Generally
General
743

At least 18 dead, hundreds hurt in Turkey quake

An earthquake rocked eastern Turkey on Friday, killing at least 18 people, injuring hundreds and leaving some 30 trapped in the wreckage of toppled buildings, Turkish officials said. (Jan. 24)       
Load more
Read full article on: usatoday.com
unread news
unread news
Spirit Airlines temporarily halting flights to five airports in US Northeast
The five airports are in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.
1m
foxnews.com
Coronavirus closures: Disney resorts accepting bookings after June 1
Both Disney World and Disneyland are closed until further notice.
1m
foxnews.com
Astronomers believe they have found the edge of the Milky Way galaxy
Astronomers believe they have discovered the edge of the Milky Way galaxy, according to a new study.
1m
foxnews.com
Deroy Murdock: Padding coronavirus stimulus package with pork angers this John Kennedy
Listening to a John Kennedy decry federal spending must be like hearing Ronald Reagan demand tax hikes. 
1m
foxnews.com
Social distancing won’t just save lives. It might be better for the economy in the long run.
A woman social distancing while wearing a flu mask during the 1918-1919 flu pandemic. | Topical Press Agency/Getty Images A study of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic finds that cities with stricter social distancing reaped economic benefits. For much of the past month, some commentators have defended the effort to promote social distancing, including the near-shutdown of huge swaths of America’s economy, as the lesser of two evils: Yes, asking or forcing people to remain in their homes for as much of the day as possible will slow economic activity, the argument goes. But it’s worth it for the public health benefits of slowing the coronavirus’s spread. This argument has, naturally, led to a backlash, explained here by my colleague Ezra Klein. Critics — including the president — have argued that the cure is worse than the disease, and mass death from coronavirus is a price we need to be willing to pay to keep the American economy from cratering. Both these viewpoints obscure an important possibility: The social distancing regime may well be optimal not just from a public health point of view, but from an economic perspective as well. Economists Sergio Correia, Stephan Luck, and Emil Verner released a working paper (not yet peer-reviewed) last week that makes this argument extremely persuasively. The three analyzed the 1918-1919 flu pandemic in the United States, as the closest (though still not identical) analogue to the current crisis. They compare cities in 1918-’19 that adopted quarantining and social isolation policies earlier to ones that adopted them later. Their conclusion? “We find that cities that intervened earlier and more aggressively do not perform worse and, if anything, grow faster after the pandemic is over.” The researchers refer to such social distancing policies as NPIs, or “non-pharmaceutical interventions,” essentially public health interventions not achieved through medication, like quarantines and school and business closures. The key to the paper is their observation that, in theory, NPIs can both decrease economic activity directly, by keeping people in certain jobs from going to work, and increase it indirectly, because it prevents large-scale deaths that would also have a negative impact on the economy. “While NPIs lower economic activity, they can solve coordination problems associated with fighting disease transmission and mitigate the pandemic-related economic disruption,” they write. In other words, social distancing measures that save lives can also, in the end, soften the economic disruption of a pandemic. The data here comes from a 2007 paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association, where a group of researchers chronicled what specific policies were put in place between September 8, 1918, and February 22, 1919, by 43 different cities. The most common NPI the JAMA researchers identified was a combination of school closures and bans on public gatherings; 34 of the 43 cities adopted this rule, for an average of four weeks. Other cities eschewed these policies in favor of mandatory isolation and quarantine procedures: “Typically, individuals diagnosed with influenza were isolated in hospitals or makeshift facilities, while those suspected to have contact with an ill person (but who were not yet ill themselves) were quarantined in their homes with an official placard declaring that location to be under quarantine,” the JAMA authors write, detailing New York City’s approach. Another 15 cities did both isolation/quarantines and school closures/public gathering bans. The 2007 paper found a strong association between the number and duration of NPIs and pandemic deaths, with more and longer-lasting NPIs associated with a smaller death toll. Correia, Luck, and Verner, in their new paper, replicate this finding. But they take it a step further. They study the impact of changes in mortality due to the 1918 pandemic on economic outcomes. “The increase in mortality from the 1918 pandemic relative to 1917 mortality levels (416 per 100,000) implies a 23 percent fall in manufacturing employment, 1.5 percentage point reduction in manufacturing employment to population, and an 18 percent fall in output,” they conclude. In other words, a big outbreak spelled economic disaster for affected cities. Then they combined this analysis with an analysis of the effects of NPI policies. They find that the introduction of social distancing policies is associated with more positive outcomes in terms of manufacturing employment and output. Cities with faster introductions of these policies (one standard deviation faster, to be technical) had 4 percent higher employment after the pandemic had passed; ones with longer durations had 6 percent higher employment after the disaster. The takeaway is clear: These policies not only led to better health outcomes, they in turn led to better economic outcomes. Pandemics are very bad for the economy, and stopping them is good for the economy. A few notes of caution It’s important to always approach this kind of study with a degree of skepticism. The 1918 pandemic was not a planned experiment, so researchers’ ability to determine the degree to which the pandemic, or the policies adopted in response to it, affected economic outcomes is always going to be somewhat limited. The researchers acknowledge that their biggest limitation is the non-randomness of policy adoption by cities. Presumably cities with strict responses to the pandemic were different from cities with laxer responses in ways that went beyond this one incident. Maybe the stricter cities had better public health infrastructure to begin with, for instance, which could exaggerate the estimated effect of social distancing interventions. The authors argue that because the second and most fatal wave of the 1918 pandemic spread mostly from east to west, geographically, these kinds of dynamics weren’t at play. “Given the timing of the influenza wave, cities that were affected later appeared to have implemented NPIs sooner as they were able to learn from cities that were affected in the early stages of the pandemic,” they note. The best explanation of differences in policies, then, is how far a city is from the East Coast of the US. They control for a big factor that might affect Western states more (the boom and bust of the agricultural industry as World War I drew to a close) and find few other observable differences between Western cities with strong policies and Eastern policies with weak ones. But the notion that these cities are comparable is a key part of the paper’s research design, and one worth digging into as the paper goes through peer review and revisions. The economy isn’t everything The message that there isn’t a trade-off between saving lives and saving the economy is reassuring. If there were such a trade-off, the debate over coronavirus response would be in the realm of pure values: How much money should we be willing to forsake to save a human life? That’s a thorny choice, and finding that we don’t actually have to make it — as this paper suggests — is comforting. It’s worth emphasizing, though, that if we did have to make that choice, it would still be an easy decision. The lives saved would be worth more. In another recent white paper, UChicago’s Michael Greenstone and Vishan Nigam estimate the social value of social distancing policies, relative to a baseline where we endure an untrammeled pandemic. To simulate the two scenarios, they rely on the influential Imperial College London model of the coronavirus pandemic — a paper that found that an uncontrolled spread of coronavirus would kill 2.2 million Americans. Then they throw in an oft-used tool of cost-benefit economic analysis: the value of a statistical life (VSL). Popularized by Vanderbilt economist Kip Viscusi, VSL involves putting a dollar value on a human life by estimating the implicit value that people in a given society place on continuing to live based on their willingness to pay for services that reduce their risk of dying. Usually, this involves a “revealed preferences” approach. A 2018 paper by Viscusi, for example, used, among other data sources, Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries to measure how much more, in practice, US workers demand to be paid to take jobs that carry a higher risk of death. Greenstone and Nigam allow VSL to vary with age — understandably, older people are less willing to pay to reduce their odds of death than younger people — but set the average VSL for an American age 18 and over to $11.5 million. Based on the Imperial College projection that social distancing would save about 1.76 million lives over the next six months, Greenstone and Nigam estimate that the economic value of the policy is $7.9 trillion, larger than the entire US federal budget and greater than a third of GDP. The value is about $60,000 per US household. Even if the Imperial College model is off by 60 percent and the no-social-distancing scenario is less deadly than anticipated, the aggregate benefits are still $3.6 trillion. And this is likely an underestimate that ignores other costs of a large-scale outbreak to society; it focuses solely on mortality benefits. VSL is sometimes attacked from the left as craven, a reductio ad absurdum of economistic reasoning trampling over everything, including the value of human life itself. But coronavirus helps illustrate how VSL can work in the opposite direction. Human life is so valuable in these terms that social distancing would have to force a 33 percent drop in US GDP before you could start to plausibly argue that the cure is worse than the disease. That social distancing likely won’t cause a reduction in GDP relative to a scenario where there’s a multimillion-person death toll, as indicated by the 1918 flu paper, makes the case for distancing policies that much stronger. Sign up for the Future Perfect newsletter and we’ll send you a roundup of ideas and solutions for tackling the world’s biggest challenges — and how to get better at doing good. Future Perfect is funded in part by individual contributions, grants, and sponsorships. Learn more here.
1m
vox.com
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo tests positive for coronavirus
Chris Cuomo, the TV-host brother of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has the coronavirus, he said Tuesday.
1m
nypost.com
CNN's Chris Cuomo tests positive for coronavirus, has 'fever, chills and shortness of breath'
CNN news anchor Chris Cuomo announced in a tweet Tuesday he has COVID-19 after being exposed to people who are also infected.        
1m
usatoday.com
Coronavirus Death Rate Could Be Way Lower Than Previously Thought, Scientists Say
"Our estimates can be applied to any country to inform decisions around the best containment policies for COVID-19," said Professor Azra Ghani of Imperial College London.
1m
newsweek.com
Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne is fighting the coronavirus
Adam Schlesinger, the Fountains of Wayne cofounder who won an Emmy for his 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' songwriting, is hospitalized with the coronavirus.
1m
latimes.com
Rob Gronkowski, girlfriend Camille Kostek donate 20K masks to hospitals
Rob Gronkowski and Camille Kostek are lending a major helping hand to those on the frontlines of the coronavirus fight. On Monday, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor MJ Day revealed the longtime couple had donated 20,000 KN95 masks to St. Joseph’s Healthcare Network in New Jersey and Boston Medical Center. “So when we all say we...
1m
nypost.com
U.S. outlines plan for Venezuela transition, sanctions relief
The proposal would require Maduro and Guaidó to step aside and hand power to a five-member council of state.
1m
politico.com
Your Doctor’s Appointments Have Been Canceled. Are At-Home Tests a Good Solution?
As the COVID-19 outbreak worsens in the U.S., at-home test kits for the virus have been a source of both hope and controversy. Their appeal is clear: sick individuals could get a diagnosis from the comfort of home, without infecting others. But their downsides are real: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cracked…
1m
time.com
Rihanna says she wants to have three or four kids
Rihanna wants to have three or four kids — with or without a partner.
1m
nypost.com
Coronavirus kills elderly Illinois couple hours apart in hospital
An 88-year-old man and his wife have died from the coronavirus hours apart in an Illinois hospital.
1m
foxnews.com
Las Vegas temporary homeless shelter after coronavirus case called 'inhumane,' people seen sleeping on asphalt
The city of Las Vegas said that it opened an emergency homeless shelter a parking lot after a man tested positive for coronavirus last week.
1m
foxnews.com
NFL draft analyst: ‘Multiple teams’ prefer Justin Herbert over Tua Tagovailoa
The Dow Jones and S&P 500 aren’t the only stocks in a coronavirus free fall. Tua Tagovailoa’s draft stock could take a hit with sports at a standstill amid a report that “multiple teams” now prefer Justin Herbert “because of injuries and the unknowns,” according to NFL draft analyst Matt Miller. The unknowns Miller is...
1m
nypost.com
Coronavirus tests bound for UK become contaminated with coronavirus
The United Kingdom’s efforts to ramp up public testing for the coronavirus suffered a setback Monday after key components of some tests due to be imported became contaminated with the coronavirus.
1m
foxnews.com
Wuhan’s Favorite Noodles Return in Tasty Sign Coronavirus-Crippled City Is Inching Back to Normal
The steady stream of customers leaving with bags of “reganmian” testifies to a powerful desire to enjoy the familiar again
1m
time.com
Michael Jordan documentary release moved up to April
ABC's and ESPN's debut of 'The Last Dance' is being moved from June to April 19, ESPN confirmed, giving fans some good news considering the coronavirus pandemic has forced sports to halt globally. HLN's Andy Scholes reports.
1m
edition.cnn.com
Psychoanalyst: Con men prey on 'primitive' fear during coronavirus crisis
A prominent psychoanalyst warned that some Americans may find themselves more susceptible to falling victim to coronavirus-related crimes, as conmen seek to exploit people's "primitive" responses during a crisis.
1m
foxnews.com
New York City's 'big boost': Crowds flocked to watch USNS Comfort's arrival, photos show
The Navy hospital ship, equipped with 1,000 beds and 12 operating rooms, arrived as New York City reels from hundreds of coronavirus-related deaths.        
1m
usatoday.com
Coronavirus lockdown results in police stopping man from playing 'Pokémon GO'
Police in the U.K. have stopped a man playing “Pokémon GO” outdoors amid the country’s coronavirus lockdown.
1m
foxnews.com
The FDA is Spending $250,000 Testing the Coronavirus on Ferrets
According to the U.S. government's contract website, the FDA awarded Public Health England extra funds to extend their research on the Ebola virus into COVID-19.
1m
newsweek.com
Kate Middleton seen without engagement ring during coronavirus pandemic
The Duchess of Cambridge was seen without her engagement ring in new portraits released from Kensington Palace.
1m
nypost.com
US hospitals tell staff to keep quiet about coronavirus working conditions
US hospitals are warning their employees to keep their mouths shut about their working conditions amid the coronavirus — or risk being fired. “Hospitals are muzzling nurses and other health-care workers in an attempt to preserve their image. It’s outrageous, ” Ruth Schubert, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Nurses Association, told Bloomberg News. She...
1m
nypost.com
Rikers doc: DAs fail to recognize ‘public health disaster’ of coronavirus
City prosecutors who ripped the mayor for the planned release of high risk inmates amid the coronavirus crisis fail to “appreciate the public health disaster” unfolding at Rikers Island, according to the jail’s top doctor. “I can assure you we were following the CDC guidelines before they were issued. We could have written them ourselves,”...
1m
nypost.com
French Government To House Domestic Abuse Victims In Hotels as Cases Rise During Coronavirus Lockdown
Th French government announced on Monday it would put victims of domestic violence in hotel rooms and finance pop-up counselling centres in grocery stores, amid a surge of reported domestic violence cases since the lockdown began on March 17. Around the world, there has been concern that there is a rise in the number of…
1m
time.com
Belarus president plays hockey, says global coronavirus measures are result of 'psychosis'
Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko says the global response by other countries to the coronavirus pandemic is a product of "psychosis."       
1m
usatoday.com
U.S. coronavirus deaths reach 3,393, exceeding death toll in China: Reuters tally
U.S. coronavirus-related deaths reached 3,393 on Tuesday, exceeding the total number of deaths reported in China and reaching the third highest in the world behind Italy and Spain, according to a Reuters tally.
1m
reuters.com
Coronavirus prevented woman from saying goodbye to mom
Across the country, COVID-19 has created a crisis at nursing home facilities.
1m
cbsnews.com
Pasadena schools resume grab-and-go meals after coronavirus test upends service
The meal service was suspended Monday after a kitchen worker was tested for COVID-19. The new offerings are provided by outside vendors.
1m
latimes.com
The best April Fools’ Day pranks to play on your family while stuck at home
In a world turned upside down by a global coronavirus pandemic, it is difficult enough to know what to believe. But there’s still a need for some harmless fun that can bring a smile to kids, parents, partners and friends alike. This April 1, the internet is pleading with brands not to pull their regular...
1m
nypost.com
U.S. Airlifting Coronavirus Response Supplies From Around the World to New York, Chicago, Other Cities
New York, Chicago and other cities are expected to receive planes carrying critical personal protective equipment, such as masks, gloves and gowns.
1m
newsweek.com
Scientists have recorded the first ever heat wave in this part of Antarctica
Climate scientists have recorded the first heat wave at a research base in East Antarctica, warning that such "unprecedented" temperatures could impact animals and plantlife in the region.
1m
edition.cnn.com
Restaurant raises money to feed health care workers
Buying a meal from the restaurant could help save the family business – and feed front-line health care workers at the same time.
1m
cbsnews.com
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Warn the World Is 'Extremely Fragile' in Farewell SussexRoyal Post
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tell 11 million Instagram followers "the work continues" as they underline the end of their royal era with a farewell post
1m
newsweek.com
Online Stimulus Check Scams Are On the Rise—Here's How to Stay Protected
"Fake stimulus check scams could be very successful considering the financial chaos coronavirus has unleashed on families worldwide," one top malware researcher told Newsweek.
1m
newsweek.com
The 3 Craziest UFO, Odd Creature and Unexplained Happenings From Utah's Secretive Skinwalker Ranch
Skinwalker Ranch just may be the best paranormal fascination yet.
1m
newsweek.com
Gas prices plunge below $2 per gallon and continue to plummet amid coronavirus
The national average price of gasoline has plunged below $2 per gallon, and the freefall is not likely to stop there during the coronavirus pandemic.       
1m
usatoday.com
A woman trained her dog to deliver groceries to a neighbor with health problems
During a time of social distancing, it was one of the better options.
1m
edition.cnn.com
McConnell: Impeachment trial 'diverted' attention from coronavirus crisis in China
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested on Tuesday that the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump distracted the US government from the growing coronavirus crisis in China.
1m
edition.cnn.com
Top NCAA management to take 20% pay cut amid lost revenue from coronavirus cancellations
Thursday, the NCAA announced it will reduce its direct distribution to Division I conferences and schools for 2020 to $225 million from $600 million.        
1m
usatoday.com
There Are Now 7 Countries With Over 40,000 Cases of Coronavirus
With over 800,000 cases of COVID-19 globally, the cases in the United States, Italy, Spain, China, Germany, France and Iran, represent approximately 74 percent of them.
1m
newsweek.com
Oregon veteran, 95, beats coronavirus: ‘I survived Guam, I can get through this bulls–t’
A 95-year-old World War II vet living in Oregon has beaten COVID-19, according to a report.
1m
nypost.com
Russian doctor who met Vladimir Putin tests positive for coronavirus
A doctor who gave Russian President Vladimir Putin a tour of a Moscow hospital treating coronavirus patients while neither man was wearing protective gear during a chat has tested positive for the illness. “Yes, I have tested positive for coronavirus, but I feel pretty good. I’ve isolated myself in my office. I think the immunity...
1m
nypost.com
Refugee Camps Face COVID-19: 'If We Do Nothing, The Harm Is Going To Be So Extreme'
NPR spoke to humanitarian aid researcher Paul Spiegel about his analysis of conditions in the Rohingya camps in Bangladesh — and the outlook for refugees everywhere as the coronavirus looms.
1m
npr.org
‘Impossible’ clear puzzle is the ultimate coronavirus lockdown challenge
We have a clear-cut winner here.
1m
nypost.com
South Korean man to donate his land to needy amid coronavirus outbreak
PAJU, South Korea — Kim Byung-rok survived tuberculosis when he was 23, but was left with one good lung. In his work polishing and mending shoes, he inhaled too much dirt. So when he bought land on a small, quiet mountain in 2014, he wanted to heal, to do some farming — and to breathe...
1m
nypost.com