(TNS)

Tribune News Service

News Budget for Thursday, March 26, 2020

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Updated at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 UTC).

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Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.

^TOP STORIES<

^New weekly jobless claims soar to 3.3 million amid coronavirus outbreak<

CORONAVIRUS-JOBS:LA — The number of Americans applying for jobless benefits soared to unprecedented levels last week as new government data put into stark relief the magnitude of the economic pain caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Labor Department said Thursday that nearly 3.3 million people filed for first-time unemployment claims in the week ending last Saturday.

That number was five times greater than in any single weekly period of new filings since record-keeping began in 1967.

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^CORONAVIRUS<

^UNITED STATES<

^Which patient gets the ventilator? Doctors may have tough choices ahead<

CORONAVIRUS-VENTILATORS-TOUGHCHOICES:LA — It's a choice most doctors never thought they would have to make: Who lives and who dies.

But in coming weeks, if COVID-19 continues to surge, such decisions will be inevitable.

The coronavirus will attack so many people's lungs that thousands could show up at hospitals gasping for air and will need to be hooked up to machines that breathe for them. But there won't be enough ventilators for everyone, forcing doctors to make impossible calls about which lives to save.

1650 (with trims) by Soumya Karlamangla, Harriet Ryan, Matt Stiles and Emily Baumgaertner in Los Angeles. MOVED

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^Deborah Birx, AIDS researcher, takes a prominent role in coronavirus messaging for Trump administration<

CORONAVIRUS-BIRX:LA — When the urgent phone call came last month, respected HIV researcher Deborah Birx was meeting with African officials and activists from around the world at a Johannesburg conference to help determine how U.S. AIDS relief funding would be doled out.

It was the White House calling.

Birx was on the next flight out, headed home to Washington to become coordinator of the Trump administration's new corornavirus task force.

1500 (with trims) by Tracy Wilkinson in Washington. MOVED

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^San Diego-based Navy ship confines crew amid soaring COVID-19 cases<

CORONAVIRUS-NAVYSHIP:SD — The crew of the San Diego-based amphibious transport dock Somerset have been ordered to remain on board the ship as the Navy announced Wednesday that six more San Diego-based sailors have tested positive for COVID-19.

450 by Andrew Dyer in San Diego. MOVED

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^California lawmakers struggle to conduct business amid COVID-19 lockdown<

CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-LAWMAKER-QA:KHN — The weekend before California shuttered its Capitol building, Senate leader Toni Atkins spent hours on the phone — taking the roles of a student learning from epidemiologists and a legislator discussing with colleagues how the country's most populous state should respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Like many lawmakers from New York to Washington state, Atkins and her fellow Sacramento legislators find themselves in uncharted territory.

950 by Samantha Young in Sacramento, Calif. MOVED

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^Duke says it has found a way to safely reuse masks worn when treating COVID-19 patients<

CORONAVIRUS-REUSE-MASKS:RA — Duke Health says it will stretch its supply of specialized masks used by health care workers treating coronavirus patients by decontaminating and reusing them.

Duke will use aerosolized hydrogen peroxide to treat N95 masks at its three hospitals in Durham and Raleigh. The gas permeates the masks to kill germs, including viruses, without harming the material, Duke says.

400 by Richard Stradling in Durham, N.C. MOVED

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^Peeps cease production two weeks before Easter due to the coronavirus<

CORONAVIRUS-PEEPS:PH — Two weeks before Easter, the production lines for Peeps have stopped due to the coronavirus outbreak. But don't expect a shortage on store shelves if you're looking to celebrate the holiday at home.

A hefty supply of the popular marshmallow candies has already shipped to retailers from their factories in Bethlehem, Pa., and Philadelphia, according to Just Born, the family-owned confectionery company that makes Peeps, as well as Mike and Ike, Hot Tamales, Teenee Beanee jelly beans, and Goldenberg's Peanut Chews.

300 by Erin McCarthy in Philadelphia. MOVED

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^THE WORLD<

^China reports 67 new cases, none in original coronavirus epicenter<

CORONAVIRUS-CHINA:DPA — China reported 67 new cases of coronavirus infection and six new deaths in the past day.

No new cases were recorded in the original epicenter of the outbreak in Hubei province, the National Health Commission said Thursday.

Hubei on Wednesday lifted strict lockdown measures that have prevented residents from leaving the province for more than two months.

250 by Simina Ministreau in Beijing. MOVED

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^In Mexico, coronavirus 'will go from the rich to the poor and the poor will pay'<

^CORONAVIRUS-MEXICO:DA—<Fears are strong in Mexican border cities that the poor will pay the price for wealthier Mexicans who brought the coronavirus home after foreign travel.

Initial cases in the big border states of Chihuahua and Tamaulipas show that the majority of those infected traveled back to Mexico from venues like Spain and New York, coronavirus hot spots.

"It seems like it will go from the rich to the poor and the poor will pay," said Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, a Mexican-born political scientist at George Mason University who lived in Brownsville for several years. "They have less ability to get medical attention"

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^UNITED STATES <

^Lori Loughlin, co-defendants ask judge to toss charges in college admissions scandal<

^CMP-ADMISSIONS-FRAUD:LA—<Lori Loughlin and 13 other parents charged in the college admissions scandal asked a judge on Wednesday to dismiss the fraud, bribery and money laundering charges lodged against them, arguing that federal prosecutors in Boston violated their rights and broke judicial rules by withholding for 16 months notes taken by the scam's ringleader, William "Rick" Singer.

The motion marked the first time Loughlin and her co-defendants have asked a judge to toss the charges, the first round of which were unsealed a year ago.

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^NEWS BRIEFS<

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NEWSBRIEFS:MCT — Nation and world news briefs.

Moving later

^TODAY'S TOP NEWSFEATURES<

^In times of housing crises, Washington's old squatters' rights law is put to the test<

WASHSTATE-SQUATTERS-LAW:SE — Police entered the Kent home with their guns drawn. Angela Simmons panicked and held up her hands.

Crisis and opportunity had collided to bring Simmons into the Kent home in 2013. In the aftermath of the recession, when foreclosed houses around King County sat empty, Simmons was introduced to an ancient legal principle called adverse possession that resulted in her living in one such abandoned home that she hoped one day would be hers.

Some may think of it as "squatter's rights," but adverse possession, enshrined in 19th-century Washington law and common law going back centuries, theoretically can provide a path to property ownership through moving into an abandoned home without permission, paying taxes on the property and maintaining the place as an owner would. The challenge is to avoid getting caught.

1650 by Sydney Brownstone in Seattle. MOVED

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^States begin preparations for mail-in voting in presidential election<

VOTEBYMAIL:SH — States have begun reshaping election policies to expand access to mail-in voting.

Election officials in states with restrictive absentee requirements are looking for ways to allow as many voters as possible to use absentee ballots, a safer alternative to in-person voting in a global pandemic. If this crisis continues into November, however, some experts warn that a pivot to voting by mail could strain state resources and disenfranchise certain voters if not handled properly.

U.S. elections have been in flux since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

1650 by Matt Vasilogambros in Washington. MOVED

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