Trump considers limits on domestic travel to coronavirus hot spots

Why not stop flights between coronavirus hot spots?

Fox News’ John Roberts asks why President Trump has not stopped all travel between cities greatly impacted by coronavirus to ones less impacted.

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he is weighing grounding domestic flights between coronavirus hot spots as he ramps up efforts to try to contain the pandemic's spread.

“We're thinking about doing that," Trump told reporters at a White House briefing, a day after he warned the nation to brace for a “hell of a bad two weeks,” with 100,000 to 240,000 coronavirus deaths projected, even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained.

Limited flights continue to run between cities like New York and Detroit, though passenger counts have plummeted across the nation. The Transportation Security Administration screened just 146,348 passengers Tuesday, down from 2,026,256 the same day last year.

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence listens. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

EASTERN AIRLINES FLYING STRANDED AMERICANS HOME

Nonetheless, Trump said he was looking at new restrictions, even as he voiced concern about the impact on already-struggling airlines, saying that, once you do that, “you really are clamping down” on “an industry that is desperately needed.”

Trump, however, offered mixed messages during the briefing.

He seemed to suggest that he was looking to temporarily ground all domestic flights, saying, “We’re looking at the whole thing because we’re getting into a position now where we want to do that, we have to do that … and we may have some recommendations.”

But pressed later on whether that was his intention, he said he was thinking of something less restrictive.

“I am looking where flights are going into hot spots,” he said. “Closing up every single flight on every single airline, that's a very, very, very rough decision. But we are thinking about hot spots where you go from spot to spot, both hot. And we'll let you know fairly soon.”

In this March 25, 2020 file photo, American Airlines jets sit idly at their gates as a jet arrives at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

CRUISE SHIPS MUST WAIT OUT CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AT SEA: COAST GUARD

Trump also said he was considering similar restrictions on train travel, while claiming, incorrectly, that anyone boarding a plane or train is currently subjected to “very strong tests for getting on, getting off."

Trump in the past has said he was reluctant to ground flights because of challenges in getting the system back up and running once the threat posed by the virus fades.

“When you start closing up entire transportation systems and then opening them up, that's a very tough thing to do," he said Wednesday.

Over the course of the crisis, Trump has been criticized for acting too slowly and for mixed messages from his administration. Over the weekend, he floated but then pulled back on the idea of a mandatory quarantine for residents of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut. In the end, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory urging residents of the states to refrain from nonessential travel for the next 14 days.

A pedestrian takes a mobile call while standing under a public service announcement board advising to maintain personal distance due to COVID-19 and coronavirus concerns along a sparsely populated Bowery, Wednesday in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchil

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Indeed, Trump seemed to acknowledge Wednesday that perhaps he should have acted sooner.

“It's a very big decision to do that, and we're pretty late in the process from the standpoint that this is starting," he said. "You're going to start seeing, I think over the next couple of weeks, you're going to start to see us hit a top and start coming down.”

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Hilarious The Sims filter on Instagram turns you into a video game character

EVER wanted to find out what you'd really look like as a Sim? A new Instagram filter can let you live out this freaky fantasy.

Gamers who love The Sims can now morph their face into a proper Sim – with the floating green diamond, to boot.

The Sims turned 20 years old last month, and is one of the most iconic gaming franchises of all time.

Part of its appeal is the eerily lifelike "Sims" – virtual humans that walk, talk and romp with each other on screen.

In The Sims, you're tasked with creating your own digital characters, which can be made to look like you.

But there's now an Instagram filter that takes this effect into the real world.

You even get a green diamond hovering above your head, so it's impossible to tell you apart from a real Sim.

The filter smooths out your face, adds CGI lips and bold, angular eyebrows – all hallmarks of a Sim.

It's worth noting that this filter isn't an official The Sims product, and wasn't created by EA.

Instead, it's a fan creation by someone who probably loves The Sims even more than you.

How to find The Sims filter on Instagram

First, launch Instagram and then go into the Stories camera viewfinder.

Then scroll along the filters/lenses all the way to the right, until you hit then end.

Tap on the Search function and then type "The Sims" into the text bar.

Now scroll down until you see the following filter:

Tap on it and voilà, you're a Sim!

Alternatively, if you've seen a pal use this filter already, go into their Story and tap on the filter name at the top of the screen.

This will load up the filter so you can give it a go yourself.

In other news, a new Snapchat 'six-foot circle' filter helps you remember social-distancing during the coronavirus crisis.

Instagram is testing self-destructing messages just like Snapchat.

And find out how to watch Instagram clips in a video call with six pals.

What's your favourite little-known Instagram filter? Let us know in the comments!

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Stock futures trade lower on US job concerns

Dow ends off session highs

FOX Business’ Lauren Simonetti says a lot of Wednesday’s gains came from Boeing.

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U.S. equity futures are trading lower ahead of weekly jobless claims numbers.

The major futures indexes are indicating a decline of about 1 percent when trading begins on Thursday.

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Jobless claims are expected to surge to 1 million last week, with estimates running as high as 4 million as efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic triggered a wave of layoffs and brought the U.S. economy to a virtual standstill. That would exceed by far the record-high number of 695 thousand claims filed in October 1982.

The Senate late Wednesday passed an unparalleled $2.2 trillion economic rescue package steering aid to businesses, workers and health care systems engulfed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The unanimous vote came despite misgivings on both sides about whether it goes too far or not far enough and capped days of difficult negotiations as Washington confronted a national challenge unlike it has ever faced.

The 880-page measure is the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared somber and exhausted as he announced the vote — and he released senators from Washington until April 20, though he promised to recall them if needed.

SENATE PASSES $2 TRILLION CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS BILL IN UNANIMOUS VOTE

In Asian markets, Tokyo's Nikkei fell 4.5 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was lower by 0.5 percent and China's Shanghai Composite slipped 0.6 percent.

Prices have swung wildly as business shutdowns spread around the world. Investors say they need to see a decline in numbers of new coronavirus infections before prices can bottom out.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 21200.55 +495.64 +2.39%
SP500 S&P 500 2475.56 +28.23 +1.15%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 7384.295089 -33.56 -0.45%

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 advanced to 2,475.66 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.4 percent to 21,200.55. The Nasdaq lost 33.56 points to 7,384.30.

Global central banks have cut interest rates and injected money into financial markets.

The number of known infections has leaped past 450,000 people worldwide, and more than 20,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. Overall, more than 112,000 have recovered.

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For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness including pneumonia and death.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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The ritziest condos on Miami’s north shore are now open

A new wave of condos is finally making land in Sunny Isles and Surfside, almost all of which first broke ground in 2016. Buyers can now move into developer Gil Dezer’s 56-story, 308-unit Residences by Armani/Casa.

To celebrate, the building hosted a blowout earlier this month on its oceanfront terrace, where VIP guests enjoyed a presentation of the Giorgio Armani spring/summer 2020 collection, as well as a performance by Pitbull. Units at the Armani-branded tower are still available, asking $2.9 million to $17 million (for a five-bedroom, six-bathroom home with a rooftop terrace and a private pool).

Nearby, the Ritz-Carlton Residences opened in February. Developers Edgardo
Defortuna of Fortune International Group and the Château Group saw Miami’s Super Bowl helped the building score buyers, with four units sold during the month of January, including its largest $25.5 million penthouse. Remaining units are asking from $2.6 million to $6 million.

A skip south in Surfside, Terra’s Eighty Seven Park welcomed residents in January. Starchitect Renzo Piano’s first residential building in the Western Hemisphere, the 18-story, 68-unit tower is now 90 percent sold (tennis star Novak Djokovic is among the lucky buyers). But apartments are still available from $2 million to $11.5 million.

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How to get WhatsApp on iPad – an easy and safe guide

IF you love WhatsApp you may want to have it on more than just your smartphone.

Follow our easy guide below to download WhatsApp on your iPad.

How to get WhatsApp on your iPad

The great thing about WhatsApp is you only really need WiFi or data and a compatible device to use it.

One of the drawbacks is there isn't actually an official WhatsApp app for iPad.

The good news is there is a workaround for this if you already have WhatsApp on your phone.

Go to Safari on your iPad and type in web.whatsapp.com.

This page should display a QR code and some instructions.

Go to WhatsApp on your iPhone, click "Settings" and then "WhatsApp Web/Desktop".

You'll then see an option called "Scan QR Code".

Click this and then scan the QR code that you can see on your iPad screen.

The page should then reload as your WhatsApp and you can continue your conversations on a bigger screen.

There are a few small limitations like not being able to send voice notes and not getting notifications via Safari.

WhatsApp – a quick history

Here's what you need to know…

  • WhatsApp was created in 2009 by computer programmers Brian Acton and Jan Koum – former employees of Yahoo
  • It's one of the most popular messaging services in the world
  • Koum came up with the name WhatsApp because it sounded like "what's up"
  • After a number of tweaks the app was released with a messaging component in June 2009, with 250,000 active users
  • It was originally free but switched to a paid service to avoid growing too fast. Then in 2016, it became free again for all users
  • Facebook bought WhatsApp Inc in February 2014 for $19.3billion (£14.64bn)
  • The app is particularly popular because all messages are encrypted during transit, shutting out snoopers
  • As of February 2020, WhatsApp has over 2billion users globally

In other news, we rounded up some Facebook Messenger games you can play with friends remotely.

Find out how to disinfect your iPhone without breaking it.

And, here's how to record an iPhone screen.

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

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Virus drags on Rio Tinto’s $8b Mongolian mine expansion

The $8 billion expansion of Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia has been slowed down and faces the threat of further delays, as tougher border controls imposed amid the coronavirus outbreak restrict access for personnel.

In the latest setback for the Anglo-Australian miner's plans to expand the copper and gold mine in Mongolia's Gobi Desert, Rio Tinto said construction works had been held up by local authorities' efforts to contain the fast-moving pandemic.

Rio Tinto’s Oyu Tolgoi mine is one of the world’s richest copper deposits. Credit:

"Work on the underground project continues, however, progress is being slowed as a result of these measures," the company said on Monday night.

Arnaud Soirat, Rio Tinto's 's copper and diamonds chief executive, said the company supported the "decisive action" taken to limit the spread of the coronavirus, but it had resulted in a restriction on the movement of goods and people in the country "and this is slowing down construction activity".

"It is too early to determine the impact of this and the team is doing all it can to minimise the disruption in a challenging environment," he said. Rio Tinto said it would update the market once more information was available.

The ASX-listed mining giant's expansion of the massive underground mine in Mongolia's south has been beset by a series of delays and cost blowouts. In June, investors were warned that the project could end up costing as much as $1.9 billion more than forecast.

Measures to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak in China, the world's biggest consumer of raw materials, have been causing logjams across the resources industry. Rio Tinto has been experiencing a slowdown in sending deliveries of copper concentrate from Oyu Tolgoi to Chinese customers across the border, prompting the miner to warn customers of delays due to restrictions imposed by Mongolian authorities.

Rio Tinto on Monday said it was continuing to operate and deliver shipments of copper concentrate to its customers.

Last week, the sparsely populated nation reported its first case of coronavirus – a French citizen who arrived on a flight from Moscow on March 2.

Oyu Tolgoi is 34 per cent owned by the Mongolian government and 66 per cent owned by Turquoise Hill Resources, of which Rio Tinto has a 51 per cent stake. Since 2010, Rio has been the manager of the Oyu Tolgoi project.

The mine is the country's biggest source of foreign investment and provides thousands of jobs.

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Ask us | On investments and savings

Even if you are less than 60, you can invest in the Post Office Senior Citizens’ Scheme.

Q. I will be retiring in May 2020 at the age of 58. On retirement, I will have about ₹1 crore in savings. I also own a house. Kindly advise on how to invest my money for the next two years and after I become a senior citizen.

Ram

A. Even if you are less than 60, you can invest in the Post Office Senior Citizens’ Scheme. The law says: “an individual of the age of 55 years or more but less than 60 years who has retired on superannuation or under VRS can also open account subject to the condition that the account is opened within one month of receipt of retirement benefits and amount should not exceed the amount of retirement benefits.” So, you can invest up to ₹15 lakh (maximum permitted) in your name as soon as you retire. The balance can be invested in a combination of large bank FDs, post office time deposit and select top-rated corporate deposits. If you are familiar with mutual funds, you can also consider liquid funds and do a systematic withdrawal plan (SWP). It would be very tax efficient. Assume you generate an average 7%, or ₹7 lakh of income, from your corpus per annum. If this is more than adequate, then reduce investments in the above safe options and invest a small proportion in some quality hybrid funds under the category of equity savings. This will also provide some tax efficiency and earn debt-like returns.

Q. I am married and have children. My home loan EMI is ₹10,908 and my personal loan EMI is ₹6,200. My wife wants to close the home loan with ₹4 lakh from pledge of gold. I feel we should close the personal loan…

Sabarinathan

A. It is good to close the loan that does not provide any tax benefit. In your case, personal loan repayment should come first. However, we see little need to pledge gold to close any loan. Is your interest rate on pledging gold lower than the personal loan rate? It is unlikely but if that is the case, then it can be a reason to pledge. Else, my candid answer would be to sell gold now (prices are high) and repay, if you don’t need that gold and your monthly cash flows are becoming tight, post EMI.

Q. I’m 23 years old and currently preparing for a competitive exam. I have savings of ₹50,000. Can you suggest some investment plans for 1-3 years?

Karthik

A. For your time frame, you can consider a combination of large bank FDs, short duration debt mutual funds that are consistent and some exposure to equity savings fund. Given your short time frame, we do not wish to recommend any equity exposure.

Q. I have made mutual fund (MF) investments in physical statement of account (SOA) form through a lump sum investment mode. Please advise on the benefits of conversion of physical SOA MF units into an online demat mode.

Varun Dambal

A. Physical form of investing is not an optimal way to organise your investments. You should consider going online. However, there are several platforms that provide you online MF services without demat form. In other words, they are like having a statement, except that it is all online and you can view your investments at any point in an app or laptop. Demat form of investing also helps you consolidate your investments and view them online (assuming your broker is indeed online). But it is not a necessity. If you are already investing in stocks, then holding MFs and stocks in the same demat can help you consolidate. If you aren’t, then you could look at other online options to avoid demat or brokerage charges.

(The author is co-founder, Primeinvestor.in)

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Tylenol sales surge on coronavirus concerns

Johnson & Johnson is seeing a spike in demand for its Tylenol over-the-counter pain killer and other self-care products, the company said on Friday, as the global spread of the coronavirus prompts people to stock up on essentials.

The company, which also makes Band-Aid and Listerine mouth wash, said it was shipping its stock in a “controlled manner” and that its manufacturing sites had ramped up production to ensure supply.

J&J said it did not anticipate a shortage of Tylenol, a commonly used drug for headache and fever, even though the drug “may have temporarily run out of stock at one location.”

Fears around shortages of some drugs emerged after the coronavirus outbreak wreaked havoc on supply chains and were amplified last week after India, the world’s main supplier of generic drugs, restricted the export of some ingredients as well as medicines including paracetamol, known as Tylenol in the US.

J&J also said it was taking all possible measures to maximize the availability of its consumer products.

The coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, last year, has spread to more than 100 countries and killed more than 5,000 people worldwide, sparking a rush for such everyday items as toilet paper and packaged foods.

Pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance and supermarket chain Kroger on Thursday placed purchase limits to stabilize inventory.

Kroger placed a limit on the number of cold, flu and sanitary products per order, while Walgreens said it was limiting disinfectant wipes and cleaners, face masks, hand sanitizers, thermometers and gloves to four each per customer.

The company also said majority of its global medical device manufacturing was running at or near normal capacity, and that it does not expect the outbreak to cause any disruptions to its supply of medicines.

J&J said it had business continuity plans in place across its global supply chain network, including maintaining inventory at distribution centers away from high-risk areas and said it was monitoring demand and supply levels.

Shares of J&J were up 2.7 percent in afternoon trading, to $128.75.

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Trump, advisers to meet on coronavirus stimulus options amid stock selloff

White House still hashing out economic stimulus package

White House weighing stimulus package as the stock market plunges. FOX Business’ Blake Burman with more.

President Trump will meet with his economic advisers at the White House on Monday afternoon to discuss possible stimulus packages as the deadly coronavirus outbreak and an oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia triggered a massive stock sell-off.

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A senior administration official told FOX Business that Trump and members of his economic team will weigh various options, though it's unclear what the measures may look like.

One idea being considered is paid sick leave for individuals who need to miss work because of the coronavirus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19. So far, the virus has killed close to 3,800 people, with about 109,000 cases reported worldwide, mostly in China. So far, there have been a total of 539 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and 22 deaths.

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It's also unclear whether movement in the oil markets will impact the administration's economic policy. Crude prices tumbled on Monday after an OPEC deal disintegrated, prompting Saudi Arabia to slash prices and reportedly increase its output, according to a Reuters report.

DOW PLUNGES AS MUCH AS 2,000 POINTS, OIL CRASHES AS PRICE WAR ERUPTS AND CORONAVIRUS SPREADS

Trump walks to greet supporters upon arrival at the Orlando Sanford International Airport, Monday in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The price war, combined with the coronavirus outbreak, sent the S&P 500 plummeting more than 7 percent on Monday, triggering so-called circuit breakers that prevent further dropping.

"Saudi Arabia and Russia are arguing over the price and flow of oil. That, and the Fake News, is the reason for the market drop!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

Last week, Trump's chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, told FOX business the administration is weighing a "timely and targeted micro approach."

NY FED RAISES REPO LIMITS TO ENSURE AMPLE SUPPLY OF BANK RESERVES

"Some of the sectors might need some temporary assistance," Kudlow said. "I look at it as targeted and timely and I think that would be the most effective response, but we don’t want to act prematurely because today’s numbers show that the U.S. economy is in very good shape."

Payroll data released just hours before Kudlow’s comments showed U.S. employers added a better-than-expected 273,000 jobs in February while unemployment fell back to 3.5 percent, a half-century low. Companies, by and large, were surveyed about their payroll before the virus began to impact growth.

Trump is expected to return to the White House around 3:45 p.m. ET.

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Pence on coronavirus mask demand: '3M plays a vital role'

Pence, 3M CEO to meet on coronavirus issues

Vice President Mike Pence plans to meet with 3M CEO Mike Roman on producing medical supplies for coronavirus.

Vice President Mike Pence met with 3M CEO Mike Roman and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz at the 3M Innovation Center in Maplewood, Minnesota, on Thursday to discuss 3M's response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

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Industrial giants Honeywell and 3M said in January that they would ramp up production of protective facial masks amid a shortage as the virus spreads.

MASKS STILL AVAILABLE ONLINE AMID CORONAVIRUS SCARE, BUT SURGEON GENERAL SAYS DON'T ADD TO CART

"We couldn't be more grateful for the efforts of American business leaders, companies like 3M, coming alongside and ensuring our nation has the resources … to be able to deal with coronavirus," Pence said. "3M plays a vital role."

Trump and Pence in the White House Wednesday. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Senators grilled Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar about the U.S. stockpile of facemasks last week, and other members of the coronavirus task force have said that the administration is partnering with the private sector to ramp up the production of such supplies.

"We want to make sure your health care workers have the personal protective equipment … as they continue to deal with coronavirus," Pence said on Thursday. "To the average American, how you can help as well, unless you are ill, you have no need to buy a mask."

Pence, speaking to Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures," warned that "we know that there will be many more cases" of coronavirus in the U.S. and that President Trump had ordered the stockpile of masks to increase from 43 million to approximately "that amount on a monthly basis."

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
HON HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC. 164.29 -6.90 -4.03%
MMM 3M COMPANY 152.50 -1.48 -0.96%

Senate Democrats including Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., have been highly critical of the administration's handling of the outbreak. Murray said the U.S. needs more masks after at least 10 coronavirus deaths in her state, and her office has called the administration's response "chaotic and delayed."

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Health care workers are afraid they'll see a severe shortage of the protective equipment they need as the general public buys the items up. Ninety-six percent of local U.S. pharmacies said they were selling masks faster than they could replace them, according to a survey published Feb. 6 by The National Community Pharmacists Association.

Pence also touted that Congress is "poised" to act on a multibillion-dollar supplemental spending deal to combat coronavirus before the discussion.

FOX News' Gregg Re contributed to this report.

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