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Washington pledges $1 billion for coronavirus vaccine as pandemic risks grow

U.S. President Donald Trump will seek $2.5 billion from Congress to fight the coronavirus epidemic and U.S. and South Korean militaries are considering scaling back joint training as the virus spreads in Europe and the Middle East. Advertising Read more Countries around the world are stepping up efforts to prevent a pandemic of the flu-like virus that originated from China late last year and has now infected more than 80,000 people, 10 times more cases than the SARS coronavirus. The White House said more than $1 billion of the requested virus budget would go toward developing a vaccine, while other funds would be used for therapeutics and the stockpiling of personal protective equipment such as masks. The U.S. and South Korean militaries said on Monday they may cut back joint training due to mounting concerns about the spreading coronavirus, in one of the first concrete signs of the virus's fallout on global U.S. military activities. The disclosure came during a visit to ..

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NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, who inspired the film Hidden Figures, dies at 101

Issued on: 24/02/2020 – 17:34Modified: 24/02/2020 – 17:34 Katherine Johnson, the black woman whose mathematical genius took her from a behind-the-scenes job in a segregated NASA as portrayed in the film “Hidden Figures” to a key role in sending humans to the moon, died on Monday at the age of 101, NASA said. Advertising Read more “Our NASA family is sad to learn the news that Katherine Johnson passed away this morning at 101 years old,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine posted to Twitter. “She was an American hero and her pioneering legacy will never be forgotten.” Johnson was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama in 2015, and in 2016 he cited her in his State of the Union Address as an example of America's spirit of discovery. “She's one of the greatest minds ever to grace our agency or our country,” then NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said when Johnson was presented the presidential medal. In 2016, NASA named a research faci..

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Police demonstration at Haiti’s presidential palace turns deadly

Issued on: 24/02/2020 – 04:08 Haitian police demanding better working conditions shot up the army headquarters on Sunday, killing two servicemen and wounding a dozen more, the Defence Ministry said, prompting the government to cancel an upcoming carnival. Advertising Read more In a statement issued Sunday evening, the government said it had observed "with concern and dismay that terror has reigned in certain arteries of the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area." In order to avoid a "bloodbath… it has been decided to cancel the carnival," which was scheduled to take place Tuesday, the statement said. Media reports had said six people were wounded in the attack in Port-au-Prince by what the ministry said were gunmen wearing masks. "We are under siege. We are coming under fire with all kinds of weapons — assault rifles, Molotov cocktails, tear gas," said General Jodel Lessage. He said soldiers had returned fire but did not give an injury toll, nor could he say how many people were..

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Jury in Weinstein sexual assault case may be undecided on most serious charge

Issued on: 21/02/2020 – 22:49Modified: 21/02/2020 – 22:49 The jury in disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's rape trial hinted Friday it was struggling to reach an agreement on the most serious charge of predatory sexual assault. Advertising Read more On day four of deliberations, the 12 jurors asked Judge James Burke whether they could be hung on one or both of the top counts but unanimous on the other three. Weinstein, 67, faces life in prison if the jury of seven men and five women convict him of predatory sexual assault in New York. The jury is considering five counts against the fallen film producer: two of predatory sexual assault, two of rape and one of engaging in a criminal sexual act. The jury must reach unanimous verdicts on each count, although if they find him guilty of the most serious charges, they do not need to consider the lesser ones. On Friday, the jurors submitted a written question to Burke asking whether they could be hung on the predatory sexu..

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Tijuana: A story of migrants stranded in Mexico

Issued on: 21/02/2020 – 13:05Modified: 21/02/2020 – 13:05 A year on from the Trump administration's highly controversial "Remain in Mexico" policy for would-be asylum seekers, what exactly does daily life look like for the tens of thousands of people stuck on the Mexican side of the border? We sat down with photographer Kelly Dassault, who's spent the past six years documenting migranRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] france24 [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

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Trump ally Roger Stone gets 40 months in prison for obstructing Congress’ Russia investigation

Issued on: 21/02/2020 – 03:23Modified: 21/02/2020 – 03:23 Donald Trump's longtime ally Roger Stone was sentenced Thursday to 40 months in prison for impeding a congressional investigation, in a case that ignited a firestorm over the US president's political interference in the justice system. Advertising Read more Stone, a veteran Republican operative and one of the president's oldest confidants, was convicted in November of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to cheat in the 2016 election. "The truth still matters," said US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson as she handed down the sentence to Stone, who will remain free while his request for a new trial is considered. "Roger Stone's insistence that it doesn't, his belligerence, his pride in his own lies are a threat to our most fundamental institutions, to the very foundation of our democracy." ..

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US gun control: Why some sheriffs oppose ‘red flag’ laws

Issued on: 20/02/2020 – 12:15Modified: 20/02/2020 – 12:18 "Red flag" gun laws allow for firearms to be temporarily taken away from people in the United States, if a family member or police believe they present a danger. As mass shootings continue to claim lives, several states are passing "red flag" laws, the latest being Colorado. But some sheriffs say the laws are unconstitutional and that they won't enforce them. Our France 2 colleagues report. Advertising Meanwhile, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says he will commit $10 billion to fund scientists, activists and other groups fighting climate change. The announcement comes after Amazon has faced criticism from its own employees for being too slow to reduce its carbon footprint. Staying in the US, in northeast California, a small town in the SierRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] france24 [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

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Trump ‘offered to pardon Assange in exchange for Russia denial’

Issued on: 20/02/2020 – 01:47 U.S. President Donald Trump offered to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange if he said that Russia had nothing to do with WikiLeaks' publication of Democratic Party emails in 2016, a London court heard on Wednesday. Advertising Read more Assange appeared by videolink from prison as lawyers discussed the management of his hearing next week to decide whether he should be extradited to the United States. At Westminster Magistrates' Court, Assange's barrister, Edward Fitzgerald, referred to a witness statement by former Republican U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher who visited Assange in 2017, saying he had been sent by the president to offer a pardon. The pardon would come on the condition that Assange say the Russians were not involved in the email leak that damaged Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016 against Trump, Rohrabacher's statement said. A White House spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, denied the asse..

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Jury concludes first day of deliberations in Weinstein rape trial

Issued on: 19/02/2020 – 03:12Modified: 19/02/2020 – 03:14 The jury in former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's rape trial finished its first day of deliberations on Tuesday, in a case that has become a milestone for the #MeToo movement. Advertising Read more The Manhattan jury of seven men and five women began their discussions after the judge hearing the case warned Weinstein's lead defense lawyer, Donna Rotunno, against talking to the press until jurors have reached a verdict. The warning came two days after the attorney wrote an opinion piece about the case in Newsweek magazine. “I would caution you about the tentacles of your public relations juggernaut," Justice James Burke told Rotunno. Rotunno told Burke that the opinion piece, published on Saturday and titled "Jurors in my client Harvey Weinstein's case must look past the headlines," was not intended to address the jury directly. "This is an op-ed about the jury system as a whole, about the crimin..

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Boeing finds debris in 737 MAX jetliner fuel tanks

Issued on: 19/02/2020 – 05:41 Boeing Co found debris that could pose potential safety risks in the fuel tanks of several 737 MAX aircraft that are in storage and waiting to be delivered to airlines, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters on Tuesday. Advertising Read more Foreign object debris, an industrial term for rags, tools, metal shavings and other materials left behind by workers during the production process, has been a quality control issue for various Boeing aircraft, such as its KC-46 tankers. Mark Jenks, general manager of the 737 program, told employees in the memo that such debris was "absolutely unacceptable" and that the company was taking steps to address the issue in its production system. A Boeing spokesman confirmed the memo's authenticity, and said Boeing does not see the debris as contributing to delays in the jet's return to service. The objectRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] france24 [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

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