Archive for May 3rd, 2020

‘Tiger King’s’ Carole Baskin Tricked Into Interview By Fake Jimmy Fallon Producers – HuffPost

May 3rd, 2020

Infamous “Tiger King” sanctuary owner Carole Baskin was lured into an intriguing Zoom interview posted Sunday by a pair of pranksters who led her to believe she was a remote guest on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

The interview video by Brits Josh Pieters and Archie Manners, who claimed to be producers for Fallon, is both intriguing — and hilarious, with a breathless, over-the-top tabloid-esque narration.

“Like ‘Tiger King,’ this is a story of loopholes, lawyers and lies,” Pieters gushes in the video recorded in his London home. The pair had Baskin answering questions they recorded of Fallon asking other celebrity guests in the past.

The duo has successfully pranked other high-profile characters. Earlier this year, they tricked right-wing British media personality Katie Hopkins into flying to Prague to collect a fake C**t award.

This time, they repeatedly reached out to Baskin via emails (which they revealed in the video) from their production company Invisible Objects. But she and her current husband, attorney Howard Baskin, initially turned down the requests. They complained that Netflix’s hit show “Tiger King” had indicated that Baskin was linked to the 1997 disappearance and presumed death (possibly murder) of her first husband, Don Lewis.

Baskin finally agreed to the interview after Pieters and Manners promised that questions would only focus on her work with animals and the sanctuary she runs.

Baskin, wearing a flower crown in the “show,” talked about the struggle caring for her sanctuary’s big cats during lockdown, and pitched a campaign for the bill the Big Cat Public Safety Act. She also shared videos and photographs. Check out the entire video up top.

Baskin couldn’t immediately be reached by HuffPost for comment about the video. But a posted response to the video from Baskin’s YouTube account included a copy of what she said was an email she sent to her daughter and husband after the interview about how suspiciously “weird” it was.

“I couldn’t see Fallon during the interview, and when they had his voice on the questions, they didn’t sound like they were specific to the topic,” the comment noted. “He’d just say things they could have recorded from any other interview. They “didn’t really sound like it was live from him to me,” Baskin wrote.

The “whole thing may have been a spoof,” she added.


‘Half-Life: Alyx’ added nearly 1 million VR users to Steam – Engadget

May 3rd, 2020

Social distancing got you down? These experts on isolation have advice that may help – CBS News

May 3rd, 2020

While some countries are easing their lockdowns, many people around the world are still staying at home and social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19. This can be a struggle, with confinement and uncertainty fueling anxiety, stress and loneliness. But some people have spent long periods of time living — and thriving — in isolation, and they have tips that could help even after lockdowns are lifted.

Amir Hekmati spent five years in prison in Iran, 18 months of which were in solitary confinement. At one point, he was sentenced to death for being “at war with God” for having served in Iraq as a U.S. Marine.

“The most difficult challenges were the never-ending torment of the unknown,” he said. “The ‘When will this be over?’ and having to sit helplessly while your life, freedoms and aspirations pass you by.”

Former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, recently released from an Iranian prison, arrives at an airport in Flint, Michigan, January 21, 2016. Reuters

But after an initial period of shock, Hekmati said he learned he had to accept what he could not change about his situation.

“Acceptance is the first step,” he explained.

He also tried to accept his worst-case scenario: His execution. “Once we can accept that worst outcome, our mind then shifts to making the best out of it,” Hekmati said. “I started to oddly find good in my situation. I was reading more than ever before and felt much more closer to God spiritually.”

He said we can all find things to be grateful for, even during this difficult time. And he suggested writing out a daily routine, including reading, exercising and getting enough sleep.

“You need a game plan and structure,” he advised. “Once you start to feel anxiety, you try to meet the next milestone of your day.”  

Astronaut Jay Buckley. Courtesy of Jay Buckley

Jay Buckey, a former NASA astronaut who orbited Earth on the space shuttle Columbia with six crewmates in 1998, also said that maintaining a schedule is important when we experience confinement.

“If you’re anxious, you can step back and think, ‘What’s the trigger that’s making you anxious and is it as bad as you think?'” he explained. “It helps you put together action plans.”

If you get into an argument with your family members, partner or roommate, he recommended keeping communication focused on the issue at hand and “not saying things that you know are going to aggravate the other person just because you want to get back at them.”

Turning down tension is just one tip in an online toolkit, funded by NASA and launched by Buckey and his team at New Hampshire’s Dartmouth College. The program has trained astronauts and Antarctic explorers to deal with stress management, depression and conflicts. Buckey said it can also help the rest of us deal with isolation and confinement.

“The program is designed to help you identify what issues you’re facing, brainstorm some creative solutions and put together a plan on what you’re going to do,” he said.

Karin Jansdotter, who leads a team of six at Norway’s Troll Station in Antarctica, so remote that the closest sign of civilization is a Russian research station about 240 miles away. Courtesy of Karin Jansdotter

Karin Jansdotter knows a lot about the challenges of confinement. She leads a team of six at Norway’s Troll Station in Antarctica, so remote that the closest sign of civilization is a Russian research station about 240 miles away.

“Being active is the first top tip that I would give,” she said. “The other one is to give everyone space to be on their own. … Have a tidy house, less clutter, less stress.”

Jansdotter, the chef at her station, also suggested eating healthy food, including vegetables and fruit, to strengthen the immune system.

If you’re lonely, reach out to family and friends, she recommended, adding that this can also be a good time to look within.

Summit Station, an Arctic research station funded by the National Science Foundation. Courtesy of Rachel Murray

“Take this time now to reflect and slow down and sort of appreciate maybe the people that you have around you,” Jansdotter said. “I think that’s the best advice that I can give from where we live here.”

Buckey, the former astronaut, agreed.

“Sometimes we don’t really appreciate the homes we have, the people we care for and who care for us,” he said. “These kinds of events highlight the importance of that.”

Rachel Murray said her experiences in isolation also gave her a new sense of appreciation. For several years, she was stationed in Antarctica at the US research base McMurdo Station. More recently, she has been working as a science technician at Summit Station, an Arctic research station funded by the National Science Foundation.

Rachel Murray Courtesy of Rachel Murray

“Whenever you leave, you have an appreciation for something you didn’t realize you had before,” she explained. She enjoyed smelling flowers again and eating whatever she wanted.

We can all use the lessons we’re learning now to help us as lockdowns are lifted, she said.

“When we do come out [of this isolation],” she said, “we’ll appreciate being able to hug someone and do things we haven’t gotten to do.”


‘The virus has not left our city’ | Houston mayor, experts urge caution as businesses reopen this weekend –

May 3rd, 2020

Infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Hotez says people are “relaxing social distancing to a much greater extent than we thought” and warns of a second COVID-19 wave.

HOUSTON — As Texas wraps up its first full weekend of partial reopening, Houston mayor Sylvester Turner is urging caution.

“Don’t act as if this virus is gone,” Turner said. “The virus hasn’t left our city.”

This weekend, large crowds flocked to Galveston’s beaches. Folks were anxious to get out.

“I’m concerned about Houston, Harris County and the state of Texas,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Hotez.

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Hotez said this is exactly what experts did not want to see.

“My concern is what’s happening in Galveston is happening all across southeast Texas,” Hotez said. “People are relaxing social distancing to a much greater extent than we thought considering the limited opening of the economy.”

The models suggest social distancing should have remained in place until June in Texas. But as the state reopened this weekend, cities like Houston and Dallas continued to see cases and deaths rise.

“It’s too late,” Hotez said. “We’re already opening up the economy. The question now is how do we fix things?”

Locally, Harris County is taking steps to protect the public through its 3-prong “Test, Trace and Treat” plan. Testing capability continues to go up, and the county will recruit 300 contact tracers.

“I’m a little concerned that the magnitude of it is not sufficient,” Hotez said. “For the size of Houston, you’re probably looking at a need for several thousand, not several hundred.”

A spokesman for County Judge Lina Hidalgo told KHOU 11 300 tracers is a “floor not a ceiling” and the 300 augment a “robust team of epidemiologists” already working for the county.

The county will also be counting on some of the 4,000 contact tracers part of Governor Greg Abbott’s plan. Whether that will be be enough is still an unknown, especially as Texans begin to head out even more. And if this weekend was any indication of what’s to come, Hotez said that second COVID-19 wave could only be a matter of time.

“The risk is of course that we could see a resurgence of COVID-19 in a big way,” Hotez said. “It won’t happen right away but could happen alter this summer or fall.”

Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Some patients also have nausea, body aches, headaches and stomach issues. Losing your sense of taste and/or smell can also be an early warning sign.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk for becoming seriously ill. However, U.S. experts are seeing a significant number of younger people being hospitalized, including some in ICU.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through…

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Follow social distancing

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

Get complete coverage of the coronavirus by texting ‘FACTS’ to 713-526-1111.


L.A. County coronavirus cases top 25,000, with 1,200 deaths – Los Angeles Times

May 3rd, 2020

Los Angeles County public health officials on Sunday reported 21 additional coronavirus-related deaths and 781 new cases overall, pushing the county’s total number to more than 25,000.

“The people lost to COVID-19 are mourned by all of us in L.A. County, and to their loved ones, we wish you peace and healing,” Barbara Ferrer, the county health director, said in a statement.

Long Beach, which has its own health department, reported 15 additional cases, bringing the county’s total to 25,677 cases and 1,229 related deaths.

The highest death rates per 100,000 people continue to be seen among black people, those who identify as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and people who live in communities with high levels of poverty, the county Department of Public Health said in a news release.


Nearly 159,000 people in L.A. County have now been tested and have received their results, with about 14% testing positive.

Statewide, more than 54,000 cases of coronavirus infection have been reported in California, and more than 2,200 people have died.

Ferrer urged L.A. County residents to continue to be vigilant against the spread of the virus.


“We have all worked together in ways that have saved lives and slowed the spread of COVID-19,” she said. “As we continue to plan for and move into recovery, we will need to continue using the best tools at our disposal, which includes isolating at home if sick, quarantining for 14 days if you’re a close contact to a person positive for COVID-19, always physical distancing, wearing cloth face coverings when in contact with others, and washing hands frequently.”

Meanwhile, in neighboring Orange County, coronavirus-related deaths topped 50 as of Saturday, officials announced, along with two new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 52.

The county also reported 99 new cases, bringing the total to 2,636. The total number of people hospitalized stood at 202.

Gov. Gavin Newsom closed local beaches over the objections of Orange County officials after crowds turned out the previous weekend.


Many local officials have pushed back, saying there has been enough progress in the fight against the coronavirus to allow people at the beach.

Newport Beach, Dana Point and Huntington Beach filed for an injunction to block Newsom’s directive to close their beaches.

On Friday afternoon, Orange County Superior Court Judge Nathan Scott rejected the request seeking a temporary restraining order to keep beaches open. He set a hearing for May 11 to consider the cities’ request.



COVID-19: 97 new cases, one death in Calgary zone – Edmonton Journal

May 3rd, 2020

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Alberta confirmed 97 new cases of COVID-19 in the province on Sunday, and one death.

The single fatality was in the Calgary Zone, along with 67 of the new cases. There are three new confirmed cases in the Edmonton Zone. Of the province’s 5,766 total cases, 2,713 have recovered and 161,245 tests have been completed. Ninety-five people have died from the disease in Alberta.

As of Sunday, there have been 743 cases suspected to be community-acquired. Ninety people are in hospital and 19 are in intensive care.

There have been 615 cases at Alberta’s continuing care facilities and 67 of their residents have died.

Nationally, 57,148 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed and 3,606 people have died across Canada. Globally, 3,356,205 cases have been confirmed and 238,730 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Some registry services now available through email, fax, phone or mail

Over the last week, the province brought in a series of new measures related to controlling the virus’ spread while making some services available.

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Call Of Duty: Warzone Will Be Supported On PS5 And Xbox Series X – GameSpot

May 3rd, 2020

Métis Nation Saskatchewan considers help from Red Cross as COVID-19 outbreak worsens in north – Global News

May 3rd, 2020

The Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN-S) says it is “gravely concerned” about the spread of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan’s north, and is calling on all levels of government to help its people.

“We need to work together to get out in front of the crisis and provide additional capacity not only for those affected by the crisis today but for the anticipated surge in the outbreak in the north in the coming weeks,” said MN-S Health Minister Marg Frisen in a statement.

“This is becoming a humanitarian issue.”

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READ MORE: Northern Saskatchewan ‘scrambling’ to control outbreaks as province moves to reopen

MN-S President Glen McCallum said he has not ruled out calling on the Red Cross and other emergency response units for field operations.

“This is a concerning situation that affects the welfare and well-being of people and communities. People are ill. Elders are being lost. This is an emergency. The operations to respond need to be in place,” McCallum said in a statement.

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The MN-S has taken steps to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, including declaring a state of emergency, allocating $20 million towards relief efforts and restricting access to the north. However, McCallum says it’s still not enough as people need PPE, food security, mobile isolation units and people to manage check stops in the north.

There are four novel coronavirus outbreaks in Saskatchewan’s north.

La Loche was the first to have an outbreak of COVID-19, which was declared on April 17. According to the Northern Village of La Loche, there have been 80 cases in their area, which include the Clearwater River Dene Nation.

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The outbreak is mainly from employees returning home from work camps in the oil and gas industry in Alberta, just north of Fort McMurray. Other cases have been linked to a health-care worker who travelled from Saskatoon.

There are also outbreaks in Lloydminster and Prince Albert which stemmed from the virus being spread from its hospitals.

READ MORE: Nurse brought COVID-19 to facility in Saskatchewan’s far north, says FSIN

The fourth outbreak was declared in Beauval on May 1. This outbreak is linked to the Beauval General Store after an employee tested positive for coronavirus on April 28. The MN-S has been part of the incident command centre established in Beauval to coordinate help.

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More than half of the province’s active cases are in the northern region. Of the 122 active cases in the province, 68 are in the far north and 31 are in the north.

The MN-S has been working with provincial ministers and the premier but said there’s still potential for disaster in the north.

“The challenges in the north call for the immediate response of all levels of government to respond proactively to minimize the spread of the virus before it reaches unmanageable proportions,” McCallum said.

Checkpoints have been established in northern Saskatchewan and a travel ban is in effect. Social housing units have been set up for those who need to self-isolate. Additionally, a GeneXpert testing unit has been provided to La Loche, as has additional PPE.

Regular COVID-19 updates are being provided on radios across the north in four languages: English, Cree, Dene and Michif.

“Even though Saskatchewan has successfully reduced the spread of COVID-19, unfortunately, we can expect to experience isolated outbreaks,” Premier Scott Moe said earlier this week at a press conference.

“Our health system and our government is prepared to take immediate action to respond to these outbreaks and that’s what we are doing today in the north.”

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READ MORE: Île-à-la-Crosse imposing 24-hour lockdown as coronavirus spreads in northern Saskatchewan

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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1 new COVID-19 death in Calgary zone; 96 new Alberta cases Sunday – Global News

May 3rd, 2020

Another Albertan has died of COVID-19 as the cases in the province rose by 96 on Sunday, according to Alberta Health.

The total number of those who have been confirmed to have caught the virus in the province is now at 5,766.

The person who died was a man in his 80s at Intercare Brentwood Care Centre in Calgary.

So far, there have been 615 total cases confirmed at continuing care facilities across the province, with 67 deaths, Alberta Health said.

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All 96 new cases Sunday were lab-confirmed by the province.

Of the total cases, there are 2,713 recoveries and a total of 95 deaths, which means the current active case level across the province sits at 2,958.

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READ MORE: Alberta meat plant should slow production to avoid more COVID-19 outbreaks: union head

Death breakdown:

  • 62 in Calgary zone
  • 15 in North zone
  • 12 in Edmonton zone
  • five in South zone
  • one in Central zone

There are currently 90 people in hospital, 19 of whom have been admitted to intensive care units.

Of the total cases, Alberta Health said that 743 are suspected of being community-acquired.

Case breakdown:

  • 3,842 cases in Calgary zone
  • 1,075 cases in South zone
  • 504 cases in Edmonton zone
  • 221 cases in North zone
  • 88 cases in Central zone
  • 36 cases in yet-to-be-confirmed zones

READ MORE: Recall issued for rapid coronavirus test with $9.5M Alberta Health Services contract

The province said it has now tested 152,123 people for COVID-19, with a total of 161,245 tests performed by the lab.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Los Angeles County Coronavirus Deaths, Cases Continue To Climb, Representing Half Of California’s Total – Deadline

May 3rd, 2020

The Los Angeles County Department of Health has confirmed 21 new deaths related to COVID-19 and 781 new cases of the disease in the county.

Overall, there are now 25,662 total cases across all areas of LA County and a total of 1,229 deaths. For this weekend alone, that means 59 more people died, adding Saturday’s total. 691 new cases were announced yesterday as well. 

 Los Angeles County continues to represent about half of the cases and deaths across the state. Officials in Sacramento reported Saturday that the state had 52,197 cases and 2,171 deaths.