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  • CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper Loses It, Curses In Anger During Rod Blagojevich Interview

    CNN anchor Anderson Cooper lost his cool during a Friday night interview with newly released former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. In a contentious interview, Cooper finally boiled over after hearing Blagojevich's defense of his gubernatorial record and his criminal case. Blagojevich was convicted of trying to sell or trade the Illinois Senate seat that Barack […]

  • U.K. Passengers Infected; Italy Halts Carnival: Virus Update

    (Bloomberg) -- Italy canceled public events in the north of the country including the Venice Carnival after coronavirus infections rose to 140 and a travel ban affecting about 50,000 people southeast of Milan was implemented. South Korea raised the country’s infectious-disease alert to the highest level after a 20-fold increase in cases in five days.The U.K. said four passengers who arrived Saturday from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan tested positive for the virus. Three passengers on the ship have died while another tested positive at home, despite a negative reading during the ship’s quarantine.Inside China, a study showed how extended stays on ventilators are straining hospitals at the disease’s epicenter. China’s top leadership pledged further fiscal and monetary steps to help growth rebound, while finance chiefs from the world’s biggest economies, gathering in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, fretted over the risks.Key DevelopmentsSouth Korea raises alert to highest level as cases reach 602Italy infections reach 140China cases rose to at least 76,936, with 2,442 fatalitiesIMF’s Georgieva says outbreak puts recovery at riskClick VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here.Air New Zealand Warns Coronavirus Will Hit Earnings (3:20 p.m. NY)Air New Zealand is joining the pack of airlines warning that earnings will be affected due to coronavirus. The carrier said Monday it expects a NZ$35 million ($22 million) to NZ$75 million hit as travel demand to Asia drops. Airlines across the globe have been hit by the outbreak, from flight bans to loss of bookings to higher operating costs.U.S. Trade Rep Says U.S. Offshored Too Much of Supply Chain (3 p.m. NY)White House trade adviser Peter Navarro says the coronavirus crisis shows, “not surprisingly,” that the U.S. has offshored too much of its supply chain.Navarro expressed confidence on Fox’s Sunday Morning Futures, saying the “American economy is exceedingly strong and not particularly vulnerable to what happens in China.”He emphasized his goal to bring more of the U.S. supply chain home. “A lot of it is in China, some of it is in India, some in Europe, but we’ve got to get that back on shore,” he said.New Cases in Italy Reach 140 (2:20 p.m)Italian authorities reported cases in three regions: 110 in Lombardy; 21 in Veneto and nine in Emilia Romagna. Of those, 25 are in intensive care. Italy reported its third coronavirus death on Sunday, a woman in her 80s.Long Ventilator Stays Strain Hospitals in China (1:50 p.m. NY)Critical care resources in central China are being strained by coronavirus patients needing a month or more on mechanical ventilators, a study finds.More than two-thirds of critically ill patients required invasive breathing support, doctors at the outbreak’s epicenter in Hubei province reported.That burden could become more acute: Some 40,0127 people are hospitalized with Covid-19 in Hubei. Among those, 8,853 cases are serious and 1,845 are critically ill.Italy Reports Third Death (11:46 a.m. NY)Italy confirmed a third death from the coronavirus as infections climbed to 132. Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte said on RAI television that he’s confident the country can limit the contagion. The Lombardy region has entered into phase two of limiting and containing the spread of the virus, Lombardy health official Giulio Gallera said at a briefing in Milan.“We are ready to increase measures and restrictions if needed,” Attilio Fontana regional governor of the Lombardy region said. La Scala opera house is among the public buildings that suspended performances as a precaution.Passengers Test Positive in U.K. (11:32 a.m. NY)Four more patients have tested positive for the coronavirus in the U.K., Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said in a statement. They arrived in the country yesterday on an evacuation flight with 32 passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship from Japan and are being taken from the quarantine location to specialist NHS infection centers. The total number of cases in the U.K. is now 13.EU Says More Containment May Be Needed (11:25 a.m. NY)The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said more cases in Italy and the EU are expected in coming days. “These extraordinary measures in northern Italy are essential to limit the outbreak and may need to be replicated in other communities in the coming days,” it said in a statement. The ECDC is monitoring the situation and will issue an updated risk assessment with the next 24 hours.Virus Could Put Recovery at Risk: IMF (8:55 a.m. NY)The virus outbreak has disrupted economic activity in China and could put global economic recovery at risk, Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said in a statement after the G-20 meeting. “Even in the case of rapid containment of the virus, growth in China and the rest of the world would be impacted,” Georgieva said. “We all hope for a V-shaped, rapid recovery-but given the uncertainty, it would be prudent to prepare for more adverse scenarios.”Turkey Shuts Border With Iran (8:48 a.m. NY)Turkey will temporarily close its border with Iran and halt train services between the countries, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Sunday. Turkey has no known cases of the coronavirus, while Iran has the most in the Middle East, with 43 including eight fatalities. Jordan won’t allow entry to expatriates coming from Iran, South Korea and China, Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh said. Jordanians returning from these countries will undergo a two-week quarantine.Venice Carnival, Public Events Halted (8 a.m. NY)Authorities in Venice canceled all public events for a week, including the remaining days of the city’s flagship Carnival celebration, the head of the regional government said. Milan adopted similar measures, which will likely affect the rest of its Fashion Week.Italy has 132 confirmed cases, the country’s head of civil protection said at briefing. Of those, 22 are in intensive care and others are isolated after the relatives of known patients were tested. Lombardy has suspended schools and other public spaces and events. Bologna University is closed until March 2.Third Diamond Princess Passenger Dies (7:07 a.m. NY)A third passenger from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama died, Japan’s health ministry said in a statement, citing pneumonia as the cause of death. The victim was a Japanese man was in his 80s.Iran Reports Eighth Death, 43 Cases (6:19 p.m. HK)The number of infected people has reached 43, including the eight fatalities, Kianoush Jahanpour, a spokesperson for the health ministry, said on state TV. Iran has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the Middle East. Seven of the new infections are in Qom, the epicenter of the outbreak in the country, four in Tehran, and the others in Gilan, Mazandaran and Markazi provinces, he said. Kuwait stopped ships from Iran calling at its ports.SChina Central Banker Sees Limited Economic Impact (11:56 a.m. HK)China has sufficient policy scope to address the impact of the coronavirus on the economy, which will prove limited, according to People’s Bank of China Deputy Governor Chen Yulu, the central bank said in a posting Sunday. Chen in a Financial Times column Feb. 20 wrote that China will probably see a “V-shaped” recovery.China’s top leaders pledged a more proactive fiscal policy after a Feb. 21 meeting, and the PBOC signaled further monetary steps to come.Hubei Has 96 Deaths for Total of 2,346 (6:10 a.m. HK)China’s Hubei province on Sunday reported an additional 630 cases on Feb. 22, and 96 further deaths. It said 1,742 patients were discharged. The death toll in the epicenter of the disease now stands at 2,346 people.Those tallies account for the majority of the national totals in China, which now stand at 2,442 dead and 76,936 cases.\--With assistance from Alessandro Speciale, Daniele Lepido, Arsalan Shahla and Nikos Chrysoloras.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Jihye Lee in Seoul at jlee2352@bloomberg.net;Ian Fisher in New York at ifisher10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Sara Marley, Virginia Van NattaFor 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.

  • Putin Sent Her Activist Boyfriend to Siberia. Now She Wants to Go, Too.

    MOSCOW-Few people are familiar with Novaya Zemlya, a very obscure archipelago above the Arctic Circle that is controlled by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the infamous Soviet spy agency, the KGB. Even fewer people hope to travel to those thinly populated and thoroughly militarized islands, where the Russian army tests its Arctic missile systems, and where polar bears suffering the effects of climate change dig through garbage pits at impoverished settlements. Alexei Navalny on Standing Up to Putin and His Murderous MinionsIt sounds like hell frozen over, in fact-and it figures in what looks like a new tactic by President Vladimir Putin (a former KGB operative) to intimidate his most vocal critics. But Kira Yarmysh has a special reason to go there. She is desperate to see her partner, who became the first victim of such an operation last December.“The FSB abducted my boyfriend, Ruslan Shaveddinov, and isolated him in Novaya Zemlya,” Yarmysh told The Daily Beast. “The most outrageous truth is that several divisions of the state system, including military authorities, aviation, and secret services, are helping to hide Ruslan from us.” This was hardly a random act. Yarmysh is a news presenter and spokesperson for Russia’s top opposition leader, Aleksei Navalny, and his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK). Shaveddinov is one of the group’s star reporters and presenters as well.Russia still has a military draft, and 12 months of service are mandatory for all male citizens age 18 to 33. Shaveddinov, known as “Shav,” has been famous for presenting vivid, well-documented corruption investigations on YouTube. But at 23 years old, he was vulnerable, and authorities claimed he was draft-dodging.The news agency TASS quotes Moscow’s military commissar, Col. Maksim Loktev, claiming the conscription of Shaveddinov was perfectly ordinary: “He departed to the place of his military service on the draft.” But the young activist’s colleagues aren’t buying it. It’s not just the matter of conscription; it’s the deployment that’s suspicious.“This is a unique example of how the FSB begins to use military service as a prison for politically active young men,” Navalny told The Daily Beast. “I think the order was to isolate Shav.”Viewers all over Russia recognize Yarmysh and Shaveddinov from YouTube, which is the main outlet for Navalny’s reports. More than three million viewed their presentation last summer (while Navalny was in jail) about Moscow Deputy Mayor Natalia Sergunina. They reported she was making millions of dollars off property deals in the Russian capital for companies controlled by her relatives, an allegation that she has denied.  There are frequent police raids on FBK offices, along with confiscations of computers, cellphones, and video cameras. On July 27, members of an armed special unit raided Yarmysh’s home at dawn, woke the couple up, put Ruslan on the floor, and confiscated all of the digital equipment. After a tough 2019, Kira and Ruslan looked forward to celebrating the New Year’s holiday together, without any people around. But on Dec. 23, Kira’s boyfriend vanished and his cellphone was not answered. His friends found the door to his apartment broken. Nearly 24 hours later, Yarmysh discovered that her partner was more than 3,000 kilometers (some 2,000 miles) away, in a unit of what’s called the 33rd Guards Rocket Army based in Rogachevo village on the Southern Island of Novaya Zemlya. Yarmysh had never heard much about the rules of the archipelago and the news came as a shock: there was an old nuclear testing ground near Ruslan’s base; she could not visit his island without a special FSB permit. Then Ruslan called her, and what she heard broke her heart, she says.“There were two army captains with him listening in our conversation, so every time I asked him how he was, he said, ‘Let’s talk about you,” Yarmysh remembered. “He told me he was banned from using his cellphone, which is a violation-every Russian soldier can call home once a week! So I decided to sue his commander.”Yarmysh wanted to be present during the court hearing last week, and, of course, to see Ruslan. She requested an FSB permit earlier this month, but days passed and there was no word back. The court hearing was scheduled for last Wednesday, but a Moscow judge on the case was not able to get to Novaya Zemlya, Yarmysh said-the flight got canceled due to harsh weather conditions. (This is not unusual given the brutal Arctic weather.) “They regularly cancel flights during the winter, so I am surprised that the army managed to transport Ruslan there so easily in December,” Yarmysh said. “It is obvious that the weather is not an issue, if there is an order to bring the guy.”Finally a hearing was held at the end of the week, and a lawyer from the Navalny team was able to make it there, but there was no satisfaction to be had and communications were spotty. At midday on Saturday, Yarmysh tweeted that she still had heard nothing about her boyfriend's fated. (A troll responded with pictures of polar bears eating a bloody corpse: "Found him. But no need to thank me.")The lawyer finally got in touch late Saturday, but only briefly. He reported that, officially, the court said Shaveddinov had no unusual restrictions. But in practical terms that was no consolation, and Yarmysh said she couldn't be sure what happened until the attorney made it back to Moscow. As of Monday, however, he was till stuck above the Arctic Circle because of the weather."Prisoners have more rights than Ruslan," Yarmysh told The Daily Beast. "He doesn't have any right to call, or even to send letters."Yarmysh grew up in Rostov-on-Don, a provincial southern town on the border with Ukraine’s Donbas region. Her single mother brought her up dreaming that one day Kira would win The Clever Heads, a televised competition for high-schoolers that awards the winners with a chance to enroll in Russia’s most prestigious university for future diplomats, the MGIMO, or Moscow State Institute of International Relations. And, yes, Yarmysh won.While studying at MGIMO, she thought she would one day get a diplomat’s position in Africa, far from the Russian political scene. But anti-Putin street protests in 2011-2012 changed her life, and she wound up on the front line of the opposition’s constant fight with corrupt bureaucrats. Her mother has always been an Aleksey Navalny fan, Yarmysh said, so when she got her job at the FBK six years ago, her family supported her. “Kira Yarmysh is one of the brightest stars in Navalny’s team. She is emerging to be even bigger but still stay in Navalny’s shadow,” Echo of Moscow Deputy Chief Editor Olga Bychkova told The Daily Beast. Yarmysh says that if she has to she will wait for her boyfriend for 12 months, as do millions of other Russian girls all over the country. “I hope this is going to be just one year,” she says.  For two months, Yarmysh has been worried, feeling “hurt,” she says, wondering why out of all Russia’s vast military bases, her boyfriend was isolated in the Arctic. “The authorities might think that Ruslan and I, if we come out to a street protest, might lead masses of people,” Yarmysh said, then added: “I personally have no fear. If they raid our homes, if they detain us, I tell myself, we must be doing everything right.” But for the moment that is, at best, cold comfort.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • Hilary Duff Confronts Paparazzo Taking Photos of Children

    "I'm asking you human-to-human - as a mother - if you don't know anyone here, can you please stop taking pictures of our children playing football this morning?"

  • Teck drops C$20.6 billion oil sands Frontier project, to take writedown

    Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd has withdrawn an application to build its C$20.6 billion ($15.7 billion) Frontier oil sands mine in Alberta, days before the federal government was to decide on whether to approve a project opposed by environmentalists and indigenous groups. Teck said on Sunday it would write down the C$1.13 billion ($852.12 million) carrying value of the project. The company released a letter by Teck Chief Executive Don Lindsay to Canada's environment minister, stating Teck was "disappointed to have arrived at this point".