Kavanaugh vote set for today
The Senate’s Republican leadership moved forward with the confirmation process of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, setting up a procedural vote today and a final floor vote tomorrow. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to end debate on the pick, announcing that the FBI would on Wednesday present the Senate with its highly anticipated report, which had been demanded by Democrats and a handful of Republicans, who wanted a more complete evaluation of the nominee. Several people with information on allegations against Kavanaugh said they had not heard from the FBI, suggesting that its report might be narrower than was desired by some lawmakers.
Judge blocks TPS plans
A federal judge in California on Wednesday barred President Donald Trump’s administration from implementing a plan to end temporary protections for more than 300,000 immigrants in the US from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. US District Judge Edward Chen issued a preliminary injunction in a suit brought by a number of immigrants with temporary protected status (TPS). The TPS designation offers protection from deportation to immigrants already in the US, including those who entered illegally, from countries affected by natural disasters, civil conflicts and other problems. The government has failed to establish any real harm if “the status quo (which has been in existence for as long as two decades) is maintained during the pendency of this litigation,” Chen wrote in the order.
Officer shoots colleagues
A drunk police officer allegedly shot dead two colleagues in Addis Ababa yesterday, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corp reported. The policeman who fired on his colleagues was also shot dead, Fana quoted Federal Police Commissioner Zeynu Jemal as saying. The attacker was intoxicated with alcohol at the time, Zeynu was quoted as saying. He mentioned no possible ethnic motivation behind the shooting, which came after an escalation of ethnically-charged violence in the nation.
Inmates die in breakout
Nine prisoners have been killed and 19 are on the run after fleeing into a wooded area near a prison in northern Tocantins State, authorities said. The Tocantins Public Security Department on Wednesday said that 28 inmates fled the Barra da Grota prison amid a riot that broke out on Tuesday. Nine of them were killed in a subsequent shoot-out with police officers, who tracked them down in the woods. Police were scouring the area for the missing 19 prisoners and two prison staff members who were taken hostage.
Man dies after attack
A fourth man has died after he was struck in the head during a series of attacks on mostly homeless men in the Los Angeles area last month, media said on Wednesday. The man, who has not been identified, was attacked while he slept on Sept. 24. He died on Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported. Ramon Escobar, 47, who fled to California from Texas after being questioned in the disappearance of two Houston relatives, was arrested last week on suspicion of bludgeoning seven men. Escobar, a Salvadoran national and convicted felon who has been repeatedly deported from the US, faces three counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder and four counts of robbery, authorities said.
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