Women’s Remains IDed in Long Island Serial Killer Case

New York (AP) — Authorities investigating the long-running mystery of skeletal remains strewn along a suburban New York beach highway said Friday they have identified the remains of one of the women using DNA technology.

Suffolk County police said they would soon post information about the woman, known as “Jane Doe No. 6,” to a website the department created about the case. Police officials declined to provide more specific information about when the announcement would be made.

The previously unidentified woman’s remains were found in two areas of Long Island, more than 40 miles (65 kilometers) and a decade apart: in 2000 in Manorville, near where Long Island splits into its two eastern forks, and in 2011 near Gilgo Beach on the Atlantic Coast, where the remains of 11 people were found.

Investigators have been unable to determine who killed them or whether a lone serial killer or several suspects were involved. Over the years, they’ve said it is unlikely one person killed all the victims.

The case has attracted national headlines, been featured on true-crime television shows and was the subject of a recent Netflix film.

The previously unidentified woman is at least the second whose remains were found at the beach and also in Manorville. Police found the skull of Jessica Taylor, a 20-year-old prostitute who disappeared in 2003, near Gilgo Beach and most of the rest of her body in a wooded area of Manorville.

In January, police revealed a previously unreleased photograph of initials on a black leather belt — either an HM or WH, depending on the angle — that they say was handled by an unknown suspect.

Last fall, state officials gave investigators the green light to ask the FBI to deploy genetic genealogy, a technique in which genetic profiles are run though databases to find potential relatives of a homicide victim or suspect. It’s that technology that led to the woman’s identification, police said.

Source: Read Full Article

Icahn’s ‘Beautiful Trade’ Pays Off Early With Malls Forced Shut

Eastview Mall, 14 miles southeast of downtown Rochester, New York, was a rare bright spot among regional shopping centers.

A fixture in the area for almost 50 years, it served a thriving community, with jobs in health care and at the nearby university. And it had so far managed to survive the trends that were killing off other malls: the relentless rise of online shopping, over-leveraged retail chains and shifting populations.

Now, nothing is showing at Eastview’s Regal Cinema. Plans to convert the space once occupied by Sears into a Dick’s Sporting Goods are on hold. PF Chang’s is still open, but only for takeout and delivery, including beer.

With the Covid-19 pandemic forcing stores to remain closed, some of them aren’t paying landlord Wilmorite, a family-owned real estate developer. Wilmorite, in turn, missed about $820,000 of mortgage payments due in April, filings show.

“Eastview is in a good financial situation and we are looking forward to supporting our tenants and reopening as soon as possible,” Wilmorite spokeswoman Janice Sherman said in an email, noting that most tenants are asking to defer their rent payments for three months. The landlord, in turn, is seeking the same forbearance from its lenders, she said.

While similar stories are unfolding across the U.S., what makes Eastview’s stand out is its role in one of Wall Street’s most closely watched trades, with billions of dollars on the line.

The $210 million loan is one of the largest in deals referenced by the CMBX 6, a derivatives index that investors use to bet on the future of brick-and-mortar retail in the country. With businesses shuttered from Maui to Maine, the CMBX has cratered.

“We expected this trade to play out over one to two years,” said Dan McNamara, a principal at MP Securitized Credit Partners, which has a short position on the index, meaning the firm benefited from the decline. “In reality, it played out in one to two months.”

The CMBX trade gained prominence in 2017, when firms including Deutsche Bank AG and Morgan Stanley recommended short bets as waves of retailers filed for bankruptcy. The credit-default swaps indexes, the first of which debuted in 2006, are tied to commercial mortgage-backed securities containing real estate of all kinds. Series 6 of the index, linked to debt issued in 2012, has outsize exposure to shopping malls, making it appealing to traders who want to short the retail sector.

As of March 20, traders had wagered a net $9.4 billion on the BBB- slice of CMBX 6, and an additional $2.3 billion on the junk-rated portion of the index, according to the International Swaps & Derivatives Association. Billionaire Carl Icahn became a vocal short seller, and a well-timed bet helped Apollo Global Management Inc.’s flagship credit hedge fund to a 6% gain through early April. Mutual fund giants Putnam Investments and AllianceBernstein Holding LP have taken the other side of the trade, wagering that malls will withstand the changing retail environment. Both declined to comment.

See also: A Short Bet Against Malls Fuels 48% Gain for One Long-Time Bear

“We have billions and billions of dollars on the short side of this,” Icahn said last week in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “It really is a beautiful trade on a risk-reward basis.”

Fund Shuttered

The performance of the index has been mixed in recent years. While one-time retail powerhouses like J.C. Penney Co. and Sears Holdings Corp. shuttered stores, bruising the CMBX 6 in 2017 and 2018, it rebounded the following year as the U.S. economy remained strong, with the unemployment rate touching a 50-year low. The commercial mortgage bonds that underpin the index also are exposed to office and hotel loans, which had been more resilient and mitigated some of the retail pain before the pandemic.

Hedge fund Alder Hill, which had been short the CMBX 6 since at least early 2017, shuttered last year as losses on the trade piled up.

But the forced shutdown of businesses has caused investors to flee mortgage securities, with worries about overdue rent mounting. Mortgage servicers cited Covid-19 in commentaries on more than 600 commercial real estate deals that were delinquent in April, according to data tracked by Bloomberg.

As for those who managed to stick with their shorts, the stampede has brought redemption.

McNamara’s MP Securitzed Credit Fund, which lost 37% in 2019, gained that all back and more this year, surging 53% in the first quarter.

Cuomo’s Order

The longer the shutdown lasts, the better that bet will look.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has extended his stay-at-home order to many parts of the state until the middle of May, while saying a case could be made for reopening some regions sooner than others.

“There’s about $1 trillion of mortgage debt that underlies the shopping-center industry,” said Tom McGee, chief executive officer of the International Council of Shopping Centers. “If it somehow becomes unserviceable, it’s going to create an enormous strain on capital markets and communities.”

Even as other parts of the commercial mortgage market struggle, there are signs that a retail recovery might be particularly prolonged. Just one-third of American adults said they’ll feel safe shopping in a mall after stores reopen, according to an April 20 survey by First Insight Inc., a retail analytics firm.

Read more: Mall shoppers are scared to return when U.S. stores reopen

Deutsche Bank analyst Ed Reardon, citing the limited ability of mall owners to reposition their properties for other uses, said lenders could lose 80 to 90 cents on the dollar. Such catastrophic losses “will basically wipe out” the subordinate, or riskiest portions, of CMBS deals with exposure to large retail loans.

Eastview Mall is a case in point. It’s among the largest loans in two CMBX 6 referenced deals. It performed well before the pandemic: Even as some tenants went bust, they were quickly replaced and occupancy had averaged more than 90% since 2012.

The mall, a 20-minute drive from the University of Rochester, serves a relatively affluent population. The median annual household income within a 3-mile radius exceeded $125,000 in 2011, when the loan was originated. It employed about 3,800 people and generated $10 million a year in municipal and county sales taxes, according to the Finger Lakes Times, a local newspaper.

Wilmorite, the mall owner, was founded in the 1940s by brothers James and William Wilmot and is still run by the family. It owns several shopping centers in the Rochester area and beyond, as well as interests in construction and gaming.

Now, at least a dozen Eastview tenants are behind on their rent, according to Datex Property Solutions, a real estate industry research firm. They include Regal Cinemas, Ann Taylor, Staples, Gap and Foot Locker. The Datex data show that landlords they track collected just 51% of their usual payments in April, compared with 85% in March.

That number may be poised to drop further.

“The more big-name companies that say ‘I’m not paying’ — it creates a ripple effect,” said Lindsay Dutch, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst.

While some landlords have managed to tap other sources of cash to make their payments, that will be increasingly difficult the longer the shutdown persists.

“Landlords can probably cover some lost revenue,” Dutch said, but “having excess cash and liquidity to lean on is going to be key.” More landlords will almost certainly fail to make mortgage payments next month.

Mall REIT CBL Turns to Advisers Moelis, Weil for Restructuring

If the shutdown ends soon and stores open, Eastview and other malls that have missed payments could still recover. But some investors with short positions said they believe the crisis is already fundamentally changing Wall Street’s view of brick-and-mortar retail.

“I don’t think that Covid did anything besides speed up what was inevitable,” McNamara said. “If the storm in 2008 was the residential mortgage market, the storm in 2020 is certainly going to be in the commercial mortgage market.”

The BBB- tranche of the CMBX index has tumbled 29% this year, not far from a record low of 65 on March 23.

“We’re still trying to figure out how far this thing could drop,” McNamara said.

— With assistance by Natalie Wong

Source: Read Full Article

Amazon’s Pandemic Labor Practices Being Probed by New York

Amazon Inc.’s safety measures and labor practices during the coronavirus pandemic are being investigated by New York’s top law enforcement officer after the company fired the leader of a Staten Island warehouse walkout.

New York Attorney General Letitia James told Amazon in an April 22 letter that the state is looking into whether the company violated federal employment law or ran afoul of state whistle-blower protections by dismissing the worker, Chris Smalls, her spokesperson confirmed on Monday.

James’s preliminary finding is that Amazon may have fired Smalls to silence him and that the working conditions at the facility may have violated provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the spokesperson said. The letter was obtained and reported first by National Public Radio.

The attorney general’s office declined to comment further. Last month, James called Smalls’s firing “immoral and inhumane.” Her deputy labor bureau chief tweeted the NPR report Monday night.

22,412 in U.S.Most new cases today

-16% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-1.​075 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-0.​5% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), March






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    At the end of March, a group of workers at the Staten Island fulfillment center walked off the job to demand Amazon close the facility for extended cleaning. They said a number of their colleagues were diagnosed with Covid-19. Seattle-based Amazon said at the time that Smalls violated safety regulations, including failing to abide by a 14-day quarantine required after being exposed to an employee with a confirmed case of Covid-19.

    Amazon said it’s taken “extreme measures” to keep its employees safe, including increasing time off and pay.

    “We encourage anyone to compare the health and safety measures Amazon has taken, and the speed of their implementation, during this crisis with other retailers,” Lisa Levandowski, an Amazon spokesperson, said in an emailed statement.

    Read More: Amazon Exec Called Fired Worker ‘Not Smart’ in Leaked Memo

    — With assistance by Josh Eidelson

    Source: Read Full Article

  • New York Rate of Virus Deaths and Cases Is Lowest in Weeks

    Sign up here for our daily coronavirus newsletter on what you need to know, and subscribe to our Covid-19 podcast for the latest news and analysis.

    New York state reported the smallest increase in both deaths and cases from the new coronavirus in weeks, along with other data that point to a decline in the outbreak, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

    There were 478 deaths on April 19, the smallest one-day increase since April 2. Cases climbed by 4,726, the lowest one-day increase since mid-March, while new hospitalizations were flat. Cuomo said his top concern is making sure the numbers don’t inch back up.

    “What we’re doing here, as a general rule, determines our future,” he said Monday at his daily briefing in Albany. “This is cause and effect on steroids.”

    26,889 in U.S.Most new cases today

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    New York, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, had seen daily case increases between 8,000 and 10,000 for weeks. On April 14, it reported a high of 11,571 new cases. Nearly 250,000 New Yorkers have tested positive for the virus, which has closed schools and businesses for weeks.

    “The question is now how long is the descent and how steep is the descent? Cuomo said. “Nobody knows, just the way nobody knew how long the ascent was. That’s what we’re trying to figure out.”

    Reopening Plans

    In the interim, the state continues to focus on plans for safely reopening. Its health department will begin to conduct an antibody testing survey of 3,000 people today, to see how many people contracted Covid-19 and are now immune, Cuomo said.

    The state also is launching a testing program with the New York City Housing Authority, and is donating 500,000 cloth masks to the authority along with 10,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to distribute to public housing residents.

    The governor has been pushing for federal assistance and coordination to help ramp up antibody testing, which would allow people to return to work.

    “I’d like the federal government to help on those supply chain issues,” Cuomo said. “This is a quagmire because it’s not just funding.”

    Cuomo said the federal government also has pledged funding to help states weather the financial crisis, but hasn’t come through yet. If it doesn’t step up, New York anticipates 20% cuts in state aid to schools, local governments and hospitals, the governor said.

    The governor said it’s great the federal government is helping businesses, but teachers, health-care workers, firefighters and other public employees also need aid. Cuomo called on the federal government to provide front-line workers with a 50% bonus. He noted that two-thirds are women, and one-third are members of a low-income household.

    In addition, people of color are “disproportionately represented in delivery services and childcare services,” Cuomo said. They make up 41% of front-line workers, 45% of public transit workers, 57% of building cleaning-service workers, and 40% of health-care workers, he said.

    A state policy about elective surgeries will be released tomorrow, Cuomo said. His administration will be taking into consideration the virus rate in each region, as well as the vacancy rate, he said.

    Cuomo said there will be a “Reimagine New York” task force focusing on how to reopen the downstate region and make businesses and transportation better than they were before the outbreak.

    “Everything is closed unless we say otherwise,” Cuomo said. “People need government to work. Government has to be smart, and if it looks confused between the state and the county or the state and the town, that’s the wrong message for everyone, so let’s just be smart.”

    Source: Read Full Article

    Cuomo Says New York Appears on ‘Other Side’ as Deaths Drop Again

    We’re tracking the latest on the coronavirus outbreak and the global response. Sign up here for our daily newsletter on what you need to know.

    Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that New York appeared to be “on the other side” of the coronavirus outbreak, reporting another drop in deaths to 507 and highlighting other positive trends.

    “If this trend holds we are past the high point,” he told reporters at a briefing on Long Island. “Whether or not the descent continues depends on what we do. But right now we are on a descent.”

    The new death count was the lowest since April 6, after the state weathered almost two weeks of fatalities between 606 and 799, on April 9. In a notably upbeat briefing, Cuomo showed the curve of total hospitalizations on steady downward trend. He said that intubations onto ventilators continue to drop.

    32,491 in U.S.Most new cases today

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    Total new hospitalizations dropped dramatically from just over 1,915 on Saturday to 1,384 on Sunday. But he said that remained a high number that continues to stretch the state’s medical system. He said he also remains concerned about outbreaks in nursing homes.

    “It’s no time to get cocky and it’s no time to get arrogant,” he said. “We still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do.”

    Testing, Tracing

    The setting for Sunday’s briefing reflected the better news -- and apparently a better and expansive mood from Cuomo, who went so far to talk about his daughter’s boyfriend. Rather than speak from the capital in Albany, he visited Northwell Heath on Long Island to thank health care workers to guiding the state through the crisis.

    “The long and the short of it is, thank you to all New Yorkers for all the good work, to our health care workers, a special thank you to the police to fire to the transit workers,” he said.

    “We thank them from the bottom of our hearts but we also know we have more to do.”

    He continued to say the state needed to ramp up testing and tracing -- and again asked for help from the federal government to do so. Testing has become a central point of prickly relations between President Donald Trump and Cuomo, who strongly criticized the president in public on Friday. He pointedly declined to criticize Trump on Sunday.

    Expanded testing is a condition for reopening and the federal government has in important role, he said. The state remains shut at least until mid-May.

    “We have to stay smart and we have to stay united,” he said. “Now is no time, as I said, to get arrogant.”

    — With assistance by Max Reyes

    Source: Read Full Article

    Some Crimes Are Spiking in America’s Major Cities

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    Amid empty streets and shuttered shops, crime rates in some of the biggest U.S. cities has dropped — with a few exceptions. 

    Car thefts and store robberies are spiking in some municipalities even as crime overall — especially violent offenses — dropped in 10 of the 20 most populated cities, more than halving in San Francisco alone. according to a Bloomberg News analysis of data from 10 major cities.

    “It’s just a reflection of reduced opportunities for these kind of events,’’ said Daniel Nagin, a criminologist and professor of public policy at the H.J. Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. “In the case of murders, these often occur in public places in bars and things like that. With those kinds of activities shut down there’s less social interaction.”

    Car theft is one exception, at least in some places. In New York it’s surging, up 49% for the week ended April 12 as compared to the same period a year earlier. It’s risen 53% over the past month and more than 63% year to date. Police have increased patrols in areas of the city where car thefts are common. Car theft was the only major crime to show an increase in Los Angeles, rising 11.3% for the 28 days ending April 11 from the previous period.

     

    Burglaries are also on the rise in New York, up 26% year-to-date as compared to the same period in 2019. In the week ended April 12, they more than doubled in the southern half of Manhattan, where many stores are now unoccupied. Burglaries jumped almost 34% in Denver in March amid a growing number of break-ins at marijuana dispensaries. In Philadelphia, burglaries were down 6.7% overall, with residential break-ins falling 25% as more people stay home, but unoccupied businesses were hit hard, with commercial burglary rising 71%.

    Robberies and burglaries dropped more dramatically in Los Angeles than some other major U.S. cities, perhaps because it closed non-essential businesses and told people to stay at home earlier than other cities, said Charis Kubrin, a professor of criminology at the University of California, Irvine.

    “Property crimes are crimes of opportunity and with most businesses closed, there are simply fewer opportunities,” Kubrin said.

    Each of the 10 major cities that provided data are showing a decline in rapes and sexual assaults, with San Francisco posting the biggest drop — more than 50% — as compared to the same period a year earlier. Kubrin said, however, that these numbers aren’t a reliable indicator because the crime is notoriously under-reported, in part because of reluctance by victims to go to the police.

    For the most part, murders are on the decline, and in cities showing a rise the numbers are low to begin with. A 25% increase in Austin, for example, is the result of one additional homicide, with the number rising from four to five.

    “There are fewer opportunities for young people to get together,” Kubrin said. “So there’s less chance when there’s alcohol involved for arguments to get out of hand and to result in assaults or homicides.”
    But unlike the decline in sexual assaults, the drop in homicides is a more reliable indicator, she said.
    “These are real drops,” Kubrin said.

     

    Most cities are showing a decline in assaults, following the trend in other violent-crimes categories. Notably, the drop-off comes even after the release from prison of thousands of non-violent offenders. That may show that many such offenders need not have been put in jail to start with, Kubrin said.

    Theft is also down across the board in the cities surveyed.  But Kubrin said the drop in street crime may be followed by an increase in white-collar crime, such as price gauging and online fraud.

    “Opportunities have shifted from the street to online,” she said. A slump in the stock market may also lead to the disclosure of financial schemes, as was the case following the 2009 recession, when frauds like Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme unraveled.

    Source: Read Full Article

    New York’s Daily Virus Death Toll Drops Slightly to 777

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    The number of New York deaths from the coronavirus dropped slightly on Friday to 777, a figure that remains grimly high following three straight days of record fatalities, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

    Thursday’s record total was 799 deaths. The total death toll in New York has now reached 7,844, he said.

    Cuomo said that Friday’s figure shows a high but apparently leveling number of fatalities. He also reported, for the first time, a dramatic drop in the number intensive care admissions.

    32,385 in U.S.Most new cases today

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    “We continue to lose a tremendous number of lives and endure great pain as a state,” he told reporters in Albany.

    Although hospitalizations dropped for the third straight day, to 359, the lowest since March 20, he said now was not the time end measures put in place to slow the spread of the virus in New York, the epicenter for the outbreak in the U.S. Schools, government and all but essential businesses remain closed.

    “What we do today will determine the infection rate two or three days from today,” he said. “Stay with it even though it is a grind and it is difficult.”

    He also said that any efforts to begin re-opening the economy would depend on testing, which he said has been high in New York but needs to be expanded.

    “Now is the time to be smart and now more than ever,” he said.

    Source: Read Full Article

    U.K. Premier in Hospital; Hotspot Deaths Slowing: Virus Update

    We’re tracking the latest on the coronavirus outbreak and the global response. Sign up here for our daily newsletter on what you need to know.

    U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is hospitalized with persistent coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive.

    In a possible respite after days of sobering developments, the daily toll in some of the world’s coronavirus epicenters was lower Sunday. New York State fatalities fell for the first time. Italy had the fewest deaths in more than two weeks. France reported the lowest number in five days. Spain’s tally fell for three days in a row.

    Currency markets opened mixed in Asia.

    33,264 in U.S.Most new cases today

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    -1.​138 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23


    Key Developments:

    • Global cases pass 1.25 million; deaths top 69,000: Johns Hopkins
    • U.S. cases reach 1 in 1,000
    • U.K. to tighten lockdown if needed
    • Biden suggests virtual convention
    • India bans exports of “game changer” virus drug
    • Religious gatherings move online
    • The fast spread pits treating patients against finding a cure

    Boeing Extends Plant Closing (5:20 p.m. NY)

    Boeing Co. said its Seattle-area commercial manufacturing hub will remain closed indefinitely as health officials work to contain the Covid-19 outbreak and suppliers show signs of stress.

    The factories, including a hulking plant where wide-body jets are built, had been scheduled to reopen late Tuesday following an earlier two-week closure. The health and safety of employees and recommendations of government health authorities were among the considerations, the Chicago-based planemaker said in a statement.

    Washington State Returns Ventilators (5:30 p.m. NY)

    Washington State, which continues to see fewer new infections than once feared, said it will return more than 400 ventilators to the national stockpile for use by states that have greater need. That represents the majority of the machines the state received from the federal government.

    Washington separately bought 750 ventilators that are set to arrive over the next few weeks, when the state might need them, said Governor Jay Inslee in a statement. “These ventilators are going to New York and others states hardest hit by this virus,” Inslee said. “I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together.”

    U.S. Troops to Wear Face Coverings (5 p.m. NY)

    U.S. military personnel will wear face coverings when they are unable to stay six feet away from others, the Pentagon said a week after health officials recommended the use of such coverings.

    The policy, signed by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, also applies to contractors and others on Defense Department installations and facilities.

    “We want to take every measure to protect our troops,” Esper said on ABC’s “This Week.”

    U.K. Premier Sent to Hospital (4:15 p.m. NY)

    U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to a hospital Sunday night after having “persistent symptoms” 10 days after testing positive for Covid-19, a spokesperson said.

    “This is a precautionary step,” the official said.

    Johnson had been in isolation with a high temperature which had not abated. Two days ago, he posted a video on Twitter about his condition.

    He remains in charge of the government, and is in contact with ministerial colleagues and officials.

    NYC Welcomes Added Medical Staff (4 p.m. NY)

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said 291 medical staff have arrived to work in the besieged hospital system, but said as many as 1,450 are needed. The first wave includes 74 nurses, 104 doctors and 12 respirator therapists.

    The city has a supply of breathing machines for about 48 to 72 hours, which he said was an improvement since officials had feared the ventilator supply would be exhausted by Sunday.

    “I see a few signs that are a little hopeful, for sure,” de Blasio said. “I think it’s early to be able to declare” a corner has been turned.

    Boston Mayor Imposes Curfew (3:45 p.m. NY)

    Boston imposed new measures including an overnight curfew for non-essential activities and encouraging the use of face coverings. Starting Monday, non-essential trips to businesses, restaurants and other locations are banned from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., Mayor Martin Walsh said. The city encourages the use of delivery services for items needed after 9 p.m. City parks, including sports courts and fields, will close. Walking and jogging paths remain open.

    Ackman ‘Optimistic’ After Seeing Data (3:30 p.m. NY)

    Pershing Square founder Bill Ackman is “beginning to get optimistic” as cases appear to be peaking in New York, the billionaire said in a series of tweets.

    Ackman, who has repeatedly called for a complete shutdown of the U.S., said hydroxychloriquine and antibiotics appear to help, and he envisions a time in the next few months where everyone is tested and all but the most vulnerable return to more normal life.

    The activist investor has previously invested a portion of his personal wealth to help manufacture antibody test kids made by Covaxx, a new subsidiary of closely held United Biomedical Inc..

    French Deaths Lowest in 5 Days (2:10 p.m. NY)

    France reported the lowest daily coronavirus deaths in five days in a possible sign that three weeks of confinement are starting to help contain the outbreak. The country had 518 fatalities on Sunday, the fewest since last Tuesday, according to figures published by French health authorities. New cases dropped to 1,873, the fewest since March 21.

    Irish Premier Will Help as Doctor (2:15 p.m. NY)

    Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, a doctor by training, has re-registered as a medical professional seven years after leaving the field to pursue politics, the Irish Times reported. Once a week, Varadkar will help carry out assessments by phone for people fearing they may have been exposed to the virus, the newspaper said.

    Ireland reported 21 new deaths and 390 new cases on Sunday—bringing the total cases nationwide to almost 5,000.

    N.J. Deaths Fall Sharply (1:50 p.m. NY)

    New Jersey, which has the second-highest number of U.S. cases, reported a slowdown in the death rate: Fatalities rose by 71 compared with 200 the day before.

    The state also reported fewer new cases, 3,381, for a total of 37,505. Total deaths are 917.

    Austria Readies Lockdown Exit Plan (1 p.m. NY)

    Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has vowed to chart a step-by-step way out of the lockdown on Monday, as the number of active coronavirus patients dropped for the first time this weekend. Recoveries outnumbered new positive tests on Saturday and Sunday. Fatalities are still rising about 10% per day.

    Total infections rose 270 to 12,051 and 18 more deaths for a total of 204.

    Italy’s Deaths Fewest Since March 19 (12:15 p.m. NY)

    Italy reported the lowest figure for single-day coronavirus deaths in 2 1/2 weeks, even as the region around Milan announced tougher containment measures.

    Fatalities fell to 525, the fewest since March 19, bringing the total since the beginning of the outbreak in Italy to 15,887. New confirmed cases totaled 4,316, down from 4,805 the day before. Italy now has 128,948 cases, slightly fewer than Spain.

    Hard-hit Lombardy is requiring that citizens shield their mouths and noses with masks or other coverings when they leave their homes, and insisted residents stay inside for all but essential activities, after seeing a spike in people venturing outside in defiance of the quarantine.

    Read story here

    U.S. Sends Military Doctors to NYC (12:10 p.m. NY)

    The U.S. military will deploy 1,000 Air Force and Navy medical staff to New York City in the next three days, the Pentagon said in a statement. About 300 will be assigned to the Javits Center, which has been converted into a Covid-19 hospital. The rest will deploy to other area locations, the U.S. Northern Command said in a statement.

    N.Y. Deaths, Hospitalizations Fall (11:30 a.m. NY)

    New York reported 594 new coronavirus deaths, fewer than the 630 it reported on Saturday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said at his daily press briefing. He said it’s too soon to draw conclusions. The state has 4,159 fatalities so far.

    There are 122,031 positive cases in total. New hospitalizations also dropped, to 574 from 1,095, Cuomo reported.

    The governor said while the coronavirus has hurt the economy, it led to a drop in the crime rate and fewer trauma cases unrelated to the outbreak being taken to hospitals.

    Biden Suggests Virtual Convention (10:15 a.m. NY)

    Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said the party should consider a virtual nominating convention this summer because the coronavirus has led to limits on public gatherings.

    “We’re going to have to do a convention, we may have to do a virtual convention,” Biden said on ABC’s “This Week.” “We should be thinking about that right now. The idea of holding a convention is going to be necessary. But we may not be able to put 10, 20, 30,000 people in one place.”

    U.K. Coronavirus Cases Rise (9:25 a.m. NY)

    Cases rose to 47,806 from 41,903 on Saturday. Total deaths were 4,934 versus 4,313, according to the Department of Health and Social Care, rising at a slower pace than those reported on Saturday.

    The U.K. will tighten a nationwide lockdown if needed to halt the spread, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, even as pressure builds on the government to explain how it will eventually ease economically devastating measures.

    As many as 4,000 low-risk prisoners will be freed in England and Wales as cases inside prisons climb. Selected inmates with less than two months to serve will be released and monitored with electronic devices, the Ministry of Justice said.

    Denmark May Ease Restrictions (7:56 a.m. NY)

    Denmark may announce a loosening of restrictive measures aimed at curbing the outbreak as soon as Monday, local media reported.

    Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is seeking to present some watering down of the measures at a press conference in coming days, Berlingske and TV2 reported, without saying where they got the information. The country’s confirmed cases of the virus rose to 4,369 on Sunday, with 179 deaths.

    — With assistance by Steve Geimann, John Follain, Jerrold Colten, Mikael Holter, Rieka Rahadiana, Macarena Munoz Montijano, Arsalan Shahla, Hugo Miller, Rajesh Kumar Singh, Christoph Rauwald, James Regan, Stuart Biggs, Dina Bass, and Julie Johnsson

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    New York Deaths Rise by Another Record to 3,565, Cuomo Says

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    New York suffered another record day of coronavirus deaths, jumping to a total of 3,565, Governor Andrew Cuomo said at his daily press conference. Total deaths in New York City rose to 2,624, and the state’s total cases gained to almost 114,000.

    “We’re not at the apex,” the governor said Saturday.

    Cuomo said there are now concerns about infections on Long Island, which are rising at a faster pace.

    “We’ve been saying, ‘Watch Long Island because it’s a fire spreading,’” he said “It’s been growing steadily.”

    Cuomo said that 1,000 ventilators, used to treat the most acutely ill, are scheduled to arrive today from China. He said that Oregon had donated another 140 ventilators, as New York and New Jersey scramble for equipment for when the epidemic reaches its apex.

    32,133 in U.S.Most new cases today

    -26% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

    -1.​138 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23


    — With assistance by Ian Fisher, and Benjamin Bain

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    Women Don’t Have to Give Birth Alone in NYC Hospitals Anymore

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is planning an executive order requiring hospitals to allow women in labor to have a support person after a few large New York City-area hospital systems instituted policies prohibiting visitors during childbirth.

    More than 600,000 people signed a petition asking the governor and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to take action after New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center and Mount Sinai enacted policies aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

    Mount Sinai will now permit one healthy partner to join an expectant mother, it said in an emailed statement. “We have always—and will always—make these difficult decisions with the best of intentions and safety of the mother, baby and our staff as our guiding principle.”

    New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Advocates worried that the guidelines would increase risks for women and their babies. Outcomes improve with emotional support, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Some pregnant New Yorkers already planned for home births or left to deliver in another city.

    Earlier in the month, the New York Department of Health issued guidance advising hospitals to allow at least one other person in the delivery room.

    “Some of the hospitals were ignoring that,” Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa said in a briefing on Saturday. “Yesterday we updated that guidance to make that a directive so women do not have to be alone while they are giving birth and we’re going to reinforce that in an Executive Order.”

    On Tuesday, Lauren Pelz gave birth alone at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. “I won’t sugarcoat this,” she wrote in an email. “It was a sad and lonely experience and both my husband and I were very emotional.”

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