Trump’s Thursday Statement on Riot Should Have Been Made Earlier

On Tuesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Cuomo Primetime,” acting Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said that President Donald Trump’s statement on Thursday about the riot at the U.S. Capitol is “what we wanted to hear on Wednesday,” the day that the riot took place, but that the president’s message about the riot on Thursday was one that came “late.”

Cuccinelli said, “[W]hat he said on Thursday is what we wanted to hear on Wednesday, right? And it was late.”

Cuccinelli added that he “can’t imagine in a million years that he’d be calling people to violence next week.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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Death cap mushrooms spotted sprouting earlier than usual in the ACT | The Canberra Times

news, latest-news, Death cap mushrooms

Health authorities have issued a warning to Canberrans after death cap mushrooms were spotted sprouting earlier than usual in the territory. The ACT’s acting deputy chief health officer, Miranda Harris, on Thursday said the territory normally wouldn’t see the lethal mushrooms until March or April. But they’d popped up already this year – most likely due to wet weather and milder summer temperatures. In 2012 the mushrooms killed two Canberra residents who ate them at a dinner party on New Year’s Eve and in 2014 they seriously poisoned four others. “As the name suggests, death cap mushrooms can be deadly,” Dr Harris said. “All parts of the mushroom are poisonous whether they have been cooked or not.” In other news: Death cap mushrooms, which are easily mistaken for edible mushrooms, often grow near established oak trees. A spokesman for ACT Health reiterated there had been sightings in the territory already this year, but did not confirm where. He said the mushrooms could sprout anywhere. Dr Harris warned the community not to risk touching wild mushrooms with their bare hands, and to keep animals and children away from them. “If you think you may have eaten a death cap mushroom, urgently seek medical attention at a hospital emergency department and take any remaining mushroom to the hospital for identification,” she said. “Eating wild mushrooms is just not worth the risk. “Don’t eat mushrooms you have found in the wild, and only purchase mushrooms from a reputable supplier.” Dr Harris said symptoms of death cap mushroom poisoning generally started appearing between six and 24 hours or more after eating them. The symptoms included pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. “The chances of survival increase where treatment is started early,” Dr Harris said. She said anyone who spotted a wild mushroom in a public area could report it to Access Canberra on 13 22 81. More information on death cap mushrooms can be found on ACT Health’s website. For faster access to the latest Canberra news, download The Canberra Times app for iOS and Android.


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Bailed denied for Australian Julian Assange despite earlier extradition win

London: A British judge has denied Julian Assange bail finding he is a flight risk.

It comes just two days after Judge Vanessa Baraister ordered his discharge from extradition to the United States to face spying charges.

The United States government is appealing the ruling and on Wednesday evening (AEDT) successfully argued that the Australian be kept in Belmarsh Prison while the High Court proceedings take place.

More to come.


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Trump signs $900B pandemic relief bill after earlier refusal – National

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion pandemic relief package Sunday, ending days of drama over his refusal to accept the bipartisan deal that will deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals and avert a federal government shutdown.

The massive bill includes $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies through September and contains other end-of-session priorities such as money for cash-starved transit systems and an increase in food stamp benefits.

The signing, at his private club in Florida, came after a day of vocal criticism from Republicans and Democrats over his objections to the bipartisan agreement, which passed the House and Senate by large margins with lawmakers believing they had Trump’s support. His eleventh-hour demands, including a push for larger relief checks and scaled-back spending, had blindsided members of both parties. His subsequent foot-dragging resulted in a lapse in unemployment benefits for millions struggling to make ends meet and threatened a government shutdown in the midst of a pandemic.

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Unemployment benefits for millions expire as Trump refuses to sign COVID-19 relief bill

Signing the bill into law prevents another crisis of Trump’s own creation and ends a standoff with his own party during the final days of his administration.

It was unclear what Trump had accomplished with his delay, beyond empowering Democrats to push for the higher checks that his party opposes. In a statement, Trump repeated his frustrations with the COVID-19 relief bill for providing only $600 checks to most Americans instead of the $2,000 that his fellow Republicans rejected. He also complained about what he considered unnecessary spending by the government at large.

“I will sign the Omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed,” Trump said in the statement.

While the president insisted he would send Congress “a redlined version” with items to be removed under the rescission process, those are merely suggestions to Congress. The bill, as signed, would not necessarily be changed.

Trump plays golf as COVID-19 relief bill hangs in limbo

Trump plays golf as COVID-19 relief bill hangs in limbo

Lawmakers now have breathing room to continue debating whether the relief checks should be as large as the president has demanded. The Democratic-led House supports the larger checks and is set to vote on the issue Monday, but it’s expected to be ignored by the Republican-held Senate where spending faces opposition. For now, the administration can only begin work sending out the $600 payments.

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Republicans and Democrats swiftly welcomed Trump’s decision to sign the bill into law.

“The compromise bill is not perfect, but it will do an enormous amount of good for struggling Kentuckians and Americans across the country who need help now,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “I thank the President for signing this relief into law.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the signing “welcome news for the fourteen million Americans who just lost the lifeline of unemployment benefits on Christmas Weekend, and for the millions more struggling to stay afloat during this historic pandemic and economic crisis.”

But others slammed Trump’s delay in turning the bill into law. In a tweet, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., accused Trump of having “played Russian roulette with American lives. A familiar and comfortable place for him.”

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Trump plays golf on Christmas Eve as coronavirus relief bill up in the air

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he would offer Trump’s proposal for $2,000 checks for a vote in Senate — putting Republicans on the spot.

“The House will pass a bill to give Americans $2,000 checks. Then I will move to pass it in the Senate,” Schumer tweeted. “No Democrats will object. Will Senate Republicans?”

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Democrats are promising more aid to come once President-elect Joe Biden takes office, but Republicans are signalling a wait-and-see approach.

In the face of growing economic hardship, spreading disease and a looming shutdown, lawmakers on Sunday had urged Trump to sign the legislation immediately, then have Congress follow up with additional aid. Aside from unemployment benefits and relief payments to families, money for vaccine distribution, businesses and more was on the line. Protections against evictions also hung in the balance.

“What the president is doing right now is unbelievably cruel,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. “So many people are hurting. … It is really insane and this president has got to finally … do the right thing for the American people and stop worrying about his ego.”

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Trump demands changes to $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill'

Coronavirus: Trump demands changes to $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill

Coronavirus: Trump demands changes to $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said he understood that Trump “wants to be remembered for advocating for big checks, but the danger is he’ll be remembered for chaos and misery and erratic behaviour if he allows this to expire.”

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Toomey added: “So I think the best thing to do, as I said, sign this and then make the case for subsequent legislation.”

The same point was echoed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican who’s criticized Trump’s pandemic response and his efforts to undo the election results. “I just gave up guessing what he might do next,” he said.

Read more:
U.S. Congress passes long-awaited $900B coronavirus relief package

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said too much is at stake for Trump to “play this old switcheroo game.”

“I don’t get the point,” he said. “I don’t understand what’s being done, why, unless it’s just to create chaos and show power and be upset because you lost the election.”

Washington had been reeling since Trump turned on the deal. Fingers pointed at administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, as lawmakers tried to understand whether they were misled about Trump’s position.

“Now to be put in a lurch, after the president’s own person negotiated something that the president doesn’t want, it’s just — it’s surprising,” Kinzinger said.

Kinzinger spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union,” and Hogan and Sanders on ABC’s “This Week.”

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© 2020 The Canadian Press

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Ex-Miss America Leanza Cornett dies at 49 … after suffering head injury earlier this month

Ex-Miss America Leanza Cornett has died at 49, less than three weeks after suffering a severe brain injury following a fall at her Florida home.  

The former beauty queen, who won the national title in 1993, passed away in hospital on Wednesday after undergoing emergency surgery earlier this month, friends said. 

The tragic news was shared in a Facebook group titled, Leanza Cornett’s Circle of Love, which had provided friends and fans with updates on her condition.

‘Dear Disney family, I’m here to let you know Leanza passed this afternoon,’ a friend said in a post. ‘She was so loved. I don’t feel like writing a lot right now; my heart is broken.’ 

Cornett, 49, was crowned Miss America in 1993

Tragic: Leanza Cornett (pictured left in 2018) died Wednesday at a Jacksonville hospital where she was being treated for a head injury she suffered less than three weeks ago. Cornett was crowned Miss America in 1993

Cornett, 49, was married to news presenter Mark Steines from 1995 until 2013. He took to social media on Wednesday to pay tribute to his ex-wife and mother of their two sons

Cornett, 49, was married to news presenter Mark Steines from 1995 until 2013. He took to social media on Wednesday to pay tribute to his ex-wife and mother of their two sons 

The Miss America Organization subsequently shared a statement on Facebook confirming her passing. 

‘Leanza had a bright and beautiful spirit and her laugh was infectious. We know she meant so much to so many, including all of you,’ the organization said.  

‘We are devastated by this sudden loss in our Miss America family and we are deeply sorry for her family and close friends for their loss.

‘At the moment, we do not have any further information regarding a service for Leanza and we ask that you please respect her family during this difficult time. Hold on tight to those you love today. Time is certainly precious.’

No cause of death was given, however, posts from her support page reveal Cornett ‘sustained an enormous blow to the back of her head’ and underwent emergency surgery after falling in her kitchen on October 12.   

‘The surgery she had on Tuesday was to stop the bleeding in her brain,’ Close friend Sue Roberts said in an October 18 post.

‘Right now there is some continued bleeding and swelling. Brain injuries are not black and white. We have to just take this day by day.’ 

During beauty pageant career, Cornett had won the Miss Florida title a year before being crowned Miss America

During beauty pageant career, Cornett had won the Miss Florida title a year before being crowned Miss America

The Miss America Organization confirmed the beauty queen's death in a statement shared on Facebook

The Miss America Organization confirmed the beauty queen’s death in a statement shared on Facebook

The beauty pageant organization said Cornett 'had a bright and beautiful spirit and her laugh was infectious'. She is pictured alongside Miss Florida 2017 Sara Zeng and Miss Louisiana Laryssa Bonacquisti during a competition in Atlantic City

The beauty pageant organization said Cornett ‘had a bright and beautiful spirit and her laugh was infectious’. She is pictured alongside Miss Florida 2017 Sara Zeng and Miss Louisiana Laryssa Bonacquisti during a competition in Atlantic City 

Roberts did not provide further details of the accident but revealed it had occurred in a moment that ‘could have happened to anyone.’

‘A fall in the kitchen. I am a self-proclaimed dork and have fallen a million times in my house. Accidents happen. I’m saying this because I think all of us need to just hug each other a little tighter and love each other a little longer,’ she added.   

During her pageant career, Cornett, who grew up in Jacksonville, won the Miss America title in 1993 a year after being crowned Miss Florida.

She was also known as the first actress to play a live-action version of Ariel in the production of The Little Mermaid at Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort in 1991, according to WJXT.

Cornett was married to Mark Steines (right) from 1995 until 2013

He is now married to author Julie Steines (right)

Cornett was married to Mark Steines (pictured together left) from 1995 until 2013. He is now married to author Julie Steines (right)

Cornett went on to appear as an actress on TV shows including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Weeds and Saved by the Bell: The New Class.

She married former Entertainment Tonight host Mark Steines in 1995 before the pair divorced in in 2013.  

She is survived by their two sons, Avery Steines, 16, and Kai Steines, 18.

Steines, 56, who is now married to author Julie Steines, paid tribute to his ex-wife in an emotional Instagram post on Wednesday.  

‘It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the passing of my ex-wife, Leanza the mother to our two extraordinary sons Kai and Avery,’ he wrote.

‘We will always remember the wonderful times shared during her short time here on earth I find comfort knowing Kai and Avery will forever have the best guardian angel watching over them as they navigate life’s path.

‘I ask that you please keep them as well as Leanza’s parents and her family in your prayers.’

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Your Work Peak Is Earlier Than You Think

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Kyrgyzstan’s prime minster steps down, is replaced by dissident freed from prison just hours earlier

Kyrgyzstani Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov has resigned from office after just a few months on the job, amid protests and riots in Bishkek against election parliamentary election results. National lawmakers have already appointed his replacement: Sadyr Zhaparov, a former member of parliament who was freed from prison just hours earlier by demonstrators. A court previously sentenced Zhaparov to 10 years behind bars for allegedly organizing riots.

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Call to action – Why women in England and Wales are having abortions earlier | Britain

WITHIN A WEEK of discovering she was pregnant in late April, Sylvie (not her real name) knew she wanted an abortion. The pandemic had made her the sole breadwinner, and she had a young daughter to look after. She called Marie Stopes, a charity, which arranged a phone consultation with a representative from BPAS, another charity, at her local hospital. Four days later a packet of medicine arrived through the letterbox, and she terminated her pregnancy at home with the support of her partner. Abortion is a “horrible thing,” she says. But “in terms of how it was handled, it couldn’t have gone better”.

Sylvie is one of 23,000 women in England and Wales who had an abortion at home between April and June. That this was possible was due to a temporary change in the rules introduced as the country went into lockdown. In normal times, the first of the two pills required for a medical abortion must be taken at a hospital or clinic. But emergency measures, introduced on March 30th to avoid unnecessary hospital visits, designated women’s homes as another place where the pills could be taken, at least until ten weeks of gestation.

As a result of the change, abortions are now happening earlier. Data published on September 10th show that between January and June this year, there were 109,836 abortions in England and Wales. Some 50% of these, including Sylvie’s, were performed before seven weeks, compared with fewer than 40% during the same period in 2019. The proportion performed before ten weeks rose from 81% to 86%. There was also a small uptick in the overall number.

Abortion is usually a safe procedure, but there is a direct correlation between the risk of complication and weeks of gestation, says Sam Rowlands, a doctor at the British Society of Abortion Care Providers, a representative group. That means easing access to early terminations has increased the safety of abortion care, says Edward Morris of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Both groups have called for the changes to be made permanent. The government has said it will launch a public consultation on the matter.

The picture is gloomier in those parts of Europe where politicians did not do much to ease access to abortion. Recent research by Abigail Aiken of the University of Texas at Austin looked at enquiries to Women on Web, a Canadian charity that provides pills to women in countries where at-home abortions are illegal. She found that during the pandemic they shot up in Italy (by 68%) and Portugal (by 139%). In Britain they fell to negligible levels.

Sylvie says the new way of doing things also reduced the psychological toll of the procedure. In 2011 she had to wait five weeks for an abortion, by which point she was nearing her second trimester. She lives in rural Cornwall, an area she says is “lacking in health care [providers] and forward thinking”. She remembers being passed “from pillar to post” while attempting to get an abortion. The experience was so bad she made a formal complaint. This time, however, she says the process was “respectful”, “compassionate” and, crucially for her, “private”.

Editor’s note: Some of our covid-19 coverage is free for readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. For more stories and our pandemic tracker, see our hub

This article appeared in the Britain section of the print edition under the headline “Call to action”

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Genetic Study on Bipolar Disorder and Psychosis May Lead to Earlier Diagnosis

A new Danish study identifies genetic risk factors for developing bipolar disorder and psychosis among people with depression.

Bipolar disorder and thought disorders such as schizophrenia are serious mental disorders, which often have a great impact on a person’s life and well-being. In a number of cases, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are first diagnosed several years after the onset of the disorder. The delay in diagnosis is often associated with unfavorable prognosis for the course of the disorders.

The sooner the patient gets the correct diagnosis and begins targeted treatment, the better the prognosis. For this reason, researchers are aiming at identifying risk factors that will aid psychiatrists in reaching the correct diagnosis as early as possible.

Many people who develop bipolar disorder or psychosis initially come into contact with the mental health services due to depression. A research team from the Danish psychiatry project iPSYCH, examined a dataset consisting of 16,949 people aged 10-35 who had been treated for depression at a psychiatric hospital in Denmark.

“Our goal with the study was to investigate whether genetic factors are associated with an increased risk of developing bipolar disorder or psychosis among patients with depression. This knowledge can potentially be used in clinical practice to identify patients who should be monitored even more closely,” said lead author Dr. Katherine Musliner from the National Centre for Register-based Research.

Study results are published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Among the factors the researchers looked into in the study was whether the genetic risk scores for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia could possibly help psychiatrists determine which of their patients with depression was at greatest risk of subsequently developing bipolar disorder or a psychosis. The genetic risk scores represent a person’s individual genetic risk of developing the disorders.

“One thing we discovered was that the genetic risk score for bipolar disorder is associated with an increased risk of developing bipolar disorder, and that the genetic risk score for schizophrenia is associated with an increased risk of developing a psychosis among patients who have been diagnosed with depression,” says Musliner.

Musliner clarifies that although there was a correlation, the effect of the genetic risk scores were relatively small. Another member of the research group behind the study, Professor Søren Dinesen Østergaard from the Department of Clinical Medicine and Aarhus University Hospital – Psychiatry, said caution is needed when interpreting the results.

“At present, the genetic risk scores cannot contribute to early diagnosis of bipolar disorder and psychoses in clinical practice, but it cannot be ruled out that this could be the future scenario. On the other hand, our study confirms that having a parent with bipolar disorder or a psychosis is a strong predictor for the development of these particular disorders after depression.

“This underlines the importance of getting information about mental disorders in the family as part of the assessment of people suffering from depression,” he said.

Source: Aarhus University

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Mainland China reports nine new COVID-19 cases versus 12 a day earlier

September 17, 2020

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Mainland China reported nine new COVID-19 cases as of Sept. 16, down from 12 reported a day earlier, the country’s national health authority said on Thursday.

The National Health Commission said in a statement all new cases were imported infections involving travellers from overseas. The number of new asymptomatic patients also fell to 14 from 16 a day earlier, though China does not count these patients as confirmed cases.

Total of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 85,223, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.

(Reporting by Jing Wang and Engen Tham; writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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