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US charges Pakistani doctor with trying to help IS

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New York, March 20 A Pakistani doctor was arrested while attempting to go to Syria to join the Islamic State (IS) terror group, US Assistant Attorney General John Demers said.

Muhammad Masood (28) was charged with attempting to provide support to a terrorist organisation, Demers, who is in charge of national security, said on Thursday.

Masood was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force at the Minneapolis airport when he was trying to fly to Los Angeles, where a contact would put him on a cargo ship to take him to IS territory, the Justice Department said.

He had originally planned to go Syria through Jordan and bought a ticket to Amman, but before he could leave the Middle Eastern country closed its borders because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Department said.

Masood, who had worked as a research coordinator at a clinic in Minnesota, had told some people between January and March about his allegiance to the IS and his desire to join the group, the Department said.

He also told them that he wanted to carry out solitary – “lone wolf” – attacks in the US, it added.

Masood was produced in a Minneapolis federal court before Magistrate Judge David Schultz, who remanded him to custody till March 24.

Disaster

US sends 2 million doses of unproven COVID-19 drug to Brazil: White House

The White House announced on Sunday that the U.S. has sent 2 million doses of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to Brazil, and that 1,000 ventilators will soon be delivered as well as the South American country becomes the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The White House says the U.S. has sent 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to Brazil, and that 1,000 ventilators will soon be delivered as well.

This comes even as some countries have banned the use of the drug for COVID-19 over safety concerns.

  • Brazil reported a record 33,274 new cases on Saturday as its death toll surpassed France’s, ranking fourth in the world behind the U.S., U.K. and Italy.
  • Trump last week suspended entry of non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil within the past 14 days.

Between the lines: Hydroxychloroquine has become a point of heated political debate in President Trump’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, as he first touted the drug as a potential “game-changer” and said he was taking it himself as a preventative.

  • But a large study in The Lancet found an increased risk of heart problems and death among coronavirus patients who took hydroxychloroquine, prompting France to ban use of the drug and the World Health Organization to temporarily suspend a trial.
  • Anthony Fauci told CNN last week that the scientific data “is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy” of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment.

What they’re saying: The White House said in a statement that the drug will “be used as a prophylactic to help defend Brazil’s nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals agains the virus.”

  • “It will also be used as a therapeutic to treat Brazilians who become infected,” the statement adds.
  • “With [Trump] and President Jair Bolsonaro having spoken twice since March, the two countries are well-positioned to continue their work together to address the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to other matters of strategic importance.”
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Disaster

We share our support for racial equality: Sundar Pichai

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Sundar Pichai

San Francisco, May 31 : Google and YouTube on Sunday put a black ribbon on its home page in the US, showing solidarity for protests against the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in police custody.

“We stand in support of racial equality, and all those who search for it,” the message read on the Google home page.

The same message was also placed on the US home page of Google-owned YouTube.

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted: “Today on US Google & YouTube homepages we share our support for racial equality in solidarity with the Black community and in memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery & others who don’t have a voice.

“For those feeling grief, anger, sadness & fear, you are not alone,” Pichai added.

Last week, a policeman choked an African-American man Floyd, to death by kneeling on his neck in Minneapolis.

Several states in the US erupted in protests after the video went viral.

The riots stretching from New York on the east coast to Los Angeles on the west rocked the nation that was just beginning to relax the Covid-19 restrictions threatening to spread the disease.

The force of the protests that have turned violent comes from the ongoing brutality against minorities by police with two other recent cases adding to the fury behind the killing of Floyd.

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Disaster

US patient receives $840,000 bill for COVID-19 treatment

“It’s scary. I don’t care how much you have covered. It’s scary to see that kind of number and not really know.”

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Washington, May 31 : A high school teacher from the US state of Colorado was shocked to receive a medical bill of $840,000 for his treatment for COVID-19, local media reported.

The bill received by Robert Dennis, a Centennial High School teacher, covered Dennis’ time at Denver’s Sky Ridge hospital, where he was put on a ventilator in the intensive care unit for two weeks, reports Xinhua news agency.

However, what was not included was Dennis’ three weeks at Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital, or his wife’s trips to the emergency room when she was also fighting the virus.

The couple estimated that their total bills would top $1.5 million.

The couple had insurance and they planned to call to make sure that they were covered.

“Seeing that number yesterday for the first bill, it took your breath away again,” the wife said.

“It’s scary. I don’t care how much you have covered. It’s scary to see that kind of number and not really know.”

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