Johnny Carson, the quick-witted Tonight Show host who became an American institution putting his viewers to bed for 30 years with a smooth nightcap of celebrity banter and heartland charm, has died. He was 79. \nCarson died early Sunday morning, according to his nephew, Jeff Sotzing. \n"He was surrounded by his family, whose loss will be immeasurable," Sotzing said. \nHe did not provide further details, but NBC said Carson died of emphysema -- a respiratory disease that can be attributed to smoking -- at his Malibu home. \nCarson often had a cigarette in hand in the early years of Tonight, eventually dropping the on-air habit when smoking on TV became frowned on. But he remained a heavy smoker for some years afterward, said a former associate who spoke on condition of anonymity. \nThe boyish-looking Nebraska native with the disarming grin, who survived every attempt to topple him from his late-night talk show throne, was a star who managed never to distance himself from his audience. \nHis wealth, the adoration of his guests -- particularly the many young comics whose careers he launched -- the wry tales of multiple divorces: Carson's air of modesty made it all serve to enhance his bedtime intimacy with viewers. \nUS President George W. Bush described Carson as "a steady and reassuring presence in homes across America for three decades. His wit and insight made Americans laugh and think and had a profound influence on American life and entertainment." \n"Heeeeere's Johnny!" was the booming announcement from sidekick Ed McMahon that ushered Carson out to the stage. Then the formula: the topical monologue, the guests and the broadly played skits. \nBut the US never tired of him; Carson went out on top when he retired in May 1992. \nMcMahon said on Sunday that Carson was "like a brother to me." \nCarson's personal life could not match the perfection of his career. Carson was married four times, divorced three times. In 1991, one of his three sons, 39-year-old Ricky, was killed in a car accident. \nNearly all of Carson's professional life was spent in television, from his postwar start at Nebraska stations in the late 1940s to his three decades with NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. \nCarson chose to let Tonight stand as his career zenith and his finale, withdrawing into a quiet retirement that suited his private nature and refusing involvement in other show business projects. \nCarson spent his retirement years sailing, traveling and socializing with a few close friends including media mogul Barry Diller and NBC executive Bob Wright. He simply refused to be wooed back on stage. \n"I just let the work speak for itself," he told Esquire magazine in 2002.
A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific might seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic, but residents on Palau said that life right now is far from idyllic. The microstate of 18,000 people is among a dwindling number of places on Earth that still report zero cases of COVID-19 as figures mount daily elsewhere. The disparate group also includes Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica. A dot in the ocean hundreds of kilometers from its nearest neighbors, Palau is surrounded by the vast Pacific Ocean, which has acted as a buffer against the
Dutch scientists have found the coronavirus in a city’s wastewater before COVID-19 cases were reported, demonstrating a novel early warning system for the disease. SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — is often excreted in an infected person’s stool. Although it is unlikely that sewage will become an important route of transmission, the pathogen’s increasing circulation in communities would increase the amount of it flowing into sewer systems, Gertjan Medema and colleagues at the KWR Water Research Institute in Nieuwegein said on Monday. They detected genetic material from the coronavirus at a wastewater treatment plant in Amersfoort on March 5, before
TRUE TOLL? Some Chinese are skeptical about official data, particularly given the overwhelmed medical system and initial attempts to cover up the outbreak The long lines and stacks of urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan, China, are spurring questions about the true scale of casualties at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, renewing pressure on a Chinese government struggling to control its containment narrative. The families of those who succumbed to the coronavirus in the city, where the disease first emerged, were allowed to pick up their cremated ashes at eight funeral homes last week. As they did, photographs circulated on Chinese social media of thousands of urns being ferried in. Outside one funeral home, trucks shipped in about 2,500
KEEN INTEREST: India is trying to procure medical gear from domestic producers and abroad, and China has emerged as a possible supplier as its factories reopen India is to buy ventilators and masks from China to help it deal with COVID-19, a government official said yesterday, even though some countries in Europe had complained about the quality of the equipment. India has recorded 1,251 cases of the coronavirus, with 32 deaths, but health experts said the country of 1.3 billion people could see a major surge in cases that could overwhelm its weak public health system. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said that it was trying to procure medical gear, including masks and body coveralls, both from domestic firms and from countries such as South Korea and