AP Top News at 10:24 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 10:24 a.m. EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits because of the coronavirus has soared past 30 million, worsening a crisis unmatched since the 1930s and turning up the pressure on political leaders to lift restrictions that are choking the economy. Government figures released Thursday showed that 3.8 million laid-off workers applied for jobless benefits last week, raising the total to about 30.3 million in the six weeks since the outbreak took hold and forced the shutdown of factories and other businesses from coast to coast. The layoffs amount to 1 in 6 American workers and encompass more people than the entire population of Texas, or more people than live in the New York and Chicago metropolitan areas combined.

The world’s economic pain was on full display Thursday with new bleak evidence from Europe and the United States of the mounting devastation wrought on jobs and economies by coronavirus lockdown measures. The European economy shrank a record 3.8% in the first quarter as lockdowns turned cities into ghost towns and plunged nations into recession. The drop was the biggest since eurozone statistics began in 1995 and compares with a 4.8% contraction in the United States. Here are some of AP’s top stories Thursday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.

The coronavirus scare has done something to time. The days, weeks, and now the months, have blurred and stretched as talk of reopening the world has taken over for millions waiting and wondering at home. There are few of life’s usual rhythms. And like so many cataclysms before this one, memories are settling in of the old times, for better or worse. What was normal then and isn’t now? Here’s what a few around the world had to say about their last “normal” moment before the pandemic took hold: NEW YORK: A `CHEERS’ MOMENT Rafael Familia began work last July as a bar-back in Manhattan at The Crocodile Lounge, where drinks come with free mini pizzas and Skee-Ball is also on tap.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s top infectious disease expert said Thursday that new cases of the coronavirus are a certainty as states begin to roll back restrictions. States need to proceed carefully as they take steps to reopen businesses and allow greater freedom of movement, Dr. Anthony Fauci said. “We will get blips … there’s no doubt,” Fauci told NBC’s “Today” show. “When you pull back there will be cases, and what we need to do is make sure (states) have in place the capability of identifying, isolating and contact tracing individuals.” Fauci urged states that don’t have that capability to go very slowly.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the new coronavirus was “not manmade or genetically modified” but say they are still examining whether the origins of the pandemic trace to contact with infected animals or an accident at a Chinese lab. The statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the clearinghouse for the web of U.S. spy agencies, comes as President Donald Trump and his allies have touted the as-yet-unproven theory that an infectious disease lab in Wuhan, the epicenter of the Chinese outbreak, was the source of the global pandemic that has killed more than 220,000 worldwide.

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the days following the capture of an American contractor in Afghanistan earlier this year, Navy commandos raided a village and detained suspected members of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network while the U.S. intelligence community tried to track the cellphones of the man and his captors, The Associated Press has learned. While the circumstances surrounding the abduction remain unclear, the previously unreported operation described by multiple American officials over the past month shed new light on early efforts to locate Mark R. Frerichs, a contractor from Illinois whose disappearance has been shrouded in mystery and whose case has been the subject of minimal public discussion by the U.S.

TOKYO (AP) — North Korea’s collapse has been predicted — wrongly— for decades. Some said it would happen after fighting ended in the Korean War in 1953. Others thought it would be during a 1990s famine or when national founder Kim Il Sung died in 1994. And when the death of his son, Kim Jong Il, thrust a little-known 20-something into power in 2011 some felt the end was near. It’s no surprise then that recent rumors that leader Kim Jong Un is seriously ill have led to similar hand-wringing. South Korea believes that Kim is alive and in control, and most analysts agree that even if he weren’t, Kim’s powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, would likely take control, possibly with the help of select officials.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted his support for his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, raising speculation that a pardon may be coming after Flynn’s lawyers released internal FBI documents they claim show the FBI was trying to entrap him. Trump has long said he is considering pardoning Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in 2017. The president spent Wednesday night and Thursday morning retweeting supportive statements and a video Flynn tweeted of an American flag flapping in the wind. “What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States again!” Trump wrote Thursday morning as his counselor, Kellyanne Conway, was on Fox News Channel responding to the case.

WASHINGTON (AP) — When John Manley tested positive for COVID-19, his sister urged him to get on the malaria drug that she’d heard Fox News hosts plugging and that President Donald Trump was heralding as a potential “game changer” for fighting the coronavirus. But Manley, 58, a civilian U.S. Army public affairs officer, was skeptical of using a drug not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating the virus and decided it was a gamble not worth taking. “It caused a huge rift in the family because the science wasn’t behind it,” said Manley, who lives in Stuttgart, Germany, and whose wife, Heidi Mathis, also tested positive for the virus after a visit to New York.

Losing the Kentucky Derby has left race fans shell-shocked. The first Saturday in May has yielded to the legs of a bunch of slowpokes: Seattle Slow headlines a field of turtles — yes, turtles — that will race in the Kentucky Turtle Derby. Call it, the slowest eight minutes in sports. The race is more methodical marathon that mad dash to the finish — though the victor can win at the line by a turtleneck rather than a nose — and is just one more offbeat sport that has had a moment during the coronvirus pandemic. The Derby, America’s longest continuously held sports event, had been scheduled for May 2.

US jobless claims soar past 30 million; Europe reeling also

What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

Before the virus: Looking back on some last ‘normal’ moments

Fauci warns states against ‘tempting’ a coronavirus rebound

US intel: Coronavirus not manmade, still studying lab theory

SEALs tried to locate US citizen taken by Afghan militants

Outsiders consider possibility of chaos in North Korea

Trump tweets raise speculation about potential Flynn pardon

AP-NORC poll: Seeking virus data, people struggle with trust

Turtle Recall: Derby dashed, turtles go in slow, steady race

Published at Thu, 30 Apr 2020 14:27:38 +0000