Autism has grown slightly more common in the U.S., but a gap in diagnosis of white and black kids has disappeared, according to a government report released Thursday. Closure of that gap — thanks to increased screening — is the main reason autism diagnoses are up a little, some experts said.
Officials in the nation's capital lashed out Thursday at the $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic relief package moving through Congress, saying it cheats Washington, D.C., of more than $700 million by treating it as a territory rather than a state. "It's shocking. It's infuriating. It's wrong. It's outrageous," Mayor Muriel Bowser said. "We just need to be treated fairly. We're not asking for special treatment."
South Africa's president appeared in full military uniform for the first time since the end of apartheid and told troops to be a "force of kindness" as a three-week lockdown begins at midnight and they ensure that 57 million people stay home. The mission is the "most important in the history of our country" as coronavirus cases near 1,000, the highest in Africa.
The FBI won't give up on "finding out what happened" to former agent Robert Levinson, who the U.S. government believes died in the custody of the Iranians after vanishing more than a decade ago, according to an email FBI Director Chris Wray sent to the FBI workforce on Thursday.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday abruptly waived enforcement on a range of legally mandated public health and environmental protections, saying industries could have trouble complying with them during the coronavirus pandemic.
Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — almost five times the previous record set in 1982 — amid a widespread economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus. The surge in weekly applications was a stunning reflection of the damage the viral outbreak is inflicting on the economy. Filings for unemployment aid generally reflect the pace of layoffs.
Congress is poised to approve an unprecedented $2.2 trillion economic rescue package that will provide one-time checks for most Americans and significant enhancements to unemployment benefits. Both will provide much-needed help to those recently laid-off and to financially stressed households as the coronavirus shuts down much of the economy. Here are some questions and answers about how the legislation can help you.
The Trump administration is sticking with its crowd-friendly waiver of entrance fees at national parks during the coronavirus pandemic, as managers at some parks try and fail to keep visitors a safe distance apart and communities appeal for a shutdown at other parks that are still open. While the Interior Department agreed this week to requests from local managers of Yellowstone and some other iconic national parks to close, others remained open and newly free of charge.
Neil Diamond posts a fireside rendition of "Sweet Caroline" with its familiar lyrics tweaked to say, "Hands ... washing hands." A news anchor asks when social distancing will end because "my husband keeps trying to get into the house." And a sign outside a neighborhood church reads: “Had not planned on giving up quite this much for Lent.” Are we allowed to chuckle yet? We'd better, psychologists and humorists say. Laughter can be the best medicine, they argue, so long as it's within the bounds of good taste. And in a crisis, it can be a powerful coping mechanism.
Hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer has shifted from making visors for helmets to medical visors for those fighting the coronavirus pandemic. When hockey came to a halt amid the global pandemic, Bauer faced the possibility of closing its manufacturing plant in Blainville, Quebec, but engineers there instead brainstormed the idea of producing medical shields to help protect people on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.