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May 12, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:



For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.


Coronavirus Survivors 'Permanently Disqualified' from Joining U.S. Military, Recruitment Memo Suggests (Newsweek)

The military will stop recruiting applicants who have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a proposal in a memo from the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command (MEPCOM). The contents of the memo, which has been circulating on the internet, were confirmed to Newsweek by the Pentagon, which described them as "interim guidance." The story was first reported by the Military Times. "During the medical history interview or examination, a history of COVID-19, confirmed by either a laboratory test or a clinician diagnosis, is permanently disqualifying," the memo reads…Data from the Defense Department indicates over 6,500 coronavirus cases at more than 150 bases [in the U.S.]. National Guard forces in at least 20 states have also reported cases. It's unclear if the military will dismiss these service members once they recover from coronavirus.

Top White House officials buried CDC report on reopening the country (USA Today)

The decision to shelve detailed advice from the nation’s top disease control experts for reopening communities during the coronavirus pandemic came from the highest levels of the White House, according to internal government emails obtained by The Associated Press…The document, titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework,” was researched and written to help faith leaders, business owners, educators and state and local officials as they begin to reopen.  Read the report here.

Reopening After COVID: The 3 Phases Recommended By The White House (NHPR)

President Trump wants states to begin relaxing stay-at-home orders and reopen businesses after the spread of the coronavirus pummeled the global economy and killed millions of jobs.

With new hot spots emerging, no signs of a respite (New York Times)

While cities like New York have seen a hopeful drop in cases, upticks in other major cities and smaller communities have offset those decreases.

2,000 former DOJ prosecutors, FBI officials demand Barr resign over Flynn case (UPI)

Almost 2,000 former federal prosecutors and members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation published an open letter Monday calling for the resignation of Attorney General William P. Barr over the dropping of the Michael Flynn case in federal court. Former U.S. Department of Justice and FBI officials, identifying themselves as both Republicans and Democrats, said Barr's decision to drop prosecution of Flynn, President Donald Trump's first national security advisor, was a case of using "the Department as a tool to further President Trump's personal and political interests," the letter said.

South Dakota Governor Demands Tribe Leaders Remove Checkpoints Set Up to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 (Time)

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and Oglala Sioux Tribe leaders have rejected South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s demand that they remove checkpoints meant to regulate traffic through their reservation, set up to prevent the spread of coronavirus on tribal land.

The iconic brands that could disappear forever because of coronavirus (Washington Post)

The retail industry, rife with bankruptcies and shuttered stores long before the coronavirus, is facing its biggest test yet. Lockdowns triggered by the pandemic have forced the temporary closures of 263,000 stores, according to GlobalData Retail, and analysts say it remains to be seen how many will be able to reopen…

More than 70% of federal prison inmates tested for coronavirus are infected (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Lawmakers are joining prisoners’ advocates who are alarmed by the government’s response to the growing coronavirus crisis behind bars

Trump sued for blocking stimulus checks to American citizens married to immigrants (CBS)

President Donald Trump faces a lawsuit over the federal government declining to issue $1,200 stimulus checks to U.S. citizens who are married to immigrants without Social Security numbers. The litigation comes after the IRS said that only married couples in which both spouses hold valid Social Security numbers will receive the payments.

Nordstrom to permanently close 16 stores (Patch)

Nordstrom closed all department stores and Nordstrom Rack outlet stores in March because of coronavirus. Now the retail giant has announced that 16 of the stores will be permanently shuttered. The location of the stores has not been announced to the public, as employees are still being notified that their jobs have been eliminated.

COVID-19 Tests That Are Supposed To Be Free Can Ring Up Surprising Charges (NPR)

…A second hole in these federal protections may leave patients holding the bill for their COVID-19 test. The law prohibits insurers from charging patients for testing, but it does not block medical providers from doing so. If an insurer does not cover the total amount charged by a provider, the patient may get balance-billed, or slapped with a surprise charge.


Mexico's president orders military on streets to curb rising violence (Reuters)

Mexico's president has ordered the armed forces to tackle security on the streets for another four years, extending a policy he had previously criticized as the government struggles to curb runaway violence.

U.S. says will not take part in WHO global drugs, vaccine initiative launch (Reuters)

The United States will not take part in the launching of a global initiative on Friday to speed the development, production and distribution of drugs and vaccines against COVID-19, a spokesman for the U.S. mission in Geneva told Reuters…U.S. President Donald Trump has announced a suspension of funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), where it is the largest donor. 

In a Victory for Women in Sudan, Female Genital Mutilation Is Outlawed (New York Times)

A new law criminalizes genital cutting, a harmful practice that nine in 10 Sudanese women are said to have endured. But some warned laws alone cannot eliminate the practice.

Meteorologists say 2020 on course to be hottest year since records began (Guardian)

Global lockdowns have lowered emissions but longer-term changes needed, say scientists.

Renewed outbreaks in South Korea, Germany and China show continued risk as more countries seek to reopen (CNN)

"It's not over until it's over."  That was South Korean President Moon Jae-in, speaking Sunday after a new cluster of coronavirus cases emerged in the country's capital Seoul, sparking fear of a second wave of infections in the East Asian country.


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