Friday morning news, February 28, 2019

Coronavirus case may be first from unknown origin » A new coronavirus case in California baffled health officials on Wednesday. 

California Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell said the patient has “no travel history and no known exposure to somebody with confirmed COVID-19.”

ANGELL: This particular case could be the first possible instance of community transmission of COVID-19 in the United States, and it’s here in California. It’s in an individual in Solano County, who is receiving care in Sacramento County. 

Authorities are trying to track down people the patient has been in contact with, a process known as contact tracing.

The patient was brought to UC Davis Medical Center from another Northern California hospital on February 19th. The CDC reportedly tested the patient for COVID-19 four days later. 

The hospital said the patient arrived on a ventilator and special protection orders were issued “because of an undiagnosed and suspected viral condition.”

Governor Gavin Newsom said Thursday that his state is monitoring more than 8,000 people who recently traveled to California from Asia. 

Stocks plunge again amid global virus fears » AUDIO: [Closing bell] Stocks plunged once again on Thursday amid market worries over the virus. 

U.S. stocks closed lower for the sixth day in a row as the global coronavirus disrupts international trade and travel. The Dow sank 1,200 points and the S&P 500 has now plunged 12 percent from its all-time high just one week ago. 

That comes amid new outbreaks of the virus outside China. And Dr. Anthony Fauci with the National Institutes for Health explained why the virus is spreading. 

FAUCI: This virus has adapted itself extremely well to transmissibility in humans. Some viruses when they jump species can be deadly, but they’re very poorly adapted to humans. This one has the capability of spreading readily from human to human. 

More than 82,000 people have now contracted the virus worldwide. 

U.S., South Korea postpone joint military drills amid virus concerns » The South Korean and U.S. militaries announced Thursday that they would postpone their annual joint drills. The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in South Korea has put many troops in quarantine and closed base facilities.

U.S. Army Colonel Lee Peters said a South Korean general recommended postponing the exercises … while the country remains on high alert over the virus. 

PETERS: The containment efforts of COVID-19 and the safety of ROK and U.S. service members were prioritized in making this decision. 

“ROK” is short for Republic of Korea

Twenty-two South Korean soldiers and one American service member in South Korea have tested positive for the virus. COVID-19 has now infected nearly 1,800 people in South Korea. 

Former Baltimore mayor sentenced to 3 years in prison » Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh was sentenced to three years in federal prison Thursday—over a scandal involving fraudulent sales of a children’s book. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Pugh spoke through tears for about 10 minutes before her sentencing in federal court in Baltimore. The 69-year-old veteran Democratic politician apologized and said that “no one is more disappointed than me.”

She pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy and tax evasion charges. Pugh arranged fraudulent sales of her self-published children’s books to nonprofits and foundations to promote her political career and fund her run for the city’s highest office.

Pugh was elected mayor in 2016 and resigned last May amid the scandal. 

She was also sentenced on Thursday to serve three years of supervised release after getting out of prison. And she was ordered to pay more than $400,000 in restitution while forfeiting nearly $700,000 to the government. 

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Authorities identify gunman, victims in Milwaukee shooting » Police have released more information about the man who gunned down five co-workers at a Milwaukee brewery Wednesday before taking his own life.  

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said the attacker was a 51-year-old electrician. 

MORALES: He was a current employee of Molson Coors at the time of this incident. The reason for this is still under investigation. 

The shooter was a married father of two adult children and one younger daughter. 

The victims range in age from 33 to 57. They are Jesus Valle Jr., Gennady Levshetz, Trevor Wetselaar, Dana Walk, and Dale Hudson.

(AP Photo/Steve Ruark) Former Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh, center, and her attorney Steven Silverman, right, arrive for a sentencing hearing at U.S. District Court in Baltimore on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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