National and International News Updates
January 25, 2020
Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as virus spreads
The virus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan is banning most vehicles from downtown, and Hong Kong is closing schools for two weeks as authorities try to stem the spread of an illness that has infected more than 1,200 people and killed 41. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam declared an emergency Saturday and said flights and trains from Wuhan would be blocked. The outbreak began in the city in central China and has spread around the country and overseas. The number of confirmed cases in China has jumped to more than 1,200. Australia and Malaysia reported their first cases Saturday and Japan confirmed its third.
Death toll stands at 22 in Turkish earthquake; 1,000 hurt
Officials say the death toll from a strong earthquake that rocked eastern Turkey has climbed to 22, with more than 1,000 people injured. Speaking near the epicenter of the quake on Saturday, the interior minister said 39 people have been rescued from the rubble of collapsed buildings, including a woman recovered 14 hours after the main tremor. Rescue workers are continuing to search for people buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings in Elazig province and neighboring Malatya, the health minister said earlier. The quake hit Friday shortly before 9 p.m.
‘This is huge’: Locust swarms destroy crops in East Africa
As millions of desert locusts descend on Kenya, farmers flail their arms and shout, bang pots and pans, and even swing shovels and blankets to try to stop the insects from destroying their crops. But they are making little difference amid the country’s worst outbreak of the bugs in 70 years. The locusts have swarmed in from Somalia and Ethiopia and threaten an already vulnerable region with devastating hunger. The numbers of the rapidly breeding pests could grow 500 times before drier weather begins in June to curb their population. Farmers are afraid to let their cattle out for grazing, and their crops of millet, sorghum and maize are at risk.
Dems say oust Trump or he’ll betray again; ‘He is who he is’
Democratic prosecutors are warning as they close out their case in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial that he will persist in abusing his power unless Congress intervenes to remove him from office. Rep. Adam Schiff has wrapped up the presentation by urging Republican senators to “Give America a fair trial” by allowing new testimony before rendering a final verdict. The arguments appear to have done nothing to shake Republicans’ support for Trump or persuade enough centrist GOP lawmakers to call for new witnesses, including former national security adviser John Bolton. The president’s legal team is preparing its defense, expected to start Saturday.
January 24, 2020
Rep. Adam Schiff is the face of the House’s impeachment case against President Donald Trump. Though he has six managers by his side, Schiff is setting the tone, working methodically to convince the Senate Trump deserves to be removed from office. Schiff told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday it is like he is “introducing myself to a number of the senators” at Trump’s impeachment trial. He said many Republicans are “finding I’m not the demon” that he’s often portrayed to be. Republicans were complimentary of Schiff but said they learned nothing new about the case against the president.
China is swiftly building a hospital dedicated to treating patients infected by a new virus that has killed 26 people, sickened hundreds and prompted lockdowns of at least 13 cities on the eve of the country’s most important holiday. Transportation is halted and streets eerily quiet in the locked-down cities as the virus led to the cancellation of festivities for the Lunar New Year. Wuhan, where the outbreak began, and the nine neighboring cities have a combined population of more than 36 million. A Wuhan hospital with space for 1,000 beds is being built in the style of a facility that Beijing constructed during the SARS epidemic. The number of cases has risen to 830 while and the deaths include the youngest recorded victim at 36.
Thousands have rallied in Baghdad to demand American troops leave the country, though their numbers fell short of the “million-man” march called for by an influential Shiite cleric amid heightened anti-U.S. sentiment after a U.S. drone strike earlier this month killed a top Iranian general in Iraq. Since mid-morning, large crowds gathered as loudspeakers blasted “No, no America!” at a central square in Baghdad. But by Friday afternoon, the rally had failed to reach the critical numbers called for by the radical cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr’s supporters did not engage in altercations with security forces or target the separate, anti-government protests in neighboring Tahrir Square as had been feared.
It’s the defense’s go-to question at Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial: If the once-revered Hollywood mogul is a revolting sexual predator, as prosecutors and scores of women allege, why did some of his accusers keep interacting with him for years after their alleged assaults? Prosecutors hope to give jurors some answers Friday and neutralize that line of questioning before too long with the help of Dr. Barbara Ziv, a forensic psychiatrist who testified about the same issues at the 2018 retrial that ended in Bill Cosby’s conviction on charges he drugged and molested a woman years earlier.