Amazon enacts new coronavirus measures as employees protest safety conditions

Amazon workers to strike over coronavirus fears

Amazon and Instacart employees plan to walk out over coronavirus safety concerns. FOX Business’ Cheryl Casone with more.

Amazon is enacting four new safety measures as employees across the country protest over concerns that the e-commerce giant is not enforcing proper coronavirus precautions.

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A number of workers at Amazon warehouse facilities across the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19, and some are worried that Amazon hasn't enforced enough safety rules to make sure other employees don't contract the disease.

Dave Clark, Amazon senior vice president of worldwide operations, responded to employee concerns in a blog post on Thursday.

Christian Smalls holds a sign at Amazon building during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Staten Island borough of New York City, U.S., March 30, 2020. (Reuters/Jeenah Moon)

"Amazon associates and partners working in our operations network and data centers are among the many heroes of the COVID-19 crisis. … Nothing is more important to us than making sure that we protect the health of our teams, and we’ve been working around the clock since the early days of the outbreak to make changes to our processes and procure the necessary supplies for this," Clark wrote.

AMAZON WORKERS CONCERNED ABOUT CORONAVIRUS SAFETY WALK OUT OF STATEN ISLAND WAREHOUSE

He said that the e-commerce giant has made more than "150 significant process changes to ensure the health and safety" of its workers, then listed a number of other changes the company is making to build upon its safety efforts.

The company will perform temperature checks on employees as soon as they arrive at work; those with temperatures above "the CDC-recommended 100.4F" will be sent home.

CORONAVIRU ESSENTIAL WORKER RISKS: WHAT IS HAZARD PAY?

Amazon is also keeping its promise to deliver masks to workers; it ordered "millions" of masks several weeks ago that will be distributed to employees starting Thursday. Masks will be available at "all locations" by next week. The company has also worked to keep disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer readily available.

The company will be performing daily audits of its new health measures at its more than "1,000 sites around the world."

Steven Smith places packages onto a conveyor prior to Amazon robots transporting packages to chutes that are organized by zip code, at an Amazon warehouse facility in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

"With over 1,000 sites around the world, and so many measures and precautions rapidly rolled out over the past several weeks, there may be instances where we don’t get it perfect, but I can assure you that’s just what they’ll be — exceptions," Clark wrote.

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Clark announced that the tech giant has filled 80,000 of 100,000 open positions Amazon offered several weeks ago when COVID-19 started impacting its supply and demand. He added that the company has spent $150 million of its initial $350 million investment in additional pay for its workers so far and plans to "happily" go beyond that goal.

Clark also said Amazon has offered all of its workers two weeks of paid leave if they feel sick and decide to self-quarantine.

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NewFront Presentations Set For Week Of June 22, Streaming Only

The NewFront presentations have new date.

IAB, the organizer of NewFront presentations to advertisers by dozens of digital platforms and publishers, said the event has been moved to the week of June 22.

“IAB members are putting their employees, communities, and customers first. Still, we’re hearing from buyers and sellers alike that they need to keep moving the business forward. We’ve been working hard to figure out the best way to do this for the NewFronts,” IAB said Tuesday.

A stream of participants from Twitter to YouTube to Roku started canceling their live presentations in March and on March 11 IAB recommended all presenters migrate to virtual only. The organization has been working on a suite of streaming solutions and tools to make that easier.

“Creating a next generation content marketplace to connect buyers and sellers can’t happen overnight,” it said, settin the date for late June to give publishers time “to be creative, fine tune their messages and do their best work. The goal at IAB, as always, is to help publishers showcase their work in the best way possible, and to be a connector for the industry,” it said.

“The NewFronts have always been about realizing our collective potential, not looking through the lens of the past. In that spirit, we’re having extensive conversations with both buyers and presenters about how to leverage this year’s unique challenges to create something that’s not just “OK, all things considered” but really and truly better.” said David Cohen, President, IAB. “Our goal is to create a dynamic marketplace that connects buyers and sellers in a way that allows ample time for development, a robust platform for delivery, and safety for all.”

“This will be a ‘new NewFronts’ in every way you can imagine,” he said.

The schedule is being revised and IAB is meeting with presenters to discuss what will best suit their needs for this format. Thre will be an update “over the course of the next few weeks.”

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Spirit cancels New York, Connecticut, New Jersey flights after CDC warning

Airlines cut capacity amid coronavirus

Capacity and traffic amid airlines has been cut due to the coronavirus. FOX Business’ Susan Li with more.

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Low-cost U.S. carrier Spirit Airlines Inc said on Monday it will cancel all flights to and from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey after U.S. officials warned against travel to the area because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spirit, which appeared to be the first major U.S. carrier to cancel all flights to the so-called tri-state region, said it was responding to this weekend's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory warning against all non-essential travel to and from the area.

AMERICAN AIRLINES TO APPLY FOR UP TO $12B IN GOVERNMENT AID

Spirit said it will suspend service to the airports it serves in the region – New York LaGuardia, Newark, Hartford, Niagara Falls and Plattsburgh – through at least May 4.

Flights are to be fully suspended by mid-week, the airline said. The Federal Aviation Administration this month waived rules mandating minimum flights from high-traffic airports like LaGuardia because of the coronavirus pandemic.

US DOMESTIC PASSENGER FLIGHTS COULD VIRTUALLY SHUT DOWN

For the 12 months ending in January, Spirit was the fifth largest carrier at LaGuardia, carrying 1.36 million passengers. It was also the fifth-largest carrier at Newark, carrying 1.4 million passengers in the same period.

Spirit said on Monday it had obtained a senior secured revolving credit facility worth $110 million with an option to increase to $350 million with the consent of any increasing lenders. Spirit pledged take-off and landing rights at LaGuardia, aircraft and other assets.

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Spirit said earlier on Monday that its board approved an anti-takeover measure that will "protect against parties seeking to take advantage of the current market environment to the detriment of Spirit and its shareholders."

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New York City Marshals All Hospitals; Navy Sails In to Help

New York City is reorganizing its entire public and private hospital systems, transforming some or all of them into intensive-care sites for people who have contracted the coronavirus while other patients are diverted to temporary facilities.

On Monday, the city got closer to its goal of reaching over 60,000 beds by the beginning of May, which would triple its capacity from the beginning of March, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference. The USNS Comfort, a U.S. Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds, will start treating patients who don’t have the virus but still need care, relieving pressure on the system.

De Blasio said the city still needs “40 more” Comfort ships to reach its goal of tripling hospital capacity.

“That’s the magnitude of what we’re talking about,” said de Blasio, who has said half of New Yorkers may contract the virus. “The amazing thing is: We believe with enough people working together, that we can get there.”

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Roughly 37,500 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in New York City, officials said on Monday, up about 3,700 from a day earlier. That’s more than half of all confirmed cases in New York State and a quarter of cases nationwide. De Blasio said the outbreak may not peak until May.

The arrival of the Navy ship, which was last in New York City during the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is part of a massive effort involving the public and private sector to quickly reshape the health care system. That effort is enlisting several New York landmarks, with the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center turned into a hospital and Central Park chosen as the site of a 68-bed field hospital deployed by Samaritan’s Purse, a charity.

“The normal rules of visitation will not apply,” de Blasio said. “It will be determined for each location what that protocol is.” New York hospitals are already restricting visitors and requiring those who qualify to have health screenings that include taking the visitor’s temperature.

Raul Perea-Henze, the deputy mayor for health and human services, said at the news conference that a committee of public and private hospitals would coordinate the response. A “complex” screening mechanism will determine where patients go, he said.

Hospital Family

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a Javits Center briefing that the partners will be in constant communication.

“Once one system is near capacity, then the two systems will work together to share the load,” Cuomo said. “Right now, the hospital systems operate as basically separate systems. We said you have to work as one system, so share staff, share resources. If one hospital doesn’t have enough masks, rather than have that hospital have to scramble, let the other hospitals help.”

Kenneth Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association, which represents more than 250 nonprofit hospitals and continuing care facilities, said the institutions would “work as one cohesive family system throughout New York.”

The pitching of tents in Central Park and the sight of the massive white hospital ship emblazoned with a red cross captivated New Yorkers. The vessel arrived with a consort of smaller escorts, sailing up the Hudson River.

De Blasio, who has been pleading for more help from the federal government to respond to the virus, said watching the ship’s arrival was an emotional moment. “It was like a beacon of hope,” he said.

— With assistance by Keshia Clukey

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New York nightlife shut down. Now its workers need help

New York (CNN Business)On a typical Saturday night at 2 am, thousands of people are dancing inside the Brooklyn nightclub Elsewhere — all while scores of bartenders, barbacks, bouncers, cleaners, lighting and sound designers are working to keep it running. But last Saturday night, and for the next unknown number of Saturday nights, Elsewhere was empty.

The club’s bills are still coming due. So are the rents of the nearly 100 people on staff, some of whom make most of their income in tips.
And many others are in the same position as Elsewhere. The businesses immediately affected by coronavirus — hotels, arts, food, nightlife — employ many people who cannot work from home. If they don’t show up, they don’t get paid.

    When New York City banned gatherings of 500 or more people earlier this month, it was the first step in several to where we are now: 100% of non-essential workers have been mandated to stay home by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to slow the spread of coronavirus.
    “That was really like Friday the 13th — Day One of the very immediate crisis that nightlife is facing,” said Dhruv Chopra, co-owner of Elsewhere. “In terms of lost revenue, we’re looking at easily two, three months just completely wiped out.”

    CNN spoke to several people who work across New York City nightlife, an ecosystem that supports jobs for almost 300,000 people and generates about $35 billion in economic activity annually.
    They all acknowledged the closing of bars and restaurants is necessary to slow the pandemic. But they say they’re waiting for what they see as the second half of that policy: for the government to step in and support its workers while cashflow is at zero.

    ‘Our industry collapse[d] in the space of 24 hours’

    Kip Davis, a freelance lighting designer, said he watched as the virus crushed the nightlife industry in Asia, then in Europe, knowing it would inevitably come to the United States.
    In early March, his colleagues started checking in with each other. They talked about their fears of unemployment, canceled gigs and “when was going to be our last opportunity to make a few bucks before all this was going to come crashing down on us.”
    Not only have Davis’ event jobs evaporated, but so have his gigs creating permanent installations for bars — because owners are now worried they won’t be able to pay rent. It’s part of a chain reaction that’s touched everyone from bouncers to club owners.
    “I feel like we watched our industry collapse in the space of 24 hours. So panic ensued,” said Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson, a booker at Bossa Nova Civic Club in Brooklyn. Hutchinson is also the founder of Discwoman, an agency representing DJs who are mostly black and women of color. Both streams of income have stopped, and she’s living off savings.
    “I mean, there’s just no cash flow, between venues, promoters, artists,” she said. “It’s really hard to know how to pick up after this, honestly. What is going to be left?”
    Some bars are paying workers a stipend or sick leave, or raising money for them online through GoFundMe and Patreon.
    “If they’re employed somewhere, maybe that business might be looking out for them,” Davis said. “But if they’re self-employed, there’s nobody who has their backs.”
    Seva Granik, an independent event planner and party promoter in Brooklyn, said he and his peers are “all entirely out of any way of creating income.” He immediately lost $15,000 he’d invested in events that are now canceled.
    For John Barclay, it’s 2008 all over again. Until that financial crisis, he was mostly working in journalism and publishing. “Then the recession hit, and I had a part-time bartending gig and I just completely moved over to bartending and bar management because it seemed a lot more recession-proof.”
    He opened Bossa Nova Civic Club, a small dance club, seven years ago. “Of course, I at the time was not considering pandemics at all,” he said.
    Barclay said he laid off the dozen people on his staff so they could quickly apply for unemployment insurance.

    Soaring unemployment claims

    A lot of people are in the same position as Barclay’s workers. Almost 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment insurance the week ended March 21. That’s the highest number since the Department of Labor started tracking it in 1967.
    New governmental assistance programs are meant to help. But the math doesn’t work in a city like New York, where one in four people spends 50% or more of their income on rent.
    On the local level, New York state has suspended eviction proceedings, and New York City announced small business loans with zero interest and grants for businesses with less than five employees to keep paying them at 40% of wages.
    Nationally, the White House and Congress are working on a $2 trillion stimulus package that includes $1,200 direct payments to individuals who make up to $75,000, and $2,400 to married couples making up to $150,000, plus $500 per child. The payments decrease for people making more and stop for people making over $99,000 and couples making over $198,000.
    But in a city with high housing costs, $1,200 won’t go far. “That thousand dollars disappears in a matter of hours because my rent is more than a thousand dollars,” said Granik, the party promoter. “What am I going to do for food for the next few months? What am I going to do for utilities for the next few months?”
    The package also provides for unemployment benefits for four months and extends it to the self-employed, like Davis. But Davis said he still has many questions, like how the overwhelmed state labor department would handle all the claims. And he still wants a rent freeze — he’s able to delay paying his rent, but not indefinitely.
    Davis said his landlord told him to go work for Amazon.
    But warehouse temp work and online fundraisers can’t make up for the systemic problems made more obvious by the pandemic and the proposed aid package when it comes to nightlife workers.
    “Wealth is not spread out evenly in the city or in the world in general,” Hutchinson said. “We’re really going to see the results of that income inequality come to light during a crisis like this. Who’s going to be left behind? Who’s going to slip through the cracks?”

      Beyond the economic issues, she added, there’s a cultural aspect at risk.
      “These spaces are the community grounds for people to connect and bond and feel safe with one another,” Hutchinson said.
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      Republican Governors Split on Trump Stay-at-Home Skepticism

      President Donald Trump is a skeptic of public-health policies that could harm the economy while saving many thousands of lives. And he has attracted crucial allies among Republican leaders overseeing the movement of millions of Americans.

      Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has resisted enacting orders that would restrict people to their homes — unlike what other large states like New York and California have done. Instead, his office has advised that people older than 65 stay inside. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves also balked, saying the state isn’t China. And Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has said she has no plans for a state shelter-in-place order, so Birmingham approved its own Tuesday.

      Other Republicans, like Ohio’s Mike DeWine, have been leading the charge to slow the virus despite the consequences. Economists estimate social distancing could limit infections and prevent as many as 600,000 additional U.S. deaths. That has set off fierce criticism of those following the lead of Trump, who has repeatedly questioned the need, given the economic costs.

      “They have failed the people tremendously,” said Mario King, mayor of Moss Point, Mississippi, population 13,300. The lack of action, especially in a state often ranked one of the nation’s unhealthiest, is negligent and irresponsible, he said. “We have a very vulnerable population.”

      GOP Skeptics

      Trump has said he’d re-evaluate whether to call for people to return to work after his 15-day strategy to limit social contact elapses next week. On Tuesday, he repeatedly talked about the harm a long-term shutdown would have on the nation.

      “This cure is worse than the problem,” Trump said. “In my opinion, more people are going to die if we allow this to continue.”

      It created an instant schism among leaders in a party that Trump has thus far shaped in his own image. Officials had to balance danger to their constituents against the president’s expressed wishes.

      Conservative leaders quickly backed Trump. Jerry Falwell Jr., head of Liberty University in Virginia, is telling students to return to campus, running counter to other universities’ directives to get students off campus because of fears of spreading the coronavirus. Conservative television pundit Glenn Beck said he would rather die than “kill the country.”

      Trump’s own medical experts have said that restrictions on movement and commerce are the only way to curb the pandemic within the U.S. Francis Collins, who leads the National Institutes of Health, said in an interview with The Atlantic that the best case is that measures some states have taken will slow the spread of the disease over months rather than weeks. “That way we won’t have an example like Italy in our own country,” he said.

      Some Republican governors have been reluctant to issue stay-at-home orders. Iowa’s Kim Reynolds, a Republican, said Tuesday that health data doesn’t warrant Iowans requiring to remain inside except for essential trips, something neighboring Illinois and Wisconsin have mandated. There are over 140 cases in Iowa, according to the state.

      “I don’t want Iowans to think I’m making these decisions lightly,” Reynolds said at a news conference. She added that the decision-making was “fluid” as information changes.

      In Florida, DeSantis’s reluctance to issue a stay-at-home order has been met with outcry in the state of 21 million people. He instead merely advised older residents stay in their homes and ordered that visitors from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut self-isolate for 14 days.

      Several local governments have taken action themselves. Orange County, Florida, with over 1 million residents, and the city of Orlando issued stay-at-home orders and closed non-essential businesses on Tuesday. The City of Miami’s Republican Mayor Francis Suarez joined them effective at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

      Despite a growing case count in the Miami metropolitan area, DeSantis noted that Florida still has several counties with no confirmed cases, suggesting that a uniform approach would be inappropriate in such a large state.

      Yet even DeSantis is expressing frustration with how the administration has handled restrictions on people’s movement. He said he’s repeatedly brought up concerns about flights from New York with the president, who helped DeSantis get elected, and that ultimately only the federal government could limit air travel.

      “It does kind of make no sense,” DeSantis said Wednesday in Orlando. “People fly all over the place from some of the hot zones. I mean, y’know, really? How does that make any sense if we’re trying to contain this thing?”

      So far the Florida measures were only enforceable in airports. DeSantis said he had decided against setting up road blocks, saying he didn’t want to clog traffic when emergency medical shipments were sorely needed.

      City Goes It Alone

      Other governors have stressed that they’re different from the states with large urban areas dealing with outbreaks of the virus, making it unnecessary to issue a stay-at-home order.

      “Folks, at this point, we have no current plans to do so,” Ivey said on Tuesday, according to local reports. “We have seen other states in the country doing that, as well as other countries. But however, y’all, we are not California, we’re not New York, we aren’t even Louisiana.”

      At a Birmingham City Council meeting, local officials spoke passionately about the importance of saving lives versus saving money. Mayor Randall Woodfin, a Democrat who governs a relative dense, predominantly black city, said the virus isn’t discriminating based on location, race, age or political ideology.

      “This is spreading all throughout America,” he said. “In our positions, we have two choices: Option one is to take the lead, be assertive and do everything necessary from a public safety standpoint to protect the residents of this city. Option two is do nothing and wait on other people and fall in line.

      “I don’t think option two is an option.”

      Wade Perry, who leads the Democratic Party in Alabama, said he would like to see leaders in the state follow the advice of health experts.

      “It’s not about politics, it’s not about profits, it’s about people,” he said.

      Ohio’s ‘War’

      Some Democratic governors, like North Carolina’s Roy Cooper, have also stopped short of issuing a stay-at-home order, leading the county that encompasses Charlotte to implement its own. And not all Republican governors are resisting the measures. In Ohio, DeWine this week ordered that residents stay home, adding that the state is at war with the disease.

      DeWine said he and Trump agreed that they wanted to get people back to work as soon as possible. But he said the economy can’t recover if hospitals are overwhelmed.

      “We save our economy by first saving lives. We have to do it, and we have to do it in that order,” DeWine said during a news conference Tuesday. “When people are dying, when people don’t feel safe, the economy won’t come back.”

      West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, a Republican, praised President Trump’s actions to fight the spread during a news conference, but said his aim to “get back to work” by Easter was ambitious.

      “I hope and pray our President knows something I don’t know,” Justice said.

      — With assistance by Janet Lorin, Jennifer Kay, and Katherine Rizzo

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      And Then There Were Two: Tulsi Gabbard Ends Long-shot 2020 Campaign and Endorses Biden Over Bernie

      It’s official: Tulsi Gabbard is ending her 2020 presidential campaign.

      The 38-year-old Hawaii representative on Thursday officially suspended her campaign for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders

      Gabbard won two delegates in the American Samoa but had become virtually invisible during the presidential race in recent months as her campaign’s support failed toe expand and she didn’t appear in any recent debates.

      “After Tuesday’s election, it’s clear that Democratic primary voters have chosen Vice President Joe Biden to be the person who will take on President Trump in the general election,” Gabbard said in a video announcement posted on social media.

      She called Biden a friend and recognized her relationship with his family, including his late son Beau.

      “Although I may not agree with the vice president on every issue, I know that he has a good heart and he’s motivated by his love for our country and the American people,” she said. “I’m confident that he will lead our country guided by the spirit of aloha, respect and compassion and thus help heal the divisiveness that has been tearing our country apart.”

      The Democratic race is now left between Biden and Sanders, who are vying for to run against President Donald Trump in the November general election.

      Biden has become the party’s clear front-runner this month, leading the delegate count over Sanders by a 1,181-885 margin. A candidate needs at least 1,991 delegates to win the Democratic Party’s nomination at the national convention in mid-July.

      Gabbard’s few delegates thus far and her consistently low polling numbers since launching her campaign last February made her a long-shot candidate for the presidency and led to many questions about why she hadn’t dropped out long before major candidates such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, who both left the race in recent weeks.

      She was the last remaining woman in the 2020 presidential race, which started with a historically large field of candidates and a number of women who were at times thought to be leaders for the Democratic nomination — including Warren and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

      In her announcement on Thursday, Gabbard also cited the country’s new perspective since the novel coronavirus pandemic upended daily American life.

      “Throughout my life and throughout this campaign, my motivation has been to serve God, this country and the American people as best I can,” Gabbard, a major in the National Guard who served two tours in the Middle East, said Thursday. “I feel the best way that I can be of service at this time is to continue to work for the health and well-being of the people of Hawaii and our country in Congress and stand ready to serve in uniform should the Hawaii National Guard be activated.”

      Gabbard’s campaign was politically unorthodox compared to other candidates: She is an economic progressive who has criticized the U.S. for large spending on military efforts abroad, and she criticized the Democratic nomination process on her way out this week, telling Fox News, “I think there’s a lot of hypocrisy going on here,” after the party changed its rules so that she no longer qualified for the most recent debate.

      Previously, the Democratic Party’s rules stated that any candidate who received a delegate in the primaries so far was eligible to participate in the next debate.

      However, the party changed its rules to say a candidate needed at least 20 percent of the primary delegates thus far to make the debate stage, mathematically eliminating Gabbard from participating.

      She hadn’t participated in a Democratic debate since November in Atlanta and has to qualify for a number of the Democratic debates since last summer.

      Gabbard, who is both the first American Samoan and Hindu member of Congress, primarily made headlines throughout the 2020 campaign for her in-fighting with the Democratic Party, often coming from frequent appearances on Fox News during which she’s criticized her own party’s leadership.

      She also sued former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for defamation in January after Clinton said on a podcast last fall that the Hawaii lawmaker was “a favorite of the Russians.”

      Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill told PEOPLE the lawsuit was “ridiculous,” while Gabbard maintained in the lawsuit that Clinton’s comments were an attempt to “derail” her 2020 campaign (though Gabbard never polled among the top candidates throughout the race).

      RELATED: Tulsi Gabbard Sues Hillary Clinton for Defamation Over Russia Comments, Claiming They Cost Her $50M

      Gabbard also rubbed some Democrats the wrong way after she controversially voted “present” during the House of Representatives’ roll call vote on President Trump’s impeachment charges in December.

      “My ‘present’ vote was an active protest against the zero-sum game the two opposing political sides have trapped America in,” she tweeted, explaining her decision. “My vote and campaign is about freeing our country from this damaging mindset so we can work side-by-side to usher in a bright future for all.”

      Trump was still impeached on charges for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in connection with his Ukraine scandal, though he was later acquitted in the Republican-controlled Senate.

      Gabbard said Thursday she was she’s offering her “full support” to Biden moving forward, though the campaign has been overshadowed by efforts to combat the coronavirus.

      “We are all in this together and we must all rise to meet this moment in service to our country and our fellow man,” Gabbard said. “This is not the first time that we have faced adversity together and it will not be the last.”

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      Cheap new 'iPhone 9 Plus' could launch in DAYS after handset teased in Apple code

      APPLE might be releasing a second version of its long-rumoured new iPhone.

      The iPhone 9 is said to be a "cheap" new mobile from the California tech titan with a small screen and stripped-down features.

      A larger, iPhone 9 Plus will also be available to customers when the mobile launches sometime this year, according to a report.

      Rumours of an iPhone 9 have been rumbling on for months but whispers of a second variant only emerged this week.

      They're based on an early version of iOS 14 – the next upgrade to the iPhone software – seen by 9to5Mac.

      Due for release in September, code for the system – still in development by Apple – contains many clues about what to expect from the $1.1trillion firm in 2020.

      The 9to5Mac report suggests the iPhone 9 Plus will come with a 5.5-inch display

      That's a fair bit bigger than the 4.7-inch display that the entry-level iPhone 9 is predicted to sport.

      For comparison, last year's iPhone 11 Pro Max boasted an enormous 6.46-inch display – far larger than either alleged new mobile.

      The 9 Plus (and the 9) will also reportedly be powered by the powerful A13 Bionic chip shipped with the iPhone 11 range.

      iPhone: Big vs Small

      How iPhone sizes have changed over the years

      • iPhone (2007) – 3.5 inches
      • iPhone 3G (2008) – 3.5 inches
      • iPhone 3GS (2009) – 3.5 inches
      • iPhone 4 (2010) – 3.5 inches
      • iPhone 4S (2011) – 3.5 inches
      • iPhone 5 (2012) – 4 inches
      • iPhone 5S (2013) – 4 inches
      • iPhone 5C (2013) – 4 inches
      • iPhone 6 (2014) – 4.7 inches
      • iPhone 6+ (2014) – 5.5 inches
      • iPhone 6S (2015)  – 4.7 inches
      • iPhone 6S+ (2015) – 5.5 inches
      • iPhone SE (2016) – 4 inches
      • iPhone 7 (2016) – 4.7 inches
      • iPhone 7+ (2016) – 5.5 inches
      • iPhone 8 (2017) – 4.7 inches
      • iPhone 8+ (2017) – 5.5 inches
      • iPhone X (2017) – 5.8 inches
      • iPhone XS (2018) – 5.8 inches
      • iPhone XR (2018) – 6.1 inches
      • iPhone XS Max (2018) – 6.5 inches
      • iPhone 11 (2019) – 6.1 inches
      • iPhone 11 Pro (2019) – 5.8 inches
      • iPhone 11 Pro Max (2019) – 6.5 inches

      The report also states that both handsets will come with Apple's classic home button, last seen on 2017's iPhone 8.

      Apple moved away from the button with its more recent blowers to give them more screen space.

      However, reintroducing it would make the new iPhone a lot cheaper to build, driving down its price tag.

      In order to keep costs down, the new mobiles will allegedly come with Apple's fingerprint-scanning security tool Touch ID, and do away with Face ID.

      They will also apparently come packed with Express Transit, the new Apple Pay feature that lets you make a payment without unlocking your Apple device.

      Previous reports have suggested the iPhone 9 will cost just $399/£399 and look very similar to 2017's iPhone 8.

      That means a fair bit of bezel around the screen and a return for the much-loved Home button.

      The mobile's rumoured March release could be hampered by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

      That's because many of the factories Apple uses to manufacture iPhones were shut down for weeks on end after the outbreak began in China.

      Apple has yet to confirm it's even making another iPhone yet, so take any rumours with a pinch of salt.

      In other news, Apple could be planning to launch five new iPhones in 2020.

      Apple revealed that its 'best app of 2019' can delete people from your holiday photos.

      And check out the full list of Britain's top iPhone app and game downloads.

      What do you think Apple's next iPhone should be called? Let us know in the comments!

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      Hackers invent new Android 'attack' that lets them log into your Facebook account – how to stay safe

      ANDROID users are being warned about a new malware strain that could let hackers login to your Facebook via Google Chrome.

      The new bug is said to steal authentication cookies from web browsers and apps such as Facebook.

      The digital infection can then use the sensitive information collected.

      Cookies are bits of information aimed at improving your browsing experience.

      They can remember your browsing history and help websites to make relevant recommendations.

      However, cookies can also enable your accounts to stay logged in and this is the feature the malware aims to exploit.

      The malware strain was uncovered by Kaspersky researchers who have aptly dubbed it CookieThief.

      According to Kaspersky, the bug will try and steal your personal information to access your accounts behind your back.

      It said the hackers wouldn't even need a password to do this.

      This is because the criminals would be armed with the cookie information that lets you login automatically.

      Kaspersky has found around 1,000 individuals that have been affected by this malware but has warned that this number is growing.

      We asked Igor Golovin, Security Expert at Kaspersky, how Android users could protect themselves.

      He told us: "Only download applications from trusted sources, like official marketplaces, keep your device up to date and install an antivirus solution on your phone, like Kaspersky Antivirus & Security for Android.

      "This will help protect your device from malware.

      "This malware does not expose itself on the victim’s device.

      "Therefore, the best way to stay secure is install antivirus software on your phone and use it to delete malicious files."

      As to whether tech firms could block this attack, Golovin told us: "This attack may be difficult to detect because web requests generated by malicious apps contain actual user cookies, and these requests come from the same user device and same IP address as normal user traffic.

      "However, tech firms can detect suspicious or unusual user activity patterns and block them.

      "Such methods are well known and some firms use them.

      "But it is always a cat-and-mouse game; there is no way to completely block all types of fraud once and for all."

      What info does Facebook hold on you?

      • All the data on your profile – name, age, marital status, where you went to work, and so on.
      • Your activity on the site – which posts you like, pages followed, photos shared.
      • Its tracker cookies (which most websites use) can even follow you around the internet, so Facebook can also get an idea of the types of websites you like to visit – to serve you more relevant advertisements.

      In other news, Twitter has created a hand-washing emoji.

      Instagram has banned dangerous, reckless and insensitive coronavirus filters.

      And, we debunked some of the most outrageous coronavirus conspiracy theories.

      Are you concerned about this Android 'attack'? Let us know in the comments…

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      NYC-Area States Ban Crowds ‘Amid a Lack of Federal Direction’

      States in the New York City area will act together to suppress gatherings and commerce to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus.

      Crowds of more than 50 are banned, and bars, restaurants and gyms will close at 8 p.m. Monday.

      “Everyone needs to stay in and be safe,” said Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey, who spoke to reporters on a conference call with governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Ned Lamont of Connecticut.

      The concerted action echoed a recommendation late Sunday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is among the most aggressive actions nationwide to protect citizens from Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus.

      With the federal response muddled and sluggish, mayors and governors have been on the cutting edge of virus response. The governors are taking steps “amid a lack of federal direction and nationwide standards,’ according to a statement.

      ”If the federal government doesn’t step up quickly states are going to be forced to do stuff on their own,” Cuomo said.

      On Sunday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city’s public schools — encompassing some 1.1 million students — will close until at least April 20. California Governor Gavin Newsom called for all of the state’s bars and wineries to close and for restaurants to cut capacity by half, while advising the state’s 5.3 million citizens above 65 to isolate themselves in their homes. The governors of Ohio and Illinois closed bars and restaurants.

      In the Northeast, the regional cooperation announced Monday may extend into Pennsylvania and other nearby states, into the Midwest, along the Mid-Atlantic and into New England, the governors said.

      Supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations will remain open, Murphy said, and Cuomo agreed. The governors are also discouraging the public from engaging in nonessential travel from 8 p.m. to 5 am. Bars and restaurants may do take-out and delivery service only, Cuomo and Murphy said.

      Source: Read Full Article