Trudy Rubin: Brutal propaganda war over coronavirus means facts matter more than ever
Rarely has accurate information been more vital than at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.Yet a global disinformation war is being waged at full force.China and Russia push conspiracy theories worldwide about the origin of the virus. Autocrats from Cambodia to Saudi Arabia to Turkey censor reporting on the virus.Meantime, President Donald Trump blasts journalists who question his misinformation, while far-right pundits and social media promote reckless claims about the outbreak.Here’s the good news, however: For those of you who seek solid information while sheltering at home there is a surpri...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Commentary: COVID-19 'Shock Doctrine' has begun
In some places, the need for a collective response to the coronavirus crisis is bringing out the best of humanity, as people and mutual aid groups work to help and protect others.Unfortunately, some people are already using this crisis to push through devastating changes that will enrich polluters and harm public health.Take the $2 trillion relief package Congress passed to provide emergency aid to people and businesses facing an economic downturn from the crisis.There are commendable elements of the bill, such as its expansion of unemployment benefits and its direct cash payments. But while o...
Tribune News Service
Former Outcome Health execs can't access $10.3 million in frozen funds to pay lawyers, judge rules
Former Outcome Health CEO Rishi Shah and former president Shradha Agarwal wanted to access $10.3 million the government froze as part of a $1 billion fraud case playing out in Chicago federal court. A federal judge has denied the request.Judge Thomas Durkin ruled Wednesday that the money was “indisputably derived” from Agarwal and Shah’s alleged fraud, and therefore would remain frozen.Court documents filed by the former executives’ attorneys in February listed Shah and Agarwal’s assets and argued they cannot pay their attorneys’ fees without the frozen $10.3 million. Shah and Agarwal need “at...
McDonald's executives take pay cuts as COVID-19 pandemic causes March sales to plunge
CHICAGO — McDonald’s president and CEO Chris Kempczinski will cut his base salary by half as restaurant sales plunged last month due to COVID-19, the fast food giant said Wednesday in a regulatory filing.Sales declined significantly starting mid-March as many governments instituted stay-at-home orders and banned restaurants from dine-in service. While 99% of McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. remain open for delivery, drive-thru and pickup, globally only 75% remain open in some capacity as a result of complete closures in several markets including Italy, France and Spain.Sales at U.S. restaura...
'If they call me, I'm coming:' Former Cardinals first baseman Mark Hamilton set to graduate med school — in New York
As a student at Tulane University, with one eye on professional baseball and the other trained in the distance on medical school, Mark Hamilton huddled with teammates to outlast one hurricane and was there, packing for evacuation, as Katrina roared toward New Orleans. Almost 15 years later, he sensed a familiar tone in class emails, in warnings, and in the stockpiling of supplies at the hospital, his school, and his New York City neighborhood.It was clear “the storm is brewing,” he said.This time, he’s ready to walk out into it.On Friday, nearly nine years after he last played for the Cardinal...
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Elizabeth Wellington: What you can do if you're laid off or furloughed during the coronavirus pandemic
The coronavirus has disrupted everything we took for granted: our loved ones, our mortality and yes, our jobs.And it’s becoming clear that even before it’s safe for us to hug our parents and grandparents again, our finances could be in serious trouble. Nearly 284,000 Pennsylvanians filed initial unemployment claims last week, Inquirer reporter Andrew Maykuth reported Monday. That brings the state’s total unemployment claims to 1.1 million, or 16.3% of the state’s workforce, according to preliminary statistics posted by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.Losing a job is always st...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Yet another SeaWorld CEO quits — the fourth to leave in five years
In what seems like deja vu for SeaWorld Entertainment, CEO Serge Rivera, who joined the company just five months ago, has left, citing disagreements with the board — the same reason given by his predecessor when he exited last year.Formerly an executive in the hotel and vacation ownership industry, Rivera told the board last Thursday of his plans to resign, stating that his resignation was “due to disagreements over the board’s involvement in the decision making at the company,” according to a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. River’s last day as CEO and as a member of...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Saudi fund takes minority stake in Carnival
Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund has taken an 8.2% stake in Carnival Corp., according to a Monday financial filing from the cruise giant.Carnival shares have fallen 83% year to date to about $8 a share, as the number of coronavirus-related deaths on cruise ships has risen and ships have been turned away from ports. As of Friday’s closing price, the new stake was worth $369.4 million, according to Bloomberg.Shares were up as much as 20% in Monday trading.Carnival declined to comment. The Saudi fund did not immediately respond to a request for comment.———©2020 Miami Herald
Washington state nonprofit files lawsuit saying Fox News misled viewers about coronavirus
SEATTLE — A little-known Washington nonprofit has filed a lawsuit against Fox News in King County Superior Court, claiming the news station, its parent companies and owners violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act and acted in bad faith by disseminating false information about the novel coronavirus through its television news broadcasts and minimized the danger posed by the virus as COVID-19 began to explode into a pandemic.The suit, filed on behalf of the Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics (WASHLITE), alleges Fox News engaged in unfair or deceptive acts by representin...
The Seattle Times
US expands Navy presence in Caribbean. Is military action against Maduro more likely?
MIAMI — When President Donald Trump weighed the options earlier last year to address the political and humanitarian consequences of Nicolás Maduro’s tight grip on power in Venezuela, he realized his harsh rhetoric against the South American leader was not backed up by a show of force in the region.That was corrected Wednesday, as Trump, surrounded by the country’s top officials, announced an expanded military presence near the Venezuelan shores that had been unseen for decades.Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, National Security Council Director Robert O’Brien and Attorney General William Barr a...