Today in History for April 24th

Highlights of this day in history: An aborted mission to free American hostages in Iran ends in disaster; Ireland’s ‘Easter Rising’ begins; Armenians face mass deportation during World War I; Singer Barbra Streisand born. (April 24)

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Somber Congress delivers nearly $500B in virus aid

Congress delivered a nearly $500 billion infusion of coronavirus spending Thursday, rushing new relief to employers and hospitals buckling under the strain of a pandemic that has claimed almost 50,000 American lives and one in six U.S. jobs. (April 23)

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Congress delivers nearly $500B more in virus aid

Congress delivered a nearly $500 billion infusion of coronavirus spending Thursday, rushing new relief to employers and hospitals buckling under the strain of a pandemic that has claimed almost 50,000 American lives and one in six U.S. jobs. (April 23)

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Spiritual leaders adapt to serve in pandemic

As the coronavirus claims tens of thousands of American lives, spiritual counselors adapt to bring faith and connection to the sick, bereaved and honoring the dead. (April 22)

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Trump to issue immigration ‘pause’ for 60 days

President Donald Trump said he plans to issue a 60-day pause on immigration to protect American workers, but the suspension will not apply to temporary workers. (April 21)

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Chicago pizza maker turns COVID-19 face shields instead of pies | AFP

Using his pizza oven to make face shields, one American pizza maker has abandoned the debate over which style of pizza is best to turn out protective equipment for hospital staff and essential workers instead.

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Kamala Harris: Trump Has ‘Abandoned’ His Role as President

Sen. Kamala Harris thinks that President Trump’s failure to respond quickly to the coronavirus has made the crisis worse, causing economic destruction and costing American lives.

“There is no question that that had we a president in charge who actually took their responsibility seriously, that we would probably be looking at a lot less damage than we have incurred,” she said in an interview with VICE News. “We watch every day of the number of people infected and the number of people who are dead. We are every day hearing and watching stories about body bags. So, look, the buck stops with the president.”

This week the U.S. took the global lead in both confirmed coronavirus cases as well as deaths, surpassing Italy, Spain, and possibly China, though data from China is thought to be unreliable. At the same time, 22 million have claimed unemployment benefits in the past three weeks, and retail sales have plummeted as wide sectors of the economy have shut down.

“The fact is that he has abandoned his role of leadership and meaning the role of the president of the United States,” she said. “He’s abandoned the role of the president of the United States.”

Then the California Democrat ticked off what she sees as failures of the Trump administration in its response to the pandemic, which has now claimed nearly 30,000 lives in the U.S.

“His failure to take this seriously, from the time of calling it a hoax, to getting rid of the Obama administration’s focus through the White House on pandemics, to him trivializing the issue including the importance of social distancing” has made the crisis in the United States worse than it needed to be, she said.

Harris spoke to VICE News through a video conference on Thursday to discuss legislation she has introduced to prioritize funding and tracking of racial health disparities from the pandemic. An Associated Press analysis of communities with racial impact data show that while African Americans made up 21% of the population studied, they accounted for 42% of the deaths to the coronavirus.

Harris, who dropped her own run for the White House earlier this year, is thought to be a potential vice presidential pick for presumed Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

In the interview, she accused the current White House of taking an ideological approach to fighting the virus, rather than using the best science and fact-based analysis..

“The thing about this moment and it also is a source, therefore, of frustration about who this president is and how he has been approaching this issue: this is science. These things just don’t lie. Science is based on empirical data. Science is based on peer review. Science is based on analysis, objective analysis.”

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Panama police sing and dance to support citizens in lockdown | AFP

In uniform and wearing masks, Panama’s police force take up microphones and bust out dance moves to keep the capital’s locked-in residents entertained. The central American country is under a nationwide lockdown, with over 3,400 cases of the coronavirus.

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WARNING FROM WUHAN & CUBAN HOSTAGE CRISIS | VICE on SHOWTIME | Ep. 4 Trailer

This week on Episode 4 of VICE on SHOWTIME:

VICE correspondent Krishna Andavolu presents the video diary of Chinese citizen journalist, Chen Qiushi, to illustrate the full impact of COVID-19 in Wuhan.

Then, Paola Ramos exposes how the Trump Administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy is strengthening cartels as they kidnap Cuban migrants held at the border and target their American families waiting for them at home.

Watch VICE on SHOWTIME Sundays at 8PM ET/PT. Learn more at https://sho.com/order.

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Today in History for April 11th

Highlights of this day in history: President Harry Truman relieves Gen. Douglas Mcarthur of his command in Asia; Napoleon Bonaparte banished to Island of Elba; American soldiers liberate first Nazi concentration camp; Idi Amin deposed as Uganda’s President; Apollo 13 blasts off. (April 11)

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Yes, the Federal Government Can Force You Into Quarantine

For many Americans stuck at home due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the idea of being quarantined now feels strangely normal. But just a few months ago, the thought was unbelievable.

Jarred Evans, an American professional football player, was playing in a league in China when COVID-19 first broke out in Wuhan. In January, he and other Americans were flown to a military base in California, where they were forced to quarantine for weeks. Turns out, they were the first Americans to be forcibly quarantined by the federal government in more than fifty years.

“It would either be that or I guess in jail,” Evans told VICE News.

Although President Trump has not taken the step of issuing a nationwide quarantine order, the federal government does have the authority to do so. It rarely flexes the power, choosing to delegate the responsibility to state and local authorities. People subject to quarantines can challenge them in court. And in the past, many have won.

In this time of a global pandemic, VICE News looks back at government attempts to impose orders of isolation and quarantine to find instances when it was successful — and when it failed.

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Coronavirus: Lady Gaga announces a concert in support of the pandemic | AFP

The American singer Lady Gaga announces a concert against the coronavirus pandemic, which will take place and be broadcast worldwide on April 18. The announcement was made at a virtual press conference organised by the World Health Organization (WHO), in which Lady Gaga participated. SOUNDBITE

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Pompeo: State Dept. official has died from virus

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says a State Department official has died from the coronavirus. It’s the first American fatality among the U.S. diplomatic corps from the pandemic. (March 31)

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Meet the Conservatives Lobbying Lawmakers to Act on Climate Change

Last month, conservatives from around the country gathered in DC for the first ever Conservative Climate Lobby Day. They represent a growing number of conservatives who worry that the Republican party is losing ground on the issue of climate change.

One of the participants, 22-year-old Jacob Abel, told VICE News that the party might lose young people like himself if it doesn’t lead more on climate policy.

“I think that’s why they’re starting to move on it more now because they see the writing on the wall. This is an important issue for people who are my age. They want to see climate change addressed. They want conservative Republican solutions for it. So if they don’t adjust to it, I think they will lose voters.”

Abel and about seventy other conservative lobbyists spent two days in DC- one for training, one for lobbying – to push Republican lawmakers on the Energy and Carbon Dividend Act. It would place a carbon fee on emissions to be paid out by companies. And that money would be given back to citizens as a dividend check to American households. The bill has some sweeteners for conservatives too, like halting certain greenhouse gas regulations in the Clean Air Act.

Their lobbying didn’t result in congressional action on the bill, which still only has one republican co-sponsor. The lobbyists even found resistance with certain Republican members who are considered the party leaders on the issue.

Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana, a state ravaged by receding coastline, is the ranking member on the House Select Committee for the Climate Crisis. VICE News spoke with him in his office on Capitol Hill to hear his approach to tackling climate change and how that differs from what the conservatives lobbyists are proposing.

To Graves, much of the problem is a messaging issue that the public has not been made aware of the successful climate initiatives already underway.

“We need to do a better job educating people about the extraordinary progress that we’ve made.”

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Trump signs $2.2 trillion stimulus package

President Donald Trump signed a $2.2 trillion economic rescue package Friday, calling the bill much-needed relief for American workers reeling from the economic tumult caused by the coronavirus. (March 27)

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Trump looks to reopen country in weeks, not months

President Donald Trump looked to reassure the public Monday that the coronavirus outbreak will be short-lived. Trump said he doesn’t want businesses to be shut down for months and that American will “soon be open for business.” (March 23)

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Love and dating in times of coronavirus

The rapidly escalating warnings for people to keep distance from one another in order to contain the coronavirus outbreak is creating a new set of rules for social interaction and a series of complications for American singles pursuing romance. (March 19)

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Trump says doesn’t know if Syria hostage Austin Tice still alive | AFP

Donald Trump says he does not know whether American journalist Austin Tice, who was abducted more than seven years ago in Syria, is still alive. Referring to his administration’s efforts to secure the release of American hostages or prisoners around the world, the US president said it was working “very hard with Syria to get him out.” IMAGES

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Mnuchin touts aid to quickly get Americans money

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is touting a new stimulus plan he has worked on with Republican Senators to help the American people get through the tough economic climate being caused by the coronavius pandemic. (March 17)

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White House wants to keep markets open, may shorten hours: Mnuchin | AFP

American authorities want to keep the markets open and may shorten hours. “Americans need to know they have access to their money,” says US Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. SOUNDBITE

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