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Michael Jackson estate gives to Broadway, Las Vegas needy amid outbreak
4/2/2020 8:19:34 PM

By Andrew Dalton   LOS ANGELES (AP)—The Michael Jackson estate is donating $300,000 to help entertainment industry workers on Broadway, the music business and in Las Vegas who have been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. The estate announced Wednesday that it will give $100,000 apiece to Broadway Cares, the food bank Three Square in Nevada and MusiCares, because all three areas have been good to the estate and to Jackson. “This virus, this pandemic affects all of us obviously, so we wanted to start in our own communities,” John Branca, the estate's...

R Kelly seeks release from jail, cites coronavirus risk
4/2/2020 8:18:27 PM

By Michael Tarm   CHICAGO (AP)—R&B singer R. Kelly cited the novel coronavirus in asking a federal judge Thursday to free him from a federal jail in Chicago as he awaits trial on child pornography and other charges, a court filing by his lawyers saying scant precautions to stem the spread of the virus behind bars put Kelly's life at risk. Sanitizer and even soap is hard to come by in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, with most of its 700 inmates held in small, two-man cells that make the kind of social distancing called for to thwart the transmission of...

Age is not the only risk for severe coronavirus disease
4/2/2020 7:14:00 PM

By Lauran Neergaard   WASHINGTON (AP)—Older people remain most at risk of dying as the new coronavirus continues its rampage around the globe, but they're far from the only ones vulnerable. One of many mysteries: Men seem to be faring worse than women. And as cases skyrocket in the U.S. and Europe, it's becoming more clear that how healthy you were before the pandemic began plays a key role in how you fare regardless of how old you are. The majority of people who get COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms. But “majority” doesn't mean...

Locked up: No masks, sanitizer as virus spreads behind bars
4/2/2020 7:10:47 PM

By Robin McDowell and Margie Mason   NEW YORK, NY—Something was wrong. The chow hall line at New York's Rikers Island jail had halted. For three hours, the men stood and waited, without food, until a correctional officer quietly delivered the news: A civilian chef was among those who tested positive for the coronavirus. “We was like, ‘What? The cook?”' said Corey Young, who spoke to The Associated Press last week by phone from Rikers. He and others wondered if the chef had sneezed on trays or into the food. Some men later floated the idea of a...

Coronavirus suddenly upends campaign themes for both parties
3/25/2020 11:58:39 AM

By Alam Fram   WASHINGTON (AP)—The coronavirus pandemic and the nation’s crashing economy are scrambling the themes both major political parties thought would carry them to victory in November for control of the White House and Congress. Shattered, certainly for now, is President Donald Trump’s ability to tout a brawny economy and record stock market prices as the predicate for his reelection. The GOP could face a hard time calling Democratic candidates socialists with a straight face as Congress works on a bipartisan, near $2 trillion rescue package that would...

We were all crying today
3/25/2020 11:47:24 AM

Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters Pizzaiolo part owner Donna Insalaco hopes that the business will be able to survive the shelter-in-place order. “We had to lay off everybody that is not a salaried employee,” she said. “We were all crying today.”   In response, local, state and federal lawmakers are proposing—and, in some cases, enacting—new ideas to soften the economic blow for low-income people, including sending cash to people and halting all evictions and foreclosures. Jessica Bartholow, a policy advocate at the Western Center on...

Over 1.5 billion globally asked to stay home to escape virus
3/25/2020 11:36:43 AM

By Lori Hinnant and Foster Klug   PARIS (AP)—The hunt for masks, ventilators and other medical supplies consumed the U.S. and Europe, as more than 1.5 billion people—one-fifth of the world’s population—were asked or ordered to stay home on Monday to try to blunt the spread of the coronavirus. Political paralysis stalled efforts for a quick aid package from Congress, and U.S. stocks fell at the opening bell even after the Federal Reserve said it will buy as much government debt as necessary and lend to small and large businesses and local governments to...

California rushes to prevent virus spread among the homeless
3/25/2020 11:10:12 AM

By Adam Beam   Home to the largest homeless population in the country, California officials are rushing to get tens of thousands of people off the streets and into shelters and tents to slow the spread of the coronavirus among one of the most vulnerable and difficult-to-reach groups. There has been only one confirmed death among California's estimated 150,000 homeless people, but authorities believe that without swift intervention, it's only a matter of time before the virus sweeps through homeless encampments and gathering spots where people are in close proximity and...

Virus advances around the world as medical supplies dwindle
3/25/2020 11:05:37 AM

By Yanan Wang and Frances D’Emilio   WASHINGTON—The virus pandemic advanced Sunday after the U.S. and Europe reported soaring new cases, prompting a scramble in some regions to set up additional hospital beds and replenish much-needed medical supplies. Italy announced its biggest day-to-day increase of infections, which rose by 6,600 with nearly 800 new fatalities from the virus that causes COVID-19. The country's total death toll of more than 4,825 has surpassed the number of deaths in China, where the first cases emerged late last year. In the U.S., where...

Imports of medical supplies plummet as demand in U.S. soars
3/25/2020 11:03:42 AM

By Martha Mendoza and Juliet Linderman   WASHINGTON—The critical shortage of medical supplies across the U.S., including testing swabs, protective masks, surgical gowns and hand sanitizer, can be tied to a sudden drop in imports, mostly from China, The Associated Press has found. Trade data shows the decline in shipments started in mid-February after the spiraling coronavirus outbreak in China led the country to shutter factories and disrupted ports. Some emergency rooms, hospitals and clinics in the U.S. have now run out of key medical supplies, while others are rationing...