Coronavirus outbreak at migrant shelter in Mexico linked to U.S. deportee

A health inspector checks the temperature of deportees just returned by U.S. immigration authorities in Matamoros, Mexico. Mexican authorities have been screening returning migrants for potential coronavirus infections.  ( Javier Escalante / For The Times )

Nuevo Laredo, Mexican authorities said Monday.” data-reactid=”23″>A Mexican citizen deported from the United States is the suspected source of a coronavirus outbreak at a shelter in the city of Nuevo Laredo, Mexican authorities said Monday.

At least 14 other migrants at the shelter were infected in what appears to be the first outbreak in Mexico linked to a deportee from the United States, a scenario long feared by Mexican health authorities and migrant advocates.

More tests were being conducted to determine if other migrants or staff at the shelter had been infected, according to the health department in Tamaulipas state, which includes Nuevo Laredo and other communities across the border from Texas.

Authorities said the deportee — whose name, age and gender were being withheld — arrived at the shelter unaware of having been infected. All 15 migrants with the virus have been placed in isolation.

The Trump administration has continued its policy of aggressively removing migrants and would-be asylum seekers despite widespread concerns that the practice is spreading the virus from the United States, which has the most cases in the world.

Central American nation have tested positive. They account for more than a sixth of the 289 cases confirmed across the country.” data-reactid=”28″>Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said Sunday that at least 50 migrants deported by the United States to the Central American nation have tested positive. They account for more than a sixth of the 289 cases confirmed across the country.

On Monday, Reuters reported that three migrants recently deported from the United States to Haiti had tested positive for coronavirus while in quarantine in the Caribbean nation.

“The Trump administration is essentially spreading a global pandemic to countries and communities less capable of managing an outbreak,” said Ariana Sawyer, a researcher for Human Rights Watch.

The U.S. government, which gives migrants basic health screens before removing them but does not test them for coronavirus, has not confirmed removing any migrant who is infected.

Neither Immigration and Customs Enforcement nor Customs and Border Protection returned requests for comment on the reports from officials in Mexico and Haiti.

U.S. authorities have defended the removal policies as both a deterrent to illegal immigration and a way to contain the spread of coronavirus in the United States.

rough encampments where social distancing is not possible.” data-reactid=”34″>But the practice has swelled the ranks of U.S.-bound migrants stranded in Mexican border towns, leaving thousands crammed into shelters, low-rent apartments and rough encampments where social distancing is not possible.

On March 20, U.S. authorities enacted a policy of speedy expulsions along the Southwest border in response to the pandemic. In less than a month, more than 11,000 had been sent back across the Mexican border under the new guidelines. They include asylum seekers and hundreds of unaccompanied minors, groups granted special protections under U.S. law.

Those returns are in addition to the hundreds of Mexican nationals deported each day on suspicion of violating U.S. immigration laws.

U.S. immigration authorities sent back almost 62,000 Mexican citizens between Jan. 1 and April 3, the most recent period for which figures were available, according to Mexico’s interior ministry.

Many had spent weeks or months in U.S. detention centers where rising numbers of infections have been reported.

As of late Monday, ICE had confirmed 220 coronavirus cases among migrants in its custody, more than double the total from Friday, when the agency told lawmakers it had tested between 300 and 400 detainees — about 1% of roughly 32,000 migrants in its custody.

A total of 116 ICE employees have also tested positive, including 30 working in detention facilities.

Mexican officials have instituted health screenings for the steady stream of deportees arriving in Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Matamoros and other towns along the border, taking their temperatures and querying them about any symptoms they may have and how long they were in U.S. custody.

Most are then provided bus transportation back to their home regions across Mexico.

Mexico’s immigration agency did not respond to queries Monday asking how many deportees returned by the United States had tested positive for coronavirus.

In the case of the outbreak at the Nuevo Laredo shelter, Mexican health authorities said the suspected carrier of the virus had been deported from Houston.

Those infected at the shelter included citizens of Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Cuba and the central African nation of Cameroon, authorities said.

Health officials also said a 21-year-old Mexican man who had been returned by U.S. authorities from Atlanta to the Mexican border city of Reynosa on April 17 had also tested positive for coronavirus.

The administration of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been eager to appease the United States, its principal trading partner.

Posted in

South Korea investigating reports Kim Jong Un is in 'grave danger' following surgery

told CNN on Monday night.” data-reactid=”19″>U.S. intelligence agencies have received information that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in “grave danger” following surgery, a U.S. official with knowledge of the matter told CNN on Monday night.

He was last spotted on April 11 at a government meeting, and was absent at a birthday celebration on April 15 for his late grandfather, state founder Kim Il Sung. Rumors swirled in 2014, when Kim Jong Un was briefly out of the public eye. Upon his return, he was seen using a cane, and South Korea intelligence determined that he had a cyst taken off his ankle, CNN reports.

told The Associated Press they were unable to immediately confirm the CNN or Daily NK reports, and are investigating both.” data-reactid=”21″>Daily NK, a Seoul-based nonprofit that monitors North Korea, has reported that Kim is recovering from heart surgery, and his condition is improving. Officials with South Korea’s Unification Ministry and National Intelligence Service told The Associated Press they were unable to immediately confirm the CNN or Daily NK reports, and are investigating both.

Georgia’s dangerous coronavirus experiment
The Navajo Nation outbreak reveals an ugly truth behind America’s coronavirus experience
Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic competence is a mirage
” data-reactid=”22″>More stories from theweek.com
Georgia’s dangerous coronavirus experiment
The Navajo Nation outbreak reveals an ugly truth behind America’s coronavirus experience
Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic competence is a mirage

New Zealand could pull off bold goal of eliminating virus

In this April 6, 2020, photo, Air New Zealand planes sit idle on the tarmac at Christchurch Airport, New Zealand. New Zealand has set itself an ambitious goal of not just containing the coronavirus, but eliminating it altogether. Experts believe the country could pull it off, thanks to its geography and decisive early actions by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has put the country into a strict lockdown. But whatever happens, the country will continue feeling the effects of the pandemic, which has hobbled its vital tourism industry. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — While most countries are working on ways to contain the coronavirus, New Zealand has set itself a much more ambitious goal: eliminating it altogether.

And experts believe the country could pull it off.

The virus “doesn’t have superpowers,” said Helen Petousis-Harris, a vaccine expert at the University of Auckland. “Once transmission is stopped, it’s gone.”

Geography has helped. If any place could be described as socially distant it would be New Zealand, surrounded by stormy seas, with Antarctica to the south. With 5 million people spread across an area the size of Britain, even the cities aren’t overly crowded.

And Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has taken bold steps, putting the country under a strict lockdown in late March, when only about 100 people had tested positive for the new virus. Her motto: “Go hard and go early.”

New Zealand has so far avoided a widespread outbreak, and new cases have dwindled from a peak of about 90 per day in early April to just five on Tuesday, leaving the goal tantalizingly close. Only 13 people have died so far, and Ardern has been personally briefed on each death.

“We have the opportunity to do something no other country has achieved: elimination of the virus,” Ardern told reporters last week. “But it will continue to need a team of 5 million behind it.”

Petousis-Harris said the country had managed to avoid the confusion and half-measures that have hampered the response in many other places.

“New Zealand got everything right,” she said. “Decisive action, with strong leadership and very clear communications to everybody.”

Ardern on Monday announced the country would stay in lockdown for another week before slightly easing some work restrictions to help restart the economy. Most of the social restrictions will remain in place.

She also tried to temper expectations of her goal, saying elimination didn’t mean that new cases wouldn’t arise in the future but they would be stamped out immediately.

New cases are likely when New Zealand eventually reopens its borders, but questions remain about how well prepared the health system is to implement effective contact tracing should a widespread outbreak occur. Petousis-Harris pointed to problems last year when the country failed to contain a measles outbreak.

Even if New Zealand does purge itself of the virus, the effects will linger. Before the outbreak, tourism was booming. About 4 million people visited each year, drawn by stunning scenery and the lure of adventure sports. The industry employed more than 300,000 people and accounted for about 10% of New Zealand’s entire economy.

“It’s been devastating. No question at all,” said Stephen England-Hall, the chief executive of Tourism New Zealand, a promotional agency. “No one can really plan to go from 100% to zero in three days.”

A study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found that because of its reliance on tourism, New Zealand’s economy could initially be one of the hardest-hit by the coronavirus among developed nations.

The government, which came into the crisis with its books in relatively good shape, has been handing out billions of dollars in temporary wage subsidies to try and prevent mass unemployment. More than half the nation’s workforce has suddenly become reliant on government handouts.

Still, most people appear to support Ardern’s strict lockdown, under which schools are closed and people working nonessential jobs can leave home only for groceries or exercise. Google mobility data indicates there has been high compliance.

Many have found creative ways to cope, like 28-year-old personal trainer Jessee James. Instead of meeting her clients in gyms or at their homes, she’s been leading virtual sessions over Zoom and FaceTime.

Some of her clients are using cans of beans instead of dumbbells, or laundry baskets instead of sandbags. Many want to talk more about their feelings, like the business owner who needed to lay off employees or the client with emotional issues who needs encouragement.

“Normally they would just talk to the people around them,” James said. “It’s been quite different.”

One of the most symbolic casualties of the outbreak has been Air New Zealand. The airline had been a source of pride for many as it expanded internationally and won industry awards. In a series of frank updates, Chief Executive Greg Foran described how the carrier had reduced flights by 95% and would need to cut its workforce by at least 3,750.

One person who doesn’t yet know if he will retain his job with the airline is 27-year-old pilot Scott Beatson. He and partner Bella Ashworth, who just finished law school, bought a house earlier this year, and they’re both now worried about their futures.

“It’s quite sad,” Beatson said. “Just before the lockdown, I was talking with a baggage loader and a check-in person, and everyone took such pride in the company.”

An eager fisherman and hiker, Beatson has taken to camping in his backyard while stuck at home. Like many around the country, he’s been tuning into some of the daily briefings given by Ardern and Ashley Bloomfield, the director-general of health.

An unassuming official who spent a year working at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Bloomfield’s calm and reassuring presence has turned him into an unlikely heartthrob.

Singer Maxwell Apse wrote a song about Bloomfield that has been viewed more than 75,000 times on YouTube. “If I had one wish, I would make it this: I’d be in your bubble,” go the lyrics.

When New Zealand does come out of its bubble, the path forward remains unclear. It will need to continue relying on its traditional strength in farming to sell things abroad like dairy products, kiwifruit and wine.

Some have suggested the country could first reopen its borders to Australia, which has also been successful in flattening its virus curve.

England-Hall, the tourism executive, said New Zealand will look to first rebuild the domestic tourism market. He said being virus-free could eventually become a selling point abroad for the country.

The conundrum is that to stay virus-free, New Zealand may need to continue its current requirement that new arrivals spend two weeks in quarantine. Given that the average tourist in the past has stayed for about 11 days, it seems an insurmountable obstacle.

Ever the optimist, England-Hall foresees a new type of tourism product in which wealthy people could be pampered during a quarantine period — a kind of isolation spa.

But with travel curtailed, some worry that New Zealand could revert to a more insular version of itself, before cheap flights allowed its citizens to roam the world, and foreigners to visit. A place where isolation can be both a blessing and a curse.

Trump starts new coronavirus feud with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan

WASHINGTON — President Trump has started feuds with several governors during the coronavirus response, with diatribes against Jay Inslee of Washington, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and J.B. Pritzker of Illinois complicating calls for national unity and bipartisanship. Even New York’s Andrew Cuomo, usually the recipient of the president’s praise, has come in for the occasional brushback.

Monday presented Trump with a new target: Larry Hogan of Maryland. The target is noteworthy because, unlike the other governors whom Trump has attacked, Hogan is a Republican, albeit one with no evident loyalty to Trump (last year, he even considered a presidential primary challenge).

received near-unanimous praise for recognizing and responding to the threat of the coronavirus. But the president is apparently unimpressed. In describing a call with governors that Vice President Mike Pence presided over earlier in the day, Trump singled out Hogan, effectively depicting him as clueless.

“The governor of Maryland didn’t really understand. He didn’t really understand what was going on,” Trump said, alleging that Hogan was unaware of all the coronavirus testing sites in his own state. That list of testing sites was emailed by his administration to governors. 

More broadly, Trump was clearly on the defensive about a persistent testing shortfall that may frustrate the president’s plans to reopen the American economy, which has been under lockdown for weeks.

Hogan told anchor Wolf Blitzer. ” data-reactid=”30″>Hogan appeared on CNN just a few minutes later to rebut Trump’s charge that he was somehow confused about testing. “I have a pretty good understanding of what’s going on and I appreciate the information that was provided by his team,” Hogan told anchor Wolf Blitzer

Speaking of the list of testing facilities, Hogan said that “most of the ones they sent me in Maryland were all federal facilities, including NIH and FDA and Walter Reed and Fort Detrick,” using acronyms for the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. 

Walter Reed is a military medical center, while Fort Detrick is home to the military’s biological defense program. Presumably, neither site would be accessible to members of the public seeking a coronavirus test.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. (Susan Walsh/AP)

“I’m not sure what he was trying to say,” the second-term governor added.

asked for a federal test site in their region. They were told, according to Hogan spokesman Mike Ricci, that “it was on the states.” (At one point during Monday’s briefing, Vice President Mike Pence seemed to say that any site that could conduct coronavirus tests would do so; he referenced the federal sites in Maryland, but did not offer details about how they would make the necessary accommodations.)” data-reactid=”45″>A month ago, Hogan, along with the governor of Virginia and the mayor of Washington, D.C., asked for a federal test site in their region. They were told, according to Hogan spokesman Mike Ricci, that “it was on the states.” (At one point during Monday’s briefing, Vice President Mike Pence seemed to say that any site that could conduct coronavirus tests would do so; he referenced the federal sites in Maryland, but did not offer details about how they would make the necessary accommodations.)

to meet the benchmarks for state-specific reopenings to begin. Among those conditions is a “[d]ownward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period.”” data-reactid=”46″>In recent days, Trump has vacillated between declaring that he has “total” authority to declare lockdown orders lifted and telling governors that it was their responsibility to meet the benchmarks for state-specific reopenings to begin. Among those conditions is a “[d]ownward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period.”

some governors have disagreed with that assertion.” data-reactid=”47″>To meet that goal, states must have the capacity to test hundreds of thousands of people. Trump and his coronavirus task force response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, have said that states have enough testing, but some governors have disagreed with that assertion.

Hogan’s wife, Yumi, who was born in South Korea, took part in the negotiations. The Hogans were on hand as the shipment arrived in Baltimore on Saturday.” data-reactid=”48″>Trump may also have been irked by the favorable publicity Hogan received for personally negotiating with South Korean companies to purchase 500,000 coronavirus tests. Hogan’s wife, Yumi, who was born in South Korea, took part in the negotiations. The Hogans were on hand as the shipment arrived in Baltimore on Saturday.

Speaking during the Monday briefing, Adm. Brett Giroir, whom the White House has put in charge of the testing issue, also criticized Hogan. “I don’t know what the governor of Maryland is doing in South Korea,” he said. A few moments later, Trump returned to the podium to say that instead of purchasing test kits from South Korea, it would have been better for the governor to acquire “a little knowledge.”

But as Hogan pointed out during a press conference earlier on Monday, his outreach to South Korea was a consequence of a White House directive. “The administration made it clear over and over again they want the states to take the lead,” Hogan said, “and we have to go out and do it ourselves — and that’s exactly what we did,” He explained that the negotiations with South Korea, led by him and Yumi Hogan, involved hours-long phone calls for 22 consecutive nights.

_____

CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides. ” data-reactid=”54″>Click here for the latest coronavirus news and updates. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please refer to the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides. 

Posted in

Saudi executions a record last year

Saudi Arabia put 184 people to death in 2019, the highest number Amnesty International has ever recorded in a single year in the country, despite Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s public commitment to reducing the number of executions.

Amnesty International released a 59-page report Monday that found that while global executions last year hit a 10-year low, falling by 5 percent compared to 2018, executions in Saudi Arabia increased by 23 percent, from 149 in 2018.

London-based rights group Reprieve reported this month that Saudi Arabia had carried out its 800th execution since King Salman bin Abdulaziz assumed power in 2015, and that the rate of executions has doubled under his reign.” data-reactid=”21″>The London-based rights group Reprieve reported this month that Saudi Arabia had carried out its 800th execution since King Salman bin Abdulaziz assumed power in 2015, and that the rate of executions has doubled under his reign.

As of last week, Amnesty had recorded 789 executions under the king.

Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry did not respond to a request for comment on the country’s death penalty record.

The kingdom’s judicial system is opaque and the numbers of people executed over the years varies slightly, as do rights groups’ records as to which year had the highest execution toll prior to 2019. Amnesty International said it started publishing annual reports on executions and death sentences in 2008.

For Saudi analysts and dissidents abroad, the uptick in the number of executions is further evidence that Saudi rulers have declined to rethink the country’s commitment to human rights in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

“All those figures point to the general deterioration in human rights across the board that we’ve monitored for some time in relation to arrests, the use of torture and other human rights abuses,” said Josh Cooper, deputy of director of London-based ALQST, which advocates for human rights in Saudi Arabia.

“The death penalty is another violation which has gone in line with that trend of a real deterioration in civil and political rights.”

Prince Mohammed told Time in 2018 that the kingdom was working to reduce its number of executions. Asked whether there was an initiative to do so, the crown prince responded: “Yeah, of course it’s an initiative. But we will not get it 100 percent, but to reduce it big time.”” data-reactid=”28″>It also comes after Prince Mohammed told Time in 2018 that the kingdom was working to reduce its number of executions. Asked whether there was an initiative to do so, the crown prince responded: “Yeah, of course it’s an initiative. But we will not get it 100 percent, but to reduce it big time.”

The majority of executions recorded by Amnesty in the kingdom last year were for drug-related offenses and murder. However, the rights group also documented the increased use of the death penalty as a political weapon against dissidents from the country’s Shiite Muslim minority. Saudi Shiites have long complained of discrimination in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

Last April, 37 men were executed at once, 32 of whom were Shiite. Eleven were convicted by the country’s notorious Specialized Criminal Court for spying for Iran, and 14 for participating in anti-government protests, according to Amnesty International.

used to quash dissent. They say defendants tried by the court have faced unfair trials without lawyers and some have been convicted based on "confessions" extracted through ill-treatment or torture.” data-reactid=”31″>The court was established in 2008 to try terror-related cases, but rights groups and Saudi dissidents say it has increasingly been used to quash dissent. They say defendants tried by the court have faced unfair trials without lawyers and some have been convicted based on “confessions” extracted through ill-treatment or torture.

Since being appointed crown prince in 2017, Prince Mohammed has presented himself as a reformer eager to transform the kingdom’s deeply conservative society. He has instituted a series of social reforms such as allowing women to drive and loosening strict male guardianship laws, which prevent Saudi women from making important decisions without the consent of a male relative.” data-reactid=”32″>Since being appointed crown prince in 2017, Prince Mohammed has presented himself as a reformer eager to transform the kingdom’s deeply conservative society. He has instituted a series of social reforms such as allowing women to drive and loosening strict male guardianship laws, which prevent Saudi women from making important decisions without the consent of a male relative.

sweeping crackdowns on dissent, arresting intellectuals, clerics, women’s rights activists and members of the royal family. In October 2018, the international community shuddered with revulsion when details of the Khashoggi’s murder came to light. The CIA concluded that Prince Mohammed had ordered the killing, according to a person briefed on the agency’s assessment.” data-reactid=”33″>But he has also presided over sweeping crackdowns on dissent, arresting intellectuals, clerics, women’s rights activists and members of the royal family. In October 2018, the international community shuddered with revulsion when details of the Khashoggi’s murder came to light. The CIA concluded that Prince Mohammed had ordered the killing, according to a person briefed on the agency’s assessment.

Adullah Alaoudh, whose father, Salman Alaoudh, a popular cleric in the kingdom, is in custody in Riyadh and could face the death penalty, said he felt numb when confronted with Saudi Arabia’s growing list of judicial executions.

“It seems [the way] things are going, we have witnessed mass executions, have witnessed the death penalty, have witnessed everything, so I guess we’re kind of used it,” said Alaoudh, 36, who is in self-imposed exile in the United States where he is a senior fellow at Georgetown University.

Salman Alaoudh, who has millions of followers on Twitter, had argued that the country’s rulers should be more responsive to the population’s desires. In 2017 he was arrested and later charged with 37 counts, including affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, a political Islamist group founded in Egypt, that Saudi Arabia has designated a terrorist organization, according to Amnesty International.

The prosecutor has called for him to be sentenced to death, but his son said his hearings have been postponed with no date currently set.

Prince Mohammed’s “grip is already tightened,” Alaoudh said, “but he’s tightening it even more.”

Mexican president tells gangs to stop donating food, end crime instead

FILE PHOTO: Mexico’s President Obrador holds a news conference in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s president chastised drug gangs on Monday, telling them to end violence instead of distributing food, after several reports across the country in recent days showed armed narcos handing out care packages stamped with cartel logos.

Imploring criminals to behave better, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador declared that the care packages filled with basic foodstuffs and cleaning supplies are not helpful.

“These criminal organizations that have been seen distributing the packages, this isn’t helpful. What helps is them stopping their bad deeds,” he told reporters at a news conference.

The leftist president, who has advocated a less confrontational approach than his predecessors to taming raging cartel violence, said gang members should refrain from harming others and instead think of the suffering they cause to their own families and the mothers of their victims.

Mexico notched a homicide record of 34,582 dead during Lopez Obrador’s first full year in office in 2019, as the president advocated for more social spending to address the root causes of crime.

Last week, reports first circulated of several Mexican cartels deploying members to dole out aid packages to help cash-strapped residents ride out the coronavirus pandemic.

A daughter of jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was among those spotted handing out the packages stamped with her own company’s “El Chapo 701” logo, which includes the image of her infamous father.

The boxes included cooking oil, rice, sugar and other items were distributed in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-biggest city.[nL8N2C40PE]

Beyond the Guzman-linked Sinaloa Cartel, other gangs have similarly courted publicity with care packages for mostly poor residents, including the Jalisco New Generation and Los Durango cartels. Photos posted on social media on Monday showed heavily armed members from both handing out packages including toilet paper and shampoo.

Lopez Obrador, meanwhile, has come under sharp criticism for not advocating more financial support for companies or jobless workers.

Over the past month, the country’s economy has dramatically slowed due to coronavirus containment measures.

To date, there are more than 8,000 confirmed coronavirus cases as well as nearly 700 deaths attributed to COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus.

(Reporting by Raul Cortes Fernandez and Daina Beth Soloman in Mexico City; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

AOC Praises Crash of U.S. Oil Market: ‘You Absolutely Love to See It’

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) tweeted “you absolutely love to see it,” as the U.S. oil market reached negative territory for the first time ever, potentially putting hundreds of American oil companies out of business.

“This along with record low interest rates means it’s the right time for a worker-led, mass investment in green infrastructure to save our planet. *cough*,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

 

She then deleted the tweet and rephrased it, saying “it‘s the right time to create millions of jobs transitioning to renewable and clean energy. A key opportunity.

dropping over 100 percent on the day to hit -$37.63 a barrel. While the June delivery of U.S. crude oil is currently trading above $20 a barrel, experts have warned the low prices could put hundreds of U.S. companies out of business.” data-reactid=”27″>Oil prices went negative on Monday for the first time in history, dropping over 100 percent on the day to hit -$37.63 a barrel. While the June delivery of U.S. crude oil is currently trading above $20 a barrel, experts have warned the low prices could put hundreds of U.S. companies out of business.

told CNN Business. Rystad estimated that 533 US oil exploration and production companies will file for bankruptcy by the end of 2021 in a $20 oil market, while the number would double to over 1,100 in a $10 market.” data-reactid=”28″>“$30 is already quite bad, but once you get to $20 or even $10, it’s a complete nightmare,” Artem Abramov, the head of shale research at Rystad Energy, told CNN Business. Rystad estimated that 533 US oil exploration and production companies will file for bankruptcy by the end of 2021 in a $20 oil market, while the number would double to over 1,100 in a $10 market.

introduced a bill to ban fracking nationwide in February, proposed the “Green New Deal” last year to transition the U.S. entirely to “net-zero” carbon emissions within ten years, a piece of legislation that fell flat among Senate Democrats after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) decided to allow a allow a vote.” data-reactid=”29″>Ocasio-Cortez, who introduced a bill to ban fracking nationwide in February, proposed the “Green New Deal” last year to transition the U.S. entirely to “net-zero” carbon emissions within ten years, a piece of legislation that fell flat among Senate Democrats after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) decided to allow a allow a vote.

More from National Review

Opinion: Thanks to the Supreme Court, '10 Angry Men' can no longer send you to prison

Justice Neil Gorsuch spoke for the Supreme Court in a ruling requiring unanimous juries in serious criminal cases.  (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

“12 Angry Men” — probably assumed that the U.S. Constitution requires that juries be unanimous in order to convict someone of a major crime. But that wasn’t true until Monday, when the U.S. Supreme Court, reversing a shaky precedent, ruled that unanimity is required in state as well as federal courts.” data-reactid=”23″>Most Americans — including those who have seen the film “12 Angry Men” — probably assumed that the U.S. Constitution requires that juries be unanimous in order to convict someone of a major crime. But that wasn’t true until Monday, when the U.S. Supreme Court, reversing a shaky precedent, ruled that unanimity is required in state as well as federal courts.

Los Angeles Times editorial board, the court ruled in favor of Evangelisto Ramos, who was convicted in 2016 by a 10-2 vote in the murder of a woman whose body was found in a New Orleans trash can. Louisiana now requires unanimous jury verdicts for serious crimes, but Oregon continues to allow non-unanimous verdicts in felony cases. After Monday’s decision, no state will be able to convict people of serious crimes by less than unanimous juries.” data-reactid=”24″>Agreeing with the Los Angeles Times editorial board, the court ruled in favor of Evangelisto Ramos, who was convicted in 2016 by a 10-2 vote in the murder of a woman whose body was found in a New Orleans trash can. Louisiana now requires unanimous jury verdicts for serious crimes, but Oregon continues to allow non-unanimous verdicts in felony cases. After Monday’s decision, no state will be able to convict people of serious crimes by less than unanimous juries.

Given that only one state now allows non-unanimous verdicts, the court’s decision might not seem all that momentous.

That’s wrong for two reasons.

insanity defense after a jury found John W. Hinckley Jr., who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, not guilty by reason of insanity. (Alas, the Supreme Court ruled last month that the traditional insanity defense was not required by the Constitution.)” data-reactid=”27″>First, had the court ruled the other way, “law and order” advocates in other states might have lobbied their legislatures to allow non-unanimous verdicts. There are precedents for such a chain reaction, notably the move by several states to weaken the insanity defense after a jury found John W. Hinckley Jr., who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, not guilty by reason of insanity. (Alas, the Supreme Court ruled last month that the traditional insanity defense was not required by the Constitution.)

Juries may reach a verdict more quickly if they needn’t be unanimous, but (as “12 Angry Men” dramatizes) the requirement that all jurors agree makes it likelier that juries will deliberate carefully and explore all possibilities. Unanimity promotes impartiality.

Second, this ruling is important because it continued a trend in which the court has held that protections in the Bill of Rights that originally applied only to the federal government also apply to actions by state governments.

“incorporation”: a reference to the court’s holding that some, but not all, rights specified in the Bill of Rights are incorporated against the states by the 14th Amendment, which was added to the Constitution after the Civil War. That amendment mandates that people not be deprived of liberty without due process of law and also refers to the “privileges or immunities” of citizenship.” data-reactid=”30″>Legal nerds know that this process is called “incorporation”: a reference to the court’s holding that some, but not all, rights specified in the Bill of Rights are incorporated against the states by the 14th Amendment, which was added to the Constitution after the Civil War. That amendment mandates that people not be deprived of liberty without due process of law and also refers to the “privileges or immunities” of citizenship.

2010 that the court ruled that the states were bound by the court’s (then recent) interpretation of the 2nd Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms.” data-reactid=”31″>It long has been understood that the 1st Amendment’s guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion as well as the 4th Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures are incorporated against the states. But it was only in 2010 that the court ruled that the states were bound by the court’s (then recent) interpretation of the 2nd Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms.

6th Amendment. It guarantees a criminal defendant the right to trial by an impartial jury, but doesn’t specify that the verdict must be unanimous. Writing for the court, Justice Neil Gorsuch said that the unanimity requirement that he said lay behind the history of the 6th Amendment must also apply to state trials. The decision overrules a shaky 1972 precedent in which a fractured court seemed to say that unanimous juries were required in federal trials but not state trials.” data-reactid=”32″>Monday’s ruling concerned another provision of the Bill of Rights, the 6th Amendment. It guarantees a criminal defendant the right to trial by an impartial jury, but doesn’t specify that the verdict must be unanimous. Writing for the court, Justice Neil Gorsuch said that the unanimity requirement that he said lay behind the history of the 6th Amendment must also apply to state trials. The decision overrules a shaky 1972 precedent in which a fractured court seemed to say that unanimous juries were required in federal trials but not state trials.

7th Amendment’s guarantee of a jury trial in civil cases hasn’t been imposed on the states.” data-reactid=”33″>This decision doesn’t mean the end of so-called “selective incorporation” in which some of the Bill of Rights (or judicial interpretations of them) don’t apply to the states. For example, the 7th Amendment’s guarantee of a jury trial in civil cases hasn’t been imposed on the states.

But the court now has said that most of the significant protections of the Bill of Rights — the ones dealing with personal liberty — do apply to the states. That’s not just a legal nicety. At a time when the relationship between the states and the federal government is being newly debated — for example, in relation in immigration — it’s important that there is no daylight between the two when it comes to fundamental rights. Where basic rights are concerned, this must be one country.

Trump Opens Coronavirus Briefing by Taking Shots at Republican Governor

Alex Wong/Getty

governors during the coronavirus pandemic.” data-reactid=”17″>President Donald Trump kicked off his Monday coronavirus task force briefing by criticizing one of the leading Republican governors during the coronavirus pandemic.

At the start of the briefing, the president said the nation’s governors had been given “a list of the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the labs where they can find additional testing capacity within their states.” 

“Hundreds and hundreds of labs are ready, willing, and able,” he insisted. “Some of the governors, like as an example the governor from Maryland, didn’t really understand the list. He didn’t understand too much about what was going on, so now I think he’ll be able to do that. It’s pretty simple.” 

Georgia Governor Allows Gyms, Salons, and Bowling Alleys to Reopen Friday as Coronavirus Cases Climb” data-reactid=”20″>Georgia Governor Allows Gyms, Salons, and Bowling Alleys to Reopen Friday as Coronavirus Cases Climb

Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland, has emerged as one of the more hands-on state leaders during the pandemic. Hogan was mentioned frequently as a possible GOP primary challenger to Trump before publicly abandoning the idea in June.

The president’s relationship with the nation’s governors has been tense during the coronavirus pandemic, as some have not been shy about their issues with the federal government’s response. 

During an appearance on CNN soon after Trump’s early briefing attack, Hogan said he didn’t “want to get into criticizing back and forth,” noting that Trump “was not on the call.” 

Hogan guessed that what Trump may have been talking about was a list that was sent out to governors “of all of the different lab facilities in their states.” He said “most of the governors already knew where the lab facilities were in their states.”

While the list was appreciated, Hogan said, a large number on the Maryland list were federal facilities. 

“They were either federal health facilities that we’ve been desperately trying to get help from or military installations, none of which were state owned labs or facilities where we could actually do any testing,” Hogan said. “But I’m not sure what the president’s referring to. I have a pretty good understanding of what’s going on, and I appreciated the information that was provided by his team, but he wasn’t there for, I’m not sure what he was trying to say.”

Trump has made a point of criticizing Democratic governors, even calling on three Democratic states to be “liberated” on Twitter Friday. He continued to antagonize them early during Monday’s briefing. 

States have to look at “their complete inventory of available capacity,”  Trump said, before lashing out at Gov. J. B. Pritzker of Illinois. 

“Some states have far more capacity than they actually understand, and it is a complex subject, but some of the governors didn’t understand it,” Trump said. “The governor as an example, Pritzker from Illinois did not understand his capacity. Not simply ask the federal government to provide unlimited support. You have to take the support where you have it, but we are there to stand with the governors and to help the governors and that’s what we’re doing.”

Trump became defensive again on the topic of ventilators and testing—which have become flash point issues during the public-health crisis—suggesting ventilators were a national talking point simply because people wanted to attack him.

“Remember it was all ventilators,” Trump said. “And the reason it was all ventilators, they said there’s no way he’ll ever be able to catch this one. And not only did we catch it, we are now the king of ventilators all over the world.”

Columbia, S.C. newspaper The State, certain non-essential retail outlets can soon reopen. ” data-reactid=”32″>During the press conference, Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus task force response coordinator, was also asked about South Carolina, where, according to the Columbia, S.C. newspaper The State, certain non-essential retail outlets can soon reopen. 

“Shouldn’t they not be reopening stores today?” a reporter asked Birx.

Birx seemed to throw shade on South Carolina’s Republican leader, Gov. Henry McMaster, saying they have asked the nation’s governors to follow the guidance provided by the federal government. 

“But each of the governors can decide for themselves whether they’ve reached specific guidelines in specific areas,” she conceded.

said Monday the state will get “500,000 COVID-19 tests from South Korea’s LabGenomic.”” data-reactid=”36″>Hogan was further scorned by Trump before the briefing was over. The Maryland Republican’s office said Monday the state will get “500,000 COVID-19 tests from South Korea’s LabGenomic.”

“I don’t know what the governor of Maryland is doing in South Korea, but there is excess capacity every day,” said Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for Health at HHS. 

Vice President Mike Pence then said he “wouldn’t begrudge him or his health officials for ordering tests.” 

But moments later, Trump said the governor could have called Pence and “could have saved a lot of money.” 

“No, I don’t think he needed to go to South Korea,” Trump insisted. “I think he needed to get a little knowledge. Would have been helpful.”

The briefing went off the rails before it ended. At one point, the president answered a reporter’s question by saying “a lot of people love Trump.”  

“Lot of people love me, you see them all the time, right?” Trump said. “I guess I’m here for a reason. To the best of my knowledge I won, and I think we’re going to win again. I think we’re going to win in a landslide.”  

Not long after, he returned to attacking the press, saying he thinks the media “foments a lot of anger,” and complained about times where he’s asked a “tremendously hostile question.”  

“And then I’ll answer in a hostile way, which is appropriate, otherwise you look foolish,” Trump said. “Otherwise it looks like, just walk off the stage and bow your head. I can’t do that. I just can’t do that.” 

Read more at The Daily Beast.” data-reactid=”47″>Read more at The Daily Beast.

here” data-reactid=”48″>Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!” data-reactid=”49″>Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!

Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.” data-reactid=”50″>Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

20 Weird Facts About Earth To Remind You Why It's The Best

Clouds Help Regulate Earth’s Temperature

“If you bring all water droplets in clouds to the surface, you would cover Earth with a liquid film no thicker than a human hair,” Schneider of Caltech tells Popular Mechanics. “And yet, this tiny amount of water makes the difference between cool overcast summer days and warm clear days. And it is immensely important for climate. On average, clouds cool Earth by 13 F relative to what global temperatures would be without clouds.”

“How much global warming we get crucially depends on whether we get more or fewer clouds as the climate warms,” Schneider says. “Climate models do not agree on the answer, because simulating clouds and the tiny amount of water in them is hard. At Caltech, we are working on using AI to make climate models and their cloud simulations better, to get more precise answers about how climate will change.”