VA Treats Veterans for Coronavirus

Tents are being erected outside the Veterans Administration hospital on Galvez Street in New Orleans. These tents will serve as a drive-through testing site for coronavirus. (James Varney/ The Washington Times)

The Department of Veterans Affairs currently tracks Veterans who have tested positive for coronavirus. As of Monday, 204 Veteran patients were found to have coronavirus. There are 8 in the Washington DC area.
5 are self-quarantined at home, with three in the hospital. Two Veterans have died from the disease so far.
VA has so far administered over 1,524 coronavirus tests nationwide and plans to administer more as coronavirus continues to spread.

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Companies or Individuals? Republicans and Democrats Fight Over Who Should Get the Stimulus

Senate Democrats blocked a $2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill on Monday, as parties split on who should receive the money, at 49-46. 60 vote threshold is need to advance the legislation for a final debate on the Senate.

Democrats argued that the bill does not help families and health care providers enough, while Republicans argued that the bill offers financial assistance to the entire economy and should be passed before more people lose jobs.

Democrats are especially concerned that $500 billion fund would be for businesses, states and cities with wide latitudes to spend, would focus on the big corporations and Wall Street over actual health care.

Republicans argued that Democrats are focusing only on special interest and organized labor.

As Dow Jones has lost 10,000 points in six weeks, with several million Americans without jobs, and it seems that the Senate is caught arguing about who should get what, yet again.

Current plan is for $500 billion loan program with $425 billion for companies, states and cities, $50 billion for passenger airline companies, $8 billion for cargo air companies, and $17 billion for firms deemed important for national security, with $350 billion for small businesses.

When or if the stimulus plan will actually pass, is a question that Congress cannot yet answer, and one, impacting the lives of many Americans.

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Coronavirus Fears Lead US to Telework

As universities and government agencies employ telework policies in fear of coronavirus, Alphabet, Google’s parent company has recommended its North American employees to work from home through April 10.

Although governments and schools have implemented telework or online course policies regionally or within its city boundaries, Google is asking everyone in the entire continent to follow this system.

As COVID-19 spread throughout Washington state, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook had encouraged its employees to work from home.

Google has also cancelled its annual developer conference Google I/O, due to COVID-19 worries. Furthermore, Google will establish COVID-19 fund which will enable temporary staff and vendors globally to take paid sick leave if they have potential COVID-19 symptoms or cannot work due to quarantine.

The US executive branch plans to meet with representatives from tech companies to discuss COVID-19 response efforts, where they will meet remotely.

Unwittingly, it seems that a virus may trigger a permanent shift in business and administration in the American workforce.

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Missing Corona Virus Link: First Outbreak in US

(Photo from Google Images)

A woman at UC Davis in California was tested positive for Corona virus. Strangely, this woman has had no contact with China or with another sick individual.

The California State Health Department has begun an investigation in attempt to find the source of the spread.

This is much difficult to do, as officials must attempt to identify everyone who might have had any extended contact with the woman within 6 feet of distance.

Furthermore, as she arrived intubated with a ventilator, identifying everyone she might have come in contact with is even more difficult to identify or clarify.

While US officials maintain that risk to the general public is low, they had failed to test the woman for Corona virus initially, declining to test her as she did not meet the criteria for infection with Corona virus.

CDC declined to comment on this failure, which ultimately led to the current situation. However, as worldwide count for Corona infection continues, the FDA is gearing up for the Corona virus outbreak, getting labs prepared.

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Infrastructure worries grow in US: Anderson Dam

(photo from weather.com)

The average integrity score for infrastructure soundness in the US is a low score of D Amidst the worry, federal government ordered Anderson Reservoir in Santa Clara County, California to be completely drained from October 1, 2020, due to rising concerns of the dam failing, both from its age, upkeep, and the earthquake.

Anderson Reservoir, which is less than 20 miles southeast of San Jose, sits alongside the Calaveras Fault. More than 10 years ago, according to the San Jose Mercury News, an engineering consultant warned that a 6.6 magnitude quake centered on the fault directly at the reservoir, or a 7.2 quake centered one mile away, could cause the dam to fail.

Built in 1950, the dam is a 240-foot damn located between Morgan Hill and San Jose. Generally kept at around half full, but in 2017, extensive rain filled up the reservoir quickly, creating heightened concerns for the areas nearby San Jose and even San Fransisco bay area too.

When this dam built in 1950s, the bedrock was not solid and it was some sand and gravel under it, which it could more liquefy in a big earthquake, leading the dam to slump and fail.

This reconstruction cost estimated is now $563 million and was scheduled to begin in 2022.

The problem is they can’t obtain the permits from other government agencies for the construction and still all other issues contain in the dam in Silicon Valley.

according to weather.com, studies found that if the dam failed when the reservoir was full, a 35-foot wall of water would slam into downtown Morgan Hill within 14 minutes. Within three hours, an 8-foot wave would reach San Jose.

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Manhunt for Murderer in Alabama continues

Daniel Miner, a 43-year old man serving a life sentence from murder escaped from a work release facility on Saturday night, said Alabama state officials.

He was serving a life term for a 1994 murder in Marshall county. Inmates work for private employers in the surrounding community, which had allowed Miner a chance to escape.

Anyone who spots him or has information should contact 911.

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Unknown Suspects at Large with 8 people dead from shooting in Hanau, Germany

Police guard the scenery in front of a restaurant in central Hanau, Germany Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. German police say several people were shot to death in the city of Hanau on Wednesday evening. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Police asked the public for any information related with 8 people that were killed on Wednesday evening shooting in Hanau, Germany.

According to Hanau police department, there were two shooting events. Police are searching for any leads on the identity of suspects and asked the public for help.

A military base located in Hanau, near by Frankfurt and armed police closed two streets where shootings occurred today.

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Space Travel Comes Closer to Reality

(Photo from Space X)

SpaceX announced a plan to send 4 private citizens into space for a global trip by either end of 2021 or by early 2022. The price is not yet disclosed, and much of the details remain shrouded; however, SpaceX and its tourist company Space Adventures, plan to fly SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft and orbit the planet.

Despite Musk’s overly enthusiastic hopes, SpaceX had much delays in getting an astronaut to fly in one of its spaceships, as due to the certifying process. NASA flight is supposed to take place within the year.

There are two other competitions in the private market: Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. They do not promise as much of an experience as that of Elon Musk’s SpaceX however; Virgin Galactic promises weightlessness for a few minutes, and Blue Origin promises similar amount of time as Virgin Galactic, but in a ship similar to SpaceX’s Dragon.

Regardless, the time continues to inch closer, as humanity attempts for a leap outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. Only time will tell as to who wins.

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Ryan Newman Involved in Severe Crash in Daytona 500

Ryan Newman (6) goes airborne as he collided with Corey LaJoie (32) on the final lap of the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Sunday’s race was postponed because of rain. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

While leading the final lap of NASCAR’s Daytona 500, Ryan Newman was involved in a severe crash, with his car spinning several times before going airborne. The race had been postponed from Sunday to Monday; nonetheless, it couldn’t prevent this terrible event.

As the crash happened almost 19 years since Dale Earnhardt Sr. died from a car crash on February 18, 2001. Many are hoping that his condition improve, as he moves on from his marriage.

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IRS Quietly Erases Guidelines on Virtual Currency Tax Reporting

For several months from 2019, IRS advised the possibility of subjecting in-game virtual currency to federal taxes, such as for popular games like Fortnite. The IRS had been hinting at taxing in-game money, which would have equally applied to bitcoin, ether, and other cryptocurrencies. On Wednesday, February 12, 2020, the IRS erased all traces in regards to taxing in-game currency. It is unclear as to how the IRS plans to deal with video game currencies.

The IRS considers virtual currency as property for tax purposes. This means that those purchasing or selling bitcoin, using bitcoin to purchase items including such commodity as coffee, would count as a sale, which could be taxable. This was set as a guideline in 2014 with an update in 2019. It seemed that the IRS meant to include in-game currencies in that same manner.

As game companies continue to include in-game currency mechanics to create an economic system (such as fortnite’s v-bucks raising $1.8 billion in revenue just last year), the IRS seems to be aware of the need to tax this system. Most experts outside of IRS believe that the IRS’ decision to remove all in-game currency guidelines from the website had more to do with an error than getting rid of the policy to tax, as this removal occurred when the Government Accountability Office called on the IRS to provide clarified guidance on virtual currencies on its report.

Many believe the IRS is simply struggling to adjust in a world where the economic system continues to develop in faster pace.

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