Norwegian Police Find a 'Bomb-Like' Device in the Capital
Police in Norway set off a controlled explosion in the capital, Oslo, after they found a “bomb-like” device. A suspect is in custody. “The noise from the blast was louder than our explosives themselves would cause,” a police spokesman told Reuters. The device was found in the Groenland neighborhood, a popular spot with bars and restaurants near the city’s main police station. Police would not release further information about the suspect, or details of the device they found. The country was on high alert after an attack in Sweden the day before, in which a man stole a beer truck and drove it into a crowd of people, killing four and injuring many others. Nordic countries are not used to regular acts of terrorism, as has been increasingly the case in much of Europe.
Vi har kontroll på stedet, og avventer nå til vi har fått foretatt nødvendige undersøkelser.Vi har kontroll på en person med status mistenkt
Warplanes Return to the Syrian Town Hit by Chemical Attack
Warplanes returned on Saturday to bomb the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, the site targeted by the Bashar al-Assad regime earlier this week in a chemical attack. The latest bombing killed one woman and wounded several others, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group based in Britain. It’s not known who deployed the warplanes. Khan Sheikhoun is practically a ghost town now, ever since Tuesday when Assad killed more than 80 people in the chemical attack. This prompted the U.S. to retaliate Friday with 60 Tomahawk missiles fired at the Shayrat air base, the site where the chemical attack was launched. It was the first time U.S. took direct military action against Assad since the civil war began in 2011. Elsewhere in the country on Friday, the U.S. targeted ISIS-held city of Raqqa, killing at least 15 people, including a woman and her six children on a boat in the Euphrates River.
Venezuela Bans Opposition Leader From Holding Office
Venezuelan authorities banned opposition leader Henrique Capriles from holding office for 15 years, removing President Nicolás Maduro’s toughest challenger in next year’s election. The move is the latest in a series of attempts to assert Maduro’s control in a country that has already pushed back democratic elections. Venezuela’s comptroller general accused Capriles, a state governor, of misusing public funds and "administrative irregularities." Capriles has run for president twice, and is seen as the opposition’s best chance at beating Maduro. Capriles has led a series of protests recently, accusing the government of stifling dissent. Maduro is deeply unpopular in the country since oil prices plummeted and threw Venezuela into an economic nosedive. The government has tried to consolidate power, and in March the Supreme Court stripped Congress of authority. The court rescinded that decision a week ago after massive protests and criticism even from within the ruling party.
The militant Basque separatist group ETA handed over its weapons to French authorities Saturday, ending a decades-old conflict and the last insurgency in Europe. At a ceremony in southern French city of Bayonne, militants handed authorities an inventory of weapons and their locations. ETA, which is an acronym for Basque Homeland and Freedom, was founded in 1959 to fight cultural and political repression under Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco. The Basque region lies on the border of France and Spain, and the ETA has sought to carve out an independent state. More than 850 people were killed in their fight, including Franco’s heir, Luis Carrero Blanco. ETA members dug a tunnel under the road Blanco drove to mass each week and packed it with bombs, blowing up his car and killing him. The group also attacked areas crowded with civilians. In 1987 it targeted a Barcelona supermarket and killed 21 people, including children. In 2011, the ETA declared a ceasefire, but held onto its weapons. At the supply caches, authorities were expected to find more than 120 firearms and more than three tons of explosives. Neither the ceasefire or disarmament include impunity, so investigators could use some of the weapons to tie suspects to past crimes.
Swedish police arrested a man they accused of stealing a beer truck in Stockholm and crashing it into a crowd of people in a busy shopping area, killing four. The suspect is a 39-year-old man from Uzbekistan who had been known to the country’s security services, although investigators found no ties to extremism. His name was not released. He is the same man pictured in a still image taken from a surveillance video that police released on Friday, the day of the attack. Officers initially said they were unsure what role the man might have played, but by Saturday said they were confident he had driven the truck. Swedish media also reported that investigators found a suspicious device in the truck, but it has not been identified.
The president is failing, and Americans are paying for his failures.
“I don’t take responsibility at all,” said President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden on March 13. Those words will probably end up as the epitaph of his presidency, the single sentence that sums it all up.
Trump now fancies himself a “wartime president.” How is his war going? By the end of March, the coronavirus had killed more Americans than the 9/11 attacks. By the first weekend in April, the virus had killed more Americans than any single battle of the Civil War. By Easter, it may have killed more Americans than the Korean War. On the present trajectory, it will kill, by late April, more Americans than Vietnam. Having earlier promised that casualties could be held near zero, Trump now claims he will have done a “very good job” if the toll is held below 200,000 dead.
The U.S. may end up with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the industrialized world. This is how it’s going to play out.
Three months ago, no one knew that SARS-CoV-2 existed. Now the virus has spread to almost every country, infecting at least 446,000 people whom we know about, and many more whom we do not. It has crashed economies and broken health-care systems, filled hospitals and emptied public spaces. It has separated people from their workplaces and their friends. It has disrupted modern society on a scale that most living people have never witnessed. Soon, most everyone in the United States will know someone who has been infected. Like World War II or the 9/11 attacks, this pandemic has already imprinted itself upon the nation’s psyche.
A global pandemic of this scale was inevitable. In recent years, hundreds of health experts have written books, white papers, and op-eds warning of the possibility. Bill Gates has been telling anyone who would listen, including the 18 million viewers of his TED Talk. In 2018, I wrote a story for The Atlantic arguing that America was not ready for the pandemic that would eventually come. In October, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security war-gamed what might happen if a new coronavirus swept the globe. And then one did. Hypotheticals became reality. “What if?” became “Now what?”
If there is a way to stop COVID-19, it will be by blocking its proteins from hijacking, suppressing, and evading humans’ cellular machinery.
Twenty-nine. That’s the number of proteins the new coronavirus has, at most, in its arsenal to attack human cells. That’s 29 proteins to go up against upwards of tens of thousands of proteins comprising the vastly more complex and sophisticated human body. Twenty-nine proteins that have taken over enough cells in enough bodies to kill more than 80,000 people and grind the world to a halt.
If there is a way—a vaccine, therapy, or drug—to stop the coronavirus, it will be by blocking these proteins from hijacking, suppressing, and evading humans’ cellular machinery. The coronavirus may sound small and simple with its mere 29 proteins, but that is also what makes it hard to fight. It has so few weak spots to exploit. Bacteria, in comparison, might have hundreds of their own proteins.
Widespread social-distancing measures have produced some jarring effects across land, air, and sea.
From inside her living room in London, Paula Koelemeijer can feel the world around her growing quieter.
Koelemeijer, a seismologist, has a miniature seismometer sitting on a concrete slab at the base of her first-floor fireplace. The apparatus, though smaller than a box of tissues, can sense all kinds of movement, from the rattle of trains on the tracks near Koelemeijer’s home to the waves of earthquakes rolling in from afar. Since the United Kingdom announced stricter social-distancing rules last month, telling residents not to leave their home except for essential reasons, the seismometer has registered a sharp decrease in the vibrations produced by human activity.
With fewer trains, buses, and people pounding the pavement, the usual hum of public life has vanished, and so has its dependable rhythms: Before the spread of COVID-19 shut down the city, Koelemeijer could plot the seismometer’s data and see the train schedule reflected in the spikes, down to the minute. Now, with fewer trains running, the spikes seem to come at random.
Contact tracing is working in South Korea and Singapore. But it raises privacy issues.
It’s a cool fall evening in September 2020. With a bottle of wine in hand, you slide into the front seat of your car to drive to a dinner party with close friends. It’s been eight months since you’ve seen most of them, at least outside of a computer screen.
As you’re pulling out of the neighborhood, you feel your phone buzz. It’s an alert from the new agency overseeing the coronavirus outbreak. On the lock screen, you can read the words “BE ADVISED.” Your heart sinks as you unlock the phone to read the rest of the message:
We have determined that in the past few days, you may have interacted with somebody who has recently tested positive for COVID-19. There is no need to panic. But for the sake of your family, friends, and neighbors, we are relying on your support. As soon as you can, please …
Netflix’s Tiger King is the apotheosis of extreme storytelling: The more unfathomable and ethically dubious, the better.
This article contains spoilers through all seven episodes of Tiger King.
At this particular moment, the most-watched show in America is a seven-part documentary series about a gay, polygamous zoo owner in Oklahoma who breeds tigers, commissions and stars in his own country-music videos, presides over what he describes as “my little cult” of drifters and much younger men, and ran for governor of Oklahoma in 2018 on a libertarian platform. He’s also currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for, among other charges, trying to arrange the assassination of his nemesis, an animal-sanctuary owner in Florida. And his business allies include another big-cat breeder—a yoga-loving guru in Myrtle Beach who runs what appears to be a tiger-themed sex sect.
What is actually known about hydroxychloroquine, the medication that Trump is fixated on recommending for COVID-19
Two weeks ago, French doctors published a provocative observation in a microbiology journal. In the absence of a known treatment for COVID-19, the doctors had taken to experimentation with a potent drug known as hydroxychloroquine. For decades, the drug has been used to treat malaria—which is caused by a parasite, not a virus. In six patients with COVID-19, the doctors combined hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin (known to many as “Z-Pak,” an antibiotic that kills bacteria, not viruses) and reported that after six days of this regimen, all six people tested negative for the virus.
The report caught the eye of the celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, who has since appeared on Fox News to talk about hydroxychloroquine 21 times. As Oz put it to Sean Hannity, “This French doctor, [Didier] Raoult, a very famous infectious-disease specialist, had done some interesting work at a pilot study showing that he could get rid of the virus in six days in 100 percent of the patients he treated.” Raoult has made news in recent years as a pan-disciplinary provocateur; he has questioned climate change and Darwinian evolution. On January 21, at the height of the coronavirus outbreak in China, Raoult said in a YouTube video, “The fact that people have died of coronavirus in China, you know, I don’t feel very concerned.” Last week, Oz, who has been advising the president on the coronavirus, described Raoult to Hannity as “very impressive.” Oz told Hannity that he had informed the White House as much.
Our culture writers’ top picks for how to stay entertained—without a streaming subscription
The economic repercussions of the coronavirus crisis mean that money is tight for many right now. Entertainment services such as streaming subscriptions may be a necessary expense to cut—even as social isolation and stay-at-home orders leave people with a lot of time to kill and a pressing need for distraction. Luckily, the internet offers plenty of no-cost resources, including thousands of public-domain audiobooks available on LibriVox and many hours of ambient songs on the Free Music Archive. To help you narrow down the options, here are some of our culture writers’ top choices for free quarantine entertainment.
There’s an elegant simplicity to the setup of COLORS shows: just an artist, a mic, and a monochromatic set. Without the distractions of extensive design, audience feedback, and potent beats, the musicians’ voices soar. One of my favorite videos on the channel is a January 2019 recording in which the Swedish Gambian singer Seinabo Sey sings “Truth,” a single from her sophomore album, I’m a Dream. By the time I stumbled upon the COLORS rendition, I’d already played the record tons of times (seriously, it’s wonderful), but I was still startled by the sheer force of Sey’s vocals. I stopped to really listen in a way I often don’t. The series is great for that—snapping you outside your own head, often with the work of artists you’ve never heard of before. — Hannah Giorgis
Both the president and his party are committed to a long-term project of impunity from both the law and the electorate.
An hour or so into Monday’s daily presidential briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, Trump declared that his political opponents should “not be allowed” to win the 2020 presidential election.
Democrats “want to make Trump look as bad as they can, because they want to try and win an election that they shouldn't be allowed to win based on the fact that we have done a great job. We built the greatest economy in the world. I'll do it a second time,” Trump declared. “We got artificially stopped by a virus that nobody ever thought possible and we handled it and we've built a team and we built an apparatus that's been unbelievable.”
Even for Trump, who spits falsehoods at a breathtaking pace, that paragraph is remarkable; as a retired moisture farmer from Tatooine once put it, every word of what he just said was wrong. Job growth under Trump has been slower than during his predecessor’s last three years in office. The president was warned about the danger posed by the novel coronavirus in early January, and chose to ignore his advisers, believing it was another public-relations problem he could bluster his way through. The economy had to be “artificially stopped” because the federal government dithered until early March, as Trump insisted the Chinese government had the outbreak contained and falsely told the public that cases would “soon be down to zero.” The Democratic Party, despite its criticisms of the president, is prepared to hand him another $1 trillion in stimulus funds to prop up the economy, which is $3 trillion more than the zero dollars Republicans were willing to give his predecessor to prevent a severe economic downturn from becoming a depression.
The coronavirus pandemic and a chapter of history that should have expired long ago
In a large windowlessroom in the bowels of the CIA, there is a sign that reads Every day is September 12th. When I first saw those words, during a tour of the agency’s operations, I felt conflicted. As a New Yorker who witnessed the 9/11 attacks, I once felt that way myself, but by the time I saw the sign, during the second term of the Obama administration, it seemed to ignore all the things that our country had gotten wrong because of that mindset. Now, as COVID-19 has transformed the way that Americans live, and threatens to claim exponentially more lives than any terrorist has, it is time to finally end the chapter of our history that began on September 11, 2001.
I say that as someone whose life was shaped by 9/11. I was a 24-year-old graduate student working on a city-council campaign when I watched the second plane curve into the World Trade Center and then saw the first tower collapse. Everything that I’d done in my life up to that point suddenly seemed trivial. I walked several miles to my apartment, as my fellow New Yorkers came out into the streets to be near one another (as we can’t be today). In the days that followed, my Queens neighborhood was the setting for a number of funerals for firemen. I will never forget the image of one devastated widow sitting in a lawn chair in her front yard, receiving condolences from a line of the toughest—but most broken—men I had ever seen.