Thursday, March 26, 2020

Man Dies, Woman Hospitalized After Taking Form Of Chloroquine To Prevent COVID-19

An Arizona man is dead and his wife was hospitalized after the couple ingested a form of chloroquine, a chemical that has been hailed recently by President Trump as a possible “game changer” in the fight against the novel coronavirus, according to the Phoenix hospital that treated the couple. Banner Health hospital said in a statement that “the couple, both in their 60s, ingested chloroquine phosphate, an additive commonly used at aquariums to clean fish tanks.” The aquarium additive the couple ingested is not the same as the medication that has been used to treat malaria. “Within thirty minutes of ingestion, the couple experienced immediate effects requiring admittance,” the statement continued. The hospital said that the man died of cardiac arrest and the woman was admitted in critical condition. (People)


Colorado Governor signed a bill abolishing the death penalty and commuted the death sentence of three inmates

Colorado Governor Jared Polis said that the inmates would spend the rest of their lives behind bars without the possibility of parole because they had committed “despicable” crimes. However, he said that they should not face capital punishment because “the death penalty cannot be, and never has been, administered equitably in the State of Colorado.” The last time a prisoner was executed in Colorado was 1997. Colorado is the 22nd to abolish the death penalty since it was reinstated in 1976. (Colorado Sun)


Scientists have uncovered fossilized evidence of a worm-like creature that they say is a common ancestor of most animals on Earth, including humans

The organism lived 555 million years ago and had some very basic features, including two openings on either end and a gut. Scientists have long speculated that these organisms existed at some point, but they thought it would be impossible to find their fossilized remains because these creatures were expected to be very small and feature soft bodies, but using a 3-D laser scan, they have now found their fossils (the size of a grain of rice) inside burrows in South Australia. “This is what evolutionary biologists predicted,” said a geology professor at the University of California, Riverside. “It’s really exciting that what we have found lines up so neatly with their prediction.” (PNAS)


The residents of a Mexican town voted against plans by a U.S. company to build a brewery there

Opponents said that the $1.4 billion brewery in which Constellation Brands wanted to produce beer for export – including Corona, Modelo and Pacifico – would have depleted the region’s already scarce water resources. Constellation argued that that the brewery would affect less than 1 percent of the region’s water supplies. More than three-quarters of voters in Mexicali, near the U.S. border, cast ballots rejecting the brewery. However, turnout was very low, with only 4.6 percent of the city’s electorate taking part in the vote. Mexican president Manuel Lopez Obrador said that his government will talk with Constellation to see if the company wants to build the brewery elsewhere in Mexico. (Reuters)


Microsoft said that hackers are actively exploiting a security flaw to attack Windows devices

Without giving further details, the company said that it was aware of “limited target attacks,” adding that hackers may be able to take advantage of this flaw by tricking Windows users into opening a document infected with malware. Microsoft said that it is working on an update to patch up the vulnerability, which affects all versions of Windows, but, in the meantime, it has issued advice to help users reduce the risk of being hacked. (Tech Crunch)


Most flights could be grounded

Airlines are putting into place plans for a potential “voluntary” shutdown of nearly all of their domestic passenger flights. Most national airlines have already cut the majority of their international flights and a heavy chunk from their domestic schedules.The U.S. is projected to lose 4.6 million travel-related jobs this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, per the U.S. Travel Association. (The Wall Street Journal)


PG&E to plead guilty to manslaughter

PG&E has agreed to plead guilty to felony involuntary manslaughter and unlawfully causing a fire in California deadliest ever blaze. The utility also will pay the statutory maximum penalty of $3.48 million after a grand jury indictment in Butte County, where 85 died as a result of the 2018 Camp Fire. State investigators found that the wildfire started because of worn equipment. PG&E, facing potentially billions in damages, filed for bankruptcy protection last year. (Mercury News)


Ford partners with 3M, GE Healthcare to make respirators, ventilators to fight coronavirus

Ford Motor Company has announced that it would be joining other major U.S. manufacturers to produce thousands of ventilators and other equipment needed for critically ill patients, in response to President Donald Trump’s call for companies to repurpose some of their production capacity to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Ford Motor Company said it is possible to produce the new respirator in a Ford facility in Michigan. Ford engineers are playing a key role in the effort and using parts that are currently used in the bestselling F-150 pickup, the company said. Additionally, Ford said in the release it is trying to expand GE Healthcare’s production of their current ventilator, which is used to help patients who have difficulty breathing. No timelines are confirmed, though the companies are working as quickly as possible. (USA Today)


President Trump Wants U.S. ‘Opened Up’ by Easter

President Trump said on Tuesday that he wanted to reopen the U.S. for business by Easter, on April 12, saying he believed that a crippled economy and forced social isolation would do more harm than the spread of the virus. But experts have warned that spread could be slowed if businesses remain shuttered and people remain in their homes as much as possible. (The New York Times)


1.3 billion people in India, or about one-fifth of the world’s population, is now on lockdown

“To save India and every Indian, there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes,” Prime Minister said in a televised speech. Although authorities have only reported 500 cases of COVID-19 in India, there are fears that the pandemic could have devastating effects in a country where many people are destitute and live in densely populated urban areas. (Vox)


Other International Coronavirus Updates:

  • Britain’s Prince Charles has tested positive for coronavirus. The 71-year-old has displayed mild symptoms and is in isolation. (BBC)
  • The coronavirus death toll in the Italian region of Normandy increased by 296 on Tuesday, a figure that, if confirmed, would be the lowest daily death toll in Normandy (the epicenter of the outbreak in Italy) since March 19. (MSN)
  • Spanish soldiers who were disinfecting nursing homes found senior citizens who had been abandoned by their carers. Defense Minister Margarita Robles said that the soldiers also found some bodies, but did not give an exact figure. (EFree News)
  • China is lifting a rule barring people from leaving Hubei province, where the coronavirus pandemic began. While the number of confirmed COVID-19 continues rising across the world, China’s handling of the crisis seems to have succeeded for now, even though some critics have described the country’s stringent lockdown as “draconian.” (The New York Times)


Two women in Massachusetts created a Facebook fundraiser page to buy iPads so that people in nursing homes can communicate with their love ones

They came up with the idea after seeing a photo of a woman using a whiteboard to communicate through the window of a nursing home with her mother. “FaceTime for Nana” launched on March 17 with the goal of raising $300 – enough to purchase one iPad. By the time the campaign closed last weekend, they had raised $6,000. (South Coast Today)


Thursday Stays Thirsty With These:

  • Legal Assistants Day
  • Live Long And Prosper Day
  • Make Up Your Own Holiday Day
  • Purple Day
  • Spinach Day

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