis prompted by the economic implications of the Covid-19 pandemic. In Buenos Aires, stock market activity decreased by more than 12 percent and the value of Argentine shares listed on Wall Street fell by almost 27 percent. | RELATED: | The combined effect of these events makes Argentina's public debt, which was already unsustai…

teleSUR (2020-03-19). Brazil: Sao Paulo Police Capture Nearly Half of Escaped Inmates. telesurenglish.net Brazilian Police captured more than 500 of the 1400 inmates who escaped from Sao Paulo's penitentiary institutions. | RELATED: | The massive escape occurred on March 16 in three prisons located in Managua, Mirandopolis, and Taubate. The inmates started fires, riots, and took guards as hostages after authorities announced several departures and visiting restrictions as a measure to prevent Covid-19 spreading in Brazilian territo…

teleSUR (2020-03-19). UK Cruise Ship with 5 COVID-19 Cases Starts Evacuating in Cuba. telesurenglish.net The almost 700 passengers on board the British cruise ship MS Braemar, RELATED: | During the disembarkation, dozens of passengers ass…

teleSUR (2020-03-19). The U.S. and Canada to Close Their Common Border Next Weekend. telesurenglish.net Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Thursday announced that the U.S.-Canadian border is likely to remain closed for non-essential travel beginning Friday night or Saturday morning. | RELATED: | This announcement was made despite the fact that both countries are still negotiating the details of the implementation of this measure that was initially raised this Wednesday. | Canada's medical director Theresa Tam not…

Staff (2020-03-19). Trump Calls the Coronavirus "Chinese" Despite Reports of Anti-Asian Hate Crimes. truthout.org "I would like to begin by announcing some important developments in our war against the Chinese virus. I will be invoking the Defense Production Act just in case we need it." That was the opening line of President Trump's news conference Wednesday afternoon. Later in the news conference, Trump was questioned by ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega on continuously referring to the coronavirus as the "Chinese virus." A member of the administration also reportedly referred to the coronavirus as the "kun…

WSWS (2020-03-19). Australian doctors condemn government response to COVID-19 "disaster" wsws.org Letters, signed by thousands of doctors, warn that a catastrophe "worse" than Italy's can only be averted by a lockdown and the urgent pouring of resources into hospitals.

Leonardo Flores (2020-03-19). "Maximum-pressure March": US hybrid war on Venezuela heats up. counterpunch.org The first quarter of 2020 has seen the Trump administration escalate its rhetoric against Venezuela. At the State of the Union, President Trump promised to "smash" and destroy the Venezuelan government. This was followed by a renewed threat of a naval blockade on the country, which is an act of war under U.S. and international

Staff (2020-03-19). Not Giving Up on Happiness: Care of the Self and Well-Being in a Plague Year. truthdig.com The specter of plague haunts our world, and it brings with it not only the ghouls of disease and death but vast economic and social uncertainty of a sort only the most elderly among us remembers (the Great Depression and World War II). My father is 90 and when I called him a child of …

Dr. Michael Pappas (2020-03-19). On the Front Lines of the Coronavirus Pandemic: A Doctor's View. counterpunch.org Coronavirus has officially hit the United States. Throughout the country, there have been anywhere between 1600 and 3600 confirmed cases and 41 deaths. This number is likely a gross underestimate of the actual number of cases, as the U.S. has only tested a small proportion of the population. Meanwhile, top health officials in Ohio estimate 100,000 people could have potentially already been

WSWS (2020-03-19). Working class in China bears brunt of Beijing's COVID-19 response. wsws.org The police state measures used by Beijing to curtail the COVID-19 outbreak make clear the necessity for the working class to take control of the response of the pandemic.

Staff (2020-03-19). Elections May Have to Change During the Coronavirus Outbreak. Here's How. truthdig.com As the novel coronavirus spreads through the U.S. during presidential primaries, election and government officials are scrambling to figure out how to allow voters to cast their ballots safely ‚Äï or postpone primaries altogether. Managing in-person voting during an unprecedented pandemic has forced authorities to overcome new virus-related hurdles: providing sufficient cleaning supplies to polling …

Boaventura de Sousa Santos (2020-03-19). Virus: all that is solid melts into air. zcomm.org What is the potential knowledge to be derived from the coronavirus pandemic?>

Sonali Kolhatkar (2020-03-19). Trump Uses Coronavirus to Spread Racism. truthdig.com There is nothing like a global pandemic to unleash the forces of racism in society. Trump is now routinely calling the novel coronavirus strain "the Chinese virus."

Geoff Dutton (2020-03-19). Business as Unusual: Notes on a Pandemic. counterpunch.org Even if no one you know catches it, you'll start to worry if you're not already flushed with paranoia. At first, everything seemed normal. It was hard to understand all the attention given to it when it was half way around the globe. We'll be ready for it when it comes, you thought. Wasn't Trump

WSWS (2020-03-19). Union calls off UK Royal Mail strike citing national interest during coronavirus pandemic. wsws.org The CWU has used the coronavirus crisis not only as a cover for a sellout it had already intended, but as an opportunity to prove its unswerving allegiance to Royal Mail and the British state.

WSWS (2020-03-19). Auto plants shut down throughout North America in response to wave of wildcats over coronavirus. wsws.org Thousands of autoworkers throughout the US Midwest downed their tools Wednesday morning, the latest in a worldwide wave of wildcat strikes against the continuation of non-essential production during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WSWS (2020-03-19). As world toll from COVID-19 pandemic passes 200,000, American hospitals at risk of being overrun. wsws.org A new analysis from Harvard University shows that cities across America will need up to nine times as many hospital beds as they currently have to treat victims of local coronavirus outbreaks.

WSWS (2020-03-19). As coronavirus pandemic grows, anger rises against German companies. wsws.org While the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced that the health risk posed by COVID-19 is "high", VW announced its production lines would operate until Friday.

Paul Engler (2020-03-19). Coronavirus is a historic trigger event — and it needs a movement to respond. zcomm.org Even in times of social distancing, building a collective, social response to the pandemic is our only salvation.

WSWS (2020-03-19). Ukrainian government uses coronavirus crisis to pass IMF-backed reforms. wsws.org Ukraine's ruling class is exploiting the devastating pandemic to escalate its attacks on the working class.

The Canary (2020-03-19). China reports no new Covid-19 cases in Wuhan and Hubei province. thecanary.co China has recorded no new cases of Covid-19 in Wuhan or in the surrounding Hubei province, officials said. | Wuhan had previously reported thousands of new cases of coronavirus infection daily, overwhelming its health care system. | The country's health ministry said early on 19 March that results over the past 24 hours showed 34 new cases, all detected in people arriving from abroad. | Eight new deaths were reported, all in Wuhan. | Of those new cases of infection, 21 were in Beijing, nine in the southern manufacturing centre Guangdong, two in Shanghai and one each in coastal Zhejiang and Heilongjing in the far…

Staff (2020-03-19). US Drone Assassinations Continue Despite German Effort to Restrict Them. truthout.org Berlin— A year after a German court The lawsuit, filed by Yemeni engineer Faisal bin Ali Jaber over the killing of two family members, alleges that the German government intentionally…

Sarah Lazare (2020-03-19). The Workers Our Coronavirus Debate Is Leaving Out. zcomm.org The media and the Democratic Party establishment's singular focus on paid sick leave leaves out millions of contract and informal workers. We need to think much bigger…

Staff (2020-03-19). These Are the 51 GOP Senators Who Just Voted Against Expanding Paid Sick Leave to Protect Americans. truthdig.com Republican senators on Wednesday teamed up to kill an amendment introduced by Democratic Sen. Patty Murray that would have expanded paid sick leave to millions of U.S. workers left out of a bipartisan coronavirus relief package. Every Republican present for the vote, 51 in total, voted against the amendment while every Senate Democrat voted in favor. …

WSWS (2020-03-19). Australian teachers defy union and vote for immediate school closures over coronavirus. wsws.org The stance taken by the Footscray teachers should be followed at schools across Australia and internationally.

John Feffer (2020-03-19). What the Coronavirus Says about Us. zcomm.org Trump's message to governors on lifesaving medical equipment — "get it yourselves" — is grimly appropriate in a country without national health care…

Staff (2020-03-19). Biden Silent on Plan That Could Make Coronavirus Vaccine Affordable. truthout.org This article was produced by The pharmaceutical lobby scored a major win earlier this month when it stopped House Democrats from adding language to the emergency coronavirus funding bill that would have pre…

George Ochenski (2020-03-19). Coronavirus Exposes Stunning Presidential Leadership Vacuum. counterpunch.org This is what happens when you put an untrustworthy reality TV show actor in charge of the United States government facing a crisis of unparalleled impact upon the citizenry, the economy and life as we know it. Donald Trump, who has built his reign of error on partisan division, stoking hatred and spewing endless lies,

Ben Chacko (2020-03-19). Trade unions leading fight to protect workers from coronavirus around the world. peoplesworld.org

WSWS (2020-03-19). Hungarian government uses coronavirus epidemic to promote racism. wsws.org As throughout Europe, the coronavirus is spreading rapidly in Hungary.

Staff (2020-03-19). If Social Distancing Is Impossible in Prisons, People Should Be Freed. truthout.org In early March, Michelle Tran drove 1,500 miles from her home in Wichita, Kansas, to visit her husband Thai at California's Avenal State Prison. | It's a trek that Tran makes every 45 to 60 days. She typically spends a week in California so that she can visit her husband for two weekends. During the week, she visits family in Fresno and drives to Los Angeles to check on Thai's mother, who is battling Stage IV cancer. | That first weekend, the couple sat at the small round tables in the prison's visit…

Peter Bolton (2020-03-19). How corporate money gave Biden an unfair advantage over Sanders from day one. thecanary.co Former vice president Joe Biden More victories for Biden followin…

RT (2020-03-19). For the 1st time since outbreak, China reports NO NEW LOCAL COVID-19 CASES. rt.com Mainland China has had no new local coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours — the first time since the outbreak began in December. Beijing is still struggling to contain imported cases of the disease. | Notably, the purported epicenter of the epidemic — Wuhan, in Hubei province — recorded no new locally-transmitted infections. The same was true across China, according to reports, citing the Chinese government. | Health authorities reported 34 new cases on Thursday, but said that all involved people who had come to China from abroad. Twenty-one of the imported infections were in Beijing, m…

RT (2020-03-19). Convoy of Italian army trucks haul away corpses as local crematorium flooded with coronavirus dead (VIDEO). rt.com The Italian military has been called in to help transport dead bodies as the northern city of Bergamo reels from the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. The city's crematorium is reportedly now working around-the-clock. | The head of Lega Nord, Matteo Salvini, posted a photograph on Twitter showing a seemingly endless line of army trucks moving their way through the Italian town, located in the Lombardy region. | L'Esercito porta le bare fuori da Bergamo, per la cremazione fuori dalla Lombardia, una terra messa a prova durissima, che lotta senza tregua contro il male. | àà un'immagine straziante, che colpisce…

RT (2020-03-19). Amazon squeezing workers amid Covid-19 crisis is 'unacceptable' — French finance minister. rt.com French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Amazon's refusal to pay wages of staff who walk out over coronavirus fears is "unacceptable" as the country is considering nationalization of bigger companies at risk. | "These pressures are unacceptable, we'll let Amazon know," Le Maire said after several hundred workers protested the company's policy on Wednesday. The e-commerce giant refused to pay workers who walked out or stayed at home in self-isolation over coronavirus fears. | www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=28218476… | Le Maire said Thursday that he would…

RT (2020-03-19). What about ending endless wars? Tulsi Gabbard drops out of presidential race and backs …Biden. rt.com Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has suspended her presidential campaign and endorsed Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, citing the establishment favorite's primary victories and the coronavirus as her reasons. | Gabbard made the surprise announcement on Thursday in a video posted to her Twitter account, explaining she was dropping out to focus on dealing with the coronavirus epidemic in Hawaii and potentially serving in her National Guard capacity should she be called to action. | The endorsement of Biden came as a particular surprise, given Gabbard's opposition to "regime change wars," a central plank of he…

RT (2020-03-19). Tulsi Gabbard suspends presidential campaign, endorses Biden. rt.com Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has suspended her presidential campaign and endorsed Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, citing the establishment favorite's primary victories and the coronavirus as her reasons. | Gabbard made the surprise announcement on Thursday in a video posted to her Twitter account, explaining she was dropping out to focus on dealing with the coronavirus epidemic in Hawaii and potentially serving in her National Guard capacity should she be called to action. | The endorsement of Biden came as a particular surprise, given Gabbard's opposition to "regime change wars," a central plank of he…

RT (2020-03-19). European stocks mostly down despite promise of huge stimulus by central bank. rt.com Markets in Europe opened higher on Thursday, but have since retreated. This is despite the ‚Ǩ750 billion ($821 billion) bond-buying program by the European Central Bank to help the region's economy through the Covid-19 crisis. | Stock markets in London and Frankfurt opened over one percent higher, before retreating into negative territory. French stocks were up over three percent in early trade, before giving up most of the gains. | On Wednesday, the regulator announced the new 'Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program' which will use the funds to purchase securities in order to help support the E…

RT (2020-03-19). Small gains for stocks after drastic plunge, but Bank of America declares recession. rt.com US stocks closed with moderate gains after a rollercoaster week. However, the Covid-19 coronavirus has continued to hammer investor confidence, and Bank of America smells a recession. | The Dow Jones gained 0.96 percent on Thursday, closing at just over 20,000 points. The NASDAQ Composite closed up 2.3 percent, while the S&P 500 finished up 0.47 percent. | These gains, however, could partly be driven by speculation. According to regulatory filings, billionaire investors like Warren Buffet and Carlos Slim have all spent hundreds of millions of dollars snapping up cheap stocks lately, a move that could have insp…

RT (2020-03-19). 'Inhumane & reckless': Twitter silences Venezuela's anti-coronavirus chief as IMF denies emergency loan. rt.com Amid crushing US sanctions and IMF rejection already making Venezuela's struggle with Covid-19 difficult, Twitter now seems to have hobbled the country's vice-president and head of coronavirus response, Delcy Rodriguez. | Both the personal and the official Twitter account belonging to Rodriguez were "temporarily restricted" on Thursday over "unusual activity," with old tweets still visible to those who choose to view them, but no new tweets available after Wednesday. | Foreign Minister Jorge

RT (2020-03-19). Iran oil: US slaps sanctions on 5 UAE-based companies. rt.com Washington on Thursday imposed sanctions on five United Arab Emirates-based companies, accusing them of having collectively purchased in 2019 hundreds of thousands of metric tons of petroleum products from Iran. | The US Treasury Department said the blacklisted companies — Petro Grand, Alphabet International DMCC, Swissol Trade, Alam Althrwa General Trading and Alwaneo — purchased the petroleum products in 2019 from the National Iranian Oil Company for delivery to the UAE. | The announcement followed the blacklisting of Chinese and South African companies earlier this week over Iran oil trade. | The…

RT (2020-03-19). Coronavirus sends British forces home from Iraq. rt.com Britain has pulled some of its forces home from a training mission in Iraq, due to a slowdown in operations as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The illness has forced the British military to reassess its priorities. | An unspecified number of the 400 or so British troops will be pulled from Iraq and sent home to "support loved ones facing the challenges of the virus," the Ministry of Defence announced on Thursday. Some "key military personnel" will be left behind, the MoD added. | The troops were deployed to Iraq in 2014 to train Kurdish forces battling Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) militants, but Defenc…

RT (2020-03-19). Current economic disaster is like three neutron bombs dropped on us, market analyst tells Boom Bust. rt.com The US Federal Reserve has been attempting to stop investor panic with its emergency actions, but those moves are like firing "a water gun" when we need "a bazooka," Tobin Smith, CEO of Transformity Research, believes. | Speaking to RT's Boom Bust, the analyst said that the real problem is in the US debt market, as there is four times as much debt than there was in 2008-2009. | "This is as a financial disaster, as a health disaster as an economic disaster — is like we got three neutron bombs dropped on us," Smith warned. "First we obviously have the coronavirus and the pandemic, then we've got the oil pan…

RT (2020-03-19). Stay near home & no cycling: France tightens Covid-19 lockdown restrictions to 'max 2km from home'. rt.com France has dramatically tightened restrictions on movement amid its coronavirus lockdown, warning citizens that they should limit their travel to within one kilometer of their homes — and a maximum of two kilometers. | The country went into a 15-day lockdown over the Covid-19 outbreak at noon on Tuesday, and a list of acceptable reasons for travel was published by the government. Those reasons include shopping for basic necessities, seeking medical treatment, helping a neighbor or relative, and walking the dog. Getting exercise was also seen as a legitimate reason — provided that it was done alone.

RT (2020-03-19). 'No exceptions': Philippines to ban entry of foreigners over coronavirus. rt.com The Philippines is stopping the issuance of visas to foreigners, banning all nationalities from entering the country to halt the spread of coronavirus, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin said on Thursday. | Locsin signed an order stopping the issuance of visas domestically and in all foreign posts, he tweeted, without giving a timeframe for the measures. | "This goes one imperative step forward: a total ban on incoming foreign visitors of all nationalities no exceptions," Locsin said, adding that outgoing foreign visitors will be allowed to leave. | The Philippines has recorded 217 coronavirus infections…

RT (2020-03-19). Trump says oil price war 'devastating' for Russia — but it's Saudis & US shale that stand to suffer most. rt.com Plummeting oil prices have sparked another round of predictions about the economic collapse of Russia — this time from US President Donald Trump, who sounded a lot like his predecessor Barack Obama on the subject. | The price of crude oil has crashed to $20 this week, due to a one-two punch of Saudi Arabia flooding the market with record output and a sharp drop in global demand owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Asked about it during a press conference about the pandemic on Thursday, Trump described the price war as "very bad" for Saudi Arabia and "devastating" to Russia, but helpful in a way to American…

RT (2020-03-19). Going down? 2nd coronavirus case confirmed aboard US Navy warship despite 'aggressive mitigation strategy'. rt.com The USS Boxer is now the first ship in the US Navy with more than one sailor infected with Covid-19. A new case was confirmed on Wednesday. | The first positive test for the disease was recorded among the amphibious assault ship's crew on Friday. | The second infected seaman wasn't in contact with the first one, the Navy said, adding that "the Sailors work in two different departments." | The two sailors are currently isolated at their homes in accordance with protocol. People who came into contact with them have also been quarantined. | The commanders of the ship, which is now stationed in San Diego, Califor…

RT (2020-03-19). NATO 'scales down' exercises, drawdown of US-led force in Afghanistan continues. rt.com NATO is scaling down military exercises in Europe to curb the spread of the coronavirus, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said. However, alliance missions are continuing, including the drawdown of the US-led force in Afghanistan following a peace agreement last month, he added. | "Some of our exercises have been modified or cancelled… but our forces remain ready," Stoltenberg told a video news conference on Thursday. | The US Army has already announced a halt to movement of military personnel from the US to Europe and said it plans to scale down its Defender Europe 20 exercises, billed as NATO's b…

RT (2020-03-19). Kabul orders Afghan forces to switch to 'active defense' as Taliban attacks continue. rt.com The government in Kabul said on Thursday it has ordered Afghanistan's forces to switch to an "active defense posture" as the Taliban continued to attack even after the militants signed a deal with the US. "The Taliban continued high level of violence despite the peace agreement," acting Defense Minister Asadullah Kalid said in a video statement. | "An active defense posture will reduce the restrictions on Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and it will allow them to carry out operations against the Taliban plotting attacks against ANDSF," he said. Afghan government forces had previously been able to fi…

RT (2020-03-19). 'America's two-party oligarchy can't relate to those in need': Lee Camp says US coronavirus failure goes beyond just Trump. rt.com As the US teeters on the edge of abyss amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the crisis has revealed systemic flaws brought by years of two-party plutocracy that go beyond a single president, says Lee Camp, host of RT's Redacted Tonight. | While President Donald Trump bears a good portion of the blame for the sluggish US response to Covid-19, he is only one piece of a larger puzzle. America's structural defects long predate Trump's time in office, the comedian argued. | "The fact that so many millions of Americans don't have paid sick leave, or hardly make minimum wage and therefore can't afford an emergency — that…

RT (2020-03-19). Elon Musk's coronavirus PR stunt goes awry after promising to manufacture ventilators, but only 'if' there are shortages. rt.com Elon Musk found himself bombarded with internet rage, after promising to pump out ventilators to treat Covid-19 patients — but only if hospitals needed them. People found this to be a rather ignorant thing to say. | The digital fracas began after Musk signaled that he could use Tesla and SpaceX's production capabilities to make medical equipment to aid those suffering from the global pandemic. The offer, however, came with a condition: Are there hospitals that currently lack enough ventilators to treat the respiratory illness? | Tesla makes cars with sophisticated hvac systems. SpaceX makes spacecraft wi…

RT (2020-03-19). 'Leave hospital beds for coronavirus patients!' Baltimore mayor kindly asks residents to stop shooting each other. rt.com Baltimore's mayor has called on the city's inhabitants to refrain from killing one another for the time being, asking them not to "clog up" hospital beds as the coronavirus pandemic spreads far and wide across the country. | "I want to reiterate how completely unacceptable the level of violence is that we have seen recently," Mayor Jack Young said at a

RT (2020-03-19). 'Soul-destroying': UK foodbank broken into and 'ransacked' as Covid-19 outbreak provokes panic over supplies. rt.com A foodbank in West Yorkshire, England has been broken into and £500-worth of items such as food, sanitary products and basic supplies stolen, as the febrile atmosphere in the UK cranks up amid the coronavirus pandemic. | Local Labour MP Yvette Cooper took to social media on Thursday afternoon to express her dismay at the brazen criminality committed against Knottingley Foodbank, tweeting: "Truly appalled anyone could do this right now." | | Truly ap…

RT (2020-03-19). Worldwide coronavirus deaths surpass 9,000 — AFP. rt.com The global death toll from Covid-19 has reached at least 9,000, according to an AFP tally. The benchmark comes a day after fatalities in Europe surpassed those in Asia. | Multiple sources have estimated that the number of worldwide infections reached around 220,000 by Thursday. | China, the reported epicenter of the outbreak, reported no new local infections for the first time since the pandemic began more than two months ago. The hopeful news contrasts sharply with the growing health crisis in Europe. Italy, the hardest-hit nation outside China, reported a record 475 deaths yesterday from the illness. | As Ch…

RT (2020-03-19). Coronavirus isn't stopping trade between Russia & China. rt.com While the coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc on global trade, cargo volume between Russia and its biggest trading partner, China, is growing, according to the Russian consul general in Harbin, Vladimir Oschepkov. | "According to our estimates, the volume of cargo transportation between our countries is gradually increasing," the diplomat told RIA Novosti. | More than 300 trucks and up to 35 trains cross the border in both directions every day. Russian carriers mainly transport wood, soy, coal, ore, and fertilizers, which are in demand in China due to the beginning of seasonal field work. | Also on rt.com

RT (2020-03-19). Hungary to deploy military task forces to 140 state companies during pandemic. rt.com Hungary will deploy military personnel to monitor the operations of 140 state companies providing critical services during the coronavirus pandemic, Defense Minister Tibor Benko has said. | The newly created task forces, consisting of several soldiers, police officers, and disaster unit workers, will provide regular briefings on the companies to the Defense Ministry, Benko told public television late on Wednesday. | PM Viktor Orban's government declared a state of national crisis last week due to the spread of the virus. According to official figures, 73 people have contracted the coronavirus in Hungary. One p…

RT (2020-03-19). India's Modi asks citizens to impose 'self-curfew' on March 22 to curb spread of virus. rt.com The Indian prime minister on Thursday appealed to citizens to observe a self-curfew on March 22 as part of a trial-run to test social isolation to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. | In his address to the nation, Narendra Modi said the growing challenge posed by the coronavirus was not normal, and urged everyone to practice social distancing, Reuters reports. | "These are testing times but we all have to maintain discipline to prevent spread of the virus," he said. The PM added that the pandemic has severely affected the Indian economy.

RT (2020-03-19). Saudi Arabia limits worship at Mecca & Medina mosques, risking tighter crowds amid coronavirus pandemic. rt.com Muslims unable to enter the holy mosques of Mecca and Medina will no longer be allowed to pray in the overflow areas outside their walls, the Saudi government decided ahead of Friday prayers in a bid to contain Covid-19 spread. | The Mecca and Medina mosques are the only two worship sites still open for prayers in Saudi Arabia. The move to restrict worship there as well comes as the desert kingdom attempts to slow the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. | Congregational and Friday prayers have been suspended at every single other mosque in Saudi Arabia, an unprecedented move for the devout country. | Also on r…

RT (2020-03-19). First coronavirus patient dies in Russia: Elderly woman with underlying medical conditions. rt.com A 79-year-old woman, with numerous underlying health conditions, who was diagnosed with Covid-19 has died in an infectious disease hospital in Moscow, the agency for monitoring the situation with the disease reports. | The cause of death was pneumonia against the background of other very severe health problems, including type 2 diabetes, arterial hypertension, coronary heart disease, and arteriosclerosis among other things. | According to Moscow daily Moskovsky Komsomolets her name was Valentina Zubareva, a professor who lectured at the Gubkin Oil and Gas University in the Russian capital. She was still delive…

RT (2020-03-19). Russian woman to FACE COURT for allegedly spreading coronavirus FAKE NEWS. rt.com With most of Europe and Asia presently under some form of emergency measures to fight the spread of Covid-19, now is probably not the best time to scare people even more. | A woman in Russia's Far East is set to appear before a court on charges of spreading false information about coronavirus in her remote region. The Amur Oblast where she resides has yet to report a case of the disease, despite bordering China, the original epicenter. | Also on rt.com | | On the o…

RT (2020-03-19). Praying to prevent coronavirus! Moscow monastery introduces nightly processions to fight Covid-19. rt.com While ordinary folk have been told to wash their hands, self-isolate, and keep social distance to fight infection, members of a Moscow religious order have opted for their own solution — nightly processions on the streets. | As first reported by news service Interfax, monks from Moscow's Vysoko-Petrovsky Monastery have opted to circle their abode to battle coronavirus. The first procession, which occurred yesterday after the evening service, will become a nightly ritual, presumably until the virus is defeated. The abbot of the monastery, Hegumen Peter Eremeev, explained the logic on his Instagram page.

RT (2020-03-19). Vague emergency legislation gives UK police & 'public health officers' powers to DETAIN suspected Covid-19 sufferers. rt.com The British government is giving police, public health and immigration officers authority to detain those suspected of having coronavirus under a new emergency bill, but it's not clear exactly how the new powers will be exercised. | The proposed powers were outlined in a 329-page emergency bill on Thursday and come as the UK implements more draconian measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. | In explanatory

RT (2020-03-19). Chill, Netflix to cut European traffic after EU said it overloads internet during Covid-19 quarantine. rt.com Movie and TV streaming service Netflix says it will cut its bit rates across Europe by a quarter to ease the internet burden as coronavirus quarantines have forced millions of people to stay home all day. | Many more people than usual are now working from home, thanks to virus-limiting restrictions and lockdowns, while the mass closure of schools and colleges also means more pressure on internet providers from younger service users. | Netflix's move comes after the EU's Internal Markets Commissioner Thierry Breton urged the service to help address the additional strain on internet services. | "To secure Intern…

RT (2020-03-19). Man claiming to be infected with Covid-19 ARRESTED after deliberately coughing at shop staff in England. rt.com A 57-year-old man claiming to be infected with coronavirus has been arrested for assault after deliberately coughing on staff in a shop in England. Eyewitnesses claim the man laughed through the whole ordeal. | Staff suspected the man might be shoplifting and when they confronted him, he reportedly began deliberately coughing at them. The alleged assault took place on High Street in Dudley, near Birmingham, on Wednesday afternoon. | According to eyewitnesses, the man laughed throughout the incident — in between coughs. | "It's understood he coughed on staff who suspected he was shoplifting, and claimed…

RT (2020-03-19). One Iranian dies of coronavirus every 10 minutes, 50 get infected every hour — health ministry. rt.com Iranian authorities have provided shocking statistics showing the massive scale of the local Covid-19 outbreak. The country remains the worst-affected in the Middle East, with 1,284 coronavirus deaths already. | "Based on our information, every 10 minutes one person dies from the coronavirus and some 50 people become infected with the virus every hour in Iran," Kianush Jahanpur, the health ministry spokesman, The death toll from the disease in Iran has reached 1,284 people, with 149 deaths comi…

RT (2020-03-19). DIY disaster: CDC tells nurses to use 'use bandanas and scarves' as face mask shortage hits US. rt.com The US Centers for Disease Control has advised nurses and frontline healthcare workers to use bandanas and scarves as makeshift masks when caring for Covid-19 patients "as a last resort" should hospitals reach "crisis capacity." | The updated

RT (2020-03-19). New Delhi to impose 1-week ban on commercial flight landings in India as it cracks down on coronavirus. rt.com India's government has announced a temporary halt to all commercial flight arrivals, as part of a series of measures being put in place to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country. | The Press Information Bureau issued a bulletin on Thursday outlining a series of new policies aimed at combating Covid-19. Passenger aircraft will be barred from landing in India for one week, starting on March 22, the press release said. Discounted railway travel and civil aviation will be suspended except for students, patients and people with disabilities. | Additionally, citizens above the age of 65, and children below…

RT (2020-03-19). 'Infinitely frightening': Juventus ace Rugani's girlfriend reveals pregnancy after couple infected with coronavirus. rt.com Juventus defender Daniele Rugani's girlfriend Michela Persico has revealed fears over her pregnancy after the couple were both infected with Covid-19. | Persico announced she is four months pregnant and expressed hope that the dangerous infection wouldn't affect their unborn baby. | Italy international Rugani was the first Serie A player to test positive for the coronavirus, pl…

RT (2020-03-19). Italy's coronavirus toll OVERTAKES China, total cases in Europe pass 100,000. rt.com Health officials in Italy have confirmed a further 427 deaths from Covid-19, pushing the country's overall death toll to 3,405. The figure overtakes the number of total deaths in China from the outbreak. | According to a tally compiled by the AFP, the overall number of cases across Europe has now risen over 100,000. | The latest deaths in Italy are a slight decrease on the previous 24-hour period, in which a record 475 people died in one day from the rapidly-spreading virus. | The outbreak was first recorded in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, and has since spread around the world at an alarming rate, i…

RT (2020-03-19). 108 new deaths in France, as coronavirus lockdown tightens. rt.com French authorities reported 108 new deaths from the Covid-19 coronavirus, a 41 percent increase that brings the total dead in France to 372. The spike in fatalities comes as France enters a third day of total lockdown, with only essential movement permitted. | In addition to the swift rise in deaths, reported cases of the deadly virus hit 10,995 on Thursday, up from 9,134 the day before. More than 1,000 of these patients require life support. | Though France has not yet seen the number of cases that have cropped up in Italy, Spain or Germany, authorities there imposed a mandatory 15-day quarantine on Tuesday.

RT (2020-03-19). US stocks in for another wild ride on Wall Street as coronavirus rages on. rt.com US markets are swinging wildly on Thursday after plunging 30 percent from their peak. The failure by Western countries to contain the Covid-19 outbreak is bringing global business to a halt and causing panic among investors. | The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down over three percent before recovering earlier losses. The S&P 500 is also in positive territory after losing three percent at the start of trading. The Nasdaq Composite tech index started one and a half percent lower, but is now up. | Despite opening higher earlier in the day, markets in Europe are also slipping. The British FTSE and German DAX…

RT (2020-03-19). DIY disaster: CDC tells nurses to 'use bandanas and scarves' as face mask shortage hits US. rt.com The US Centers for Disease Control has advised nurses and frontline healthcare workers to use bandanas and scarves as makeshift masks when caring for Covid-19 patients "as a last resort" should hospitals reach "crisis capacity." | The updated

RT (2020-03-19). Global corporate losses from coronavirus to top $12 TRILLION — investor Ray Dalio. rt.com The economic damage from the Covid-19 outbreak will be unprecedented, according to the head of one of the world's largest hedge funds Ray Dalio, who says global corporate losses from the epidemic will amount to $12 trillion. | "What's happening has not happened in our lifetime before … What we have is a crisis," Dalio told CNBC. "There will also be individuals who have very big losses… There's a need for the government to spend more money, a lot more money… A lot of people are going to be broke." Talking about US corporations he said they will lose as much as $4 trillion. | The founder of Bridgewater Ass…

RT (2020-03-19). Tokyo governor says it's too early to discuss timing of decision on Olympics. rt.com Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said on Thursday that beating the coronavirus is essential to host a safe and secure Olympics. However, she added that it is still too early to discuss the timing of a decision on whether the Games should go ahead as scheduled, Reuters reports. | The breadth and scale of the spreading coronavirus around the world have forced the cancellation of numerous sporting events, raising concerns about whether the Olympics will be able to open on July 24 as planned. | Koike said that she's currently not thinking about canceling the Olympics or holding them without spectators, two options that…

RT (2020-03-19). Tokyo 2020 Games organizers receive Olympic flame in scaled-down ceremony in Athens. rt.com Tokyo 2020 organizers received the Olympic flame in a scaled-down handover ceremony in the Greek capital on Thursday, amid the coronavirus spread that has cast doubt on the global event. | In a brief ceremony closed to spectators in Athens' Panathenaic Stadium, the site of the first modern Games in 1896, the torch was received by Tokyo Games representative Naoko Imoto. | It will arrive in Japan on Friday and kick off a domestic relay on March 26, with the Games set to take place from July 24-August 9. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government have insisted the Games will go ahead, R…

RT (2020-03-19). Israel's Supreme Court hears challenge to coronavirus cellphone monitoring. rt.com Civil liberties activists asked Israel's Supreme Court on Thursday to suspend cellphone monitoring put in place under emergency regulations to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Surveillance began this week after the government approved special orders that circumvented customary parliamentary oversight and enabled the Shin Bet counter-terrorism agency to tap into cellular location data, Reuters reported. | The Association of Civil Rights in Israel, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights – and the Joint List of Arab parties petitioned the court to freeze the monitoring. "The government canno…

RT (2020-03-19). French govt ready to extend lockdown if necessary, interior minister says. rt.com France's 15-day lockdown ordered by President Emmanuel Macron to curb the coronavirus epidemic could be extended if necessary, according to Interior Minister Christophe Castaner. | "The 15-day period may be extended. If necessary, the government will re-conduct it," Castaner told Europe 1 radio station on Thursday. | Since Wednesday morning, the police deployed to enforce the lockdown have carried out 70,000 controls and handed out 4,095 tickets to those flouting the lockdown, Reuters quoted Castaner as saying. | The minister said earlier that 100,000 police would be deployed to enforce the lockdown, and check…

RT (2020-03-19). Gone-zalo! Juventus star Gonzalo Higuain 'breaks Italian quarantine' to return home to Argentina. rt.com Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain has reportedly escaped Italy's nationwide lockdown to return to his homeland Argentina to visit his seriously ill mother. | The player managed to break the quarantine, obligatory for the entire Juventus squad after two teammates tested positive for coronavirus. | All the players and staff members have been ordered to stay i…

RT (2020-03-19). Italy to extend nationwide lockdown amid biggest 1-day spike in coronavirus deaths. rt.com Italy will prolong non-essential travel and business restrictions across the country, as the European nation suffered its largest single-day surge in coronavirus deaths since the start of the outbreak. | Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Thursday that the lockdown, which began on March 9, would be extended into April. The extreme measures were initially set to end on April 3. | Conte told Italian paper Il Corrier della Sera that while he couldn't say when the measures would be lifted, it was only "obvious" that they would continue into the foreseeable future. | "The measures we have taken — whether that…

RT (2020-03-19). India locks down Kashmir as it reports 1st case of coronavirus, Sri Lanka postpones election. rt.com India blocked roads in Kashmir on Thursday after the insurgency-torn region reported its first case of coronavirus. The development comes as several other parts of the country imposed restrictions on public gatherings in attempts to prevent the spread of epidemic. | Dozens of people in Kashmir told Reuters they had been prevented from leaving their neighborhoods on Thursday because roads were blocked by police and paramilitary units. | Srinagar's senior superintendent of police Haseeb Mughal said that road blockades across the valley had been imposed to prevent the spread of the virus. | Elsewhere in densely-p…

RT (2020-03-19). Texas court stays second execution in a week 'because of coronavirus'. rt.com A Texas appeals court has issued a 60-day stay of execution for convicted murderer Tracy Beatty, citing the "enormous resources" needed to deal with the coronavirus crisis – its second such decision this week. | The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals pressed pause on Beatty's execution on Thursday, explaining in its decision that "the current health crisis and the enormous resources needed to address that emergency" necessitated waiting 60 days before setting a new date. Beatty was convicted and sentenced to death 15 years ago for killing his mother and burying her in his backyard, and was due to be executed next…

Sputnik News (2020-03-19). US Aims to 'Maximize Suffering' With Iran Sanctions as Outbreak Deepens — Scholar. iranian.com On Tuesday, the US added even more sanctions on Iran, which is in the midst of a severe COVID-19 outbreak. US sanctions were already killing the sick in Iran even before the pandemic, but one Iranian scholar told Sputnik the bigger problem is regional poverty, which is also largely Washington's doing. US Secretary of State …

Golnaz Esfandiari (2020-03-19). Vulnerable Vets: Coronavirus Threatens Iran's Chemical-Weapons Victims. iranian.com As the deadly coronavirus continues to bedevil Iran, there is growing concern about the danger it poses to tens of thousands of victims of chemical weapons who suffer from respiratory problems and lung diseases. An estimated 100,000 Iranians survived chemical-weapons attacks by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, and many are disabled …