courtesy Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering

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Four-year colleges facing budget shortfalls because of the coronavirus outbreak have eliminated nearly 100 sports programs. Critics say some of those sports might have survived if decision-makers had taken considered the benefits those sports brought to the schools as a whole. Former University of Idaho president Chuck Staben argues athletes in sports that award partial scholarships often pay more than the value of their scholarships for tuition. He says that's especially important at a time when enrollment declines are accelerating because of the pandemic. 

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As if trips to the grocery store weren’t nerve-racking enough, U.S. shoppers lately have seen the costs of meat, eggs and even potatoes soar as the coronavirus has disrupted processing plants and distribution networks. Overall, the cost of food bought to eat at home skyrocketed by the most in 46 years, and analysts caution that meat prices in particular could remain high as slaughterhouses struggle to so keep workers healthy. While price spikes for staples such as eggs and flour have eased as consumer demand has leveled off, prices may remain volatile for carrots, potatoes and other produce because of transportation issues and the health of workers who pick crops and work in processing plants.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS

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The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and Twitter tangled over truth and consequences this past week as the social media giant flagged the president's tweets for spreading false information and potentially inciting violence.

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The European Union is urging U.S. President Donald Trump to rethink his decision to cut American funding for the World Health Organization amid global criticism of the move, as spiking infection rates in India and elsewhere serve as a reminder the global pandemic is far from contained. Trump charged that the WHO didn’t respond adequately to the pandemic, accusing the U.N. agency of being under China’s “total control.”  European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday urged Trump to rethink the decision, saying that “actions that weaken international results must be avoided” and that “now is the time for enhanced cooperation and common solutions.”

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Despite more storms in the forecast, SpaceX is pressing ahead in its historic attempt to launch astronauts for NASA, a first by a private company. Forecasters put the odds of acceptable conditions at 50-50 for Saturday afternoon's planned liftoff, the first launch of NASA astronauts from the U.S. in nearly a decade. SpaceX and NASA are monitoring the weather not just at Florida's Kennedy Space Center, but all the way up the East Coast and across the North Atlantic. The wind and waves need to be within limits in case the SpaceX Dragon crew capsule — carrying Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken — needs to make an emergency splashdown. They're headed to the International Space Station. 

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The Spanish league says full team training sessions will resume Monday ahead of the first match to be played following the coronavirus stoppage. La Liga says the government has given authorization for squads to practice together. Until now players had been limited to individual training before progressing to small groups. The league will restart on June 11 when Sevilla faces Real Betis without fans. The 11 rounds remaining are due to be played until July 19, according to the government. Barcelona leads Real Madrid by two points at the top of the table.  

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Restaurants remain closed for table and bar service in New York City. But some are bending rules meant to curb cononavirus infections by encouraging customers to linger outside for an extra round or two of takeout cocktails. Elsewhere around the city, clothing stores and a tanning salon have sought to reopen early — signs that some New Yorkers are itching to catch up with other parts of the country already freeing up their economies.

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President Donald Trump and North Carolina’s governor have spoken about the viability of a full-fledged Republican National Convention in Charlotte in August. A spokesperson for Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper confirmed that Cooper and the president spoke by phone on Friday. Trump this week threatened to move his formal renomination elsewhere if he does not get guarantees soon of being able to hold a large-scale event. Cooper's spokesperson says that the governor expressed concerns over Trump's insistence on a full convention arena with no face coverings and no social distancing. The Republican National Committee declined to comment about the call. 

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More than 13,000 public school districts face the possibility of sharp budget cuts as state tax revenues decline because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget trouble is spoiling dreams of expanded funding and teacher pay raises across the country. Teacher unions are pushing for more federal aid, and without it researchers warn of big teacher layoffs and worse learning outcomes. In one Georgia district, the school board's 1,700 employees will be furloughed for 10 unpaid days, with the school year contracting by five days. One researcher estimates schools nationwide could be on track to lose 319,000 teachers.

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Last year's rampage at a Virginia Beach city government building was the latest in a string of high-profile mass shootings. As the tragedy nears its one-year anniversary Sunday, some victims’ family members say it has effectively been forgotten after the national spotlight moved on to other mass killings, and more recently has been all but eclipsed by the coronavirus pandemic. That leaves less pressure on authorities to provide definitive answers about why their loved ones died, they say. The shooter’s motive officially is still a mystery a year after he shot dead 12 people before being killed by police. 

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The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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Premier League clubs with only 15 fit players are still likely to have to play matches when the season resumes next month during the coronavirus pandemic. West Ham vice chair Karren Brady has disclosed new details of Thursday’s conference call of clubs when they agreed to restart the season on June 17, pending government approval. The season was suspended in March. Clubs will discuss on another call on Thursday what to do if teams don’t have 15 fit players or if the season is still curtailed, based on not resuming or being suspended again.

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The South African government has maintained a ban on all contact sports competitions because of the coronavirus. It means the country’s professional rugby teams and its world champion Springboks will remain out of action. The announcement by sports minister Nathi Mthethwa came as South Africa prepares to further ease lockdown on Monday and open up most of its economy as part of a phased relaxation of restrictions. Mthethwa gave permission for some professional non-contact sports to be held in regions from June 1. He said all teams including contact sports could resume training under strict conditions.  

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India has registered another record single-day jump of 7,964 coronavirus cases and 265 deaths, a day before the 2-month-old lockdown is set to end. Prime Minister Narendra Modi says India is on the path to victory in its battle against the virus and will set “an example in economic revival." South Korea on Saturday reported 39 new cases, most of them in the densely populated Seoul area where officials have linked scores of infections to warehouse workers. Around 400 German managers, workers and family members have begun returning to China aboard charter flights as multinational companies in the world’s second-largest economy seek to get their operations running again.

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Mennonites in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County followed the state’s stay at home orders and guidelines against gathering in houses of worship during the coronavirus pandemic. Some modern Mennonite orders have adapted to the limitations by using video conferencing for their Sunday services. Others used conference calls. But the Old Order Stauffer Mennonites shun technology and they were unable to meet as a group for nearly two months. This was the first time that their service was interrupted in more than 100 years. They recently decided to gather for in-person worship. One of them says: “Human health is important. But ultimately, spiritual health is more important.”  

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Activists say years of dialogue about criminal justice reforms in Minneapolis had improved the relationship between the African American community and law enforcement — before George Floyd's death this week. Floyd, a black man, died after a white officer pressed a knee into his neck as the handcuffed Floyd pleaded for air. His death has unleashed protests and violent clashes with law enforcement. Advocates and leaders say it's exposed simmering frustration and the fact that there’s much work still ahead. The city appointed its first black chief of police nearly three years ago, after slow progress toward making the department more inclusive. But the delay in arresting and charging the officer who knelt on Floyd is fueling protests and feeding calls for systemic change.

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As Minneapolis burns over the police killing of George Floyd and shock and disappointment in Africa grow, some U.S. embassies on the continent have taken the unusual step of issuing critical statements, saying no one is above the law. They came as the head of the African Union Commission condemned the “murder” of Floyd and said the continental body rejects the “continuing discriminatory practices against black citizens of the USA.” Africa has not seen the kind of protests over Floyd’s killing that have erupted across the United States, but many Africans have expressed dismay, openly wondering when the U.S. will ever get it right.

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Chancellor Angela Merkel's office says she will not personally attend a meeting in the U.S. with the leaders of the world’s major economies if President Donald Trump goes ahead with it, unless the course of the coronavirus spread changes by then. After canceling the Group of Seven summit, originally scheduled for June 10-12 at Camp David, Trump said a week ago that he was again considering hosting an in-person meeting of world leaders. Merkel's office told the dpa news agency Saturday, however, that "as of today, given the overall pandemic situation, she cannot commit to participating in person.”  

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Preliminary results from a survey of seawater quality during Italy’s coronavirus lockdown indicate a sharp reduction in pollution from human and livestock waste in the seas off Rome. Authorities stressed it was too soon to give the lockdown sole credit for the change. They say shifting sea currents and limited rainfall in April and May also could have reduced runoff from agriculture. But the director of the Lazio region’s environmental agency hypothesized that the evaporation of tourism starting in March could have eliminated the sewage produced by the 30 million tourists who normally visit Rome each year. There’s no indication the seas will stay cleaner since the lockdown is ending.

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Protesters burned businesses in Minneapolis. They smashed police cars and windows in Atlanta, broke into police headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and chanted curses at President Donald Trump outside the White House. Thousands also demonstrated peacefully, demanding justice for George Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer pressed a knee into his neck. As anger over Floyd’s killing spread to to cities nationwide, local leaders increasingly said they could need help from National Guardsmen or even military police to contain the unrest. Georgia’s governor declared a state of emergency early Saturday to activate the state National Guard as violence flared in Atlanta. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler also declared an emergency and ordered a nighttime curfew for the city.

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The rift between the United States and China is growing. President Donald Trump said Friday that he would withdraw funding from the World Health Organization, end Hong Kong’s special trade status and suspend visas of Chinese graduate students suspected of conducting research on behalf of their government. Trump says the WHO failed to adequately respond to the coronavirus outbreak because of China’s influence. The U.S. has been the largest supporter of the global health body. The U.S. is ending Hong Kong’s special trade status because of China’s move to impose a new security law on the semi-autonomous city.

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President Donald Trump tried to explain that an early morning tweet was an attempt to warn against the risk of violence. But he spent Friday walking back the tweet in which he added to the outrage over the police killing of a black man in Minneapolis. Trump threatened to take action to bring the city “under control,” called violent protesters “thugs” and revived a civil-rights-era phrase fraught with racist overtones.. Trump wrote in a Friday morning tweet: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Twitter quickly flagged the post as violating rules against “glorifying violence.” 

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Over 48 hours in America, the official death toll from the coronavirus pandemic topped 100,000, the number of people who filed for unemployment during the crisis soared past 40 million, and protests erupted in major cities after the death of George Floyd.

The U.N. General Assembly has adopted a new voting procedure for the upcoming election of new members of the Security Council aimed at preventing a large gathering and ensuring social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of meeting in the assembly chamber at U.N. headquarters, ambassadors from the 193 member nations will cast secret ballots during spaced-out time slots. They will also be voting for five non-permanent Security Council members serving two-year terms and 18 new members of the 54-nation Economic and Social Council. This year, Canada, Ireland and Norway are battling for two non-permanent Security Council seats, and Kenya and Djibouti are competing for one seat. India is running unopposed for the Asia-Pacific seat, as is Mexico for Latin America.

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Zhang Dan was among the first to respond when the coronavirus epicenter of Wuhan needed help. Shipped out in early February, the 36-year-old nurse worked grueling days in heavy layers of protective gear, ministering to patients who needed assistance from breathing to eating as the coronavirus raged. Amid the emotional and physical trauma, a little street dog helped her through. Zhang was among the 42,600 medical workers brought from all around China to bolster Wuhan’s overwhelmed medical system. Hospitals were crammed with patients sick with COVID-19. Now the dog, named Doudou, “Bean" in English, is joining her family in her northeastern hometown of Changchun. 

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A divided Supreme Court has rejected an emergency appeal by a California church that challenged state limits on attendance at worship services that have been imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Over the dissent of the four more conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in turning away a request from the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California, in the San Diego area. The church argued that limits on how many people can attend their services violate constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and had been seeking an order in time for services on Sunday.  

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VIRUS OUTBREAK-NBA

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China's Defense Ministry says the navy's only entirely home-built aircraft is carrying out sea trials to test weapons and equipment and enhance crew training. Ministry spokesperson Ren Guoqiang says the exercises are being conducted as planned, apparently unaffected by the country's coronavirus outbreak. The highly secretive Chinese military was credited with aiding in the response to the epidemic in the epicenter of Wuhan earlier this year, but no information has been released about cases among military personnel or any change in the armed forces' readiness status. The U.S. Navy, in contrast, saw a public controversy over the spread of the coronavirus aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the firing of the aircraft carrier’s skipper in April. 

More News

Sports events will be allowed to resume in England from Monday without any spectators and providing they comply with the government’s coronavirus protocols. The guidance for elite sports bodies has been published by the government as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions that were imposed in March are eased further. It paves the way for the planned June 17 return of the Premier League, the world’s richest soccer competition. The guidance includes a request that social distancing must be maintained in matches “during any disputes between players and referees or scoring celebrations.” Horse racing and snooker have already lined up events for Monday in anticipation of the end of an 11-week shutdown of sports. Read more

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As if trips to the grocery store weren’t nerve-racking enough, U.S. shoppers lately have seen the costs of meat, eggs and even potatoes soar as the coronavirus has disrupted processing plants and distribution networks. Overall, the cost of food bought to eat at home skyrocketed by the most in 46 years, and analysts caution that meat prices in particular could remain high as slaughterhouses struggle to so keep workers healthy. While price spikes for staples such as eggs and flour have eased as consumer demand has leveled off, prices may remain volatile for carrots, potatoes and other produce because of transportation issues and the health of workers who pick crops and work in processing plants. Read more

Updated

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. Read more

Updated

With the weather finally getting warm and being quarantined for the last few months many are itching to do something fun. Read more

Updated

The Spanish league says full team training sessions will resume Monday ahead of the first match to be played following the coronavirus stoppage. La Liga says the government has given authorization for squads to practice together. Until now players had been limited to individual training before progressing to small groups. The league will restart on June 11 when Sevilla faces Real Betis without fans. The 11 rounds remaining are due to be played until July 19, according to the government. Barcelona leads Real Madrid by two points at the top of the table.   Read more

Updated

More than 13,000 public school districts face the possibility of sharp budget cuts as state tax revenues decline because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget trouble is spoiling dreams of expanded funding and teacher pay raises across the country. Teacher unions are pushing for more federal aid, and without it researchers warn of big teacher layoffs and worse learning outcomes. In one Georgia district, the school board's 1,700 employees will be furloughed for 10 unpaid days, with the school year contracting by five days. One researcher estimates schools nationwide could be on track to lose 319,000 teachers. Read more

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Typically 'Small Business Saturday' falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but this isn't a typical year.  Read more

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Last year's rampage at a Virginia Beach city government building was the latest in a string of high-profile mass shootings. As the tragedy nears its one-year anniversary Sunday, some victims’ family members say it has effectively been forgotten after the national spotlight moved on to other mass killings, and more recently has been all but eclipsed by the coronavirus pandemic. That leaves less pressure on authorities to provide definitive answers about why their loved ones died, they say. The shooter’s motive officially is still a mystery a year after he shot dead 12 people before being killed by police.  Read more

Updated

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world: Read more

Updated

Premier League clubs with only 15 fit players are still likely to have to play matches when the season resumes next month during the coronavirus pandemic. West Ham vice chair Karren Brady has disclosed new details of Thursday’s conference call of clubs when they agreed to restart the season on June 17, pending government approval. The season was suspended in March. Clubs will discuss on another call on Thursday what to do if teams don’t have 15 fit players or if the season is still curtailed, based on not resuming or being suspended again. Read more

Updated

The South African government has maintained a ban on all contact sports competitions because of the coronavirus. It means the country’s professional rugby teams and its world champion Springboks will remain out of action. The announcement by sports minister Nathi Mthethwa came as South Africa prepares to further ease lockdown on Monday and open up most of its economy as part of a phased relaxation of restrictions. Mthethwa gave permission for some professional non-contact sports to be held in regions from June 1. He said all teams including contact sports could resume training under strict conditions.   Read more

Updated

India has registered another record single-day jump of 7,964 coronavirus cases and 265 deaths, a day before the 2-month-old lockdown is set to end. Prime Minister Narendra Modi says India is on the path to victory in its battle against the virus and will set “an example in economic revival." South Korea on Saturday reported 39 new cases, most of them in the densely populated Seoul area where officials have linked scores of infections to warehouse workers. Around 400 German managers, workers and family members have begun returning to China aboard charter flights as multinational companies in the world’s second-largest economy seek to get their operations running again. Read more

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Temperatures with less humidity head our way, making a nice weekend with mostly sunny skies.  Read more

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German flagship airline Lufthansa has agreed to a compromise worked out between the government and European Union, overcoming a major hurdle toward final approval of a 9 billion-euro ($10 billion) bailout from Berlin. Lufthansa said in a statement Saturday it had agreed to the compromise worked out between Germany and the EU in which the airline will have to give up several prized landing slots at Munich and Frankfurt airports. The dpa news agency reported the German government had also agreed to the compromise.      Read more

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Preliminary results from a survey of seawater quality during Italy’s coronavirus lockdown indicate a sharp reduction in pollution from human and livestock waste in the seas off Rome. Authorities stressed it was too soon to give the lockdown sole credit for the change. They say shifting sea currents and limited rainfall in April and May also could have reduced runoff from agriculture. But the director of the Lazio region’s environmental agency hypothesized that the evaporation of tourism starting in March could have eliminated the sewage produced by the 30 million tourists who normally visit Rome each year. There’s no indication the seas will stay cleaner since the lockdown is ending. Read more

Updated

The rift between the United States and China is growing. President Donald Trump said Friday that he would withdraw funding from the World Health Organization, end Hong Kong’s special trade status and suspend visas of Chinese graduate students suspected of conducting research on behalf of their government. Trump says the WHO failed to adequately respond to the coronavirus outbreak because of China’s influence. The U.S. has been the largest supporter of the global health body. The U.S. is ending Hong Kong’s special trade status because of China’s move to impose a new security law on the semi-autonomous city. Read more

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Crowds have gathered around the White House to protest the police killing of a black man in Minneapolis — and President Donald Trump’s response. Protesters threw bottles and other objects at officers wearing riot gear behind barricades around the White House. Pepper spray was deployed in an effort to disperse the crowd, and police and protesters wrestled over the barricades. The crowd of hundreds chanted “No justice, no peace” and “Say his name: George Floyd.” On Thursday, as violence broke out in Minneapolis, Trump tweeted, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Read more

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Zhang Dan was among the first to respond when the coronavirus epicenter of Wuhan needed help. Shipped out in early February, the 36-year-old nurse worked grueling days in heavy layers of protective gear, ministering to patients who needed assistance from breathing to eating as the coronavirus raged. Amid the emotional and physical trauma, a little street dog helped her through. Zhang was among the 42,600 medical workers brought from all around China to bolster Wuhan’s overwhelmed medical system. Hospitals were crammed with patients sick with COVID-19. Now the dog, named Doudou, “Bean" in English, is joining her family in her northeastern hometown of Changchun.  Read more

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At Redner's Warehouse in Wyomissing, shoppers are finding that things have come a long way from months ago when the pandemic began. Read more

Updated

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. Read more

Updated

Tens of thousands of Filipinos working on some of the world's best-known cruise ships have been stuck at quarantine facilities at home waiting to be cleared to see their families. Their sudden influx after months of voyaging around the globe combined with the government’s limited quarantine and virus-testing capability to set off chaotic delays. It sparked congestion in Manila hospitals, hotels and makeshift isolation structures. At least 300,000 more Filipino workers who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic are expected to journey home soon, stretching the government to the limit.  Read more

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The Democratic senator said that earlier in the spring he experienced a low-grade fever and had some mild flu-like symptoms for a number of days. Read more

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Dispatchers say the fire fire quickly went to a second alarm after reports a handicapped person was trapped on the second floor. Read more

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President Donald Trump has announced a series of measures aimed at China as a rift between the two countries grows. He said Friday that he would withdraw funding from the World Health Organization, end Hong Kong’s special trade status and suspend visas of Chinese graduate students suspected of conducting research on behalf of their government. Trump says the WHO failed to adequately respond to the coronavirus outbreak because of China's influence. The U.S. is the largest supporter of the global health body. The U.S. is ending Hong Kong's special trade status because of China's move to impose a new security law on the semi-autonomous city. Read more

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With new U.S. economic numbers highlighting the rough road ahead for a hoped-for rebound, President Donald Trump took aim at the World Health Organization and China, blaming both for their roles in the pandemic’s devastation. He said the United States will end its relationship with WHO, charging it didn’t respond adequately to the health crisis because of China’s “total control” over the global organization. Trump said Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the WHO to mislead the world. Earlier Friday, U.S. Commerce Department statistics showed a record-shattering 13.6% drop in spending in April.  Read more

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Trying to stay safe during a global pandemic is hard enough, but people in Southwest desert cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas where temperatures can soar into the triple digits are also trying to protect themselves from the brutal heat. With many government-run spaces like libraries still closed this week to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Salvation Army is among nonprofits shouldering much of a responsibility for ensuring people stay cool and hydrated amid an extreme heat warning in parts of the southwestern U.S. At the cooling sites, they are also asking people to follow protocols aimed at preventing the virus’ spread.  Read more

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STROUDSBURG, Pa. - Monroe County is one of eight moving from red to yellow Friday. Read more

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President Donald Trump has vetoed a measure that would have overturned a policy that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued in 2019 making it harder for students to get their loans erased after being misled by their colleges. The Senate gave final approval to the measure in March, dealing a rare rebuke of DeVos from the Republican-led chamber. But Trump on Friday said DeVos’ rules are better than an Obama-era policy that would have been restored if the measure succeeded. Trump says that policy “defined educational fraud so broadly that it threatened to paralyze the nation’s system of higher education.” Democrats are promising a House vote to override the veto. Read more

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Health officials say they're seeking to “inform mass numbers of unknown people” after a person who attended crowded pool parties over Memorial Day weekend at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks tested positive for COVID-19. Camden County Health Department said in a release that the resident of Boone County in mid-Missouri tested positive on Sunday after arriving at the lake area a day earlier. Officials said there have been no reported cases of the virus linked to coronavirus in residents of Camden County, where the parties seen in videos and photos posted on social media took place. Read more

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Meet Marie McLean and her daughter Samantha. For them, as for most of us, COVID-19 has messed everything up. Read more