• U.S.
    The Guardian

    Sean Hannity defends Fox News against claims of coronavirus misinformation: 'I never called it a hoax’

    Hannity responds to open letter signed by 74 journalism professors and leading journalists claiming Fox News spread false statements * Coronavirus – live US updates * Live global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageFox News host Sean Hannity has hit back against intense criticism of the conservative network’s coronavirus coverage, even claiming in a new interview he was ahead of most media in taking Covid-19 seriously.Hannity’s statements to Newsweek were in response to a 1 April open letter signed by 74 journalism professors and leading journalists that lambasted Fox News for allegedly spreading “misinformation” about the outbreak.The professors directly cited Hannity’s statement that the Democrats and media overplayed coronavirus to “bludgeon Trump with this new hoax”.The letter came before a report in The Daily Beast that Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch and his son, Lachlan Murdoch, are bracing for lawsuits over the network’s coronavirus coverage.Asked about his statement that Democrats and the media were using Covid-19 “to bludgeon Trump”, Hannity responded: “Many of them did.”“We are in the middle of the huge pandemic and where’s the Democrat saying, ‘You know, I didn’t agree with the travel ban at the time, but it was the right decision.’ Politics trumps truth in their world.”Hannity was referring to Trump’s decision to clamp down on – but not shut down, despite his repeated claims – travel from China as the virus broke out there.“It’s the same Democrats,” Hannity continued, “media mob and liberal professors who are so lazy they won’t even look at what I’ve said about the virus. They just go with their narrative. I never called it a ‘hoax’.“I said it was a hoax for them to be using it as a bludgeon on Trump. And they are. [House intelligence chair] Adam Schiff and [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi are talking about an investigation. Now? In the middle of a pandemic?”Hannity also said: “Go to my website and you’ll see irrefutable evidence that I have taken this seriously way before most in the media did. I warned in January that it was dangerous because it was highly contagious, but some people were asymptomatic, so it would spread quickly.”The professors’ letter, addressed to both Murdochs, claimed: “Viewers of Fox News, including the president of the United States, have been regularly subjected to misinformation relayed by the network–false statements downplaying the prevalence of Covid-19 and its harms.”The professors claimed Fox News offered “misleading recommendations of activities that people should undertake to protect themselves and others, including casual recommendations of untested drugs; false assessments of the value of measures urged upon the public by their elected political leadership and public health authorities”.The Mediaite website points out that Fox News has taken some actions that seemingly view coronavirus more seriously – with Hannity and other talking heads such as Tucker Carlson appearing in a public service announcement, for example. Hannity. Rush. Dobbs. Ingraham. Pirro. Nunes. Tammy. Geraldo. Doocy. Hegseth. Schlapp. Siegel. Watters. Dr. Drew. Henry. Ainsley. Gaetz. Inhofe. Pence. Kudlow. Conway. Trump. Today, we salute the Heroes of the Pandumbic. pic.twitter.com/35WLDgoHcf — The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) April 3, 2020On Friday night, Carlson criticized Trump administration infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci, over his call for a national stay-at-home mandate.“More than 10 million Americans have already lost their jobs,” the host said. “Imagine another year of this. That would be national suicide, and yet, that is what Anthony Fauci is suggesting, at least.“Now, we’re not suggesting that Fauci wants to hurt America. We don’t think he does, he seems like a very decent man. But Fauci is not an economist or for that matter someone who fears being unemployed himself. Like most of the people around him.”

  • World

    Death Toll Passes 60,000; N.Y. Has Deadliest Day: Virus Update

    (Bloomberg) -- The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic exceeded 60,000 worldwide and New York State reported its deadliest day. Spain will extend its state of emergency after cases surpassed those in Italy.U.S. deaths rose to more than 7,000 as health officials recommended wearing cloth masks to prevent the virus’s spread. At least a half-dozen cruise ships remain at sea with passengers and crew as companies navigate long trips and struggle to find ports willing to let them dock.Key Developments:Global cases top 1.1 million; deaths exceed 60,000: Johns HopkinsBread lines are forming in Mar-a-Lago’s shadowJobs destroyed worldwide as virus sparks recessionLandlords in peril as retailers withhold rentWhy the Fate of Milan Will Be the Fate of ItalyCruise ships, linked to the early spread, are still sailingNew York’s Deadliest Day (11:40 a.m. NY)New York, the worst-hit U.S. state, recorded its deadliest day as the toll rose to 3,565, including 2,624 deaths in New York City, Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters. A shipment of 1,000 ventilators from China is arriving the city on Saturday. “This is a big deal and it’s going to make a significant difference for us,” Cuomo said.A Quarter of French Workers on Benefits (11:30 a.m. NY)French Labor Minister Muriel Penicaud said on BFM TV that 5 million workers, about a quarter of the nation’s people on payrolls, have been granted temporary unemployment benefits, a system put in place to help companies reduce operations without laying off staff.NYC Seeks U.S. Doctors, Nurses (11 a.m. NY)Mayor Bill de Blasio repeated calls for a national system to help move doctors and nurses from other states to areas with high need, saying the weeks ahead will be New York City’s “the toughest time.”“This is going to be a reality where you are going to have many cities and states simultaneously in crisis, needing health care professionals, needing ventilators,” de Blasio said on MSNBC, adding that the thinning ranks of health care workers was the city’s biggest challenge.The city on Friday sent an emergency mobile alert pleading for licensed health-care workers to volunteer at its hospitals. The mayor said the city needs 45,000 more medical personnel through April and May. “We need as many health workers as possible right here, right now,” he said.Egypt National Projects Postponed (11:15 a.m. NY)Egypt delayed the start of large national projects including the Grand Egyptian Museum and Museum of Egyptian Civilization, and postponed to 2021 moving the country’s administrative capital city due to the pandemic.Poland Weighs Easter Restrictions (10 a.m. NY)Poland is considering further restrictions ahead of the Easter holiday to keep the coronavirus from spreading via traditional family visits, Health Minister Lukasz Szumowski said.Poles have already been under a lockdown for three weeks. While the government previously predicted a peak in the outbreak by mid-April, crediting its early restrictions, Szumowski said it’s now expected to keep growing over the coming weeks.Singapore Has Another 75 Cases (9:55 a.m. NY)Singapore’s Ministry of Health confirmed an additional 75 cases of Covid-19 infection, of which six are imported and 69 are local cases who have no recent travel history abroad.Italian Security Officer Dies (9:16 a.m NY)An officer in Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte’s security detail died of coronavirus, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said in a Facebook post. The officer, who tested positive for the virus last month, hadn’t had contact with the prime minister in the two weeks before he felt sick. Conte had tested negative at the time, Corriere della Sera reported on its website.Spain Plans to Extend Lockdown (9:14 a.m. NY)Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced plans to extend the country’s lockdown by two weeks until April 25. “I understand it’s difficult to extend the effort and sacrifice two more weeks,” Sanchez said in a televised speech. “These are very difficult days for everyone.” A longer lockdown would be subject to cabinet and legislative approval.U.K. Deaths Increase (9:02 a.m. NY)The U.K. reported its deadliest day yet, with an increase of 708 coronavirus deaths, bringing the total to 4,313. According to the Department of Health and Social Care, 41,903 people have tested positive for the virus.Keir Starmer, newly elected as leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, said he would have the “courage” to back Prime Minister Boris Johnson where necessary in the national interest to defeat the coronavirus pandemic, while holding him accountable for mistakes.Dubai Expo Delay Considered (8:30 a.m. NY)The Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions says it will hold a meeting on April 21 to discuss a postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai, at the request of the United Arab Emirates government. Expo organizers have said they wanted to study a one-year delay to the event.Hungary Funds Crisis Measures (7 a.m. NY)Hungary’s government announced cuts to political party finances and pledged tax increases for banks and retail chains as part of efforts to fund crisis measures. The steps are the latest in contentious measure that have seen Prime Minister Viktor Orban assume powers to rule by decree indefinitely.The cabinet will announce a major economic policy plan amounting to 18-22% of GDP on Tuesday, Gergely Gulyas, the minister in charge of the premier’s office said Saturday. The central bank will also announce measures of its own that day, he said.Herd Immunity Could Take Years (6:39 a.m. NY)Herd immunity against the coronavirus may take years to develop, Jaap Goudsmit, adjunct professor of epidemiology and infectious diseases at Harvard, said in an interview with Dutch daily De Telegraaf.The number of deaths in the Netherlands rose by 164, or 11%, to 1,651, according to a daily update from the RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. The tally of confirmed virus cases increased by 6% to 16,627, slightly below the growth rate seen in the beginning of the week. The amount of people hospitalized with the virus rose by 336 to 6,622.Spain Cases Pass Italy (5:50 p.m. HK)A slower pace of fatalities and new cases though is offering hope that Spain’s outbreak may be edging toward a peak.Spain said the number of confirmed cases increased to 124,736, from 117,710 a day earlier, according to Health Ministry data. In Italy, total cases stood at 119,827. In what could be a sign of hope, the number of new deaths in Spain declined for a second day, with an additional 809 fatalities in the past 24 hours for a total of 11,744.Swedish Deaths Seen in Thousands (5:48 p.m. HK)Sweden must expect to count its dead from the coronavirus in the “thousands,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said in an interview in Dagens Nyheter. The biggest Nordic economy, which has opted for less restrictive measures than many countries in the fight against the pandemic, has had more than 330 deaths after confirmed cases topped 6,000 this week. Lofven also said the country will need to contend with the pandemic and its economic impact for “months, not weeks.”Sweden’s government is preparing to seek extraordinary powers, allowing it to bypass Parliament for certain regulations, Expressen reported late Friday. The proposal, which has been sent to opposition lawmakers, suggests the coalition led by the Social Democrats might be planning to tighten its response to the pandemic.Iran Fatalities Increase (5:40 p.m. HK)Iran’s coronavirus fatalities jumped to 3,452 with 158 deaths since Friday. Total cases rose to 55,743 as 2,560 tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours. A deputy health minister raised concerns about the spread of coronavirus in Tehran as the capital’s streets and highways were clogged with traffic on Saturday following the end of the Persian New Year holidays.Russia Following ‘Optimistic Scenario’ (5:30 p.m. HK)The outbreak in Russia so far is following the “optimistic scenario, in large part because in the previous two months of contact with this virus, Russia took all the necessary measures,” Anna Popova, the country’s top public-health official, told state television.The government reported the second straight day of declines in new cases on Saturday. The latest figures showed 582 additional infections in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 4,731, with 43 deaths.Heathrow to Close Runway (4:10 p.m. HK)Heathrow Airport will move to single-runway operations from April 6. It will temporarily shift operations out of terminals 3 and 4 into 2 and 5 in the coming weeks, the airport said in a tweet on Saturday.France Extends Tax Delay (4:05 p.m. HK)France will allow companies to postpone their tax and social security payments again for the month of April, Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin said in an interview with Ouest France newspaper. The government will decide later whether those taxes will eventually be canceled entirely, he said. On Twitter, Darmanin said 450,000 small businesses have applied for a 1,500-euro ($1,620) payment from the government’s “solidarity fund.”Senegal Warns on Economy (4 p.m. HK)Senegal cut its economic growth forecast by half on the impact of the outbreak, ending six years of steady growth in the West African nation. Expansion will slow to 3%, from an initial forecast of 6.8%, President Macky Sall said in a televised address on Friday. Sectors vital to the economy including transport, trade, tourism and construction risked being “badly hit.”Gabon’s President Ali Bongo on Friday announced a social and economic plan to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic, including emergency financing to respond to the “urgent cash needs” facing companies.More Countries Oppose Euro Bonds: Hoekstra (3:40 p.m. HK)Many more countries besides Germany and the Netherlands are against the use of euro bonds to help the European Union to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus, Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant reported, citing an interview with Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra.Debt mutualization means a move toward a debt union and that is not sensible as there is enough liquidity and all member states are still able to borrow money on the financial markets, Hoekstra said.German Cases Climb (3:18 p.m. HK)Deaths in Germany rose by 168 to 1,275 on Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Some 91,159 people are infected, the third highest in Europe after Italy and Spain, and 6,365 more than on Friday.Turkish Airlines’ domestic flights will be halted until April 20, Chief Executive Officer Bilal Eksi said in a Twitter post. The country’s flag carrier had already suspended all international flights until May 1 and limited services to 14 of the nation’s cities.World Bank Approves Bangladesh Loans (2:21 p.m. HK)The World Bank approved $100 million in funds to help Bangladesh respond to the pandemic and strengthen the South Asian nation’s public health system as positive cases surged to 70 with eight people dead.The project will equip designated laboratories with Covid-19 trained staff, diagnostic equipment and test kits, the World Bank said in an emailed statement Saturday.Mumbai May Extend Lockdown (1:15 p.m. HK)A decision to end the lockdown in Mumbai and a few other urban centers in the state has to be taken “cautiously and after due deliberation,” the newspaper said, citing Rajesh Tope, the health minister of Maharashtra state.Thailand has banned all incoming passenger flights for the next three days to prevent the spread of the virus, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand. Cases in the country rose to 2,067 after 89 new reports. The Southeast Asian nation also reported one new death, bringing total to 20.Trump Names Virus Bailout Watchdog (11:30 a.m. HK)In a statement Friday night, the White House said President Donald Trump has chosen Brian Miller for the job.Miller is now a “special assistant to the president and a senior associate counsel in the the White House Counsel’s office.” Before that, he “was an independent corporate monitor and an expert witness.”Singapore Waives Foreign Worker Levy (9:45 a.m. HK)Health authorities said an 88-year-old man with no recent travel history to affected countries died early Saturday, marking the sixth fatality for the city-state.Singapore will waive foreign worker levies for the month of April after the government said it will shut down most workplaces from Tuesday.China Has New Asymptomatic Cases (9:25 a.m. HK)China reported 64 new asymptomatic cases for April 3, 26 of which were imported. The nation reported 19 new virus cases in total, and four deaths, all of which were in Hubei. The number of remaining cases in hospitals stands at 1,562.South Korea reported 94 more cases of coronavirus in 24 hours, bringing the total to 10,156, according to a statement from the health ministry.U.S. Deaths Top 7,000: Johns Hopkins (7:21 a.m. HK)U.S. deaths from the coronavirus have surpassed 7,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. The New York City area has the most fatalities, at more than 1,500, the university’s data show.The U.S. has the world’s largest outbreak of the virus, with more than 275,000 infections. Italy, the next most hard-hit country, has about 120,000.Trump Invokes Act to Prevent Exports of Medical Gear (6:52 a.m. HK)President Donald Trump said he invoked the Defense Production Act to prevent crucial medical supplies from being exported to other countries. The Department of Health and Human Services has seized nearly 200,000 N95 respirators, 130,000 surgical masks, 600,000 gloves, as well as “many, many, many bottles and disinfectant sprays that were being hoarded,” Trump said.The president has been in a public shouting match with 3M Co. over its export commitments. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Thursday that the administration has had concerns about whether the company’s production around the world is being delivered to the U.S.3M responded Friday that there would be “significant humanitarian implications of ceasing respirator supplies to health-care workers in Canada and Latin America.”Read the full story hereAlabama, Missouri Issue Stay-at-Home Orders (6:25 a.m. HK)The governors of Alabama and Missouri, two holdout states on placing strict limitations on residents, said they will adopt stay-at-home orders.Alabama’s rules take effect at 5 p.m. Saturday. Governor Kay Ivey said in a tweet that she had done everything possible to avoid the step, but “late yesterday, it became obvious that more had to be done.”In Missouri, Governor Mike Parson said his order will begin Monday and last through April 24.Trump Says CDC Suggests Use of Cloth Masks (5:49 p.m. NY)The CDC recommended the use of non-surgical grade cloth masks as a voluntary measure to prevent the spread of the virus. The announcement marks a reversal for health officials, who’d previously said that those without symptoms didn’t need to wear face coverings.“It’s only a recommendation,” President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday, adding that he won’t wear one and that the suggestion doesn’t replace guidance on social distancing. “It’s voluntary.”Masks have already been recommended by local officials in areas including New York City, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area.Read the full story hereGoogle Joins With Researchers to Track Cases (4:48 p.m. NY)Google is working with researchers in Europe to track the virus’s spread using troves of location data gathered from smartphones, according to several people involved in the project. The data can’t be used to track an individual person; rather, it shows broad patterns of movement across entire countries over periods of time, the people said.The data is helping researchers analyze the relationship between travel patterns and transmission rates of the virus within different countries, according to the people, while also providing insight into the effectiveness of lockdowns in European countries.Read the full story hereNew York, New Jersey Seize Ventilators (3:55 p.m. NY)The governors of New York and New Jersey have ordered unused ventilators and other equipment to be commandeered from medical facilities and redistributed to hospitals treating coronavirus patients, aggressive measures highlighting increasingly dire conditions.The move came as New York officials began to warn that the health system was possibly just days away from hitting its capacity to handle the waves of patients. New Jersey, which has the second-highest rate of infections, is trying to get ahead of the curve and avoid the dire fate of its neighbor.WHO Urges Countries to Keep Lockdowns (2 p.m. NY)Lifting restrictions too quickly could lead to a resurgence of the disease and the economic impact could be even more severe and prolonged, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing in Geneva.“We don’t want to end up in a cycle of lockdown followed by release, followed by another lockdown followed by release,” said Mike Ryan, head of health emergencies at the WHO. Countries need to make a massive investment in testing and contact tracing because the only way to get rid of the disease truly is to hunt it down, he said.The WHO also conceded slightly on its guidelines for wearing masks, saying homemade mouth coverings may help slow transmission in some places. However, medical masks and N95s should be reserved for front-line health workers who are putting their lives in danger, Ryan said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Lifestyle
    Car and Driver

    View Photos of the 2021 Rivian R1S

    View Photos of the 2021 Rivian R1SFrom Car and Driver

  • Celebrity
    In The Know

    Someone please teach Bella Hadid Photoshop

    Bella Hadid was named the most beautiful woman in the world based on a team of plastic surgeons analyzing her face with science. A little Photoshop never hurt anyone, but the world’s most beautiful woman certainly doesn’t need to heavily edit her photos. Hadid posted a photo of herself sunbathing during quarantine and nothing really seemed out of the ordinary or unusual at first. Several people on Twitter noticed that she had inexplicably inserted pictures of shrubs into her selfie. What is the meaning of this? Is she considering a backup career in graphic design? Is she hiding something?. Whatever the case, we hope she uses the extra time she has now that Paris Fashion Week was canceled to watch some Photoshop tutorials

  • Business

    FedEx Update Presents Some Concerns

    In an 8-k filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) provided an update on its business and announced several actions taken to reduce costs and preserve available liquidity amid the coronavirus outbreak.In the April 3 filing, the logistics giant stated that the pandemic has resulted in "significantly weaker global economic conditions [that] have negatively impacted our results of operations and are expected to continue to impact our business, results of operations, cash flows and liquidity."The company noted weakness in business-to-business demand across all of its transportation offerings globally, but said that its ground package segment has benefited from "sharp increases in ecommerce volume" given quarantine mandates. However, the change in mix to more business-to-consumer goods and household supplies, "is expected to negatively impact margins and operating results."FedEx previously suspended its fiscal 2020 earnings guidance ending May 31 when it reported fiscal third quarter earnings on March 17 due to the disruptions caused by the outbreak.Since the company's third quarter report, it has seen increased demand for services in Asia due to backlogs created when the virus first spread throughout the region causing widespread manufacturing outages. The problem is the airfreight capacity needed to relieve the current backlogs is scarce as passenger flights, which account for more than half of total airfreight capacity via lower deck belly space, have largely been grounded.Further, the company has concerns that end markets in the U.S. and Europe may quell that demand given expanding shelter-in-place restrictions. "Due to weakening economic conditions in Europe and the United States and resulting decreases in demand for goods manufactured in Asia, there are no assurances that these increased levels of demand will be sustainable."FedEx is also taking cost actions to maintain cash flow and liquidity. The efforts involve reductions in operating expenses as it has adjusted its network to better align volumes with operating conditions. The company also implemented temporary surcharges for international package and airfreight shipments and eliminated its money-back guarantees. Further, FedEx expects to realize "relief provisions" from recently enacted COVID-19 legislation, specifically referencing "relief from certain excise taxes and payroll tax deferrals in the United States."Chairman and CEO Fred Smith's base pay will be reduced by 91% for a six-month period, which started April 1. The reduction to $10,728 in monthly base pay leaves Smith with $1 per pay period after taxes and deductions.FedEx said that it will look to reduce and delay capital expenditures and is considering "alternative financing sources in addition to our credit facilities and access to public markets."In the filing, FedEx disclosed that it notified lenders on March 18 that it would fully draw down its $1.5 billion credit agreement to "increase our cash position to preserve financial flexibility in light of disrupted access to commercial paper markets and current uncertainty in the global financial markets."The company has another agreement in place for $2 billion.Currently, FedEx has $1.64 billion outstanding under credit facilities, commercial paper and outstanding letters of credit with $1.86 billion remaining for future borrowings under existing agreements.The company's financial covenants require it to maintain a debt-to-adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) ratio of no more than 3.5 times. At the end of its fiscal third quarter, that ratio stood at 2.8x. Even with the increased leverage, the company expects to remain in compliance with the covenant. However, it warned it may have to seek an amendment to the covenant if it takes on more debt or if operations erode further.The update came ahead of the company's prospectus amendment in which it plans to issue notes to refinance the $1.5 billion credit agreement and $136 million of commercial paper. Any remaining proceeds would be used for "general corporate purposes." Terms of the issuance were not disclosed.  Lastly, the company warned that it may participate in government programs, which could require it to relinquish equity and suspend its dividends and share repurchase programs."While we are not able at this time to estimate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, an extended period of global supply chain and economic disruption could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, access to sources of liquidity and financial condition," the filing stated. "In addition, an extended global recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic would have a further adverse impact on our financial condition and operations."Shares of FDX are down more than 6% on the day compared to the S&P 500 which is down 2%.See more from Benzinga * Port Of LA Leader Tasked With Lifesaving Logistics For City * Freight Futures Daily Curve: 4/3 * Ocean Cargo Continues To Flow To The Port Of Alaska(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  • Celebrity
    Robb Report

    Paris Hilton Once Owned One of the Coolest Supercars Ever. Now It’s Up for Sale.

    With low miles and high street cred, the former reality star's rare Lexus LFA is now available through an Ohio dealership.