web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 123)

Coronavirus Empties European Cities of Chinese Tourists

Westlake Legal Group merlin_168206253_9a38ea95-e8a2-4091-ae1a-a71a9ad61d42-facebookJumbo Coronavirus Empties European Cities of Chinese Tourists Travel and Vacations Shopping and Retail Museums Hotels and Travel Lodgings Europe Economic Conditions and Trends Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

PARIS — The line in front of the Louis Vuitton store was barely a line by Paris standards: only 10 people. All were Asian and many spoke in Chinese, with one couple dictating Mandarin into a smartphone and waiting for the answers in French.

“Sometimes, the line’s been even shorter recently,’’ Yasmine Ben, who works at a kiosk directly facing the store, said on a recent morning. “Usually, it’s wider, much, much longer, and it snakes around the back.’’

Louis Vuitton, in the Galeries Lafayette department store in central Paris, is a favorite stop inside one of the favorite shopping destinations of Chinese tourists to France. And the line there is prime evidence of the growing economic impact that the coronavirus, which broke out in Wuhan, China, late last year, has had on tourism in Paris and elsewhere across Europe.

Though it is too soon to quantify it precisely, the potential economic impact of the coronavirus is evident nearly everywhere. From the streets of Paris to the wineries of Burgundy, from the German town of Füssen near the fairy tale castle of Neuschwanstein to a shopping outlet in Oxfordshire, England, the numbers of Chinese tourists have visibly dropped since Beijing banned overseas group tours on Jan. 27.

Fears were heightened over the weekend after an 80-year-old Chinese tourist died of the virus at a hospital in Paris — the first fatality outside Asia since the start of the outbreak.

The effects, especially on businesses catering to the ever-growing Chinese market, have been immediate. Last week, the Italian government considered allocating assistance to hard-hit tour operators.

“It’s seen as on par with an earthquake, a situation of emergency,” said Mattia Morandi, a spokesman for Italy’s ministry of culture and tourism.

As elsewhere in Europe, Italy’s tourism sector has benefited greatly from China’s economic rise over the past two decades. In 2000, three years before the outbreak of the SARS virus across Asia, Chinese tourists overseas spent $10 billion, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. In 2018, that figure was $277 billion.

On Jan. 21, Italy’s minister of culture and tourism, Dario Franceschini, and his Chinese counterpart, Luo Shugang, inaugurated a yearlong multifaceted program aimed at boosting cultural exchanges and tourism between the two countries.

  • What do you need to know? Start here.

    Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

They discussed an “intense” calendar of initiatives involving the performing arts, movie productions and numerous exhibitions, including a show of ancient Roman sculptures at the National Museum of China in Beijing and one of terra-cotta warriors at the Reggia di Caserta.

Direct flights between Italy and China had been expected to triple over the year, rising to 108 per week from 56.

But only 10 days after the ministers met, Italy suspended flights to and from China, as the coronavirus outbreak spread around the world and the death toll continued to rise in China.

As more nations have restricted travel to and from China, effectively quarantining the world’s most populous nation, the ever-present large groups of Chinese tourists, arms often laden with brand-name shopping bags, have disappeared from the European landscape.

With the outbreak showing few signs of abating, tourism-dependent businesses across Europe are bracing for empty hotel rooms and stores in the coming high season.

In some places, the spread of coronavirus has also had a chilling effect on tourists from other nations.

“People don’t want to be on trains or planes or go to conferences,” said Alberto Corti, who is responsible for the tourism sector for Confcommercio, a leading business association in Italy. He described it as a “psychosis effect.”

Last week, the world’s biggest mobile communications trade fair, scheduled to start in Barcelona, Spain, on Feb. 24, was canceled as participants withdrew over fears linked to the virus.

The Spanish authorities and the organizers of the fair, Mobile World Congress, had insisted that Barcelona was fully prepared to avoid the spread of coronavirus. But the list of cancellations had grown longer every day, and included Amazon, Intel and Facebook.

It was the most important business event so far to be canceled outside Asia since the start of the outbreak.

According to Ada Colau, the mayor of Barcelona, the conference had been expected to bring the city more than 100,000 visitors and revenues of 500 million euros, about $540 million. It had also been expected to create 14,000 temporary jobs and allow hotels to reach full occupancy during the low season.

Overall, despite the explosive growth in the number of Chinese tourists in Europe, they still represent a relatively small share of visitors, outnumbered by other Europeans or Americans.

In the most popular destinations, like Paris, already overwhelmed with tourists, the overall economic impact has been limited so far, officials said. The Louvre Museum, which Chinese were second only to Americans in visiting last year, has not suffered a decrease in visitors since the start of the outbreak, said a spokeswoman, Sophie Grange.

The Chinese account for 3 percent of visitors to Paris — about 800,000 visitors a year, compared with 2.4 million from the United States, according to the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.

China represents “a small fraction of our tourism economy,” said Corinne Menegaux, the bureau’s director. “If it were the United States, it would be something else.”

Still, Ms. Menegaux said that because Chinese tourists often traveled in groups and tended to use specific hotels and stores, some businesses have been disproportionately affected. Sales at some duty-free stores and other businesses, where Chinese account for 80 percent of the clientele, have plummeted, she said.

Also hard hit are Europe’s luxury boutiques, a favorite of Chinese tourists seeking to avoid knockoff goods.

At Galeries Lafayette — where many salespeople are Chinese and even the French greet all Asian customers with a “ni hao” — foot traffic has slowed considerably because of the outbreak, salespeople said.

The company has aggressively courted Chinese tourists to Paris and also opened stores in China. Margaux Berthier, a spokeswoman for Galeries Lafayette, declined to comment on the outbreak’s impact on its business.

In Dijon, Chinese tourists’ second-favorite French city after Paris, Chinese tour operators canceled reservations for 3,000 rooms in about 40 hotels in February.

“Unfortunately, there are no tourists to take their place,” said Patrick Jacquier, president in the Dijon region for UHIM, the main trade group for hotels and restaurants.

In Britain, visitors from China spend an average of 16 nights per stay, more than double the overall average of a week, according the national tourism agency, Visit Britain.

In Oxfordshire, England, Chinese visitors disappeared almost overnight from a top discount luxury retail destination, Bicester Village.

In Germany, where the Chinese account for about 3 percent of visitors, favorite destinations like Munich and Heidelberg have reported cancellations of tour groups and drops in tourist numbers.

In Füssen, near the fairy tale castle of Neuschwanstein, Chinese bookings at the euro Park Hotel International have been canceled through the first half of April.

To ensure that other guests feel comfortable, the hotel has taken extra measures, including misting the rooms with disinfectant even before the regular cleaning staff make their rounds and individually treating every room key after each use, said the hotel’s director, Fabien Geyer. Containers of hand disinfectant are also available to guests for free.

In Austria, the Chinese love the salt-mining town of Hallstatt, a UNESCO World Heritage site, so much that they built a copy at home in Guangdong Province.

“Chinese tourists are very valuable to us. They spend money when shopping and tend to spend the night in higher-end hotels,” said Gregor Gritzky, head of the regional tourism bureau that covers Hallstatt.

While the region attracts European skiers in winter, Mr. Gritzky said he was worried about the warmer months that usually drew the Chinese.

“We are hoping for signs that this won’t last too long,” he said of the outbreak.

Reporting was contributed by Aurelien Breeden and Constant Méheut in Paris; Marc Santora and Ceylan Yeginsu in London; Melissa Eddy in Berlin; Raphael Minder in Madrid; and Elisabetta Povoledo in Rome.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Kroger shoppers in Indiana film deer running through aisles, jumping meat counter

Shoppers at an Indiana Kroger were in for a big surprise when a deer tore through the grocery store Saturday evening.

ALDI AD CHALLENGING INFLUENCER TO SPEND ONLY $33 ON GROCERIES SPARKS OUTRAGE

Brigitte Dan was shopping with her mom and two children at the Zionsville location of the supermarket chain when she recorded the obviously startled deer sprinting down the store aisles.

In a still shot of the deer, it can be seen jumping over the meat counter, appearing to momentarily get stuck.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

In video uploaded to Facebook by Dan, the animal is also seen running down an aisle at the end of the store while employees chased after it.

Dan added that the deer was clearly hurt from running into items in the store.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER

“My my… she was very scared from the special attentions from other shoppers! She was hurt from jumping over the meat/seafood glass counter! Her nose was bleeding,” she wrote.

The deer was eventually able to exit the store on its own.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS

Kroger confirmed the incident in a comment to Fox News.

Westlake Legal Group kroger-iStock Kroger shoppers in Indiana film deer running through aisles, jumping meat counter fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/food-drink/food/shopping fox news fnc/food-drink fnc c56323e8-025b-5404-8b2a-45d1686606cf article Alexandra Deabler

“I hope, in her time near the meat case, the deer noticed our expanded selection of plant-based protein products,” Kroger said in a statement. (iStock)

“The store did have a surprise visitor last night, entering through the front door. After the deer left, the manager and store team performed a thorough cleaning of the area,” the statement read.

“I hope, in her time near the meat case, the deer noticed our expanded selection of plant-based protein products.”

Westlake Legal Group kroger-iStock Kroger shoppers in Indiana film deer running through aisles, jumping meat counter fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/food-drink/food/shopping fox news fnc/food-drink fnc c56323e8-025b-5404-8b2a-45d1686606cf article Alexandra Deabler   Westlake Legal Group kroger-iStock Kroger shoppers in Indiana film deer running through aisles, jumping meat counter fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/food-drink/food/shopping fox news fnc/food-drink fnc c56323e8-025b-5404-8b2a-45d1686606cf article Alexandra Deabler

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Human Trafficking Awareness Campaigns Are Feeding A Dangerous Myth

You see the posters in airports, bus stations and rest stops around the country. A child, always female, often white, sometimes bound. An alarming headline: “Someone in your state was just sold” or “Human trafficking: It could happen to anyone.” 

Underneath the picture is a worrying statistic, a list of warning signs, a hotline number or all three. And always, at the end, the same plea to travelers: If you see something, say something.

Over the last two decades, human trafficking has become one of the most prominent social issues in America. Airlines, hotels and ride-hailing companies train their employees on how to spot victims. Nonprofits enlist celebrities to spread awareness campaigns on social media. Last week, just after the close of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, President Trump held an anti-trafficking summit and created a White House position dedicated to the issue.

Whether from lawmakers, nonprofits or celebrities, nearly all of these efforts send the same message: Trafficking is everywhere, it’s getting worse and ordinary Americans have the power to stop it. 

There’s just one problem. None of the lawmakers or nonprofits behind these campaigns can provide any evidence that “raising awareness” of human trafficking is doing anything to address it. 

For years now, experts have pointed out that the reality of sex trafficking bears little resemblance to the sensationalized version depicted in public-awareness campaigns. Shoppers are not being snatched from grocery store parking lots. Victims are rarely moved against their will and seldom exhibit any of the “warning signs” that would make their abuse visible to members of the public. Despite the persistent myth that human trafficking “could happen to anyone,” most victims are undocumented, homeless, in foster care or otherwise marginalized. 

“Most sex trafficking happens to a relatively small group of high-risk young people,” said David Finkelhor, the director of the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center. “We could do a lot more to prevent trafficking by addressing those vulnerabilities — like family abuse, neglect or foster care placement — directly.” 

Westlake Legal Group 5e3dec3c220000d80b23ebdf Human Trafficking Awareness Campaigns Are Feeding A Dangerous Myth

ASSOCIATED PRESS A Department of Homeland Security human trafficking awareness poster directs callers to an ICE hotline.

Over the last decade, as warning posters have appeared in nearly every airport in the country, it is not clear that the U.S. has had a single confirmed case of a child being trafficked by strangers via airplane. According to Finkelhor, only around 100 “stereotypical kidnappings” of children take place each year nationwide. Most minor kidnappings in America are carried out by parents as part of custody disputes. The same is true of childhood sexual abuse: According to a 2012 study, strangers are the perpetrator in only 10% of cases. 

Statistics from anti-trafficking organizations themselves bear this out. Staca Shehan, the vice president of analytical services at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said that fewer than 1% of calls to the organization’s Cyber Tipline were reports of “stranger danger” abductions. More than 80% come from foster care or other state facilities. 

“You can’t know the signs of trafficking by looking at someone you don’t know,” said a senior staff member at one of America’s major anti-trafficking organizations who asked HuffPost not to include her real name out of fear of losing her job. “They’re not going to be disheveled or beat up or unhappy. You could even ask them, ‘Are you being trafficked?’ and they wouldn’t say yes.”

Sexual and labor coercion could be better addressed through government policy related to poverty, migration and working conditions, she added. As for why anti-trafficking nonprofits continue to repeat the same debunked myths about trafficking in their publicity campaigns, she said the sensationalized messaging was necessary to bring attention to the issue.

“If we didn’t use the word ‘force,’” she said, “would anybody care?”

Westlake Legal Group 5e3de5d0270000ea0738b8c2 Human Trafficking Awareness Campaigns Are Feeding A Dangerous Myth

ASSOCIATED PRESS In January, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced a statewide anti-trafficking campaign. While the state has conducted thousands of trainings and launched numerous public awareness campaigns related to the issue, basic services for survivors are chronically under-resourced.

Where Are All The Traffickers?

Among both children and adults, there is little evidence that human trafficking is a widespread phenomenon in need of universal public awareness. In 2018, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received 10,949 reports of human trafficking, but these figures are based exclusively on anonymous calls and are not verified in any way. The hotline’s director, Caroline Diemar, said that many calls are simply vague suspicions — there’s a massage parlor on my street; I saw a suspicious family at the mall — that may reflect public anxiety about trafficking rather than trafficking itself.   

Law enforcement figures are even smaller. Despite a yearslong, high-profile, government-wide campaign against human trafficking, the Department of Homeland Security identified just 428 victims nationwide last year, and the FBI made fewer than 650 arrests for trafficking in 2018.  

The mismatch between the small number of confirmed cases and the large estimates that appear in anti-trafficking publicity campaigns (the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, for example, says America has “potentially over a million” victims of sex trafficking) can’t be reconciled as underreporting. Other crimes for which victims are reluctant to come forward, including sexual assault and domestic violence, produce more confirmed cases each year. 

“There are a lot of serious problems that don’t get the publicity that trafficking does,” said Ron Weitzer, a professor at George Washington University who researches the sex industry. “We know that domestic violence is far more prevalent than sex trafficking, for example, but we don’t have posters everywhere telling us to look for it.”

“Nobody wants to view trafficking as embedded in how our global economy is structured.” Janie Chuang, American University professor

“Awareness” Is No Substitute For Solutions

Regardless how common human trafficking actually is — or isn’t — there is still the question of whether public vigilance is the best way to solve the problem. 

Sabra Boyd is a writer and anti-trafficking advocate whose father arranged for her to sleep with other adults when she was just 9 years old. Though her father did occasionally take her to other cities, she said her abuse would not have been visible to other travelers.   

“I was always dressed in nice clothes,” she said. “And because my dad was abusive, I was obsessed with being obedient. I was probably the most well-behaved child in the airport.”

Most of the “warning signs” included in anti-trafficking awareness campaigns, Boyd said, are far too generic to offer assistance to actual victims. For example, nonprofits often recommend being suspicious of travelers who aren’t dressed appropriately for the weather (a near-universal sight in international airports) and children who aren’t in control of their travel documents (extremely common for adolescents traveling with their families). 

“If a young woman is traveling alone,” the anti-trafficking nonprofit Airline Ambassadors International advises passengers, “ask the reason for her trip.”

These warnings, Boyd said, give members of the public a license to harass anyone whose behavior they deem “suspicious.” 

“Almost all of the messages we get about trafficking are slanted toward imaginary victims, especially immigrant women and young children who look like they’re a different race than their parents,” she said. 

This scenario is already playing out in transit hubs across the country. Last September, flight attendants accused a white adoptive father of trafficking his Black 12-year-old son. In 2015, an eight-member Korean pop group was detained at LAX for 15 hours on suspicion that they were trafficked sex workers. Cindy McCain, an anti-trafficking advocate and wife of the late Arizona Sen. John McCain (R), had to apologize last February for reporting a woman to Phoenix Sky Harbor authorities simply for walking through the airport with a child of a “different ethnicity.” (More than a bit ironic given that the McCains faced racist smears in the 2000 presidential race in regard to their own adoptive daughter.)

Westlake Legal Group 5e3de7cd220000d30b23ebdb Human Trafficking Awareness Campaigns Are Feeding A Dangerous Myth

EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI via Getty Images Miami launched a city-wide anti-trafficking campaign to coincide with the 2020 Super Bowl. There is no evidence that trafficking increases during major sporting events. 

Last week, James Moed, a Brooklyn-based product manager, was visiting San Diego with his husband and woke up to the police knocking on his hotel room door. His Uber driver the previous night had peppered them with questions about their baby, especially the whereabouts of the boy’s mother. After he dropped them at their hotel, he had reported them for trafficking their son. 

“It’s every queer parent’s worst fear, someone asking you to prove that it’s really your baby,” Moed said. Luckily, he was traveling with his son’s passport and the police didn’t press him for any more documentation. Still, the incident rattled him.

“I keep wondering how many more times this is going to happen,” Moed said. He noted that Uber’s human trafficking training materials instruct drivers to look out for common things such as “passengers who seem anxious,” prefer to pay in cash or are traveling without luggage. “Thousands of people are getting these trafficking trainings, but they’re not learning what unconventional families look like,” he added. “Now any ignorant person that wants to target us can use this as an excuse.”  

Anti-Trafficking Campaigns Do Little To Help Victims

Beyond their potential to increase false accusations, there is little reason to believe that anti-trafficking awareness campaigns help real victims. 

Emily Gonzalez was trafficked when she was 23. Homeless and struggling with addiction, she was offered some speed by a friend, and she took it. He had actually given her tranquilizers, a fact she didn’t realize until she was waking up in the home of a man she had never seen before. He had just raped her. 

Gonzalez’s experience sounds like exactly the type of crime that anti-trafficking campaigns are supposed to address. Reporting her abuse to a hotline or to law enforcement, however, would not have given her the help she needed.  

“Even if they caught the guy that trafficked me and sent him to prison for the rest of his life, I was still homeless, addicted and vulnerable to the same type of exploitation happening again,” she said.

Westlake Legal Group 5e3de637220000ca0e23ebda Human Trafficking Awareness Campaigns Are Feeding A Dangerous Myth

Education Images via Getty Images The National Human Trafficking Hotline produces statistics based on anonymous reports and does not vet or verify cases. A significant percentage of reports come from foster care facilities.  

With the exception of notifying law enforcement, anti-trafficking hotlines offer little to victims beyond referring them to existing service providers — the majority of which are strikingly underfunded in many states. According to a 2019 review, the entire state of Louisiana has just 291 beds available to trafficking victims, most of which are bunks in homeless shelters. A 2019 survey of anti-trafficking organizations in Colorado found that just over a quarter offered medical services. Connecticut’s Office of Victim Services spent just $346.18 on housing trafficking survivors in 2016.  

Gonzalez is now an escort (and declined to use her real name due to fear of being arrested). She pointed out that the nationwide concern over trafficking has failed to address the more complicated drivers of exploitation and coercion her experience demonstrates.   

“In the range of things that have happened to me, being trafficked is on the less harmful end of the scale,” Gonzalez said. 

As a homeless young adult, she spent years performing sex acts in exchange for drugs, money or shelter. She ended up in a series of exploitative relationships, including with a friend who convinced her to commit crimes, an experience that left her with lingering trauma and a felony conviction that still makes it hard to find housing and formal employment. What she needed in her most vulnerable periods, she said, was a safe place to sleep and a steady income — two things that are still hard to obtain in America.

“When I’ve gone to anti-trafficking groups and described my experiences of homelessness and domestic abuse, they’re not interested,” Gonzalez said. “Then I tell them that I was trafficked and all of a sudden they care. They’re only interested in a specific form of exploitation and the kind of victims they can ‘rescue.’” 

Westlake Legal Group 5e3ded5f2700007b0338b8c8 Human Trafficking Awareness Campaigns Are Feeding A Dangerous Myth

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS via Getty Images Donald Trump has made trafficking one of the centerpieces of his administration. Labor rights advocates say his border policies are making the problem worse. 

According to Janie Chuang, a professor at American University who researches human trafficking and labor migration, most of the exploitation taking place in the United States is not particularly difficult to find. Forced labor is endemic on farms, in restaurants, private homes and everywhere else low-paid migrant workers are employed. As for sexual coercion, a huge body of research indicates that it is a byproduct of poverty, marginalization and abuse.

“Nobody wants to view trafficking as embedded in how our global economy is structured,” Chuang said. “It’s more convenient to view it as the product of individual criminal behavior.”

After Boyd’s father trafficked her as a child, she was trafficked again as a homeless teenager in Portland. A man she considered her boyfriend — “he was the first guy who was ever nice to me,” she said — talked her into sleeping with men she didn’t know. She is almost certain they were paying him behind her back.   

Reporting her abuse to the authorities would not have helped, Boyd said. As a teen runaway, the police likely would have “rescued” her and sent her back to her abusive parents or to the homeless shelter where she had been sexually assaulted a few months before. 

She didn’t need someone to call a hotline for her, she said. She simply needed more options that would help her get away from her abuser. 

“They always say the focus is on rescuing people, but if you don’t have a system in place that’s going to help them go down a different life path, you’re just setting people up for failure and false hope,” she said. “But I get it if that doesn’t fit on a poster.” 

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

New York narcotic detective’s 1990 cold case murder gets new FBI review, $10G reward

The unsolved cold case of a New York narcotics detective who was murdered in a car bombing in front of his Long Island home 30 years ago is getting a fresh look from the FBI, investigators said Friday.

Suffolk County Police Detective Dennis Wustenhoff died on Feb. 15, 1990, after he triggered a bomb while trying to start his unmarked police car, the Suffolk County Police Department wrote on Facebook.

DNA, GENETIC GENEALOGY HELPING TO SOLVE THE COLDEST OF COLD CASES

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart announced that the FBI agreed to review the case, along with the offer of a $10,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.

Westlake Legal Group dennis-wustenhoff New York narcotic detective’s 1990 cold case murder gets new FBI review, $10G reward Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime/cold-case fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc b6caa4ab-b348-5ed3-a723-02212c905c8b article

Suffolk County Police Detective Dennis Wustenhoff died of injuries he sustained in the car bombing in 1990. (Suffolk County Police Department)

“It has been 30 years and Detective Wustenhoff’s murder remains unsolved. Therefore, it is important that the department takes advantage of every resource available,” Hart said in a statement obtained by local news outlets. “Detective Wustenhoff’s family, along with colleagues from the department, deserve justice in this case.”

The FBI will review evidence in the three-decade-old case and determine whether new investigative technologies or techniques can offer any leads, Suffolk Police Chief of Detectives Gerard Gigante told Newsday.

Wustenhoff was survived by his wife, Fran, two daughters, Melissa and Jennifer, and a son, Kevin, who followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the department in 2005.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

His family also launched a Facebook group as part of their own search for justice following three decades without an arrest, Long Island Advance reported.

“I think being the 30-year mark, it really hit us. I am turning 41 this year, the age my father was when he passed, and my son is 10, the age I was when he passed,” Melissa told the paper. “Enough is enough.”

Westlake Legal Group dennis-wustenhoff New York narcotic detective’s 1990 cold case murder gets new FBI review, $10G reward Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime/cold-case fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc b6caa4ab-b348-5ed3-a723-02212c905c8b article   Westlake Legal Group dennis-wustenhoff New York narcotic detective’s 1990 cold case murder gets new FBI review, $10G reward Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime/cold-case fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc b6caa4ab-b348-5ed3-a723-02212c905c8b article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Denise Richards’ best moments from ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’

Denise Richards joined “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” in 2019 for Season 9 and was an instant fan favorite.

The “Wild Things” actress, 48, brought a laid-back Cali girl vibe to the cast but don’t let that fool you.

She was feisty when she needed to be and didn’t back down from a challenge. Richards also divulged about her former marriage to Charlie Sheen and loved to sip on tequila whenever the occasion called for a drink.

DENISE RICHARDS WORRIES ‘DYSFUNCTION’ WITH CHARLIE SHEEN IMPACTED DAUGHTERS

Here are the six best moments from the “RHOBH.”

1. Fashion choices 

She wore a regular tank top and shorts to drinks on the terrace in the Bahamas.

“I packed the wrong s–t. I learned that quickly,” Denise joked. The wives jetted away to the Bahamas for some sun and relaxation but little did Richards know that girls’ trips really mean glam trips.

Fellow castmates Dorit Kemsley and Erika Girardi are known for traveling with their hair and makeup teams and Girardi even plans her outfits beforehand and takes pictures to make organization easier.

DENISE RICHARDS DESCRIBES HER DAD’S REACTION WHEN HE FOUND OUT HE WAS SEATED NEXT TO PROSTITUTE AT THANKSGIVING

Richards showed up in a white tank top and shorts while some of the other women were wearing caftans and designer duds.

2. Comments on ex-husband Charlie Sheen

Richards revealed that Charlie Sheen once invited a hooker to Thanksgiving after their divorce.

“He’s like, ‘Well, she’s in the driveway. Is it OK that she’s in the driveway?’” she said on the show.

CHARLIE SHEEN, DENISE RICHARDS’ DAUGHTERS SEEN ALL GROWN UP IN HOLIDAY CARD

“I’ll set a f— plate,” she laughed. “Even a hooker deserves to have Thanksgiving dinner!”

Westlake Legal Group 0116091040_M_house_denise_450 Denise Richards' best moments from 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Jessica Napoli fox-news/shows/the-real-housewives fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/genres/reality fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8040c8ac-e88c-55e5-87b9-e280d9dda2ab

Denise Richards split from husband Charlie Sheen in 2006. (AP)

The couple was married from 2002 to 2006 and have two daughters together. Richards later adopted a third daughter on her own.

3. Money talk 

Richards said she didn’t ask for half of Sheen’s money when they got divorced.

CHARLIE SHEEN RECALLS 2011 SPIRAL, TALKS SOBRIETY JOURNEY, AND MORE REVEALING MOMENTS FROM NEW INTERVIEW

“I ain’t a greedy f–king whore… he should have given me half of that goddamn money because I would have put it away for him,” she said during a confessional interview.

In August, she claimed that Sheen actually owes her $450,000 in unpaid child support, according to court documents obtained by People and US Weekly.

“(Sheen) has squandered over $24 million from the sale in his interest in ‘Two and a Half Men’ to pay his personal debts and to support his extravagant lifestyle at the expense of support payments for his children,” the documents stated.

CHARLIE SHEEN APPROVED EX DENISE RICHARDS’ MOVE TO ‘RHOBH’ BEFORE SHE SIGNED ON, ACTRESS SAYS

4. A second chance at love 

The former Bond girl constantly bragged about the penis size of her new husband, Aaron Phypers.

“Um, I thought he was very cute and I wanted to f–k him. I just wanted to have sex with him. He has a very big penis,” she revealed to the wives’ surprise.

5. Intimate details 

Richards admitted she got Phypers a “happy ending” massage because he never had one before and the other wives were stunned at her confession.

“Aaron had never had a happy ending and we were on the hunt,” she told the other women on a camping trip. “I wanted him to have one.”

6. Her Malibu wedding 

Richards planned their oceanside Malibu wedding in two weeks. She and Phypers got married in September 2018 in an intimate outdoor ceremony with only 40 people in attendance.

“Most people plan a wedding six months, a year, two years out, and here we are a few days before our wedding,” she told Bravo.

She wore a dress designed by Mark Zunino in under 24 hours. “24 hours to make a wedding dress? NO PROBLEM!! Congratulations to Denise Richards and Aaron Phypers! Thank you for letting us be a part of your special day!” he captioned a photo from the big day.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Phypers was previously married to “Desperate Housewives” actress Nicollette Sheridan, but they separated in June 2016.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-Denise-Richards Denise Richards' best moments from 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Jessica Napoli fox-news/shows/the-real-housewives fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/genres/reality fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8040c8ac-e88c-55e5-87b9-e280d9dda2ab   Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-Denise-Richards Denise Richards' best moments from 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Jessica Napoli fox-news/shows/the-real-housewives fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/genres/reality fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8040c8ac-e88c-55e5-87b9-e280d9dda2ab

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Virginia Assault Weapon Ban Fails As Senate Dems Balk On Gun Control

Westlake Legal Group 5e4aa3862300003200ddc7c3 Virginia Assault Weapon Ban Fails As Senate Dems Balk On Gun Control

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s push to ban the sale of assault weapons has failed after members of his own party balked at the proposal.

Senators voted to shelve the bill for the year and ask the state crime commission to study the issue, an outcome that drew cheers from a committee room packed with gun advocates.

Four moderate Democrats joined Republicans in Monday’s committee vote, rejecting legislation that would have prohibited the sale of certain semiautomatic firearms, including popular AR-15 style rifles, and banned the possession of magazines that hold more than 12 rounds.

The bill was a top priority for Northam, a Democrat who has campaigned heavily for a broad package of gun-control measures.

The legislation also engendered the biggest pushback from gun owners and gun-right advocates, who accused the governor and others of wanting to confiscate commonly owned guns and accessories from law-abiding gun owners. Northam has said repeatedly he does not want to confiscate guns, but argued that banning new sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines would help prevent mass murders.

Virginia is the current epicenter of the country’s heated debate over gun control and mass shootings. Tens of thousands of gun-rights activists from across the country flooded the state Capitol and surrounding area in protest, some donning tactical gear and carrying military-style rifles.

Northam has been able to get much of his gun-control agenda passed this year, but struggled with the proposed assault weapon ban. Earlier proposals to ban possession of AR-15-style rifles or to require owners to register them with state police have been scrapped. The governor had hoped a watered-down would win over enough Democratic moderates for passage.

An estimated 8 million AR-style guns have been sold since they were introduced to the public in the 1960s. The weapons are known as easy to use, easy to clean and easy to modify with a variety of scopes, stocks and rails.

Lawmakers in both the House and Senate have already advanced several other gun-control measures and should finalize passage in the coming days. Those bills include limiting handgun purchases to once a month, universal background checks on gun purchases, allowing localities to ban guns in public buildings, parks and other areas, and a red flag bill that would allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from anyone deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Denise Richards’ best moments from ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’

Denise Richards joined “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” in 2019 for Season 9 and was an instant fan favorite.

The “Wild Things” actress, 48, brought a laid-back Cali girl vibe to the cast but don’t let that fool you.

She was feisty when she needed to be and didn’t back down from a challenge. Richards also divulged about her former marriage to Charlie Sheen and loved to sip on tequila whenever the occasion called for a drink.

DENISE RICHARDS WORRIES ‘DYSFUNCTION’ WITH CHARLIE SHEEN IMPACTED DAUGHTERS

Here are the six best moments from the “RHOBH.”

1. Fashion choices 

She wore a regular tank top and shorts to drinks on the terrace in the Bahamas.

“I packed the wrong s–t. I learned that quickly,” Denise joked. The wives jetted away to the Bahamas for some sun and relaxation but little did Richards know that girls’ trips really mean glam trips.

Fellow castmates Dorit Kemsley and Erika Girardi are known for traveling with their hair and makeup teams and Girardi even plans her outfits beforehand and takes pictures to make organization easier.

DENISE RICHARDS DESCRIBES HER DAD’S REACTION WHEN HE FOUND OUT HE WAS SEATED NEXT TO PROSTITUTE AT THANKSGIVING

Richards showed up in a white tank top and shorts while some of the other women were wearing caftans and designer duds.

2. Comments on ex-husband Charlie Sheen

Richards revealed that Charlie Sheen once invited a hooker to Thanksgiving after their divorce.

“He’s like, ‘Well, she’s in the driveway. Is it OK that she’s in the driveway?’” she said on the show.

CHARLIE SHEEN, DENISE RICHARDS’ DAUGHTERS SEEN ALL GROWN UP IN HOLIDAY CARD

“I’ll set a f— plate,” she laughed. “Even a hooker deserves to have Thanksgiving dinner!”

Westlake Legal Group 0116091040_M_house_denise_450 Denise Richards' best moments from 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Jessica Napoli fox-news/shows/the-real-housewives fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/genres/reality fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8040c8ac-e88c-55e5-87b9-e280d9dda2ab

Denise Richards split from husband Charlie Sheen in 2006. (AP)

The couple was married from 2002 to 2006 and have two daughters together. Richards later adopted a third daughter on her own.

3. Money talk 

Richards said she didn’t ask for half of Sheen’s money when they got divorced.

CHARLIE SHEEN RECALLS 2011 SPIRAL, TALKS SOBRIETY JOURNEY, AND MORE REVEALING MOMENTS FROM NEW INTERVIEW

“I ain’t a greedy f–king whore… he should have given me half of that goddamn money because I would have put it away for him,” she said during a confessional interview.

In August, she claimed that Sheen actually owes her $450,000 in unpaid child support, according to court documents obtained by People and US Weekly.

“(Sheen) has squandered over $24 million from the sale in his interest in ‘Two and a Half Men’ to pay his personal debts and to support his extravagant lifestyle at the expense of support payments for his children,” the documents stated.

CHARLIE SHEEN APPROVED EX DENISE RICHARDS’ MOVE TO ‘RHOBH’ BEFORE SHE SIGNED ON, ACTRESS SAYS

4. A second chance at love 

The former Bond girl constantly bragged about the penis size of her new husband, Aaron Phypers.

“Um, I thought he was very cute and I wanted to f–k him. I just wanted to have sex with him. He has a very big penis,” she revealed to the wives’ surprise.

5. Intimate details 

Richards admitted she got Phypers a “happy ending” massage because he never had one before and the other wives were stunned at her confession.

“Aaron had never had a happy ending and we were on the hunt,” she told the other women on a camping trip. “I wanted him to have one.”

6. Her Malibu wedding 

Richards planned their oceanside Malibu wedding in two weeks. She and Phypers got married in September 2018 in an intimate outdoor ceremony with only 40 people in attendance.

“Most people plan a wedding six months, a year, two years out, and here we are a few days before our wedding,” she told Bravo.

She wore a dress designed by Mark Zunino in under 24 hours. “24 hours to make a wedding dress? NO PROBLEM!! Congratulations to Denise Richards and Aaron Phypers! Thank you for letting us be a part of your special day!” he captioned a photo from the big day.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Phypers was previously married to “Desperate Housewives” actress Nicollette Sheridan, but they separated in June 2016.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-Denise-Richards Denise Richards' best moments from 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Jessica Napoli fox-news/shows/the-real-housewives fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/genres/reality fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8040c8ac-e88c-55e5-87b9-e280d9dda2ab   Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-Denise-Richards Denise Richards' best moments from 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Jessica Napoli fox-news/shows/the-real-housewives fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/genres/reality fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8040c8ac-e88c-55e5-87b9-e280d9dda2ab

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Embracing Supreme Court Expansion Carries No Political Cost, Study Says

Westlake Legal Group 5e4a175f230000f200ddc716 Embracing Supreme Court Expansion Carries No Political Cost, Study Says

Expanding the Supreme Court, an increasingly popular reform among some progressive activists, is not politically costly for Democrats, according to an academic survey commissioned by a group that supports the idea.

The study documented reactions to the idea among 2,400 Democrats, Republicans and independents from the political swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota. It was conducted by political scientist Aaron Belkin from San Francisco State University and James Druckman of Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research. Druckman, a public opinion expert, designed the study, while the funding came from Take Back the Court, a progressive judicial reform group that Belkin runs.

The survey asked participants to react to two different Democrat-Republican matchups. The first was a “status quo” group pitting a standard Democratic candidate who wants to expand health care access, repeal President Donald Trump’s tax cuts, regulate guns and fight climate change against a Republican candidate who holds inverse positions but also wants to reshape the judiciary. 

In a second matchup, survey participants evaluated a “court expansion” matchup between a hypothetical Republican candidate and a hypothetical Democratic candidate. In that scenario, the Democrat would propose expanding the court to make it “more representative of America, bring greater balance to the court, and prevent the domination of the Supreme Court by a single political party,” according to the study. The Republican candidate would call the idea “a threat to the independence of the judiciary and the rights of all Americans by radical liberals trying to change the rules so a few cities in New York and California can impose their will on the rest of us.”

Among the dozens of correlations reported in the study, none indicated any statistically significant relationship between candidate endorsement of court expansion and consequences for the 2020 election. The only statistically significant finding is that when a Democratic candidate endorses court expansion, GOP voters come to feel 0.5% warmer toward the Republican Party.

Aside from that, candidate endorsement has no statistically significant impact on actual behavior, including the likelihood of voting or the likelihood of voting for a Democratic or Republican candidate. In other words, when Democratic candidates endorse court expansion, there is no impact on election results.

“There is no statistically significant effect, in other words, of exposure to a court expansion message on likelihood of voting, vote choice, or willingness to accept a lower personal financial reward so as to withhold economic support from the opposing party,” Belkin and Druckman concluded in the study.

For an ordinary political cause, not being an active drag on a candidate is not exactly a selling point. 

But Take Back the Court knows that it is in the early stages of mainstreaming an idea that was relegated to the political fringes as recently as three years ago. Conducting academically sound research showing that Supreme Court expansion is not the kind of radioactive cause that some Democrats are warning against is a victory itself.

“Judicial reform will be necessary to take our democracy back, and our data show that there is no reason for leaders to shy away from saying what needs to be said,” Belkin said in a statement to HuffPost. “This is the time to address the threats we face explicitly and head on, and not bury our heads in the sand.”

Take Back the Court is part of a budding contingent of liberal groups, including Demand Justice, that want Democratic voters to value control of the judiciary as much as Republican voters. Many conservatives who are otherwise averse to Trump publicly called on their co-ideologues to back him for the sake of gaining control of the Supreme Court and reshaping the federal judiciary. And indeed, as a result of his presidency, conservatives enjoy a decisive majority on the court and Trump has moved faster than many of his modern predecessors to fill vacancies on the federal bench.

Take Back the Court maintains that Republicans’ decadeslong schemes to conquer the courts, which put reproductive rights and a host of other progressive priorities at risk of extinction, must be met with analogous creativity and assertiveness. Since Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was willing to hold up then-President Barack Obama’s nominee for a Supreme Court seat, the thinking is that the time for niceties has passed. Expanding the court would allow liberals to shape the Supreme Court’s direction without having to wait until conservative appointees die on the bench decades from now.

Still, Belkin’s focus on public opinion ― both moving it and leveraging it to sway lawmakers ― stems from his work as an LGBTQ rights pioneer. As a founder of the Palm Center in San Francisco, Belkin designed a public education campaign aimed at eroding support for the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring gay and queer military service members from serving openly. He recounted the story of that successful repeal fight in the e-book, “How We Won: Progressive Lessons From the Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Coronavirus Updates: Infected Americans Evacuated from Cruise Ship and Flown to U.S.

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_169044468_c2dc41e3-1a55-4794-84f0-b855022cd9b6-articleLarge Coronavirus Updates: Infected Americans Evacuated from Cruise Ship and Flown to U.S. Ships and Shipping Recession and Depression Epidemics Deaths (Fatalities) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship arrived early Monday at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.Credit…Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images

Fourteen Americans who tested positive for the coronavirus were evacuated from a cruise ship in Japan on Monday and flown to the United States, where they will be placed in isolation and receive medical attention.

The passengers were among more than 300 Americans aboard a cruise ship that has been quarantined in Yokohama for more than 10 days. U.S. officials initially said that they would not allow infected people to board the evacuation flights, but they appeared to reverse that decision early Monday.

“During the evacuation process, after passengers had disembarked the ship and initiated transport to the airport, U.S. officials received notice that 14 passengers, who had been tested 2-3 days earlier, had tested positive for COVID-19,” the State Department and Department of Health and Human Services said in a joint statement, referring to the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The two planes chartered to bring the Americans back landed early Monday, one at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif., and the other at an Air Force base in San Antonio.

The infected passengers — who officials said were asymptomatic and “fit to fly” — were moved into a specialized containment area on the evacuation aircraft, where they were to be isolated and monitored.

All the cruise ship passengers, including those who initially tested negative for the virus, will be placed in a 14-day quarantine.

Those who develop symptoms or test positive will be sent to “an appropriate location for continued isolation and care,” the statement added.

With the arrival of the 14 infected passengers from Japan, confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States nearly doubled, to 29.

Westlake Legal Group china-wuhan-coronavirus-maps-promo-articleLarge-v30 Coronavirus Updates: Infected Americans Evacuated from Cruise Ship and Flown to U.S. Ships and Shipping Recession and Depression Epidemics Deaths (Fatalities) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak

The virus has infected more than 71,400 people in China and 25 other countries.

China signaled on Monday that it would postpone the annual session of its Communist Party-dominated legislature because of the coronavirus epidemic, a symbolic blow to a government that typically runs with regimented discipline.

The annual full meeting of the legislature, called the National People’s Congress, is a major event in China’s political cycle. President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other leaders were expected to lay out their agenda for the year, issue the annual budget and pass major legislation.

Each March, with clockwork regularity, nearly 3,000 delegates gather in the grandiose Great Hall of the People, next to Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

But delay is now virtually certain, judging from an announcement from the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, which oversees the legislature. The announcement said that the committee will consider delaying the congress.

The National People’s Congress is dominated by Communist Party politicians, and it would be extremely unlikely that the proposal would be up for formal approval unless Mr. Xi had agreed it was necessary.

  • What do you need to know? Start here.

    Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

A postponement would be the first time in recent memory that the annual legislative session has been delayed. Even in 2003, when China was battling severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, the congress went ahead as usual.

The terse wording of the announcement gave no clue when the congress would convene.

Delaying the congress is unlikely to seriously derail Chinese policymaking, which is controlled by a small circle of party leaders.

The coronavirus epidemic has prompted China to reconsider its trade and consumption of wildlife, which has been identified as a probable source of the outbreak.

The practice is driven as much by the desire to flaunt wealth as by a mix of superstition and belief about health benefits from wildlife. Officials drafted legislation to introduce controls and plan to present it at the next preparatory session for the annual National People’s Congress. The details of the proposal are not yet clear, but the goal is to end “the pernicious habit of eating wildlife,” according to a statement released on Monday by the Standing Committee of the congress.

Although the exact origin of the coronavirus is still under investigation, health officials and scientists say it spread outward from a wholesale market in Wuhan where vendors legally sold live animals from crowded stalls in close quarters with meats and vegetables.

The epidemic has inflamed public sentiment that the consumption of animals like reptiles, civet cats and hedgehogs is fundamentally unsafe.

The trafficking of endangered or threatened wildlife is prohibited in China, but Wang Ruihe, an official with the National People’s Congress, said last week that enforcement was lax.

The new coronavirus, like the one that caused the SARS outbreak in 2002 and 2003, has been traced to bats and is believed to have jumped from them to another mammal and then to humans. In the case of SARS, the virus first leapt from bats to civets.

One study has suggested that pangolins, an endangered species whose meat and scales are prized in China, might have been the carrier of the new virus.

Nearly 1,000 passengers and crew members aboard the Westerdam cruise ship in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, were being tested for the coronavirus on Monday after a passenger who had already disembarked tested positive for the virus, officials said.

The cruise ship operator, Holland America Line, had planned to send all passengers home after a difficult voyage during which the ship was turned away by ports in five countries for fear that someone aboard might have the coronavirus.

With the discovery of the infected passenger — an ailing American woman who was screened at an airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — the exodus of passengers has come to a halt.

Mang Sineth, the deputy governor of Preah Sihanouk Province, said the authorities and medical teams have been collecting samples from everyone left aboard the Westerdam to test for the virus. He said he could not estimate how long the testing would take or when the results would be available.

Holland America insisted during the cruise that all 1,455 passengers and 802 crew members were free of the disease. But when 145 passengers from the ship arrived at the airport in Kuala Lumpur and were screened and tested, one passenger was confirmed to have the virus. The passenger, 83, is now hospitalized along with her husband, 85, who is showing symptoms of the disease but has twice tested negative.

Hundreds of other passengers have made it to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital but are now sequestered in hotels, where they are being tested.

Christina Kerby, a former passenger who is now with hundreds of others at a Phnom Penh hotel, said they have been told to stay in their rooms as much as possible, but they have not been barred from going outside or leaving the country.

The number of new coronavirus cases dropped to a three-week low, according to official data released on Monday. Experts said the dip was largely because of the lockdown measures the Chinese government has imposed on several cities to keep the spread of the virus at bay.

On Monday, the government of China reported 2,048 new infections — one-fifth the number of cases from a week ago — and 105 new deaths over the previous 24 hours. The number of new coronavirus cases reported in China had started to level off around Feb. 6, suggesting that the outbreak might be slowing. But last Thursday, officials added more than 14,840 new cases to the tally of the infected in Hubei Province, the center of the outbreak, after they changed the criteria for diagnosing patients.

The trend suggests that the epidemic that once seemed hopelessly out of control a few weeks ago could be contained — at least, for now.

“The measures taken have been extraordinary and we are seeing the effects,” said Raina MacIntyre, the head of biosecurity research at the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales.

China has sealed off several cities, threatened quarantine violators with stiff punishments and rounded up sick people in mass quarantine centers in Wuhan.

But public health experts caution that the worst is not over.

Some experts view the figures reported by China with some skepticism. The government has a history of covering up data that makes it look bad and has an incentive to underreport the figures.

Public health experts say the coronavirus is also extremely contagious, more so than the virus that caused the SARS outbreak of 2002-2003, and may be more difficult to curtail.

Organizers of the Tokyo Marathon, citing the confirmation of a coronavirus case in Tokyo, are limiting the race this year to elite runners, including wheelchair elites, the event announced on its website Monday.

A statement posted on the site said that all registered runners could defer their entry to the 2021 event, but that runners who defer would have to pay again and would not receive refunds for this year’s race. About 38,000 participants had signed up for the race scheduled for March 1. Of that number, 245 are elite runners and 30 are elite wheelchair athletes, Reuters reported.

The Hong Kong Marathon, scheduled for Feb. 9, was canceled as coronavirus cases in the semiautonomous Chinese city increased. Hong Kong now has 57 confirmed coronavirus cases.

Japan’s Imperial Household Agency also canceled birthday celebrations for the emperor, an event within the Imperial Palace that normally draws large crowds in Tokyo. Emperor Naruhito turns 60 on Feb. 23. This would be his first birthday since he became emperor.

Three masked robbers appeared at dawn on Monday outside a Hong Kong supermarket. There, they held a deliveryman at knife point and made off with over a $100 worth of one of the most sought after commodities in this city of seven million: toilet paper.

Toilet paper has been sold out across the city for weeks after a run on the product was prompted by rumors that manufacturers in mainland China would cease production or that the border would be sealed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Retailers have dispelled the rumor, saying there is no genuine shortage. But bulk packs of toilet paper are snatched off supermarket shelves almost as soon as they are restocked, and city blocks are crowded with residents lined up at shops just to buy the product.

So short is the supply that lovers exchanged individual rolls on Valentine’s Day as a sort of pragmatic joke. Online, users have offered to barter surgical masks, which actually are in short supply, for a few rolls of toilet paper. And one hoarder was shamed on social media when neighbors spotted an apartment whose windows were crowded by a wall of toilet paper rolls.

The toilet paper stolen in Monday’s heist was later discovered stashed at a hotel, local news outlets reported, but the perpetrators remain at large. The police said two people had been arrested in connection with the heist, but they were looking for others.

Last week, the police arrested a man charged with stealing eight boxes of heavy-duty face masks, known as N-95 masks, from a parked car after smashing its windows.

Travel restrictions and quarantines imposed in response to the coronavirus epidemic in China have produced a severe shortage of workers that has blocked many factories from returning to full production, an American business group said on Monday.

A questionnaire late last week by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai that attracted responses from 109 manufacturers in or near the city in east-central China found that nearly four-fifths of them did not have enough staff to run their production lines at full capacity.

“We’ve got more and more factories getting open, but across the board, everybody is still struggling to find workers,” said Ker Gibbs, the president of the chamber. He cited 14-day quarantines that many cities impose on new arrivals or returnees.

Almost two-fifths of the companies said they had trouble finding enough face masks to meet local requirements that factories provide them to their workers.

Two-thirds of the companies that chose to respond to the questionnaire had already opened operations by the end of last week, while another fifth of the companies were planning to reopen this week.

The questionnaire was sent to 612 members of the chamber, for a response rate of 18 percent.

Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, has repeated an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that has spread from small-town China to the right-wing news media in the United States: The new coronavirus originated in a high-security biochemical lab in Wuhan.

In a television interview on Fox News on Sunday, Mr. Cotton suggested that a dearth of information about the origins of the virus raised more questions than answers.

“We don’t know where it originated, and we have to get to the bottom of that,” Mr. Cotton said on the program Sunday Morning Futures. He then raised the possibility that the virus originated in a “biosafety level-4 super laboratory.” Such laboratories are used for research into potentially deadly infectious diseases.

“Now, we don’t have evidence that this disease originated there but because of China’s duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning we need to at least ask the question to see what the evidence says, and China right now is not giving evidence on that question at all,” he added.

The Chinese authorities say the outbreak began in a market in Wuhan where wild animals were sold. The city is also home to a biochemical laboratory.

After receiving criticism for lending credence to what has been largely considered a fringe theory, the senator took to Twitter to say he did not necessarily think the virus was an “engineered bioweapon.”

That idea, he said, was just one of several hypotheses that included the possibility that the outbreak was a “deliberate release.”

He also said it was possible that the virus spread naturally, “but almost certainly not from the Wuhan food market.”

Research and reporting was contributed by Russell Goldman, Austin Ramzy, Steven Lee Myers, Claire Fu, Tiffany May, Richard C. Paddock, Sui-Lee Wee, Alexandra Stevenson, Roni Caryn Rabin, Ben Dooley and Keith Bradsher.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Barr Aimed To Block Turkish Bank Indictment After Erdogan Asked Trump For Help: Report | A CNN report suggests the attorney general was doing the bidding of an autocratic foreign leader at the direction of President Donald Trump.

Westlake Legal Group e7AHHUvVRR4M9fPZXcPkuo4QiZOTQk7fcEPN7_NdFQo Barr Aimed To Block Turkish Bank Indictment After Erdogan Asked Trump For Help: Report | A CNN report suggests the attorney general was doing the bidding of an autocratic foreign leader at the direction of President Donald Trump. r/politics

As a reminder, this subreddit is for civil discussion.

In general, be courteous to others. Debate/discuss/argue the merits of ideas, don’t attack people. Personal insults, shill or troll accusations, hate speech, any advocating or wishing death/physical harm, and other rule violations can result in a permanent ban.

If you see comments in violation of our rules, please report them.

For those who have questions regarding any media outlets being posted on this subreddit, please click here to review our details as to whitelist and outlet criteria.


I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com