Tribune News Service

International Budget for Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Updated at 0100 UTC (8 p.m. U.S. EST Tuesday).

Additional news stories, including full U.S. coverage, appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT and MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.


^Coronavirus deaths in US increase as officials send alarms about spread<

CORONAVIRUS-1ST-LEDE:LA. — As three more deaths in the United States were linked to the coronavirus Tuesday, World Health Organization officials warned the virus could be far more dangerous than the flu, with a mortality rate of 3.4%.

Public health officials confirmed a nursing home patient in Washington state was admitted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Feb. 24 and died two days later. The patient, a 54-year-old man who had underlying medical conditions, was transported from Life Care Center of Kirkland and died days before several other patients at the nursing home were linked to the coronavirus, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.

1850 (with trims) by Richard Read in Kirkland, Wash., Soumya Karlamangla and Colleen Shalby in Los Angeles. MOVED



^Israel's Netanyahu leads with vote count nearly over but appears short of majority<

ISRAEL:LA — A near-complete ballot count on Tuesday cemented Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party as the top vote-getter in the election a day earlier but left him seemingly short of the parliamentary majority he needs to govern.

Netanyahu, who at 70 is Israel's longest-serving leader, swiftly turned his attention to building a working coalition and preparing to fight criminal corruption charges he faces in a trial due to begin in two weeks.

750 by Noga Tarnopolsky and Laura King in Jerusalem. MOVED



Also moving as:

ISRAEL:BLO — 1000 by Amy Teibel in Jerusalem. MOVED


^Iran denies nuclear inspectors access to possible sites, boosts uranium enrichment<

IRAN-NUCLEAR:DPA — Iran has been blocking international nuclear inspectors from investigating possible secret nuclear activities at two sites, the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Tuesday.

The IAEA report, which was seen by dpa, added to the list of unresolved questions about the Islamic Republic's nuclear past.

A separate report by the Vienna-based agency said Iran boosted its enriched uranium stock far above the limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.

550 by Albert Otti in Vienna. MOVED



^Coronavirus stalks the aged and infirmed, who face the most serious, lethal risk<

CORONAVIRUS-RISKS:LA — After the novel coronavirus broke out not far from her Northern California home, Christina Arnold began to worry about herself and her two teenage sons.

All three are asthmatic, putting them at a higher risk of death if they were to contract the virus.

"I try to keep my paranoia inside, under control," she said Monday, as the U.S. death toll from the disease rose to six, all in Washington state. "I don't want to show my kids I'm scared because there is not much we can do about it."

As the virus continues its spread and many Americans become more anxious, health officials agree on one point: COVID-19 is not indiscriminate. Senior public health officials continue to stress that coronavirus does not represent a serious threat to most people.

1250 (with trims) by Anita Chabria, Richard Read and Noam N. Levey in Sacramento, Calif. MOVED


^It's too late for US to fight virus with domestic travel curbs<

CORONAVIRUS-SPREAD-TRAVEL:BLO — Chinese authorities banned flights and cut off rail and highway travel to quarantine the city of Wuhan, a city of 11 million people who are mostly confined to their neighborhoods by the coronavirus outbreak.

In the U.S., the virus has already spread so far that experts say such draconian limits on domestic travel probably wouldn't be effective. But the outbreak could still have widespread effects on transportation as people opt to stay home and transit workers call in sick.

800 by Ryan Beene in Washington. MOVED


^Virus tests and transparency are main concerns in Congress<

CORONAVIRUS-CONGRESS:BLO — Senators questioned Trump administration scientists Tuesday about the availability of coronavirus tests, treatment for those infected and a vaccine, as the number of infections and deaths in the U.S. continues to grow.

Government experts sought to reassure the Health and Education Committee that their agencies are working with the private sector to identify Americans infected and treat the roughly 20% of cases that display severe symptoms. Sen. Patty Murray, the panel's top Democrat, said the administration's response so far has been "unacceptable," with her state of Washington reporting nine deaths this week.

450 by Daniel Flatley and Jeannie Baumann in Washington. MOVED


^Army will now screen recruits for coronavirus, before basic training can begin<

CORONAVIRUS-ARMY-RECRUITS:WA — New Army recruits arriving at basic training sites will now be screened for potential coronavirus exposure starting on Tuesday, the top general in charge of Army training said.

Gen. Paul Funk II, commanding general of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command, said the Army ran rehearsals to screen for the virus on Monday at its four basic training bases — Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga., Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C., Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, and Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla.

During the rehearsals they simulated the arrival of buses of new recruits, some with symptoms, some not, to train screeners on what to look for. The four training bases began the actual new screening procedure on Tuesday.

400 by Tara Copp in Washington. MOVED

^Analysis: One sure thing about COVID-19 — there's no telling how many people have it<

CORONAVIRUS-ANALYSIS:KHN — It has been nearly three months since the first cases of a new coronavirus pneumonia appeared in Wuhan, China, and it is now a global outbreak. And yet, despite nearly 90,000 infections worldwide (most of them in China), the world still doesn't have a clear picture of some basic information about this outbreak.

Much more could be known and, in all likelihood, some scientists out there have good, if not definitive, answers. And yet, the lack of consistent, reliable and regularly updated information on the key measures of this outbreak is startling.

1200 by Elisabeth Rosenthal. MOVED


^How bad could this coronavirus outbreak get?<

CORONAVIRUS-HOWBAD-QA:LA — There's no question the coronavirus outbreak is bad, with nearly 90,000 people infected and 3,000 dead in less than three months. What everyone wants to know is how much worse the outbreak will get.

No one can predict the future. But experts who have tangled with infectious diseases for years look to pandemics of the past for hints about what's to come. Based on what we know now, here's a sense of what we may face:

950 by Rong-Gong Lin II in San Francisco. MOVED


^Pence visited school where student is in coronavirus quarantine<

CORONAVIRUS-PENCE-SCHOOL:BLO — A Florida student whose classmates shook hands last Friday with Vice President Mike Pence has been quarantined after his mother came into contact with a coronavirus patient.

Some White House aides were aware of the case in Sarasota, Fla., but there was no blanket notification about it in the executive mansion, according to people familiar with the matter. Some advisers to the vice president were unaware of the quarantine as of Tuesday morning.

350 by Jennifer Jacobs and Jordan Fabian in Washington. MOVED


^FDA says coronavirus is causing a drug shortage but won't name the drug or maker<

CORONAVIRUS-FDA-DRUGSUPPLY:PH — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is being criticized for announcing the first drug shortage caused by China's coronavirus epidemic — without disclosing the name or maker of the drug.

The Feb. 27 press release by FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, the former head of radiation oncology at the University of Pennsylvania, stressed that there are alternatives to the scarce drug, and that the agency "will do everything possible to mitigate the shortage."

550 by Marie McCullough in Philadelphia. MOVED


^Coronavirus isn't affecting military readiness, top officers say at conference<

CORONAVIRUS-MILITARY:SD — The spreading coronavirus outbreak so far has not affected military readiness, according to top-ranking officers in the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps who spoke at the WEST 2020 conference in San Diego on Monday.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz each downplayed the effect of the virus on their services after an Army soldier in Korea became the first U.S. service member to test positive for the virus.

350 by Andrew Dyer in San Diego. MOVED


^Q&A: With coronavirus, what's the difference between quarantine and isolation?<

^CORONAVIRUS-QUARANTINE-QA:AU—<The new coronavirus, the infectious disease out of China that has resulted in 3,000-plus deaths, has threatened to cancel major events including the 2020 Summer Olympics.

And if someone in the United States had been exposed to the illness, they'd be ordered into quarantine to avoid exposing others. What does that look like? We explain:

250 by Ryan Autullo. MOVED


^First days at the heart of an outbreak: Life Care nursing home becomes national epicenter of coronavirus<

CORONAVIRUS-WASHSTATE-NURSINGHOME:SE — The four ambulances arrived in quick succession Monday morning, filing into the parking lot of the long-term care facility in Kirkland that has become a focal point in the United States' response to the novel coronavirus illness.

For Life Care Center, COVID-19 has brought four resident deaths out of six total in the state and nation since Saturday. It has also brought a cluster of illnesses, a wave of questions from family members with relatives inside Life Care and scrutiny over how prepared the care facility and others are for an outbreak.

1550 (with trims) by Mary Hudetz in Seattle. MOVED


^'An abundance of caution': As more coronavirus cases emerge, schools in Washington state are closing, cleaning and waiting<

CORONAVIRUS-WASHSTATE-SCHOOLS:SE — More than a dozen schools across Washington state shut their doors or canceled plans Monday as they received intelligence or suspicions that students might be at risk for novel coronavirus.

800 by Dahlia Bazzaz in Seattle. MOVED


^Officials and shelters prepare for coronavirus in Seattle-area homeless population as illness brings more deaths<

CORONAVIRUS-WASHSTATE-HOMELESS:SE — Joe Brown, who lives in a thicket of trees sandwiched between Interstate 5 and Harborview Medical Center, said Monday afternoon that he had not heard much about the novel coronavirus that has killed six people in Washington state and is expected to spread.

Brown, 36, who's been sleeping on a platform built from pallets and cardboard boxes, said outreach workers have come to distribute hand sanitizer on the weekends. But regular access to hot water and soap for hand-washing, one of the main actions health officials say a person can take in order to prevent contracting the illness, is another story.

1050 (with trims) by Sydney Brownstone in Seattle. MOVED


^How a jail inmate ended up under coronavirus watch at Dallas hospital<

DALLAS-INMATE-CORONAVIRUS:DA — When a 24-year-old Dallas County man who had been jailed Sunday claimed he became sick after traveling abroad, he was taken to Parkland Hospital to see if he developed symptoms of the new coronavirus, a county official said Tuesday.

But it also set off a chain reaction that resulted in five police officers temporarily being sent home Sunday as a precaution after they came in contact with the man.

750 by David Tarrant in Dallas. MOVED


^Officials decry anti-Asian bigotry, misinformation amid coronavirus outbreak<

^CORONAVIRUS-SANFRANCISCO:LA—<As the coronavirus has spread across the United States, officials are trying to push back against Asian American bias and misinformation surrounding the outbreak.

There are already signs that some are staying away from Chinatowns and other Asian communities in the U.S., sparking concern about bias.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., issued a statement this week urging residents not to spread false information or give in to fears.

500 by Andrew J. Campa, Anh Do and Colleen Shalby. MOVED



^Biden wins Virginia, Sanders takes Vermont in first Super Tuesday returns<

SUPERTUESDAY:LA — Joe Biden won Virginia and Bernie Sanders captured his home state of Vermont as the first returns trickled in from Super Tuesday's coast-to-coast blitz of presidential balloting.

Sanders' victory in the state he has represented for nearly 30 years in Congress, as a congressman and U.S. senator, was widely expected.

Biden's win in Virginia was powered in good part by his support among black voters, who cast nearly 3 in 10 ballots and backed the former vice president overwhelmingly.

950 by Mark Z. Barabak. MOVED


^Trump says he spoke with Taliban official on Afghan peace deal<

USTALIBAN:BLO — President Donald Trump spoke by phone with a top leader of the Taliban about the recent peace agreement reached in Qatar.

Trump, speaking Tuesday as he left the White House, called the conversation a "very good talk" and said they agreed to fulfilling the agreement to reduce violence in Afghanistan.

350 by Eltaf Najafizada in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Moved as a Washington story.) MOVED


^Bloomberg banking on a contested convention<

BLOOMBERG-CONVENTION:MI — Mike Bloomberg is admitting that his path to winning the Democratic presidential nomination will require something that hasn't happened since 1968: a contested convention.

During a campaign stop in Miami's Little Havana on Tuesday, the former New York mayor said the only way he can secure the nomination is if Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders comes up short of securing a majority of delegates.

600 by Bianca Padr Ocasio and Alex Daugherty in Miami. MOVED


^A deputy allegedly showed off gruesome Kobe Bryant crash photos at a bar. Next came the cover-up<

CALIF-HELICOPTER-CRASH:LA — The written complaint came in three days after the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others: At the Baja California Bar and Grill in Norwalk, a young Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was showing gruesome photos taken at the scene of the tragedy.

"He was working the day the helicopter went down and took pictures of the crash site and bodies," the author wrote.

The report, filed on a contact form on the Sheriff's Department's website, generated an email to the Sheriff's Information Bureau.

From that point on, for nearly five weeks, the leadership of the Sheriff's Department tried to keep a lid on the episode instead of following the normal investigative protocols.

1050 (with trims) by Alene Tchekmedyian and Paul Pringle in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Tornadoes kill 25 in Tennessee; Super Tuesday voting affected<

^WEA-TENN-TORNADOES:DPA—<At least 25 people were killed and many others injured after tornadoes ripped through Tennessee early Tuesday — the same day the state was voting in the Super Tuesday Democratic primaries.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee confirmed the death toll at a press briefing in Nashville, saying that the deaths were recorded in four counties across the southeastern state. State officials were scrambling to ensure residents could get to the polls after the storm.

350 by Sophie Wingate. MOVED


^Release date for John Bolton's White House memoir pushed back<

BOLTON-BOOK:NY — Simon & Schuster announced Tuesday it was pushing back the release date of former National Security Advisor John Bolton's highly anticipated book about his time in the Trump White House.

The publisher cited an ongoing government security review of the manuscript as a reason for the delay. Simon & Schuster announced a $2 million deal for the book in November.

200 by David Matthews in New York. MOVED


^Cardinal on new task force: Regaining Catholics' trust begins with 'a profound sense of responsibility'<

RELIG-PRIESTABUSE:TB — In their first interview since Pope Francis named them among the leaders of a new worldwide task force on sexual abuse protections, Cardinal Blase Cupich and the Rev. Hans Zollner this week sketched out how they plan to help Catholic leaders across the world comply with new protection guidelines.

The task force was created by Francis to help bishops write new local guidelines to adhere to universal church rules issued last year.

1000 (with trims) by Javonte Anderson in Chicago. MOVED


^Feds deport 119 Cubans back to Havana on Miami flight<

CUBANS-REPATRIATED:MI — Immigration officials deported 119 Cubans back to Havana on Friday, in a flight that departed from Miami International Airport.

The Cuba repatriation flight is at least the third in the past six months. The Trump administration's efforts to detain and send undocumented Cubans back to the island got a boost in September, when the agency announced it successfully completed what it called one of the "largest" Cuba repatriation missions in recent history.

650 by Monique O. Madan in Miami. MOVED



^GE says it's going green. Overseas, it's still pushing coal<

GE-COAL:LA — Since an enormous coal power plant went up five years ago near a once-empty beach, villagers here blame its emissions for the pains in their chests, the foul smell in their groundwater and the fine black dust that smears their rice crop.

Now the Vietnamese government is planning a second coal-fired plant next door, but officials have told residents little about the project, which is financed by investors from China, Japan and Singapore — and due to run on equipment from one of America's most familiar corporate names: General Electric.

1300 by Shashank Bengali in Vung Ang, Vietnam. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED


^The Fed makes emergency rate cut, but 'fiscal firepower' might be needed to offset the coronavirus impact<

FED-CORONAVIRUS:LA — The Federal Reserve, reacting swiftly to the coronavirus' damaging blows to the economy, announced a sizable interest rate cut Tuesday — the first such emergency rate action since the Great Recession more than a decade ago.

The Fed's move gave an initial boost to stocks, but it fell almost as quickly, reflecting the depth of concern about the virus' potential reach and economic impact, as well as whether lower interest rates or other government actions can help in the face of the mysterious and highly infectious disease.

1500 by Don Lee in Washington. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED


^Coronavirus hits the events industry: These conferences are canceled or scaled back<

^CORONAVIRUS-EVENTS:LA—<As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow, the events industry is starting to take a hit.

A number of conferences, conventions and trade shows around the world have been canceled or postponed as attendees and organizers voice concerns about coronavirus.

350 by Samantha Masunaga and Suhauna Hussain. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED


^Coronavirus effect staggers the aviation industry as air travel shrivels<

CORONAVIRUS-AVIATION-INDUSTRY:SE — The suddenly spiking U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 threatens to have swift and dire effects in the aviation industry, affecting both airlines and jetmaker Boeing.

At a large annual conference here for airplane financiers and lessors, speakers outlined the tremendous hit already dealt to airlines in Asia, and attendees expressed growing concern for the likely impact ahead in Europe and the U.S. All agreed that although the air travel business will recover long-term, this year looks set for a significant downturn.

1000 by Dominic Gates in Austin, Texas. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED


^Michael Hiltzik: COVID-19 could kill the for-profit science publishing model. That would be a good thing<

^HILTZIK-COLUMN:LA—<The emergence of the virus causing the condition known as COVID-19, first reported by Chinese authorities in late December, has resulted in an unprecedented level of collaboration among researchers worldwide.

That underscores that this virtually real-time sharing is the exception in scientific research, not the rule.

1350 by Michael Hiltzik. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED



^Commentary: When Roman Polanski wins a directing award, does an entire #MeToo movement lose?<

^MOVIE-POLANSKI-COMMENTARY:TB—<On Friday at the C sar Awards, France's equivalent to the Academy Awards, the 86-year-old Polanski — convicted decades ago on charges of statutory rape of a 13-year-old in the United States and still a fugitive from justice — won the best director prize for his latest film, "An Officer and a Spy."

A beautifully crafted historical drama, it concerns the late 19th-century political scandal involving Alsatian French artillery officer Alfred Dreyfus, a Jew, wrongly accused of selling secrets to the Germans. The charge of treason, fed by the glaring anti-Semitism behind the Dreyfus affair, was taken up by novelist Emile Zola. The famous newspaper editorial of the day — titled "J'Accuse!" — gives Polanski's docudrama its French release title.

Protests raged outside the Paris auditorium on Friday long before the C sars began. An activism group called Osez le Feminisme, or "Dare to Be Feminist," viewed the inclusion of Polanski among the nominees, and his film's 12 nominations in all, as a cold rebuke to France's late-starting #MeToo movement. Polanski has been dogged by several accusations of sexual assault across the decades since his 1977 Los Angeles arrest.

1350 by Michael Phillips. MOVED


^This Penn grad directed Ben Affleck's new 'The Way Back,' but don't expect him to read about it on TMZ<

^MOVIE-WAYBACK-OCONNOR:PH—<Penn grad and movie director Gavin O'Connor ("Miracle") is one of the few people who didn't know about Ben Affleck's fraught personal life when they teamed up for "The Way Back," a movie about (among other things) a man whose alcoholism has wrecked his marriage.

"I have no social media at all. I don't read anything that has to do with celebrities. I honestly was not at all aware of Ben's drinking issues," said O'Connor, even though the two had worked together on "The Accountant."

"When he called me about doing the movie, and we met for dinner and he started to open up about his alcoholism, that's really the first time I started thinking about the implications," he said.

1100 (with trims) by Gary Thompson in Philadelphia. MOVED


^Remembering James Lipton: His best interviews from 'Inside the Actors Studio'<

^TV-LIPTON-INTERVIEWS:LA—<Renaissance man James Lipton wore many hats as an actor, theater, film and television director and producer, choreographer, author, playwright, lyricist, screenwriter, author, academic and even a pimp.

But it was his remarkably in-depth interviews on Bravo's "Inside the Actors Studio" that cemented him as a Hollywood icon before he died Monday at age 93. The talk show, which doubled as part of the master's degree program at the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University, saw several water-cooler moments throughout its 24 years, thanks to the host's signature and oftentimes shocking insight into his guests' craft and lives.

From the question that stumped Steven Spielberg to his tearful reunion with Bradley Cooper, here are some of Lipton's greatest hits.

700 by Christi Carras. MOVED


^12 TV shows you'll need to watch to get ready for this year's Emmys<

^TV-EMMYS:LA—<The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards are a little more than six months away, which means if you start watching now and apply yourself — I mean, really grind it out — then you might see about half the programs and performances that figure to be nominated this year.

That kind of abundance means you need to be disciplined and discerning (or possess a limitless amount of free time). And, these days, who has that? To help, I've put together an early Emmys guide, mixing series that have already aired with promising programs that will premiere in the next several weeks. One way or another, they'll all be in the conversation leading up to July 14.

1300 by Glenn Whipp. MOVED



^Commentary: Hashtags from my Soviet childhood<

^NEWSPEAK-COMMENTARY:LA—<Browsing through a trendy boutique in Culver City recently, I came across a framed sign that said "Equality." It was pink and perched above a shelf with neatly folded jeans on sale for $450 a pair. I took a photo and laughed until it hit me — this was no laughing matter. Not long after, I visited a private school in Santa Monica where posters, done in a child's hand, said "Join the Young Proletariat Club — Support the Revolution!"

We now live in a realm of buzzwords, hashtags, slogans that can seduce us with the neatness of tidily packaged concepts in our desire for change. But "equality," "revolution" and "proletariat" are rendered meaningless in environments where they are overused. We've entered an age of Newspeak — though, unlike in "1984," this is not part of government indoctrination but our own doing.

700 by Inna Faliks. MOVED


^Editorial: Foiling the coronavirus is only one of your public health duties to the rest of us<

^CORONAVIRUS-EDITORIAL:TB—<The coronavirus has arrived in the Chicago area. Nationally, more than 100 cases have been diagnosed across 15 states, and several Americans have died. The numbers are bound to rise in the coming days. It's unlikely that any geographic region on Earth that isn't isolated — Antarctica, we wish you good fortune — will be spared from the scary respiratory illness that is making its way around the globe.

Public health agencies, hospitals and health care workers at all levels will be doing everything they can to curtail the spread of the disease and treat those who become infected. But it's not their job alone, or even chiefly. Public health is not only a governmental task but also the duty of every citizen. What you do can make a difference in whether you get COVID-19, and whether others in your life suffer from it.

1100 by The Editorial Board. MOVED



^Tiger Woods, Tim Finchem head World Golf Hall of Fame nominees<

^GLF-WOODS-HOF:JK—<Tiger Woods and Tim Finchem, whose career paths paralleled in different capacities on the PGA Tour, are among the nominees for the World Golf Hall of Fame class of 2021, announced on Tuesday by the 26-member nominating committee.

Woods, who turned pro in 1996 and went on to win 82 tournaments and 15 major championship to become an international sports superstar, led a nominating list of male competitors.

350 by Garry Smits. MOVED


^Japanese official raises possibility of postponing 2020 Summer Olympics<

^OLY-2020-CORONAVIRUS:LA—<Even as Olympic leaders reiterated their confidence that the coronavirus outbreak will not force cancellation of the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Games, a Japanese official suggested that the host city has a contractual right to postpone the competition until the end of the year.

The dueling pronouncements came Tuesday as the International Olympic Committee's executive board convened for a regularly scheduled meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. Board members devoted much of the day to discussions on the matter.

400 by David Wharton. MOVED




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