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Messages reveal US Army considering drastic coronavirus measures

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U.S. Army officials are divided over whether they should pause normal activities to halt the spread of coronavirus within their ranks.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Gen. James McConville, the Army’s top-ranking officer, took part in a video teleconference Monday, a day after the Pentagon announced the first troop death from COVID-19, and senior leaders debated whether to continue with military exercises and mass troop formations, reported Task & Purpose.

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The Army’s intelligence estimates show efforts to stop the highly contagious pandemic have failed, and some top commanders have called for a halt to all nonessential training to limit further exposure.

“Mitigation measures taken by the U.S. Army to blunt the spread of COVID-19 have proven insufficient,” the Department of the Army told all of its commands in a classified message obtained by the newspaper. “COVID-19 continues to spread geographically as the number of infected persons continues to rise.”

A senior Defense Department official shared a financial document with Task & Purpose showing the Army needed an estimated $992 million to fight the coronavirus, up from a $955 million price tag estimated two weeks ago and reported by The Daily Beast.

The Army ordered every base commander around the world to improve their health protection, and rapid response forces were ordered into the highest level of protection.

The virus has already spread to hundreds of service members, as well as their families and others associated with the military, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper has cautioned against holding mass troop formations — although he reminded commanders they had a responsibility to maintain troops’ physical fitness.

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This Europe country is housing quarantined coronavirus patients in a five-star hotel

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An ambulance driver wearing a white protective gown enters a Barcelona hotel and announces the arrival of three new "customers" -- a trio of coronavirus patients discharged from hospital into luxury quarantine.

"Good morning! How are you? My name is Enrique Aranda and I am probably the first non health care worker you see in several days," says the director of the five-star Melia Sarria hotel, peering into the ambulance.

It took just three days to convert the hotel, which features contemporary decor and bathrooms with marble finishing, into a clinic.

"Some patients arrive thinking that they were taken out of hospital to be left to die, many people are frightened. I try to make them forget all that," said Aranda, wearing mask and gloves.

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UK Labour to unveil new leader to replace Jeremy Corbyn

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Britain's main opposition Labour party on Saturday unveils a new leader who will take the helm of a defeated and divided party in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

Keir Starmer, a former director of state prosecutions and Labour's Brexit spokesman, is the runaway favourite to win the ballot of around 500,000 party members and succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

The announcement will be a low-key affair, with a planned special conference cancelled due to restrictions on social gatherings imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Instead, the result will be put out in a press release mid-morning -- and candidates have been asked to pre-record their victory speeches.

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‘Trump fires people for telling the truth’: President blasted for ‘dead of night decision’ to fire intel watchdog

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President Donald Trump was harshly criticized on Friday for firing intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.

House Intel Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Senate Intel Ranking Member Mark Warner (D-VA) were among the lawmakers who took to Twitter to criticize Trump on his favorite social media platform.

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's decision:

Trump’s dead of night decision to fire ICIG Michael Atkinson is another blatant attempt to gut the independence of the Intelligence Community and retaliate against those who dare to expose presidential wrongdoing.

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