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Thursday, Feb 27th

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Two Diamond Princess cruise ship passengers die from coronavirus; Westerdam crew cleared

2 passengers die on cruise ship of coronavirus

Two elderly cruise ship passengers with coronavirus who were on Princess Cruises' Diamond Princess have died, according to Japan’s health ministry, the Associated Press has confirmed.

A health ministry official confirmed that they had been previously hospitalized in serious condition and had existing chronic diseases. The official spoke anonymously, citing office protocol.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, which has built a map of coronavirus data including cases, fatalities and recoveries, also cites two deaths from the Diamond Princess, which brings the total death toll from the virus in Japan to three. Per the data, 621 cases of the virus had been identified among the 3,711 quarantined passengers and crew, making the ship the site of the most infections outside of China; one Diamond Princess passenger has recovered.

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Top Democrat on Senate intel panel pans Trump's DNI pick

Sen. Warner pans Trump pick for acting DNISen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, quickly panned President Trump's decision to name Richard Grenell, the current U.S. ambassador to Germany, to serve as the next acting director of national intelligence.

“The President has selected an individual without any intelligence experience to serve as the leader of the nation’s intelligence community in an acting capacity," Warner said in a statement.

He added that Grenell will be Trump's second acting DNI since Dan Coats, who was easily confirmed by the Senate, stepped down last year. Joseph Maguire has served in the role since August but is required by law to leave the position by March 12.

U.S. Judge Sides With Migrants Over ‘Inhumane And Unsanitary’ Border Patrol Conditions

Judge David C. BuryA U.S. judge in Arizona sided Wednesday with migrants who have long-complained about inhumane and unsanitary conditions in some U.S. Border Patrol facilities in the state.

The ruling came weeks after the conclusion of a seven-day trial in which attorneys for migrants who sued in 2015 argued that the agency holds immigrants in extremely cold, overcrowded, unsanitary and inhumane conditions.

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Germany shooting: Eight people killed in attack on shisha bars in Hanau

Germany shooting: eight deadAt least eight people have been killed in a shooting late on Wednesday in the German city of Hanau, police have said.

Six other people were injured when an attacker opened fire on a shisha bar.

There are reports of a second shooting at a different shisha bar in the same city. German officials have said that the suspects fled the city and police are searching for a dark vehicle seen near the scene.

The first shooting took place at around 10pm local time (9pm GMT) in the Heumarkt area, while the second happened in Kurt-Schumacher-Platz soon afterwards.

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Trump offered to pardon Assange if he denied Russia helped leak Democrats' emails: lawyer

Julian AssangeU.S. President Donald Trump offered to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange if he said that Russia had nothing to do with WikiLeaks’ publication of Democratic Party emails in 2016, a London court heard on Wednesday.

Assange appeared by videolink from prison as lawyers discussed the management of his hearing next week to decide whether he should be extradited to the United States.

At Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Assange’s barrister, Edward Fitzgerald, referred to a witness statement by former Republican U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher who visited Assange in 2017, saying he had been sent by the president to offer a pardon.

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Reuters: Ahead of 2020 election, a 'Blue Wave' is rising in the cities, polling analysis shows

Reuters poll shows Blue wave in 2020

If the trend lasts until Election Day on Nov. 3, it would be a reversal from the 2016 election when rural turnout outpaced voting in urban areas, helping Trump narrowly win the White House.

The finding, based on responses from more than 88,000 U.S. adults who took the online poll from August to December 2015 or from August to December 2019, suggests that the “Blue Wave,” a swell of anti-Trump activism that followed his entry into the White House in 2017, is still rolling across the country’s largest population centers.

Even as Trump commands rock-solid support among Republicans, voters’ interest in going to the polls appears to be growing faster among those who disapprove of Trump than among those who approve of him, according to experts who reviewed the data.

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George Zimmerman sues Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg for defamation, seeks $265 million

Zimmerman sues two candidatesGeorge Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the fatal shooting of a Florida teenager in 2012, filed a lawsuit against two presidential candidates, alleging they defamed him.

Zimmerman, who lives in Polk County, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in 10th Judicial Circuit Court. The suit names Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg as defendants.

The suit claims Warren and Buttigieg separately defamed Zimmerman in Twitter statements Feb. 5 recognizing what would have been Trayvon Martin’s 25th birthday. The suit says both did so “for political gain in misguided and malicious attempts to bolster their standings amongst African-American voters, all at Zimmerman’s expense.”

TVNL Comment: Lotsa luck, George. You defamed yourself.

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2 teens charged in deadly California library fire that killed at least one firefighter

California library fire kills at least one firefighterTwo 13-year-olds have been arrested and booked on suspicion arson and manslaughter charges in a deadly fire on Tuesday that destroyed the Porterville Library.

Tuesday’s blaze started shortly after 4 p.m. and killed one firefighter and left another missing.

The man killed has been identified as Fire Capt. Raymond Figueroa, 35. He started with the department in 2007. Additionally, firefighter Patrick Jones, 25, is still missing. He’s been with the department since 2017.

The teens have been booked in the Tulare County Juvenile Detention Center.

Tulare County Fire Capt. Joe Rosa is leading the arson investigation. Fresno City Fire is also lending its K9 to help with the investigation and recovery.

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'Angst, anger and disappointment': Roger Stone intervention stokes uncertainty across federal justice system

Nick AckermanIt started, like most of the political firestorms before it, with a tweet.

Unhappy with federal prosecutors’ stiff sentencing recommendation for longtime Republican political operative Roger Stone, President Donald Trump took aim at his own Justice Department.

Soon after, the DOJ backtracked.

More than a week later, and after a cascade of disclosures, virtually every corner of the federal criminal justice system has been shaken. Prosecutors, former prosecutors, even judges have expressed concern about the appearance of political intervention in criminal cases.

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