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National News, Wednesday, March 4 – Biden Leads After Super Tuesday, Sanders Takes California, Bloomberg Bows Out

News from across the nation and stories of interest from BasinLife.com.

Suddenly former Vice President Joe Biden is the comeback kid as he swept the South and took Texas on Super Tuesday, while Bernie Sanders won hundreds of delegates with his win in California.

Biden’s Super Tuesday victories surprised just about everyone and served notice that his triumph in South Carolina was no fluke. 

The fight for Joe Biden to beat Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination and on to November against President Trump begins today.    The former vice president stormed back with wins in ten states, including delegate-rich North Carolina and Virginia.

Mr. Sanders triumphed in California, the night’s biggest delegate prize, as well as Colorado, Utah and his home state of Vermont.

Voters in Texas spent 3 hours in line in some places.

More than 1,300 delegates — about a third of the total — were at play last night.

As of now, Biden led with 453 delegates, while Sanders had 373; Warren was miles behind with 39 and Bloomberg had 18.

The Biden wins undercut billionaire and big spender Michael Bloomberg who announced this morning he was dropping out of the race.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s dismal performance, including losing her home state of Massachusetts (she came in 3rd) to Mr. Biden, makes everyone wonder if she will bow out and leave liberal voters to head for Bernie Sanders in future primaries.

Michael Bloomberg , former New York mayor, spent hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money in an expensive bet on Super Tuesday states that was ultimately unsuccessful.

“After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible—and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists,” Mr. Bloomberg said today.

“I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden,” he said. “I will work to make him the next president of the United States.”

U.S. stocks surged Wednesday as investors cheered a strong Super Tuesday performance by former Vice President Joe Biden and growing signs of a coordinated response to the coronavirus by economies around the world.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed more than 750 points by mid-morning on Wednesday, or 3%, on course to claw back some of the losses that occurred during Tuesday’s frenzied trading session.

The jump in stocks helped to reverse some of the losses that markets suffered Tuesday after the Federal Reserve announced its first emergency rate cut in more than a decade. The half-percentage point rate cut briefly sent stocks surging higher, before they reversed course to finish sharply lower at the day’s close.

The moves underscored investors’ anxieties that the central bank alone can’t solve the economic fallout from the fast-spreading epidemic.

Yet by early afternoon Wednesday, some anxieties appeared to ease, in part because of Mr. Biden’s string of victories across the country during the Tuesday primaries. The results suggested Mr. Biden could be a more formidable opponent to Sen. Bernie Sanders than originally anticipated—a good sign for investors who are concerned that Mr. Sanders’s more progressive pledges wouldn’t be favorable for businesses.

Tennessee began cleaning up after devastating tornadoes ripped through the state, killing at least 25 people.

A line of storms barreled across the state starting Monday, spawning three tornadoes while many residents slept.  They smashed buildings and left tens of thousands of residents without power.  The dead included children, Gov. Bill Lee said, with 19 of the deaths in Putnam County.

Amazon headquarters in Seattle

A worker at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, where it has about 55,000 employees, tested positive.  The entire Seattle area is now worried as Washington state has emerged as a hotspot, accounting for 27 of the 125 confirmed U.S. cases of the novel coronavirus and all nine of the deaths.

The Trump administration is considering using a national disaster program to pay hospitals and doctors to care for uninsured infected people.  The FDA said it would speed approval of tests from hospital and public-health labs.

Retailers battle proce gouging on coronavirus-related products.
…Here it comes. 
 Shoppers are racing to online retailers to order face masks, hand sanitizer, hazmat suits and other items to protect against the coronavirus.

The surge in demand has created an opening for third-party sellers on various e-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay to offer products that are otherwise sold out at traditional retailers. But in doing so, some merchants have flooded online stores with overpriced goods and items that make dubious medical marketing claims.

… Some products like face masks have markups as high as 582%. Online retailers are playing a game of whack-a-mole to remove listings making misleading claims about the coronavirus or overcharging for products that have spiked in demand. Amazon, for example, said that it removed more than 1 million products for violating its policies related to price gouging and coronavirus claims. But plenty of listings still show up across various online shopping sites.

Summer Olympics or not?

The Olympics are scheduled to air on NBC, which is owned by Comcast. Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts says he’s “optimistic” the Tokyo Summer Olympics will happen and that NBC’s plans are “full steam ahead,” despite concerns over the coronavirus. But in the event the Olympics is canceled this year, he says NBC has contractual protection and insurance.

… Meanwhile, IOC spokesperson Mark Adams was asked if there was a deadline to make a decision on canceling the Olympics. He responded: “We’ve made a decision. The decision is the Games go ahead.”

Hand sanitizer.
The hottest topic for a website blog post or article right now is something along the lines of “How to make your own hand sanitizer.” We have coronavirus to thank for this. The World Health Organization even has an official guide to making hand sanitizer. But a professor of public health and the University of California says we probably shouldn’t be making our own hand sanitizer: “I worry about people making their own sanitizer as it will be difficult to make sure that the concentrations are correct.”

… For hand sanitizer to be effective, it must have at least 60% alcohol content, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Store-bought hand sanitizers will also often have emollients to counter the harshness of the alcohol on the skin. If you don’t have that in your homemade recipe, you could risk hurting your hands. Like store-bought sanitizer, homemade sanitizer would be something you’d want to keep out of the reach of young children, too.

… But if you want to make your own hand sanitizer, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Plain vodka (a cheap brand is fine)
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Tea tree essential oil

Wash your hands frequently. Don’t touch your face. And clean your smartphone. Experts are reminding us that coronavirus can survive on hard surfaces such as phone screens for up to a week. The hardy virus spreads via droplets released in coughs and sneezes and the residue can remain potent for seven days on surfaces such as handles and handsets. The experts say phones could be acting as a petri dish cultivating the killer microbe and say alcohol wipes should be used twice a day to disinfect the device. Twice a day.

The World Health Organization has joined TikTok to stop misinformation about coronavirus. People have shared false information through various social media platforms, so WHO decided to join TikTok to provide reliable and public health advice.

This Saturday night we’ll move our clocks ahead one hour before going to bed as Daylight Saving Time begins.

Eliminating stress in college. 
College can be a very stressful time for young adults, and very taxing on their mental health. Fortunately there is a very accessible remedy for this stress — nature. Recent research shows that spending as little as 10 minutes in a natural setting can help relieve students of their college stress.

The review (Cornell University) evaluated numerous studies on nature’s effects on the mental health of college students to find an effective “nature prescription” for students. The review found “10 minutes outside in a space with nature” each day has a positive impact on mental health.

A man was stabbed multiple times at a home in Fresno, California, after an argument between family members over a baby. Witnesses claim the two parents returned intoxicated from their Sunday evening out. When they tried to take the baby home, the infant’s caretaker said no. A fight broke out, and detectives say someone pulled out a knife and stabbed a man more than once in the back. Multiple people were involved in the fight; all of them are related. The baby was not hurt.

Shelter dogs everywhere need adopting, but getting the pups in front of the right audience can be tricky. That’s why a pizzeria and an animal shelter in New York state teamed up to attach flyers of adoptable dogs to pizza boxes. The Niagara SPCA hooked up with Just Pizza & Wing Co. to help get their shelter dogs adopted. The Niagara SPCA wrote on social media: “Be on the lookout for a sweet face on your pizza boxes this weekend!” The flyer also gives a number to call to adopt the pup and encourages pizza (and dog) fans to share it on Facebook. • IMAGE

When you’ve developed a habit of complaining about things, it’s not always easy to shut it down. An easy way to help yourself stop is by catching yourself in the act and adding a positive spin to it. Jon Gordon, author of The No Complaining Rule, suggests filtering yourself with the “but-positive” technique: If you find yourself griping, add a ‘but’ and say something positive. For example, “I don’t like driving to work, but I’m thankful at least I can drive and I even have a job.”

… Yes, your complaint still spills out, but the positive note you add helps clear the air a little. You register that you made a complaint, add a reason why it might not be worth complaining about, and — over time — complaints will become far less common.

A North Carolina man managed to save his family from a devastating house fire after a motion sensor camera he had set up outside tipped him off about the blaze. Lee Spargo initially set up an outdoor game trail camera at his home in hopes of catching a wild fox that had been preying on his chickens, but he was alerted of another danger when the device caught footage of his house being engulfed in flames. A roaring fire inside the enclosed deck of Lee’s home triggered the camera and sent an alert to his phone around 2AM.

Lee woke up thinking he had caught the fox, but soon realized that his house was on fire. Lee quickly jumped into action and got his wife and two kids out of the burning building.

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