Do NOT download this Android 'coronavirus safety app' – it's a scam that can steal your texts and phonebook

A SCAM encouraging people to download an app if they want a 'coronavirus safety mask' is targeting Android users.

Cyber-security experts found the dangerous website which states "Download App From Below Button And Install. You Will Get A Corona Safety Mask."

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Victims who click download will then see another button stating "GET SAFETY MASK".

You'll then be taken to a fake mask website.

Then a message saying "You infected [the mask site] with High Dose of Traffic." is said to appear.

While you're reading this message the hackers are busy gaining all your contacts from your Android phone.

Once your contacts are taken they will then receive texts trying to lure them to the site.

The scam was spotted by researchers at IT security company Zscaler.

So far the scam just seems to steal contacts but Zscaler's Shivang Desai has warned it could do much more.

He wrote in a company blogpost: "There's the threat that the malware could ask the victim to pay online for the mask and steal the credit card information, but we did not find any such functionality in the app.

"We believe the app is in its early stages and this (and other) functionalities will be added as the app is updated."

How to avoid the scam

If someone does click to install the app they will be given the chance to deny the app privileges to read contacts or send SMS messages prior to installing.

However, to really protect yourself you shouldn't be downloading Android apps from anywhere other than the official Google Play Store.

It's wise not to trust any random websites that are trying to sell you hard-to-find medical supplies.

If you're still concerned you could download a highly rated anti-virus app from the Google Play Store.

What to do if you're worried you've got coronavirus

The coronavirus is continuing to sweep its way across the globe with Britain seeing more cases in people who aren't linked to outbreaks overseas

Symptoms of Covid-19 can include: a cough, a high temperature, difficulty breathing

In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus

But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract, it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease or people with weakened immune systems

It is incredibly contagious and is spread through contact with anything the virus is on as well as infected breath, coughs or sneezes

The best way to prevent catching any form of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene

If you have cold-like symptoms, you should help protect others by staying home and avoiding contact with others

You should also cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze then throw it away and wash your hands

Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces which you may have touched is also important

Meanwhile, leading symptom-checking provider to the NHS Doctorlink has been updated to help identify patients' risk of having coronavirus

Source: NHS

In other news, Microsoft has warned about a new vulnerability in all supported versions of Windows.

YouTube is limiting video quality around the entire world for a month.

And, a set of of 50 dodgy apps used by cyber crooks to hack into people's phones has been uncovered.

Have you spotted any coronavirus-related scams? Let us know in the comments…

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Coronavirus not impacting 737 Max plans: Boeing CEO

Boeing CEO: Coronavirus not impacting 737 Max plans

Boeing CEO David Calhoun says it remains on schedule to certify the 737 Max.

Boeing says the coronavirus outbreak has been a challenge, but it hasn't detracted from the company's focus of getting the 737 Max back in the air.

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Boeing CEO David Calhoun told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo, it remains on schedule.

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“It [coronavirus] has overwhelmed the Max in terms of importance, but has not overwhelmed our effort on the Max…Everything so far looks good for the certification of the Max at the mid-point of the year”

BOEING CEO: NO GOVERNMENT EQUITY STAKE IN CORONAVIRUS AID

The company already faced problems stemming from two fatal crashes involving its 737 Max jet, contributing, along with the coronavirus pandemic, to its stock losing more than 70 percent of its value this year.

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BA BOEING COMPANY 127.68 +22.06 +20.89%

Dennis Muilenburg ultimately lost his job as the company's chief executive in December as a result of the Max crisis.

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About 30 employees have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. One man who worked at the company's Everett facility died after contracting the disease.

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Coronavirus has not closed these businesses: Banks, telecom providers stay open

Amazon hiring 100K workers

Amazon is hiring 100,000 more workers to manage online shopping demands and delivery while other retailers are shutting down. FOX Business’ Susan Li with more.

The coronavirus pandemic that has caused many businesses to temporarily close has not taken a complete toll on animal hospitals, banks and other establishments.

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In order to stem the tide of the virus, dine-in restaurants and many retail establishments have shuttered, but other businesses are making changes and carrying on.

TRUMP TOUTS AUTOMAKERS FOR ASSISTING VENTILATOR PRODUCTION: LET'S 'SEE HOW GOOD YOU ARE'

For example, mobile carrier AT&T announced Sunday that it is waiving domestic wireless plan overage charges for the next 60 days after closing many, but not all, of its locations.

Sacramento City Utilities worker Henry Escudero, wash down a street after repairs were made to a water line in Sacramento, Calif., Friday. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Telecommunications

AT&T's waiver will apply to residential or small business wireless customers who incur overages because of economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Another company keeping people connected, internet and television provider Charter Communications/Spectrum, says it won't terminate service for individuals and small businesses facing hardship because of the pandemic. Spectrum is encouraging customers to stay away from its stores if they have any flu-like symptoms.

Banks

National and local banks are adapting to the coronavirus pandemic by asking patrons to make appointments, going drive-through only and even closing down locations as they continue to operate.

iStock

California and Illinois are currently under shelter-in-place orders calling for residents to stay indoors barring a specific, justifiable reason during extenuating circumstances. Shelter-in-place orders vary from place to place, and in California trips to the bank are not barred but are discouraged.

Laundromats

You might not be able to blame smelly clothes on the coronavirus pandemic as many states have deemed laundromats essential (meaning they'll be asked to stay open) while other establishments must close.

Marijuana dispensaries

Marijuana dispensaries, still illegal in some areas, have been deemed "essential" in Los Angeles County and other municipalities where it's sold as a health care product.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom's "Safer at Home" order, imposed Thursday, allows such businesses to keep operating and as a result, many dispensaries are experiencing a boom.

Animal hospitals

Some veterinary hospitals also are remaining open. Many are taking extreme measures recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, such as curbside service, postponing elective surgeries and preserving medical supplies.

For curbside service, pet owners remain inside their vehicles in the hospital parking lot while pets are brought inside by hospital staff. Communication is typically done by phone or through a cracked vehicle window. Some doctors, like Dr. Sara Starkey of Toledo's Shoreland Animal Hospital told ABC 13 that they will even do the exam in a pet owner's car.

Veterinarians are postponing elective animal surgeries because of the coronavirus crisis. (Stock)

"We always do car exams if there's something contagious the pet has like a kennel cough or the doggie flu, but now we are extending that out to people that don't even want to come in the building. We will do them in the parking lot, we'll take medication out to the parking lot, mainly so people aren't cross contaminating," Starkey said.

Food banks

Food banks across the country are also open for business as the need for food assistance continues to grow and many are being laid off from their jobs. Many are adding mobile or drive-through options wherever possible and are even considering teaming up with the National Guard to pack and deliver food to those who can’t leave their homes.

DEMOCRATIC LEADERS CRITICIZE GOP’S CORONAVIRUS RELIEF BILL AS TOO PRO-BUSINESS

In addition, food banks are working with meal programs to minimize the risk of spreading the disease by scheduling appointments and suggesting that only one member of the household visit the pantry or distribution site in order to decrease the number of people congregating in one place.

Nonprofit Feeding America has also launched a national food and fund-raising effort using the COVID-19 Response Fund to support people facing hunger and the food banks who help them. This includes building an inventory of emergency food boxes and distributing them to member food banks across the country, as well as working to get incremental funding to support other anticipated costs.

Food banks need donations now more than ever.

"Our first priority is the millions of individuals, families and seniors who rely on food banks for help," said Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot. "Our member food banks are always there to help throughout the year and in times of disaster. This fund will advance their ability to respond efficiently and effectively in their communities so that food is not added to the list of worries for families during this pandemic."

"We cannot do it alone," Babineaux-Fontenot added.

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If you or someone you know has any leftover food or is interested in volunteering, you can donate to the fund or go on your local food bank's website.

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Do NOT click this 'coronavirus map' – it's a dangerous scam to hijack your device

A DANGEROUS scam is offering people a fake "map" showing the spread of coronavirus in a bid to hijack their gadgets.

Researchers found a malicious app disguised as a way to find out where the deadly virus has spread.

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If downloaded, it allows cyber crooks to look at your and location and photos and possibly spy on you through your camera.

The Android app, called corona live 1.1, appears to be part of a larger mobile surveillance campaign operating out of Libya and targeting Libyan citizens.

Researcher Kristin Del Rosso, of cyber security firm Lookout, which discovered the scam, discussed the app in a blog post published Wednesday.

Tap to see where COVID-19 is near you

The software is actually masquerading as a legitimate coronavirus map app, corona live.

The authentic version uses data collected by John Hopkins University to show infection and death rates of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, in different countries.

However, those who download the bogus version by mistake are in for a nasty surprise.

"Upon first launch, the app informs the user it does not require special access privileges," Kristin wrote.

"However, it subsequently proceeds to request access to photos, media, files, device location, as well as permission to take pictures and record video."

Once permissions are handed over, a hacker can download sensitive information from your phone, Kristin added.

They can even remotely activate your microphone and camera to spy on you.

Based on the IP addresses where the app is hosted, the person or group running the campaign is likely based in Libya.

It may even be part of a sophisticated state campaign to spy on citizens, Kristin wrote.

It's not the first time the coronavirus outbreak has been used by scammers to target people.

Yesterday, we revealed that a new attack known as "scareware" is taking advantage of widespread fear about the virus to scam victims.

Malware and ransomware attacks are said to be increasing as people are searching online for COVID-19.

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – BE IN THE KNOW

Get the latest coronavirus news, facts and figures from around the world – plus essential advice for you and your family.

To receive our Covid-19 newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.

To follow us on Facebook, simply 'Like' our Coronavirus page.

Scientists have produced a day-by-day breakdown of the typical Covid-19 symptoms

In other news, Instagram has banned dangerous, reckless and insensitive coronavirus filters.

We recently debunked some of the most outrageous coronavirus conspiracy theories.

And, Android users are being warned about a new "cookie bug" created by hackers.

What are your thoughts on this scam? Let us know in the comments…

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'This is not a drill': WHO sounds coronavirus alarm

WHO hasn’t declared coronavirus ‘a pandemic’ yet: Dr. Anthony Fauci

National Director of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci says the vast majority of Americans aren’t at risk of contracting coronavirus.

BANGKOK (AP) — The global march of the new virus triggered a vigorous appeal Thursday from the World Health Organization for governments to pull out “all the stops” to slow the epidemic, as it drained color from India's spring festivities, closed Bethlehem's Nativity Church and blocked Italians from visiting elderly relatives in nursing homes.

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As China, after many arduous weeks, appeared to be winning its epic, costly battle against the new virus, the fight was revving up in newly affected areas of the globe, unleashing disruptions that profoundly impacted billions of people.

The U.N. health agency urged all countries to “push this virus back,” a call to action reinforced by figures showing about 17 times as many new infections outside China as in it. The virus has infected nearly 98,000 people and killed over 3,300.

PREVENTING CORONAVIRUS TAKES AIR PURIFICATION, COMPANY SAYS

“This is not a drill. This is not the time for giving up. This is not a time for excuses. This is a time for pulling out all the stops,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva. "Countries have been planning for scenarios like this for decades. Now is the time to act on those plans."

As Chinese manufacturers gradually reopened their factories, anti-virus barriers went up elsewhere.

In Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak, workers in latex gloves pinned “closed” notices on school gates, enforcing a 10-day shutdown of the education system. Italy's sports-mad fans are also barred from stadiums until April 3.

A government decree that took effect Thursday urged the country's famously demonstrative citizens to stay at least 1 meter (3 feet) apart from each other, placed restrictions on visiting nursing homes and urged the elderly not to go outside unless absolutely necessary.

That directive appeared to be widely ignored, as school closures nationwide left many Italian children in the care of their grandparents. Parks in Rome overflowed with young and old, undercutting government efforts to shield older Italians from the virus that hits the elderly harder than others. Italy has the world’s oldest population after Japan.

“It’s an absolute paradox!” said Mauro Benedetti, a 73-year-old retiree called upon to watch his grandson. “They tell us to stay home. How can we help our kids and grandkids at the same time?"

“Grandparents are now at risk,” he said.

CORONAVIRUS HITS CHURCH SERVICES, COMMUNION RITUALS

Italy's death toll climbed Thursday to 148, and its confirmed cases to 3,858.

Iran, which has registered 107 virus deaths, also closed schools and universities and introduced checkpoints to limit travel between major cities. Iranians were urged to reduce their use of paper money. Iranian state TV also reported that Hossein Sheikholeslam, a 68-year-old diplomat who was an adviser to Iran’s foreign minister, had died of the virus.

Amid the string of bad news, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged state television to offer “happier” programs to entertain those stuck at home.

Brian Hook, the U..S. special representative for Iran, said the United States offered humanitarian assistance to help Iran deal with its outbreak but “the regime rejected the offer.” He said the offer would stand.

Virus fears also affected the joyful Indian celebration of Holi, in which Hindu revelers celebrate the arrival of spring with bursts of color, including bright powders smeared on faces. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders said they wouldn't attend Holi events and the Holi Moo Festival in New Delhi was canceled.

In the United States, where 12 have died from the virus, hundreds were placed in self-quarantines due to cases in a New York suburb. A suburban Seattle school district with 22,000 students announced it would close for up to two weeks because of coronavirus concerns and Seattle's normally clogged highways were nearly vacant for Thursday's morning commute as large tech employers like Amazon encouraged employees to work from home.

In Seattle, health officials recommended that the elderly and people with weak immune systems not attend games after an employee at the 72,000-seat football stadium tested positive for the coronavirus.

SEATTLE SPENDS $4M ON CORONAVIRUS QUARANTINE MOTEL

Off the coast of California, a cruise ship carrying about 3,500 people was ordered to stay put until passengers and crew could be tested because a traveler from its previous voyage died and another three were infected. A helicopter delivered test kits to the ship, which has people aboard with flu-like symptoms — lowering the kits by rope to the 951-foot (290-meter) Grand Princess

Financial markets remained volatile, as investors continued to weigh the size of the epidemic's dent on the global economy. Outbreak fears led to a sharp U.S. stock selloff, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 969 points, or 3.6 percent, nearly wiping out gains from a day earlier. Analysts said more yo-yo moves on global markets are likely while new infections accelerate.

The OPEC oil cartel called for a deep production cut to keep crude prices from falling further as disruption to global business from the coronavirus slashes demand from air travel and industry — deciding Thursday to push for a cut of 1.5 million barrels a day, or about 1.5% of total world supply.

Across the globe, travelers faced ever-greater disruptions, as countries sought to keep the virus out. But South Africa confirmed its first case Thursday, becoming the seventh African nation to report infections. Britain and Switzerland reported their first coronavirus deaths.

“The virus doesn’t care about race and belief or color. It is attacking us all, equally,” said Ian MacKay, who studies viruses at the University of Queensland in Australia.

The outlook for the travel industry was increasingly grim. The International Air Transport Association said the outbreak could cost airlines as much as $113 billion in lost revenue. The struggling British airline Flybe collapsed Thursday amid sinking demand.

Australia, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates were among the countries banning entry from people coming from countries that had outbreaks.

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Germany’s Lufthansa and its subsidiaries Austrian Airlines and Swiss said they will cancel all flights to and from Israel for three weeks starting Sunday after Israeli authorities announced tough restrictions on travelers from several countries because of the new virus.

Palestinian officials closed the storied Church of the Nativity in the biblical city of Bethlehem indefinitely, weeks ahead of the busy Easter holiday.

Japan said visitors from China and South Korea would face a two-week quarantine at a government facility and be barred from public transit. Sri Lankans arriving from Italy, South Korea and Iran will be quarantined at a hospital once used for leprosy patients.

In China, where hospitals were releasing hundreds of recovered patients, officials reported 139 new infection cases and 31 more deaths. Overall, China has reported 80,409 cases and 3,012 deaths, and authorities say about 6,000 people remained hospitalized in serious condition.

A state visit to Japan by Chinese President Xi Jinping was postponed. It was to have been the first for a Chinese leader since 2008.

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Stock market not so sickly — rebounds 13% after tanking over coronavirus fears

The stock market corrected some 13 percent last week — a large move by any measure.

The impetus behind this sell-off is primarily China’s mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak, which has now spread to numerous countries.

Infectious disease experts have said that while the virus is highly communicable, its mortality rate is very low when compared with SARS, bird flu and other recent nasty diseases circling the globe. The most susceptible are the elderly and those with impaired immune systems.

While I do think much of the selling in the market was triggered by the spread of the coronavirus, much of what made us so vulnerable is that we were extremely extended and overbought by almost every technical measure.

While it was painful to watch the decline, the good news is that bear markets, which are defined as much by duration as price drop, rarely start from all-time highs.

Instead of putting this sell-off in the proper context, most of the Wall Street doomsayers being paraded out by the media just feed the selling frenzy, leading to an outbreak of investor anxiety.

Heart-wrenching and scary as a global health crisis may be, let’s not lose sight of the fact that historically, times like these have always proven to be excellent buying opportunities.

It is important to remember that years after SARS, bird flu, MRSA and Ebola all wreaked havoc on the market, when they subsided the market marched to new highs each and every time.

So do yourselves a favor: Be smart with your health and wise with your wealth, because whether it’s two, five or 10 years from now, this will just be another page in the history of financial market turbulence that investors will likely look back at as a buying opportunity.

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Goldman Sachs pleads not guilty to 1MDB charges in Malaysia

Three arms of Goldman Sachs reportedly pleaded not guilty Monday to Malaysian charges stemming from the investment bank’s involvement in the massive 1MDB scandal.

A representative for Goldman entered the plea in Kuala Lumpur after a judge read out the charges related to the bank’s alleged role in raising $6.5 billion in bond sales for the state-backed fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, according to the country’s Bernama state news agency.

Malaysian prosecutors filed four charges against Goldman’s units based in London, Hong Kong and Singapore in December 2018, alleging that they misled investors about the bond sales by omitting material facts. The US Justice Department has said some $4.5 billion — including some of the money Goldman helped raise — was looted from 1MDB by playboy financier Jho Low and others.

Goldman has denied wrongdoing and claimed that members of 1MDB and the Malaysian government lied about how money raised from the bond sales would be used. But the bank has reportedly been negotiating a settlement with US regulators that could have it fork over as much as $2 billion and admit guilt in the scandal.

The 1MDB debacle has been expensive for Goldman. The bank’s per-share earnings dropped 22 percent in the fourth quarter of last year as it set aside more than $1 billion related to the allegations that it ignored red flags in arranging loans for the fund.

The Federal Reserve also slapped Goldman partner Andrea Vella with a lifetime ban from the banking industry last month for his role in the affair, which has also ensnared two other executives at the bank.

Najib RazakMalaysia Corruption

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Trish Regan: You may not like Trump’s pardons, but don’t insult him or our constitution

Trish Regan: Trump’s pardons are the new thing Democrats are getting hysterical about

FOX Business’ Trish Regan shares her thoughts on President Trump, the liberal media and presidential pardons.

Democrats are accusing the president of being a dictator for following the U.S. Constitution. They’re angry that he pardoned former Governor Rod Blagojevich, "Junk Bond King" Michael Milken, and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward J. DeBartolo Jr.

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But, let’s be clear: Presidents have the authority to do this, courtesy of the U.S. Constitution. You may not like it, you may not like him, you may not like who he pardons, but, to hurl irresponsible insults at him, our Constitution, and our country? This is the height of insanity.

You have the chief legal analyst at CNN saying this is how authoritarians behave.

Note to the lefty mediaites: Article II. Section 2. Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution reads, “He shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States.”

Translation? If someone has committed a federal crime, the president can pardon that person or reprieve that person’s sentence. The fact that these so-called television lawyers are so dishonest and such political hacks that they’d try to ignore that? What else can you expect from CNN?

TRISH REGAN: ROGER STONE DESERVES A NEW TRIAL WITH A FAIR JURY

Meanwhile, it’s not like this hasn’t happened before (and I’d argue with far more controversial people).

Former President Bill Clinton walks onstage to delivers remarks during a summit on the country’s opioid epidemic at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Consider former President Bill Clinton’s notorious pardoning of Marc Rich, the controversial fugitive billionaire financier. He was on the FBI’s most-wanted list for illegally trading with Iran during the Iran hostage crisis when 52 U.S. embassy personal were being held hostage in Iran for 444 days.

The guy didn’t care. He didn’t care that there were U.S. hostages in Iran. He was just looking to make a buck. And given many of the Democrats' sympathy for Iran, who knows what his politics were on that one.

Rich was sentenced to 300 years in prison in 1983 for fraud, racketeering and tax evasion, but, he never served his time because of the stand-up guy that he was, he fled the U.S. for Switzerland.

Rich’s ex-wife, gave $200,000 in political donations to the Democrat party in 2000, $450,000 to Clinton’s Presidential Library and reportedly more than $100,000 to Hillary Clinton’s senate campaign.

And just like that, one year later, in 2001 – presto! Clinton pardons Marc Rich.

He later renounced his U.S. citizenship.

TRISH REGAN: IT’S TIME THE SWAMP REALLY, TRULY GETS DRAINED

Former U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a speech at the 16th Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Former President Jimmy Carter, who was president during the Iran hostage crisis was pretty critical saying: "I don’t think there is any doubt that some of the factors in his pardon were attributable to his large gifts. In my opinion, that was disgraceful."

It was disgraceful. But, President Clinton had the power to do it according to Article 2, Section 2, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

How about Obama pardoning former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning? She was out there leaking national security secrets and Obama let her off the hook. Did we see Republicans say he was a dictator?

Manning was just one of the hundreds of Obama’s pardons and 1,700 plus commutations.

Some you may never even have heard about. There was the time that Obama pardoned a Chicago terrorist responsible for more than 120 bombings.

This man, Oscar Lopez Rivera, was head of a Chicago-based cell called “The Armed Forces of National Liberation,” a violent group pushing for the independence of Puerto Rico. Between 1974 and 1983, Rivera’s terror cell initiated a wave of destruction resulting in the deaths of six individuals while wounding dozens.

But, Obama let him off.

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I highlight this – not because it was right – I don’t like it one bit, but, because it’s allowed under our Constitution.

And I circle back to the president’s most recent pardons that the Democrats are so hysterical over.

It is his right as president. And unless you’re going to tear up the constitution – and I realize many of these lefties want to do exactly that – unless you’re going to tear it up, recognize what it says.

And, can the left stop with the theatrics? Russia, Kavanaugh, Ukraine, now this? You know what happened to "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," don’t you?

The Democrats, who are acting like a bunch of babies right now, would be well advised to re-read that little children’s story.

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Why Walmart wants robots, not workers, stocking shelves

New York (CNN Business)Walmart, America’s largest retailer, reported subpar holiday sales Tuesday, reflecting a weak holiday shopping season for the brick-and-mortar retail industry.

Sales at stores and websites open for at least one year — a key measure of the retailer’s health— increased only 1.9% during its final quarter of 2019. That included a 35% spike in online sales. Wall Street expected a stronger performance.
Macy's just dealt a big blow to the struggling American mall
“In the few weeks before Christmas, we experienced some softness” in toys, video games and clothing, Walmart chief financial officer Brett Biggs said in a news release. The holiday “wasn’t as good as expected,” he said.

    The shorter holiday season last year also contributed to the slowdown, according to Walmart. There were six fewer days this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas than last year.
    The company missed Wall Street’s expectations for sales and profit, sending shares of Walmart (WMT) down slightly in pre-market trading. Heading into Tuesday, Walmart’s stock has rallied 19% over the past 12 months.

    Walmart and Target (TGT) have been two of the strongest traditional retailers in recent years, weathering the rise of Amazon (AMZN) and the shift to online shopping that has upended the retail industry.
    But like Walmart, Target also had a disappointing holiday.
    Other retailers struggled during the holidays, including Macy’s (M), Kohl’s (KSS) and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY). Macy’s last week announced it will close 125 stores over the next three years — nearly one fifth of its total locations — and lay off 10% of its corporate staff. Costco (COST) and TJMaxx parent TJX (TJX) were two outliers in the retail industry, reporting robust holiday sales.
    Amazon also had a blowout holiday stretch and announced a record 150 million people now subscribe to its Prime membership program.

    Strength in grocery

    In recent years, Walmart has leaned on its network of more than 4,700 stores across the country to draw middle-and lower-income shoppers. Walmart has remodeled stores and lowered prices.
    It has also invested in reaching wealthier shoppers online to compete with Amazon.
    Despite a weak season for toys and clothes, Walmart said that groceries, its largest business, performed well over the holidays.
    Walmart has rapidly built out an online grocery pickup and delivery infrastructure, an advantage over Amazon, which owns around 500 Whole Foods stores, and rival retailers that don’t sell groceries.
    Walmart ended the year with around 3,200 grocery pickup locations and more than 1,600 delivery locations. The company plans to continue expanding this year.
    Walmart on Tuesday said that it expected a strong 2020.
    Some companies, including Under Armour (UA), Nike (NKE) and Apple (AAPL), said that they expected to be hurt by the outbreak of coronavirus in China. Apple said Monday that the coronavirus is hurting its business more than previously expected by limiting how many devices it can make and sell in China.
    Walmart said it was monitoring the impact from the coronavirus, but did not include any financial effects from the outbreak in its guidance to investors.
    In China, Walmart has around 440 stores. The company has reducing hours at many stores. Chief financial officer Biggs told analysts that “we do anticipate some impact to the China business” in the first quarter of the year.

      Biggs said that Walmart was not seeing “major impacts” limiting its ability to source products from China, but warned that could change.
      “If there are any longer-term shipping issues, it would likely impact our business,” he said.
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