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CDC Split With China on Coronavirus Spread as Possible U.S. Cases Hit 110

CDC Split With China on Coronavirus Spread as Possible U.S. Cases Hit 110As authorities in China scrambled to handle a coronavirus that has killed at least 81 people, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday described a surging potential crisis even as they pushed back on the latest thinking from Beijing about just how easily it spreads.Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters that the number of confirmed cases stateside had reached five—and that there had been a total of 110 “persons under investigation” for the virus in 26 states over the past week.Thirty-two of those people tested negative, and there had been no confirmed person-to-person transmissions inside the country, Messonnier said on Monday. The confirmed cases in the U.S. include patients in Orange County, California; a man in his 30s in Washington state; a woman in her 60s in Chicago; a passenger who felt ill after flying into Los Angeles International Airport; and a student at Arizona State University who does not live in university housing, the CDC said on Sunday. All of the U.S. cases appeared to involve patients who had recently traveled from Wuhan, China—the epicenter of the deadly virus. Seventy-three people were still being evaluated for the virus as of Monday.Fifth U.S. Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in Patient Who Traveled From Wuhan, China“We understand that many people in the United States are worried about this virus and how it will affect Americans,” Messonnier said, adding that “risk depends on exposure,” which for Americans remained “low” on Monday.In each U.S. case, health officials have said they will trace the patient’s contacts and identify anyone who may have had prolonged exposure, then monitor those individuals for symptoms. In the U.S., anyone who has had close contact with confirmed patients has not been quarantined unless and until they display symptoms.That policy came into question over the weekend, when China’s health minister Ma Xiaowei said “the ability of the virus to spread is getting stronger” and that authorities in that country now believe the virus can spread during the incubation period—even before infected patients become symptomatic. A study published last week in the journal Lancet appeared to bolster that contention.But Messonnier said the CDC had not seen “any clear evidence of patients being infectious before symptom onset” as of Monday, even if authorities in the U.S. “are being very aggressive and very cautious in tracking close contacts” of infected individuals.“This outbreak is unfolding rapidly, and we are rapidly looking at how that impacts our posture at the border,” said Messonnier. “I expect that in the coming days, our travel recommendations will change.”Experts said that even as statements from Chinese health officials had to be viewed through a political lens, outright dismissal of asymptomatic transmission was premature.Eric Toner, a senior scientist with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the University’s School of Public Health, called the question “nuanced.” “It’s hard to know why the [Chinese] minister was so sure,” said Toner. “The evidence we have seen is quite suggestive of pre-symptomatic transmission, at least in some people, but not conclusive. He may have information that we do not.”For now, officials were still screening passengers at five American airports: Los Angeles International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Of course, fewer travelers are coming out of Wuhan in the wake of a travel lockdown late last week; Messonnier said the CDC had screened approximately 2,400 people in those airports so far but that “the number of people coming from Wuhan is declining.”Though Chinese authorities halted travel from Wuhan to stop the spread of the virus, the U.S. is among several countries—including France and Russia—that were given special permission to evacuate diplomats and private citizens. In addition to the 81 dead in China—76 of whom reportedly lived in Wuhan—nearly 3,000 people across the world, including a 9-month-old baby girl in Beijing, had confirmed cases of the virus as of Monday morning. Aside from the five cases in the U.S., more have been reported in Thailand, Taiwan, Australia, Macau, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, France, Canada, Vietnam, and Nepal. There had been no deaths from the virus reported outside of China as of Monday morning. But the new fatalities in that country over the weekend, including an 88-year-old man in Shanghai, stoked fears that the government had failed to contain the infection’s spread. Beijing announced Monday morning that it would push back the official end of the Lunar New Year holiday to Thursday from Sunday in order to “reduce mass gatherings” and “block the spread of the epidemic,” according to a statement from China’s cabinet.Meanwhile, Wuhan’s mayor, Zhou Xianwang, on Monday offered to step down, along with the city’s party secretary, Ma Guoqiang, in order to “appease public indignation.” He said the pair were prepared to take responsibility for the crisis after days of public outcries from citizens, on social media and elsewhere.“Our names will live in infamy, but as long as it is conducive to the control of the disease and to the people’s lives and safety, Comrade Ma Guoqiang and I will bear any responsibility,” Zhou reportedly said Monday.Dr. Adrian Hyzler, chief medical officer for Healix International, which provides medical information to travelers, told The Daily Beast the CDC will know much more about how easily the virus spreads once the incubation period—estimated at a maximum of 14 days—has passed in the five U.S. cases. “If, as the Chinese are saying, patients are contagious before symptoms develop, then it is much harder to control,” he said.Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that the CDC cleared 32 people who tested negative for the virus out of 110 potential cases.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. 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Italian government is split over norms to revoke motorway concessions

Italian government is split over norms to revoke motorway concessionsItaly’s government failed to agree on Saturday on a law that would make it easier and less costly to revoke concessions to operate motorways, a sign of division among the ruling parties on how to handle the aftermath of a fatal road bridge collapse last year. A government minister who did not want to be named said after a five-hour cabinet meeting that the government had provisionally approved a document, but measures still needed to be agreed on before it becomes definitive. It also considerably reduces the amounts the government must pay to a toll road company if a concession is revoked due to shortcomings on the part of the operator.



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'This is mercy, not justice': Las Vegas shooting victims to split $800M. But how much is pain worth?

'This is mercy, not justice': Las Vegas shooting victims to split $  800M. But how much is pain worth?Two judges will huddle with lawyers for Las Vegas shooting victims to distribute an $ 800 million MGM settlement, but experts say disappointment looms.



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Thousands of Las Vegas shooting victims will have to split an $800 million settlement. Now, 2 retired judges have to decide which victims deserve the most.

Thousands of Las Vegas shooting victims will have to split an $  800 million settlement. Now, 2 retired judges have to decide which victims deserve the most.Though $ 800 million seems like an enormous settlement, some 4,500 people joined the lawsuit against MGM Resorts. Some will need more than others.



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Trump Jr booed off stage by supporters of his father amid apparent split in US far right

Trump Jr booed off stage by supporters of his father amid apparent split in US far rightDonald Trump Jr was booed off stage and forced to abandon a book tour appearance at the University of California’s Los Angeles campus – due to a protest by supporters of his father.The event, organised by conservative group Turning Point USA (TPUSA), was disrupted by chants of “Q and A! Q and A!” after the audience was told the president’s son would not take questions, video showed.



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Tally of children split at border tops 5,400 in new count

Tally of children split at border tops 5,400 in new countU.S. immigration authorities separated more than 1,500 children from their parents at the Mexico border early in the Trump administration, the American Civil Liberties Union said Thursday, bringing the total number of children separated since July 2017 to more than 5,400. The ACLU said the administration told its attorneys that 1,556 children were separated from July 1, 2017, to June 26, 2018, when a federal judge in San Diego ordered that children in government custody be reunited with their parents. Children from that period can be difficult to find because the government had inadequate tracking systems.



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Court seems split on possible resentencing for teen sniper

Court seems split on possible resentencing for teen sniperLiberal and conservative justices seemed split Wednesday on whether to grant a new sentencing hearing to Lee Boyd Malvo, one of two snipers who terrorized the Washington, D.C., region in 2002 when he was a teenager. The Supreme Court heard arguments on whether Malvo, who was 17 at the time of the killings, was wrongly sentenced in Virginia to life without parole. Virginia argues Malvo’s life sentence was not mandatory because the judge theoretically had discretion to suspend part of Malvo’s life sentence, despite a state law mandating either execution or life without parole as the only sentencing options for a capital murder conviction.



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Poll: Voters Split on Whether Trump Committed ‘Impeachable Offense’ on Ukraine

Poll: Voters Split on Whether Trump Committed ‘Impeachable Offense’ on UkraineU.S. voters are split on the question of whether President Trump committed an impeachable offense in asking Ukraine's president to help his administration investigate Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner.Fifty percent of Americans said they think Trump's request to Ukraine amounts to an impeachable offense, while the other half of voters disagreed, according to a survey by Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll.The White House on Wednesday released the partial transcript of Trump's July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which reveals that he asked Ukraine to investigate Biden's role in ousting the prosecutor in charge of probing a Ukrainian energy company that was paying the former vice president's son, Hunter Biden.The revelation, brought to light by a whistleblower complaint, spurred Democrats to launch a formal impeachment probe against Trump on Tuesday.“The poll shows that the public has serious concern over the Trump actions, with 50 percent favoring impeachment if he ‘pressured’ the Ukrainian leader but only 45 percent if he just ‘asked’ for the investigation,” said Mark Penn, one of the poll directors.The half of Americans who considered Trump's actions grounds for impeachment included 22 percent of Republicans, according to the poll.A majority, 58 percent, said they found it inappropriate for Trump to ask Ukraine for assistance with the investigation. A smaller majority, 53 percent, said Trump's actions appeared to be an effort to damage Biden politically rather than a sincere effort to expose wrongdoing.Half of voters also said they believe the whistleblower filed the complaint in good faith to expose a real abuse of power, while the other half agreed with the characterization that the anonymous member of the intelligence community was “playing politics to hurt Trump.”The intelligence community inspector general found that the whistleblower exhibited “arguable political bias” but said the allegations included in his complaint were nevertheless worthy of investigation.



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Some labor unions split with Biden on 'Medicare for All'

Some labor unions split with Biden on 'Medicare for All'Labor leaders dispute candidates’ claims that single-payer will leave their members worse off.



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Michael Avenatti and Stormy Daniels split up

Michael Avenatti and Stormy Daniels split upDaniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was first to announce she had new representation in a tweet posted Tuesday afternoon.



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