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From the Andes to Tibet, the coronavirus seems to be sparing populations at high altitudes

May 31st, 2020
From the Andes to Tibet, the coronavirus seems to be sparing populations at high altitudes

When tourists from Mexico, China and Britain became the first covid-19 fatalities in Cusco, Peru, it seemed as if the onetime capital of the Inca Empire might be headed for a significant outbreak.Nestled in a picturesque Andean valley, the high-altitude city of 420,000 residents, the gateway to the cloud forest citadel of Machu Picchu, receives more than 3 million international visitors per year — many from pandemic hot spots, including the United States, Italy and Spain.Yet since those three deaths, between March 23 and April 3, at the start of Peru’s strict national lockdown, there has not... Read More

Strong twisters absent from the Plains in May, much to the relief of residents

May 31st, 2020
Strong twisters absent from the Plains in May, much to the relief of residents

Near record-quiet month followed the second-most active April A weak tornado touched down briefly near Holly, Colo., on Thursday. (Matthew Cappucci/The Washington Post) When Jim Lihue watched the morning weather report in Moore, a suburb of Oklahoma City, on Thursday, he couldn’t help but chuckle. He laughed in surprise — and cautious relief — that the month of May was almost over. For most people, May is just another month of spring, a cheerful time when the days grow long and the weather gets warmer. But for much of the central United States, May is a time to hold one’s breath as the... Read More

Protests mount and violence flares in cities across U.S., putting the nation on edge

May 30th, 2020
Protests mount and violence flares in cities across U.S., putting the nation on edge

The escalating street protests recalled recent activism by the Black Lives Matter movement, while also evoking pivotal moments in the turbulent history of racial and economic struggle, from the convulsions of 1968 to the riots that broke out in Los Angeles in response to the April 1992 acquittal of the officers charged in the beating of Rodney King. Ongoing eruptions had yet to reach these levels, as mayors and governors implored their citizens to stay calm, while President Trump urged authorities to “get tougher.”“People are fighting for their lives,” said Rashad Robinson, the president... Read More

Perspective | Trump has sown hatred of the press for years. Now journalists are under assault from police and protesters alike.

May 30th, 2020
Perspective | Trump has sown hatred of the press for years. Now journalists are under assault from police and protesters alike.

There are those who argue that President Trump’s endless disparagement of the news media is harmless — perhaps a little extreme at times, but mostly just a lot of talk.Sure, he throws around terms such as “enemy of the people,” claims that accurate reporting unflattering to him is “fake news” and gleefully insults individual reporters — especially women of color. True, he likes to threaten to use the powers of his office to interfere with the business concerns of media companies he does not favor or to punish their owners.But, come on, what has he really done that’s so bad?On Friday,... Read More

Greece clarifies policy, to allow tourists from all nations

May 30th, 2020
Greece clarifies policy, to allow tourists from all nations

ATHENS, Greece — Greek officials said Saturday that the country will not limit arriving airline passengers next month to people coming from 29 countries but that travelers who departed from places that aren’t on the initial list will be subject to mandatory testing for the coronavirus upon arrival and a quarantine period of one or two weeks.The two-tiered policy, which revised information the Greek government issued Friday, will be applied during June 15-30, although officials left open the possibility of maintaining entry restrictions after the end of June.High-ranking tourism ministry officials... Read More

Pope presides over virus prayer in hint normalcy returning

May 30th, 2020
Pope presides over virus prayer in hint normalcy returning

ROME — Pope Francis prayed Saturday for an end to the coronavirus pandemic and the development of a vaccine as he presided over an outdoor gathering that signaled a semblance of normalcy returning to the Vatican after a coronavirus lockdown lasting more than two months.Francis was joined in the Vatican Gardens by a representative sampling of people on the front lines of the emergency: a doctor, a nurse, a hospital chaplain, a pharmacist, a journalist and a civil protection official.A recovered COVID-19 patient, a person with a relative who died during Italy’s outbreak, and the parents of a... Read More

Sports events in England allowed to resume from Monday

May 30th, 2020
Sports events in England allowed to resume from Monday

MANCHESTER, England — Horse racing will be the first main sport to resume in England on Monday after the government approved the end of the 11-week shutdown of events if there are no spectators and coronavirus protocols are followed.Jockeys will wear masks and medical checks will be required on arrival and before leaving the course in the northeast city of Newcastle, where 10 races are planned.The guidance that allows elite sports competitions to restart from Monday was published by the government on Saturday as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions that were imposed in March are eased further. Snooker... Read More

Testing giants ACT and College Board struggle amid covid-19 pandemic

May 30th, 2020
Testing giants ACT and College Board struggle amid covid-19 pandemic

The head of the organization that owns the ACT college admissions test is suddenly out of his job at the same time the College Board is facing new student complaints about how it runs its SAT testing program.The testing giants are reeling at a time when scores of colleges and universities have said they will not require an SAT or ACT score for students applying to enter in fall 2021 because of the covid-19 pandemic — and the influential University of California system just decided to start to phase out their use, with a 23-0 vote by the Board of Regents.Both organizations, which are nonprofits... Read More

Despite Northam’s public health credentials, some Virginians question his leadership during pandemic

May 30th, 2020
Despite Northam’s public health credentials, some Virginians question his leadership during pandemic

“I was not prepared because my mask was in the car,” he confessed in a news briefing. Then Northam (D) had to describe how the new edict would be enforced, and it seemed he wasn’t prepared for that, either.“This is not a criminal matter,” Northam said. “Law enforcement will not have a role.” Except his executive order specified that violators could be found guilty of a misdemeanor carrying possible jail time. He clarified that he hoped the General Assembly would authorize a civil penalty. His chief of staff took the podium to explain it again.Northam has plenty of experience communicating... Read More

Pandemic’s overall death toll in U.S. likely surpassed 100000 weeks ago

May 30th, 2020
Pandemic’s overall death toll in U.S. likely surpassed 100000 weeks ago

The number of people reported to have died of the novel coronavirus in the United States surpassed 100,000 this week, a grim marker of lives lost directly to the disease, but an analysis of overall deaths during the pandemic shows that the nation probably reached a similar terrible milestone three weeks ago.Between March 1 and May 9, the nation recorded an estimated 101,600 excess deaths, or deaths beyond the number that would normally be expected for that time of year, according to an analysis conducted for The Washington Post by a research team led by the Yale School of Public Health. That figure... Read More