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February 27, 2020

First Line News Articles for Thursday, February 27 2020

Top Stories

President Trump appoints Vice President Pence to lead COVID-19 response

President Donald Trump appointed Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday to lead the United States’ response to the COVID-19 virus.

Court Rules Trump Admin Can Withhold Federal Grants to NYC, Seven States over Sanctuary Policies

A federal court on Wednesday ruled that the Trump administration could withhold grants to New York City, as well as seven states, due to their refusal to cooperate with the federal immigration enforcement efforts.

Pompeo: United States will sign Taliban deal if violence pact holds

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States will sign a deal with the Taliban to withdraw troops from Afghanistan if the current weeklong reduction in violence is successful.

United States sanctions 13 entities over Iran’s missile program

The U.S. State Department has imposed sanctions against 13 foreign entities and individuals in China, Iraq, Russia and Turkey for supporting Iran’s missile program.

At least seven dead including shooter in rampage at Molson Coors

Seven people were killed including a gunman during a shooting rampage on the Milwaukee campus of Molson Coors on Wednesday afternoon, according to multiple sources.

LDS News

Here are 4 new members of the Primary general board

Four new members have been called to the Primary general board. They will work with the Primary general presidency and other members of the board to help meet the needs of children around the world.

BYU Chinese Flagship students return home because of Coronavirus

BYU student McKay Christensen and his friends were in Hualien, Taiwan, getting ready to go to the beach when they heard the news.

Church gives more than $6M from #LightTheWorld campaign to global, local charities

Two months after Christmas, a season of giving has come to fruition.

President Nelson extends 2nd invitation of 2020: ‘How do you hear Him? #HearHim’

For the second time in as many months at the start of 2020 — the year marking the bicentennial of the First Vision — President Russell M. Nelson has extended a special invitation to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Behind the decision to rename LDS Business College as Ensign College

You might think it was obvious that LDS Business College announced Tuesday that it will change its name to Ensign College because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is dropping acronyms like “LDS.”

National

NSA Program that Accessed Americans’ Phone Records Resulted in Just Two Unique Leads in Four Years

A $100 million program that allowed the National Security Agency to access American citizens’ domestic phone logs and text messages produced just two unique leads from 2015 to 2019, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Only 3 Senate Democrats Vote to Protect Babies Who Survive Abortion

In a setback to pro-life activists, the Senate on Tuesday defeated one bill that would require medical care for babies who survive abortion and another that would prohibit late-term abortions. Only three Democrats voted to protect abortion survivors.

Schumer requests $8.5B to battle coronavirus, rejecting Trump budget demand as inadequate

Senate Democrats plan to seek $8.5 billion in new federal funding to battle the coronavirus outbreak after condemning President Trump’s $2.5 billion request as inadequate.

Coronavirus: FDA says it’s monitoring the market for potential drug shortages, fraudulent treatment claims

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday the agency is monitoring the market for potential drug shortages and fraudulent treatment claims as the coronavirus outbreak places a pause on its product inspections in China.

Intel Officials Claim Dems Misinterpreted Briefing on Russian Election Interference

Intelligence officials worry that a February 13 briefing on election interference is being distorted due to a misunderstanding by Democratic lawmakers, NBC reported on Wednesday.

California refinery explosion sparks massive fire, temporarily closes 405 freeway near Los Angeles

At least two explosions rocked a California oil refinery Tuesday night, sparking a massive fire that was visible for miles, according to reports.

U.S. safety board cites ‘lack of system safeguards’ in Tesla Autopilot crash

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board urged government regulators and manufacturers to implement safeguards for automated vehicle technology, delivering strong words to both Tesla and NHTSA to act.

Trump campaign files libel suit against New York Times over Russia story

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign said on Wednesday it filed a libel suit against the New York Times accusing the newspaper of intentionally publishing a false opinion article related to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

Colorado House set to vote on bill to repeal death penalty

Colorado’s House of Representatives is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would abolish the death penalty in the state.

Opioid manufacturer reaches proposed $1.6 billion settlement

A large opioid manufacturer has reached a settlement agreement in principle worth $1.6 billion with attorneys general for 47 states and US territories, according to a company press release.

World

Globe braces for long battle against virus as cases spread

Crews scrubbed everything from money to buses, military bases were on high alert and quarantines were enforced Wednesday from a beachfront resort in the Atlantic to an uninhabited island in the Pacific as the world fought the spread of a new virus.

Hosni Mubarak: Egypt holds military funeral for ousted president

A military funeral has been held in Egypt for former President Hosni Mubarak, who died on Tuesday aged 91.

Thousands of paramilitary police deployed in New Delhi after riots

Thousands of paramilitary police were deployed to restore order on the streets of New Delhi on Wednesday after days of religious violence in the Indian capital that has left at least 20 dead and 189 people injured.

Brazil Health Ministry confirms first coronavirus case in Latin America

A Brazilian government test has confirmed the first case of a fast-spreading new coronavirus in Latin America, officials from the Brazil Health Ministry said Wednesday, after a Sao Paulo hospital flagged the possible infection of a 61-year-old who had visited Italy.

U.S. Soldier Infected with Coronavirus in South Korea, Officials Say

The U.S. confirmed Wednesday that a member of the military stationed in South Korea had contracted the coronavirus, the first U.S. service member to be infected in the outbreak.

Grounded: No bowling, dining out, or handshakes for US troops in South Korea after first soldier infected with coronavirus

American commanders in South Korea have imposed health protection condition Charlie for 28,500 U.S. troops and their families, which places restrictions on activities and interpersonal contact, after an American soldier stationed was found to have been infected by the COVID-19 virus.

Business

Salesforce Co-CEO Keith Block steps down; Marc Benioff will be sole CEO

Salesforce stock initially sank 3% in extended trading on Tuesday after the company said co-CEO Keith Block is stepping down. Marc Benioff, the other co-CEO, becomes sole CEO. The company also announced fiscal fourth-quarter results that beat expectations, along with an acquisition.

Disney names Bob Chapek as new CEO, to replace Bob Iger immediately

The Walt Disney Co. announced that it’s replacing CEO Bob Iger with Bob Chapek.

Lowe’s fourth-quarter sales, outlook for fiscal 2020 fall short of estimates

Lowe’s on Wednesday reported mixed fourth-quarter results, with sales weaker than expected, and provided a disappointing forecast.

Science

Venus and the moon will do a celestial tango this week

They’re the brightest bodies in the night sky and they’re getting very close, but only for voyeuristic earthlings.

Two cheetah cubs born by surrogate mother for the first time in history

Two cheetah cubs have been born through in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer into a surrogate mother for the first time. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium announced the “groundbreaking scientific breakthrough” on Monday.

Tel Aviv University researchers discover a non-breathing living animal

“Living in an oxygen-free environment, it has shed unnecessary genes responsible for aerobic respiration and become an even simpler organism” – lead researcher Prof. Dorothee Huchon of TAU.

Economy

US new home sales surge to 12.5-year high in January

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes raced to a 12.5-year high in January, pointing to housing market strength that could help to blunt any hit on the economy from the coronavirus and keep the longest economic expansion in history on track.

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