Tribune News Service
News Budget for Saturday, May 23, 2020
Updated at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 UTC).
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.
^Trump heads to golf course for first time since virus lockdowns<
CORONAVIRUS-TRUMP:BLO — President Donald Trump headed to the golf course for the first time in over two months, engaging in his personal passion as well as attempting to show how the country can return to normal after stay-at-home orders taken against the coronavirus.
Trump arrived at the Trump National Golf Club in suburban Virginia around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. He was spotted earlier wearing a white polo shirt and signature white "Make America Great Again" cap. The White House doesn't always confirm Trump's activities while at his golf courses.
500 by Mark Satter and Ros Krasny. MOVED
^Businesses hoping to reopen join run on PPE<
CORONAVIRUS-REOPENING-PPE:SH — Nikia Londy's employees are afraid to come back to work.
The owner of Intriguing Hair, a salon in Boston's Hyde Park neighborhood, thought her stylists would be eager to return. But they don't feel safe, she said.
Like other states, Massachusetts has released standards businesses must follow to reopen after two months of quarantine. Among the dozens of requirements, every employee at salons and barbershops must wear face masks and eye protection. Faced with choosing vendors despite knowing little about the equipment, Londy is struggling to procure this safety gear before reopening Monday.
1400 (with trims) by Matt Vasilogambros . MOVED
^Massive fire strikes San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, spares WWII ship<
SF-PIER-FIRE:LA — Firefighters were able to save a historic warship after a massive fire ripped through a warehouse at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco on Saturday morning.
The fire broke out about 4:15 a.m. in a large warehouse at the end of Pier 45, said Lt. Jonathan Baxter, public information officer for the San Francisco Fire Department.
450 by Alex Wigglesworth. MOVED
^Cuomo allows New Yorkers to gather, even if nonessential<
CORONAVIRUS-NY:NY — Gatherings of up to 10 people will now be allowed in New York after a lawsuit challenged a directive from Gov. Cuomo that only gave the green light to Memorial Day celebrations and religious services.
The change came Friday evening after the New York Civil Liberties Union sued the governor on behalf of a Brooklyn woman arrested twice outside of City Hall for protesting the statewide coronavirus shutdown.
350 by Denis Slattery in Albany, N.Y. MOVED
^As counties reopen, California rushes to build an army of coronavirus 'disease detectives'<
CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-TRACERS:SA — As California hurries to reopen stores, offices, restaurants and more, another rush is on behind-the-scenes.
State health officials have launched an unprecedented effort to train thousands of front-line, county-level workers to act as a firewall to stop the coronavirus from roaring back this fall.
Commonly known in the public health world as communicable-disease "contact tracers," this ad hoc group will serve as community strike teams in each county, working on tight deadlines to stop individual infections from turning into major outbreaks.
2350 (with trims) by Tony Bizjak and Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks in Sacramento, Calif. MOVED
^Senators eager for football to start, but maybe not as eager as Trump<
CORONAVIRUS-SENATE-FOOTBALL:CON — It's been more than two months since a major American sport has held a contest. March 11 was the day the NBA suspended play indefinitely after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. The NHL followed suit, as did Major League Baseball, postponing opening day while it works on a plan to start the season, possibly without fans in the stands.
But professional and college football are perhaps in the best position of all the leagues, having ended their seasons just before the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up in the United States.
1150 (with trims) by Clyde McGrady in Washington. MOVED
^Johnson needs UK teachers. His chief aide likes fighting them<
CORONAVIRUS-BRITAIN-SCHOOLS:BLO — Boris Johnson's chief adviser has spent a decade waging war on Britain's teaching unions. Now he needs their help.
The prime minister wants England's schools to partially reopen from June 1 as he eases the coronavirus lockdown, but teachers say their concerns over safety and practicalities should be addressed first.
While other parts of the government's virus response have seen close engagement with labor unions, the tone has been more confrontational on schools as ministers and their supporters in the media attack teachers for their stance.
800 (with trims) by Robert Hutton and Kitty Donaldson in London. MOVED
^UNITED STATES <
^SpaceX is poised for defining moment with first humans on rocket<
SPACEX:BLO — Elon Musk is about to face his biggest test after almost two decades as a space entrepreneur: launching human beings into orbit.
If the weather holds and there are no technical issues, a SpaceX Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket will blast off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 4:33 p.m. on May 27. Two NASA astronauts — Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley — will be on board, with a docking at the International Space Station scheduled for 19 hours later.
1200 (with trims) by Dana Hull and Julie Johnsson. MOVED
^Bay Area heat wave on the way<
WEA-SF-HEAT:CC — Summer doesn't officially begin for another month. But this weekend and into early next week, it's going to feel a lot like summertime in the Bay Area.
After a string of mild temperatures recently and even a few rainy days, Northern California is about to heat up and dry out, with temperatures in the Bay Area expected to climb from the 80s on Saturday to the 90s on Memorial Day to 100 degrees in a few inland areas by Tuesday and Wednesday, forecasters say.
750 by Paul Rogers in San Francisco. MOVED
^Xi says China won't return to planned economy, urges cooperation<
CHINA-ECONOMY:BLO — Chinese President Xi Jinping said he won't let the world's second-largest economy return to its days as a planned economy, pushing back against U.S. criticism that the nation has failed to deliver on promised reforms.
"We've come to the understanding that we should not ignore the blindness of the market, nor should we return to the old path of a planned economy," Xi told political advisers gathered in Beijing for their annual legislative sessions on Saturday, according to the official Xinhua news agency. He reiterated the government's stance that markets should play a "decisive role" in the economy.
300 by Bloomberg News. MOVED
These stories moved earlier in the week and remain suitable for publication.
^California's prisons and jails have emptied thousands into a world changed by coronavirus<
CORONAVIRUS-RELEASED-INMATES:LA — In short order, the coronavirus pandemic has ushered in a sweeping and historic emptying of California's overcrowded prisons and jails, as officials have dramatically lowered the number of people held in custody to avert deadly outbreaks.
State data show California's prisons have released about 3,500 inmates while the daily jail population across 58 counties is down by 20,000 from late February.
The exodus is having a profound and still-evolving effect: Those leaving custody enter a vastly different world in which a collapsed economy, scant job opportunities and the closure of many government offices have compounded the challenges of getting lives back on track.
2400 by Matt Hamilton, James Queally and Alene Tchekmedyian in Los Angeles. MOVED
^Trump's push to reopen from virus repels some Republican supporters<
CORONAVIRUS-REOPENINGS-REPUBLICANS:BLO — Donald Trump has acknowledged his push to reopen the U.S. economy before the coronavirus outbreak abates may cost more American lives. It may also cost him votes.
Shawna Wilson, a school librarian in Fort Worth, Texas, said she's always been a reliable voter for Republican presidential candidates, including Trump in 2016. No longer.
"I am not voting for him," Wilson, 47, said in an interview. "This disaster with our response and lack of clear guidance on reopening was the final straw."
Wilson's change of allegiance shows the political challenge for Trump as he pushes to restart the economy even as the death toll from the pandemic continues to mount. For every Republican voter who tells pollsters they fear keeping the country closed too long, there's another like Wilson who raises alarm about going back too soon.
1450 by Mario Parker and Vincent Del Giudice. MOVED
^Free money: Amid the coronavirus, a monthly paycheck from the feds doesn't seem crazy<
UNIVERSAL-BASIC-INCOME:LA — The notion of the federal government handing out free money used to be a liberal dream and a conservative nightmare. No more.
The coronavirus outbreak, which plunged the nation into an economic free fall, has created an opening for governments and nonprofits to experiment with giving money directly to Americans, with no strings attached.
1200 by Seema Mehta in Los Angeles. MOVED
^How a company misappropriated Native American culture to sell health insurance<
^INSURANCE-SCHEME:KHN—<Jill Goodridge was shopping for affordable health insurance when a friend told her about O'NA HealthCare, a low-cost alternative to commercial insurance.
The self-described "health care cooperative" promised a shield against catastrophic claims. Its name suggested an affiliation with a Native American tribe.
The company promises 24/7 telemedicine and holistic dental care on its website. It says it provides more nontraditional options than "any other health care plan."
It struck Goodridge as innovative. She signed up for a high-deductible plan, paying more than $9,000 in premiums and fees over 13 months, she said. Yet she could not get O'NA to cover her family's medical bills.
A yearlong investigation by the state insurance agency prompted by her complaint concluded she was right, uncovering a business scheme operating in the gray areas of insurance regulation and tribal law to appeal to patients looking to save money on health care.
1900 by Fred Schulte. MOVED
^'Last responders' seek to expand postmortem COVID-19 testing in unexplained deaths<
DISEASE-DETECTIVES:KHN — Examining dead bodies and probing for a cause of death is rarely seen as a heroic or glamorous job. Rather, as the coronavirus pandemic has unfolded, all eyes have been on the medical workers and public health disease detectives fighting on the front lines — and sometimes giving their lives — to bring the novel coronavirus under control.
But as the crusade to test for the coronavirus and trace cases continues, medical examiners and coroners play a vital — if often unsung — role. These "last responders" are typically called on to investigate and determine the cause of deaths that are unexpected or unnatural, including deaths that occur at home.
1050 by Michelle Andrews. MOVED
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