Latest COVID-19 updates

The global death toll from the pandemic is nearing 280,000, with the United States and Great Britain topping the list of the worst-hit countries. At the same time, China has reported a plunge in new cases of the infection and no fatalities from the virus over the last several weeks.

There are over 4,000,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. At least 1.3 million of them are registered in the United States, while the UK, Spain, and Italy have over 200,000 infected. New York remains the worst-hit city in the world, with 183,000 cases and almost 20,000 fatalities from COVID-19.

Number of Patients in ICU Units Falls to 2,776 From 2,812 on 9 May, French Health Ministry Says

New York’s Statewide Coronavirus Deaths Declined to 207 on 9 May vs 226 Deaths a Day Earlier, Governor Cuomo Says

Canada’s Total Coronavirus Cases Rise to 67,996, With 4,728 Deaths, Public Health Agency Data Shows

Group of French National Assembly Lawmakers Intends to Challenge the State of Emergency Law

A group of 63 deputies of the French National Assembly has filed a petition with the country’s Constitutional Council in order to achieve a repeal of a law approved by the parliament on Saturday to extend the state of emergency to 10 July.

UK’s COVID-19 Death Toll Rises by 269 to 31,855

Second COVID-19 Test Reveals No Players or Staff From Portuguese Club Vitoria Contracted Coronavirus

Portugal’s Vitoria FC has announced that the results of the second control test carried out last Friday revealed that no player, coach, or member of the staff is infected with COVID-19. So the first stage of a return to training has been successfully completed, the FC said.

Earlier today, AFP reported, citing the club, that three players have tested positive for coronavirus. The players, according to the news agency, are “asymptomatic and quarantined”.

Putin to Hold Meeting on Monday to Discuss Issue of Prolonging Stay-at-Home Regime, Kremlin Says

Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting on May 11, where he will consider the issue of extending the stay-at-home holiday because of the current COVID-19 situation, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday.

“The president has a meeting [on the issue] scheduled for tomorrow”, Peskov said when asked if an extension of the stay-at-home holiday is on the agenda.

COVID-19: Health experts debunk Trump’s claim on disinfectants

US President Donald Trump’s claims during his daily White House coronavirus briefing on Friday that the ingestion of disinfectant could be an effective measure to prevent contracting Covid-19 has led to the hospitalization of at least 100 people in the US, according to reports.

“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute, and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets inside the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that,” the president said, to the astonishment of his Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Dr Deborah Birx.

Experts moved swiftly to assure the US population that Trump’s claims were completely unfounded.

“My concern is that people will die. People will think this is a good idea,” Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, told The Washington Post. “This is not willy-nilly, off-the-cuff, maybe-this-will-work advice. This is dangerous.”

Health experts move swiftly to debunk Trump

 

Despite the many warnings issued and Trump’s explanation later in the day – that he had been posing a question sarcastically to reporters – there have been a number of cases of people being admitted to hospital after ingesting household cleaning products.

More than 100 people have been treated according to reports in the US, with at least 30 of those in New York State, the New York Daily News reported.

Additionally, medical services support staff have fielded hundreds of calls from people asking about the curative properties of disinfecting products.

Reckitt Benckiser, the company that makes US brands Lysol and Dettol, issued a statement on Friday saying: “We must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route).

Washington State also issued an emergency declaration urging people not to heed the president’s advice: “Please, do not consume detergent tablets or inject any kind of disinfectant.”

COVID-19: Trump and Cuomo worried about a potential second wave of the virus

Friday brought no shortage of pandemic news: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump publicly quarreled over coronavirus testing, China blamed a rising death toll on hospital errors, and stocks rebounded amid reports of possible emerging treatments for the virus.

After the president criticized Cuomo in a tweet for “complaining,” Cuomo charged that the president “doesn’t want to help on testing.”

“(Trump) said 11 times, ‘I don’t want to get involved in testing – it’s too hard, it’s too complicated,'” Cuomo said. “I know its too complicated, (he told Trump) that’s why we need you to help.”

Still, some locales were taking small steps toward reopening, with Jacksonville, Fla., allowing people to go to the beach twice a day under strict social distancing in the early morning and early evening.

Trump hosted Cuomo in the Oval Office on Tuesday, viewing it as opportunity to win over one of the most trusted voices on the virus response about the nation’s ability to conduct enough tests to ensure it has a handle on the matter.

Trump agreed to work with Cuomo to double his state’s testing capacity, believing that if the administration can earns the buy-in of Cuomo, other governors across the state will follow. Cuomo announced Wednesday that he is is enlisting former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg to help create a massive “tracing army” that will find infected people and get them into isolation, a move toward building confidence among leery Americans.

At the White House, the administration is adjusting its posture away from drastic containment measures to managing virus “flareups” and bottlenecks in testing or supplies. And officials hope to use the daily White House briefings to inundate Americans with facts and figures on testing and therapeutics, blanketing television with graphics of flattening and declining curves and statistics on the number of testing kits available.

White House officials also are planning to step up travel in coming weeks as a visual representation of reopening.

Pence has traveled to Colorado and Wisconsin in recent days, and Trump is pushing aides to get him back on the road.

There are still plenty of caution flags. “There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield told The Washington Post in an interview Tuesday. “We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time.”

“We’ve got to be very careful,” Trump said Tuesday of a potential second wave, which in some predictions could hit just weeks before the November elections. “We don’t want that to happen; it could happen. I think we stamp it out if it does happen.”

Instead, White House aides hope that people accept a “new normal” that envisions short-term disruptions when there are COVID-19 cases, causing routine week-long school or office closures but not panic.

But Blendon said, “People will watch the cases and listen to the major public health leaders, and if there’s a conflict, that will slow things even greater.”

The latest fatality figures for the U.S., as tallied by Johns Hopkins University, pushed the total death toll in the country to over 36,000 by Friday evening. Numbers have fluctuated wildly this week for both U.S. and global deaths and it is unclear why; possible reasons include new counting methods for the dead in New York City and newly revised numbers in China. Thursday saw the biggest daily spike yet in U.S. deaths – 4,591 over the previous day.

There are over 692,000 coronavirus cases in the U.S. and over 2.2 million worldwide Friday, according to John Hopkins University data.

New York extends lockdown to May 15

New Yorkers just received another two weeks in lockdown mode.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday extended the state shutdown to May 15 as he revealed that coronavirus stats were still going in the right direction.

Cuomo announced another 606 deaths from Wednesday to Thursday, a sharp drop from 752 the previous day, reports Forbes. It’s also the lowest number in 10 days, notes the New York Times.

New York

Additionally, the number of ICU patients fell by 134, while the number of intubated patients also fell, as did the three-day hospitalization rate.

As usual, Cuomo sought to temper the improving stats with caution. “You still have 2,000 people walking into a hospital and being diagnosed with (COVID-19),” he said, according to the Daily News.

“That’s still a lot of people.”

The state’s death toll is now at 12,192, and Cuomo has cautioned that New Yorkers abandoning social-distancing rules en masse could quickly cause the stats to worsen.

Hence, the extension of the shutdown to May 15.

“What happens after then? I don’t know,” he said. “We will see depending on what the data shows.”

Later Thursday, President Trump is expected to unveil guidelines to governors on how and when to reopen their states.

Doctor at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital takes a ‘big risk’ to save lives

The woman was dying, New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital was about to call her husband and break the news that there was nothing left to try, then Dr. Hooman Poor took a gamble.

With high-stress, high-stakes decisions, doctors around the world are frantically trying to figure out how COVID-19 is killing their patients so they can attempt new ways to fight back. One growing theory: In the sickest of the sick, little blood clots clog the lungs.

Poor couldn’t prove it. The tests required would further endanger his staff, who were already at risk of getting the virus. But the lung specialist saw clues that were “screaming blood clots.” So Poor pulled out a drug best known for treating strokes, and held his breath.

“I said, ‘What do we actually have to lose?’” Poor told The Associated Press. “That’s when I decided to give not just a blood thinner but a blood clot buster.”

Doctors

In this Monday, March 30, 2020 photo provided by Mount Sinai, from left, Drew Copeland, RPSGT; Dr. Thomas Tolbert, Dr. Brian Mayrsohn, and Dr. Hooman Poor, stand with a ventilator prototype they developed from a sleep apnea machine at Mount Sinai hospital in New York. (Mount Sinai via AP)

Exactly what’s going on with blood clots in at least some COVID-19 patients is a mystery.

Chinese doctors were first to sound the alarm. In March, Chinese heart specialists advised the American College of Cardiology to watch for clots and said certain blood tests showing a rise in clot risk might signal which patients were in greatest danger. Other reports suggested the clots can show up all over the body. But were they a cause of deterioration or an effect?

Already, many hospitals are attempting preventive doses of blood thinners to keep clots from forming. There’s huge debate over what kind to try, what dose is safe — the drugs can cause dangerous bleeding — and how soon to start.

In New York, Poor was going a step further with a drug named tPA that doesn’t prevent clots — it breaks them up.

It’s an example of how, with no vaccine or approved treatment for the coronavirus, many overwhelmed doctors are following trails of clues to figure out what to try next.

Poor’s 55-year-old patient wasn’t getting enough oxygen even after doctors rolled her onto her stomach for an extreme ventilation technique called “prone positioning.” She was in shock. Other organs were failing fast.

Twenty minutes after the injection of tPA, her oxygen levels rose. Poor was elated. But not for long.

“She gets better, but then she starts to get worse,” he said. “Most likely we’re breaking up the clot, but she is immediately forming the clot again.”

So he next tried something novel, putting the woman on a low-dose drip of tPA for about 24 hours together with a blood thinner, in hopes of chipping away at existing clots while blocking new ones.

To Poor’s dismay, the experimental treatment bought the woman only a few more days of life. A sudden, different complication killed her on Friday.

But last weekend, Poor’s team tested the new clot-fighting approach in four additional severely ill patients. One didn’t survive, dying of cardiac arrest from a massive blood clot in his heart.

The rest saw improvement in oxygen levels and shock. As of Friday, three remained on ventilators but were doing better, especially one who had been treated soon after her lungs failed. In a new report, Poor called for urgent study of whether abnormal clotting drives at least some people’s deterioration, even as his own hospital updated treatment advice for its sickest patients.

Others are onto the same lead. Specialists at the University of Colorado and Harvard recently published a similar tPA research call, and cited three additional cases where it was tried as hospitals in Colorado and Massachusetts prepare for a study.

“We’re taking care of extremely ill patients that are dying in front of us, and we can’t get any diagnostic testing,” yet still have to make treatment decisions, said Dr. Steven Pugliese, a lung specialist at the University of Pennsylvania.

Pugliese called Poor’s tPA report “very intriguing” and concluded: “What these doctors did in these very ill patients who were dying was a judgment call, and it was the right thing to do.”

But with the bleeding risk, it has to be studied in carefully chosen patients, Pugliese said, especially with no good way to tell in advance who really has these tiny clots.

Poor first noticed oddities as his ICU filled with patients who just weren’t responding to care the way doctors expected. They were on breathing machines after developing ARDS, acute respiratory distress syndrome. It’s an inflammatory form of lung failure that, when caused by other infections, stiffens lungs.

At least early on, Poor didn’t see that.

“It was like ‘Groundhog Day’ with each patient,” he said, referring to the movie where the same events repeat day after day. They had severe abnormalities in oxygen and carbon dioxide levels but “shockingly, their lungs were not stiff.”

He recalled Italian doctors who spotted the same thing and wrote in an American Thoracic Society journal that COVID-19 was causing atypical ARDS.

Back in Poor’s hospital, when ventilated patients looked improved enough to let them wake up a bit, alarms would sound as their blood oxygen levels immediately plummeted.

“The residents would yell at me, ‘So and so is desaturating!’” Poor recalled. “Classically in ARDS, we think that’s because the lung is collapsing.” But it wasn’t.

Poor often treats an emergency called pulmonary embolism, a large clot in the lungs that can quickly kill. The COVID-19 patients didn’t look quite like that. Nor were their hearts struggling to pump blood into the lungs.

Then as he was doing laundry at 2 a.m., Poor remembered a rare disease in which some lung blood vessels abnormally dilate even as others are clogged. If that explains the COVID-19 contradictions, he thought, a clot-buster might help.

“I did a case series of five. This does not prove anything,” he cautioned. “Perhaps it brings light to possibilities where further research can delve into what exactly is going on.”

Tiger at New York zoo tests positive to coronavirus

BAD-BOSS: NY employers using wage theft to gain competitive advantage

A small army of waiters, deliverymen and busboys who worked at a Mott Street dim sum joint sued their boss earlier this year for cheating them out of wages — and they won.

But collecting on the $943,000 that Joy Luck Palace was ordered to pay them in September has been harder than winning the federal lawsuit.

In fact, not a single worker has received a cent, they told the Daily News.

Jin Ming “Vincent” Cao, 36, is one of the 19 workers who sued the restaurant’s owners and operators. He was working as a waiter at Joy Luck Palace in June 2018 when the management abruptly stopped paying wages. He and his colleagues stayed on working for tips, but then, two months later, the restaurant closed down.

“We realized we weren’t going to get our wages so we decided to do something,” he said.

They filed a lawsuit and won a judgement of $943,000. Cao’s portion of that is $64,285 — which he has yet to receive. That’s because, according to Cao, the restaurant’s owners and operators had plenty of time to hide their assets as the lawsuit ground to a conclusion.

Thomas Power, the attorney for the stiffed workers, noted that the defendants did not show up for any of the litigation.

“It’s fair to suspect that they have taken some steps to move their assets,” he said.

For workers living in the Empire State, this kind of story is far too common.

According to a 2014 U.S. Department of Labor report, workers in New York are cheated out of anywhere between $500 million and $1 billion in wages a year.

Another study — conducted by the National Center for Law and Economic Justice in 2015 — found that even when workers prevail in wage theft cases, more than $126 million due to them in New York State has not been paid out.

The study found there was $25 million in unpaid cash stemming from civil lawsuits throughout the state and $101 million in outstanding debt that the state Labor Department determined employers owed their workers, but that it was unable to collect.

In 2019 alone, people filed about 5,800 lawsuits in New York federal courts involving the Fair Labor Standards Act, which covers minimum and overtime wage claims, as well as workplace retaliation.

But even when workers win those cases, they often have to struggle to track down the money they’re owed from companies, which in many cases shut down in order to hide assets.

“There are employers who employ wage theft to set up a competitive advantage,” said Richard Blum, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society. “Hiding it comes in the form of shifting assets.”

To remedy that, advocates like Blum and Sarah Ahn, director of the Flushing Workers Center, are pushing for the enactment of the SWEAT Act, which would give workers an alternative to filing lawsuits.

“It would give workers the ability to walk into their county clerk’s office and apply a lien,” Ahn said.

 

Los Angeles is very ‘Sex and the City’ like New York – Nikki Bella

 

 

Nikki Bella is considering moving to Los Angeles, as she says too much of her current home reminds her of former fiancé John Cena.

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Image: Nikki Bella

The 35-year-old professional wrestler currently lives in San Diego, but has said that house hunting in the area has become difficult because there’s “a lot” that reminds her of her past relationship with fellow wrestler John.

Nikki and Cena called it quits last year just weeks before their planned wedding date. She now wants to try life outside L.A.

Speaking to the camera in a confessional as part of a promotional clip for the premiere of ‘Total Bellas,’ which is set to air on Sunday 13 January, 2018, she said: “I really love the energy of Los Angeles. It just has this hustle vibe, and I have to go there every week for work, you know, for photo shoots. And I don’t want to say non-moms, because I love my moms, but it has this single life, very ‘Sex and the City’ like New York. And so it’s like, not only am I craving it, but I feel like I need it in my life.”

The star then tells her twin sister Brie Bella about her dilemma of house hunting in San Diego.

She added: “Even when I was looking at houses here, there’s a lot that remind me of my ex, and it’s just …”

And whilst Brie is opposed to the idea of her sister moving away, Nikki seems serious, as she then notes: “I might go look at places already, actually.”

Nikki’s decision to move comes after it was reported earlier this week that she’s moved on from John with ‘Dancing with the Stars’ professional dancer Artem Chigvinstev, whom she danced with when she appeared on the show in 2017.

A source said: “They’ve been spending time together for a long time, but it’s nothing serious right now. They have a strong attraction to each other, but they’re just having fun. They’re both extremely busy with their own careers, so they spend time together when they can.”

UNBELIEVABLY-TRUE: Meet the youngest U.S. Congress woman who was once a bartender

 

One year ago, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was working in a bar to help support her family.

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Image shows Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez answers questions at a town hall event, September 19, 2018 in The Bronx borough of New York City (Source: NBC News/Drew Angerer/Getty)

On Tuesday, the same Ocasio-Cortez, at 29 years old, became the youngest woman in history to be elected to Congress. With 74.3 percent of votes tallied, NBC News has called the congressional race for New York’s 14th District in Ocasio-Cortez’s favor.

Even though she was highly favored to win, Ocasio-Cortez continued her campaign efforts until the final moments.

Just one minute before the polls were closed she tweeted, “I am so thankful for every single person who contributed, amplified, and worked to establish this movement. Never forget the hard work it took to get us here. No matter what happens, this is what it takes.”

Ocasio-Cortez shocked the establishment when she won the Democratic primary in June, unseating Rep. Joe Crowley. Crowley, the fourth-ranking House Democrat, represented the Bronx and Queens district for 10 terms and was predicted by many to replace Nancy Pelosi as minority leader. He had not faced a primary challenger since 2004.

She has spent her time since the primary holding town halls in her district and campaigning for fellow like Cynthia Nixon and Zephyr Teachout.

In the midterm election, Ocasio-Cortez defeated Republican Anthony Pappas, who WNYC characterized as “very unusual.”

Pappas’ most noted talking point was his belief that citizens should be able to sue judges. He told WNYC, “We are living under a judicial dictatorship.”

To promote his argument, Pappas often cited his own contentious divorce — in which his wife accused him of punching her in the face, a charge he has denied for 14 years.

New York, not London, is the world’s ideal financial center

 

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With Brexit posing as the biggest challenge to the City of London’s finance industry and Britain’s divorce from the European Union prompting banks to shift jobs out of the city – London’s position globally has taken a beating.

According to a new survey, London has lost the position as the world’s most attractive financial center to its biggest competitor – New York.

The Z/Yen global financial centers index, which ranks 100 financial centers on factors such as infrastructure and access to quality staff has ranked New York as the world’s most attractive financial center.

The survey’s authors pointed out that London’s ranking fell by eight points from six months ago – which was said to be the biggest decline among the top contenders.

Further, the surveyors noted that the drop reflected the uncertainty around Brexit.

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has prompted banks to shift jobs out of the city to preserve access to Europe’s single market.

Further, experts have pointed out that Brexit has become London’s biggest challenge since the 2007-2009 financial crisis as it threatens banks and insurers who have established presence in the city — and would now lose access to the world’s biggest trading bloc, the EU.

Due to this, some of the world’s most powerful finance companies in London have begun moving staff to the EU to preserve the existing cross-border flow of trading after 2019.

A study published by Reuters in March said that around 5,000 roles are expected to be shifted or created in the EU from London by March next year – the date of Britain’s EU exit.

Mark Yeandle, the co-creator of the index pointed out, “We are getting closer and closer to exit day and we still don’t know whether London will be able to trade with all the other European financial centers.

“The fear of losing business to other centers is driving the slight decline and people are concerned about London’s competitiveness.”

Meanwhile, in the Z/Yen global financial centers index, New York took first place, followed by London, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Best SUVs from the 2018 New York Auto Show

Automakers are putting their new 2018 models on display at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, which is open to the public from April 14 to 23.

The  New York International Auto Show starts on 30 March and ends on 8 April, 2018.

Check out some of the new offerings that will be rolling into showrooms starting this fall.

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Iveth Mollinedo, 31, of Cliffside Park, N.J., sits in a BMW m240i on opening day of the 2017 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan on April 14, 2017.
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People check out the vehicles on opening day of the 2017 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan on April 14, 2017.
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7-year-old Lucas Nieves of Brooklyn sits inside a KIA Sportage on opening day of the 2017 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan on April 14, 2017.
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People check out the vehicles on opening day of the 2017 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan on April 14, 2017.
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Friends Jarad Seligman, 24, of Massachusetts, (center) and Kevin Veerasammy, 22, of Brooklyn (right) check out the bed of a Honda Ridgeline on opening day of the 2017 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan on April 14, 2017.
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New York International Auto Show attendees are seen in a reflection on a Toyota FV2 concept vehicle during on opening day of the show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan on April 14, 2017.
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Iveth Mollinedo, 31, of Cliffside Park, N.J., sits in a BMW m240i on opening day of the 2017 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan on April 14, 2017.
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The Chevrolet Colorado is on display at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on April 12, 2017.
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The Chevrolet Colorado is on display at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on April 12, 2017.
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The Chevrolet Equinox is a popular midsized SUV and has been restyled for 2018.
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The Chevrolet Equinox SUV is on display at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on April 12, 2017.
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The Chevrolet Equinox on display at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on April 12, 2017.
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The Chevrolet Silverado High Country on display at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on April 12, 2017.
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Enter a captionThe 2018 Ford Expedition on display at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
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The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon on display at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
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The Ford F-150 Platinum on display at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on April 12, 2017

U.S. lawmakers considering a bill against smoking while walking on NY streets

The U.S. Senate has received a bill that will prohibit people from smoking while strolling on New York city sidewalks.

According to a report from NY Daily News, New York City Councilman Peter Koo says he’s always angered by the sight of people smoking while walking on the streets and wants to see them penalized.

Mr. Koo

 

Image shows New York city Councilman Peter Koo

In Mr. Koo’s opinion, when the bill is passed into law, it will spare fellow pedestrians of the nuisance posed by being caught behind a smoker and breathing in secondhand smoke.

The bill which was introduced on Wednesday aims at banning people from puffing cigarettes while walking in any of NY’s five boroughs. However, there’s a considerable provision for chainsmokers – if they agree to stand in one spot on the sidewalk.

Defaulters of the ordinance will be charged $50, the same fine handed to anyone who is caught smoking in public parks. The ban would also apply to street medians and Parks Department parking lots.

Speaking on his proposed law, Mr. Koo said: “It has happened to me many times — I’m walking behind someone who’s smoking, and I’m suffering for five or 10 minutes.”

He continued, “I see mothers with their strollers walking behind people who smoke, and they’re exposing the baby to secondhand smoke.”

Talking about the legislation which he said should be common courtesy, Mr. Koo added that in  a perfect world, “every smoker would have the self awareness to realize smoking while walking subjects everyone behind you to the fumes.”

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It has been illegal since 2003 to smoke in New York bars, restaurants, office buildings, and all other businesses, but some smokers are crying blue murder for the proposed law, stressing that previous regulations left the sidewalks as one of the few places people have been allowed to light up.

Ceia Cremo, a 48-year-old resident of Jackson Heights, told reporters while smoking an American Spirit as she walked down Fifth Ave, “I think that’s unreasonable…Where else do they want me and others to smoke? You can’t smoke in the park and many other places.”

“I think they should ban it,” said Latoya Smith, a 39-year-old Clinton Hill resident.

“I feel like some people don’t pay attention because when they’re smoking they don’t realize there are people behind them,” she added. “If you’re behind them, the smoke comes directly in your face.”

Rosario, an unbiased Slaten Island smoker said: “We’re victims of this stupid habit…It should be $100.”

Husband died protecting his young Wife during fatal shooting

A protective and loving husband has died from gunshot wounds while shielding his newlywed from violent attackers.

It was their two-month wedding anniversary, reports confirm.

The groom Ashley Sauls just celebrated his birthday which coincided with the their wedding date last Tuesday. Unfortunately, he died barely eight hours afterwards.

Their marriage was consummated on 26 April this year.

His twin brother named Stan also died in a gruesome murder attack eight years ago. The murder victims had no child.

Image shows Ashley and Alicia Sauls.

Describing how the deceased spent his last hours on earth, family members told reporters that the couple had gone on a night out when they were attacked. He was found lying on top of her, holding and trying to shield her from gunshots.

Ashley had just received a card, a pair of socks and a photo frame as birthday gifts from his wife Alicia few hours before they died.

Their bodies were later discovered a few roads away in Parkwood Avenue, Parkwood, NY.

“To my darling husband Ashley,” Alicia wrote on the card. “Happy birthday my love, may you be blessed with many more joyful, loving and prosperous years to come. With all my love, from your wife.”

His wife Alicia, 27, was shot in the stomach while the man got a blast on the head.

Reports confirm four suspects were arrested shortly after police learnt of the murder.

Within four hours of the brutal murder, the alleged shooters aged between 25 and 30 were taken into custody, and will appear in court for trials soon.

Police said they found a 9mm Norinco Star firearm on the suspects.

“A double murder case was opened for investigation,” said Constable Carol Strauss, who confirmed the arrest.

“Sterling investigation led to the arrest of four suspects aged between 25 and 30 and the recovery of a 9mm Norinco Star firearm,” she added.

According to Elizabeth Hendricks, a 45-year-old mom to Alicia, the couple left home [Elizabeth’s apartment where she harbored them in Walmer Walk, Parkwood] around 2am on Wednesday morning.

“Alicia came into my room and said: ‘Mommy, I am coming now’,” she explains.

“I was half asleep. I don’t know where they were off to.

“A few minutes later, I heard gunshots and I called to Alicia’s cellphone and there was no answer. Then a resident came to my home to bring me the news, and I just knew.”

Before death came calling, Ashley was unemployed while his wife Alicia, a recovering drug addict, was going to begin nursing classes soon.

North Korea claims its Diplomats were “mugged” by US Authorities at JFK Airport

In the wake of accusations and denials stemming from Otto Warmbier‘s fateful journey to North Korea, and his release in a vegetative state to America on “humanitarian grounds,” Reuters reported that DPRK said its diplomats were harassed at the JFK airport in New York.

Kim Jong Un‘s government said its statesmen were “mugged” on US soil by officials who are supposed to be custodians of the law.

Image: File photo 1

The diplomats alleged that their diplomat package was forcibly confiscated, a sign which they said, raises dusts on New York as the United Nations (UN) headquarter.

Manhattan, New York City, is a seat to the 195-nation intergovernmental organization which recently held a conference on the rights of persons with disabilities.

The government representatives from N. Korea were on their way back from the meeting before officials at the John F. Kennedy airport “literally mugged” them.

According to the claimants, this “unprovoked” and “unnecessary” harassment amount to “an illegal and heinous act of provocation.”

Speaking on behalf of Kim Jong Un’s government, Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a statement, “Diplomats of a sovereign state are being robbed of a diplomatic package in the middle of New York where the headquarters of the United Nations is located and that serves as the venue for international meetings including the United Nations General Assembly.

“This clearly shows that the US is a felonious and lawless gangster state.

“The international community needs to seriously reconsider whether or not New York, where such an outrageous mugging is rampant, is fit to serve as the venue for international meetings,” KCNA said.

The North Korean diplomats said they were in possession of a valid diplomatic courier certificate.

In its allegations against the State Department, KCNA said more than 20 American officials were involved in the June 16 incident.

The Korean news outlet added that those alleged assailants “proudly” introduced themselves as officials from the US Department of Homeland Security.

” [The State Department officials] made a violent assault like gangsters to take away the diplomatic package from the diplomats,” KCNA added in its claims.

For its nuclear arms building and provocative tests of ballistic missiles, the UN Security Council has imposed sanctions against North Korea, a member of the intergovernmental body.

The North accused UN of being biased, and therefore rejected the resolutions as infringements of its right to self defense and space exploration.

U.S. Politician Commits Suicide 4 Days Before Election.

A New York state lawmaker who is said to be running for re-election has reportedly committed suicide. The incident occurred Friday, four days before the state’s Republican primary election.

Image shows assemblyman Bill Nojay.

An emergency call to the police reported a depressed man somewhere around a cemetery. By the time cops arrived the scene, they met Bill Nojay’s corpse.

He apparently died of gunshot wounds after pulling the trigger on himself.

The location where Bill killed himself is said to be next to his brother’s grave, in his family’s burial plot, Newser reported.

According to reports, the deceased has been faced with financial scandals recently, and police believe this might have been the root cause of his suicidal thoughts.

The New York Times, Bill Nojay, 59, was accused of embezzling $1.8 million from a legal client and was to appear in court for trials on those charges Friday.

And federal investigators are also looking into his previous business deals, especially an agricultural venture he established in Cambodia. Nojay was believed to have taken $1 million donation from a Cambodian dentist but had nothing to show for it.

He was also being investigated for his role in a $1.3 billion deal to modernize schools, the Albany Times Union reports.

If he ends up winning Tuesday, party leaders will have to nominate a replacement for the general election. Nojay’s Republican challenger, Richard Milne, says he’s “devastated” by the news and is “suspending all political activity until further notice.”