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Pence deletes tweet showing Trump campaign staff not wearing face masks or social distancing



“Stopped by to see the great men and women of the Trump-Pence Team today!” the tweet read. “Thank you for all of the hard work, keep it up!”

The message was accompanied by a photo of Pence and the campaign staff giving a thumbs up sign.

The photo appeared to be from the campaign’s Arlington, Virginia, office — Pence was not scheduled to travel on Wednesday and had no public events on his schedule. In the photo, no one, including the vice president appeared to be wearing a face mask and the group far exceeded the 10-person gathering limit outlined in Virginia’s phase one coronavirus guidelines.

CNN has reached out to the White House and the Trump campaign for comment.

Health experts have long warned that a lack of social distancing could result in a second peak in the virus. Nationally more than 1.9 million people have been infected by the virus and more than 112,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Many states have loosened restrictions that were put in place starting in March. But with no vaccine and more people congregating in public places and national protests, experts warn that the high rates of cases seen in the spring may return.

Last month, the pandemic drew closer to the White House when two staffers tested positive for the virus. Trump confirmed at the time that one of those staffers was Pence’s then-press secretary, Katie Miller.
“She’s a wonderful young woman, Katie, she tested very good for a long period of time and then all of a sudden today she tested positive,” Trump said during a meeting with Republican members of Congress at the White House.
Pence drew considerable scrutiny in April when he toured the Mayo Clinic medical facility without a mask — a move he later conceded was wrong.
The clinic had briefed Pence’s team in the days leading up to his trip about their policy requiring face masks, a person involved in planning the visit previously told CNN.

When Pence and the team, including reporters, arrived at the clinic, personnel from the facility had masks available for the group, including Pence. During the tour, the rest of the entourage wore masks except Pence. The person said when the clinic told the White House about the policy, it wasn’t clear whether the vice president would wear a mask.

Citing how often he’s been tested for the virus, Pence later said during a Fox News town hall, “I didn’t think it was necessary but I should have worn the mask at the Mayo Clinic.”

This story has been updated with additional reporting and context.





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Why Chef José Andrés keeps showing up at disaster zones


Over the past few years, he’s responded to several major crises. After an earthquake devastated Haiti, Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, wildfires scorched Southern California, and a refugee crisis intensified on the Venezuelan border, he quickly mobilized volunteer chefs in each of those spots to prepare meals for thousands of people in need.

Now, during the global coronavirus pandemic, Andrés is again leading the charge to provide food relief to the elderly, those suddenly without work and frontline health care and essential workers.

He was early to spring into action. His nonprofit World Central Kitchen (WCK) set up makeshift kitchens at the ports in Japan and California to feed quarantined cruise ship passengers and crew in February and even turned the Nationals baseball stadium in Washington, DC into a field kitchen to cook and distribute free meals.

In Arkansas, when schools closed down in response to the pandemic, WCK teamed up the Clinton Foundation to feed children who rely on school-provided meals.

And at a time when America’s restaurants have come to a near standstill, with about six million restaurant employees laid off or furloughed since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, Andrés is aiming to turn hundreds of restaurants and other locations into community kitchens.

A decorated chef whose innovative dining concepts have earned two Michelin stars, in his career Andrés has opened an award-winning group of restaurants, written a number of cookbooks and created a collection of Spanish-inspired food products that are supplied to wholesellers and retailers nationwide. He could have easily kept himself out of harm’s way.

He’s had plenty of work to do just managing his for-profit restaurant empire. Instead, he’s put himself on the front lines of crises at personal risk to himself.

It is a dramatic departure for a chef of his caliber and stature. Andrés could, like some of his peers, just worry about appealing to the broadest swath of people in the friendliest, least polarizing way. Instead he has taken time away from his business, and he has not worried about doing so in a way that can make him a political figure, criticizing President Trump and pushing for action on crises like hurricanes and the coronavirus.

Often it’s Andrés himself who leads the cadre of volunteer chefs, said Nate Mook, CEO of World Central Kitchen, the nonprofit emergency food-relief organization Andrés founded in 2010.

“When there’s a medical crisis anywhere, we send doctors. So when there’s a food crisis, we send chefs to help,” he said.

Andrés was on the ground with his team in Oakland, California overseeing food relief work for the cruise ship passengers; In New York City and in the DC area, he’s personally delivered meals and badly-needly personal protective equipment like masks and gowns to hospitals, shelters and senior centers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“At the end of the day, José jumps in. We all jump in,” said Mook. “When someone is hungry, they aren’t hungry next week, or next month. They are hungry now.”

WCK has already delivered close to 18 million meals around the world thus far in places like Haiti, Puerto Rico, Indonesia, California and Mozambique. The non-profit is funded by individual donors, foundations and businesses. The organization logged $28.5 million in revenue in 2019.

Now, as the world collectively faces an unprecedented situation with the novel virus having taken a foothold in more than 200 countries, and infecting over 3.5 million people in a matter of months, Andrés again is all in.

Mobilizing chefs on the front lines

In early February, 712 passengers and crew were quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship that docked in Yokohoma, Japan. Nearly half of the people on board eventually tested positive for the virus.

Within days of the ship’s lockdown, WCK and its chef relief team had mobilized to set up a field kitchen at the port, outside of the ship, to heat up and deliver fresh meals daily to quarantined passengers.

World Central Kitchen delivers meals to the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan during the coronavirus pandemic crisis. (Courtesy World Central Kitchen)
“We got a lot of help from different Japanese chefs,” Andrés explained to CNN during a global town hall event in early March. “Everything was done in a very professional way to make sure that everybody will be safe, achieving what we wanted — feed everybody in a healthy way,” he said.

Mobilizing local chefs and restaurants is key to quickly activating WCK’s operations in a crisis area, explained Mook. “Tapping into the local resources — chefs, kitchens, materials — rather than flying everyone and everything in, helps us rapidly scale our emergency efforts.”

In April, WCK assembled another chef relief team to feed passengers and crew quarantined aboard a cruise ship in Oakland, California.

Then, as the pandemic spread in the United States, shuttering businesses, closing schools and bringing life to a standstill, Andrés ramped up food relief efforts not only for frontline health and other essential workers, but also the many families now struggling to put food on the table.

In New York City, the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak, Andrés has turned his sprawling 35,000-square-foot food hall Mercado Little Spain, which encompasses three full-service restaurants and over a dozen food and retail kiosks, into a community kitchen serving low-cost (or free) grab-and-go meals to people in need.

Over 3 million have been served in 890 individual locations to date, which includes but is not limited to community kitchens.

In mid April, Andrés’ friend Jacques Torres, a New York City resident and one of the most renowned chocolatiers and pastry chefs in the world, witnessed the scale of the effort.

“I was in the kitchen in Little Spain and there were thousands of little trays filled with food for people on the front lines,” said Torres. “It was humbling to see.”

The volunteer chefs, united under the #ChefsForAmerica banner, are distributing 100,000 meals a day in New York City and in New Jersey, said Mook.

WCK has served over 7 million meals distributed in 234 cities to more than 35 states and territories, as well as 35 towns and cities in Spain.

The non-profit, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, is also providing meals specifically to NYC healthcare workers.

From humble beginnings

Torres has known Andrés for almost a decade.

“He’s one of the best chefs in America, the crème de la crème,” said Torres. “He’s a masterful technician in the kitchen. It’s in his blood. But what’s even more important is the deep respect he has for food, for farmers who grow food and the impact of food on our lives.”

As it often happens with chefs who earn distinctive mastery of their craft, Andrés, now 50, began cooking as a young boy.

“I began cooking when I was 15,” he said. “I owe it to my mom and dad.”

He grew up in a small neighborhood on the outskirts of Barcelona, Spain in a middle class family. Both of his parents were nurses. “I began falling in love with cooking by watching my mom and dad,” said Andrés.

Daily meals were cooked at home out of necessity. “They did it because we couldn’t go out everyday to eat. Going to a restaurant was a very special thing. At most [we] did it once a month,” he said.

And when the family did go out, it would be to a little restaurant attached to a gas station. “Every gas station in the old days had a restaurant,” he said.

For Andrés, it was the meals prepared at home with vegetables, chicken and fish and served with bread bought fresh every day that he enjoyed the most. “For me this was enjoyment.”

He delighted in how his mother would find culinary tricks to make the monthly groceries last a little longer, “little leftovers of chicken chopped down and she would bread it and fry it.” “I didn’t know [at the time] that my mom did this because there was nothing else left at home at the end of the month,” said Andrés. “But that was my favorite dish.”

Today, Andrés himself has numerous accolades to his name. He’s parlayed his talent into a vast food business empire led by his company ThinkFoodGroup. It oversees 29 restaurants in 9 cities across the world across the world, successful cookbooks and cooking shows.

A chef working at Mercado Little Spain in Hudson Yards, New York on December 5, 2019. (David Williams for CNN)

Now, a naturalized US citizen, Andrés is candid about what his coming to America story has meant to him — and how it’s changed him.

“2019 is the 30th anniversary of the first time I came to New York,” said Andrés, who undertook the voyage aboard a naval ship. At one time, Andrés served in the Spanish Navy as an admiral’s chef.

“America always gives big opportunity to immigrants like me, to share with the rest of America who we are. In my case, [I’m doing it] through food,” he said.

‘One plate of food can change the life of others’

Just as Andrés was attracting professional fame in the early 1990s — his restaurants celebrating Spanish gastronomy were generating buzz and he was winning prestigious awards — the chef who rose from humble beginnings felt a different yearning.

Andrés became involved with DC Central Kitchen, a charity fighting hunger and poverty through job training and job creation.

“It’s an amazing organization founded by Robert Egger,” said Andrés. “DC Central Kitchen is where we’re training people to be cooks, finding them jobs in their community, and feeding the homeless population of DC.”

Volunteering there afforded him the chance to appreciate food in a more nuanced way.

“We shouldn’t be here to feel good because we do something [for ourselves] but to see what we are doing to change the lives of others,” he said. “It’s a simple way of trying to see the world. In my case it was that one plate of food can change the lives of others.”

His work with DC Central Kitchen made him wonder if he could use its blueprint on a global scale. “This is working so well in DC. If we take it to the world, what will happen?” he thought.

As he pondered the idea, his attention was diverted by a catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. The scale of the disaster and the humanitarian crisis was hard to ignore and Andrés headed to Haiti in 2010 to help. The earthquake displaced over a million people. Haiti suffered widespread food shortages as food prices shot up. The United Nations estimated that 1.9 million Haitians did not have enough to eat in the aftermath of the earthquake, according to the UN.

“In Haiti, Jose saw how a natural disaster can make access to food one of the biggest challenges,” said Mook. “It’s where he realized that food should be a solution, not a problem.”

Chef José Andrés in Haiti in 2010. (Courtesy World Central Kitchen)

That same year, Andrés founded World Central Kitchen. “We started small, from feeding 1,000 people a day to 2,000. Year after year, we gained more confidence, learning and watching,” said Andrés. “If you have an emergency [and] you need to feed people, why aren’t chefs there on the front lines? That’s how WCF was created.”

The organization provided four million emergency meals combined after Hurricane Harvey cleared through Houston and Hurricane Maria blasted Puerto Rico in 2017.

“To Jose, there’s a lot more to food than just sustenance,” said Mook. “To him, food nourishes the soul in time of crisis.” It can also provide badly-needed income to people in the community.

“In Haiti, we started a bakery in an orphanage. It produced bread that generated money to reinvest back into the orphanage,” said Mook.

Now, during the shutdown in the US, WCK has contracted with shuttered restaurants to help prepare 1 million relief meals, in turn providing them with a crucial economic lifeline.

WCK is paying participating restaurants owners $10 per relief meal. Mook said the effort is designed to help get restaurants back on their feet and prevent many from going out of business.

Health and safety protocols are mandated for everyone involved in the effort with restaurant staff advised to wear face masks, gloves and hair nets, and food preparation stations required to be at least six feet apart.

Andrés’ own company ThinkFoodGroup has also taken a hit amid the shutdown. The business was able to keep all of its employees on payroll with full compensation during the first five weeks of the shutdown.

But in late April, the company furloughed its hourly employees and made them aware of their unemployment benefits. ThinkFoodGroup said it is covering 100% of employee health benefit premiums while they are not actively working.

“This pertains to employees in DC, NY, Las Vegas and Orlando. TFG continues to pay chefs and restaurants managers responsible for operating the community kitchens,” the company said.

‘I will always speak against things that are unfair’

As he reflects on his personal evolution from chef to dedicated humanitarian wanting to feed people at their most vulnerable, Andrés has courted risk along the way, particularly with his activism as a proud and successful immigrant.

“It was very clear to me the day I swore in as an American, that we need to participate in the democratic process,” said Andrés.

In 2015, Andrés backed out of a plan to open up a restaurant in the lobby of the Trump International Hotel in Washington after Trump called undocumented Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “criminals” during his bid for president.
It locked Andrés in a legal battle with the President of the United States, which he settled in 2017. He’s also been vocal on Twitter with his criticism of the administration’s policy on immigration.

“When you feel sometimes that things are unfair and unjust, I do believe it’s the role of every American to speak up,” said Andrés. “The smart thing for America to do once and for all, is to pass immigration reform.”

Torres admires his friend’s activism and how he’s standing up for his beliefs, more so now than ever.

“When you are a celebrity chef, you realize you have a platform to have your voice heard. Jose is doing an amazing job with that,” said Torres. “No doubt, Jose is one of the best chefs. But what he is doing as a humanitarian is even bigger. I hope other chefs pick up the flame and keep it going.”



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A man was showing symptoms of coronavirus, but came to the hospital to see his partner give birth


Staff at Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital later learned that her partner, who was present for her delivery, may have been exposed to the virus.

The couple and their baby were discharged from the hospital and asked to quarantine themselves, University of Rochester Medical Center spokesperson Barbara Ficarra told CNN.

Ficarra wouldn’t confirm to CNN whether the woman’s partner had known about his possible exposure before visiting her.

But another University of Rochester Medicine spokesperson told local paper the Democrat & Chronicle that he did, and that he told hospital staff he was healthy before visiting.

“The mother became symptomatic shortly after delivering,” spokesman Chip Partner told the paper. “That’s when the significant other admitted his potential exposure and that he was feeling symptomatic.”

Neither Ficarra nor Partner confirmed whether the couple or their child had tested positive for coronavirus.

None of the obstetric staff involved in the unnamed woman’s delivery have tested positive for coronavirus, Ficarra said. One staff member who showed symptoms quarantined themselves and later tested negative.

While their results were pending, though, hospital staff who came into contact with the couple and weren’t symptomatic were required to continue to work while wearing masks and to submit to temperature checks twice a day, she said.

The couple spent their hospital stint in a private maternity ward, isolated from other patients, she said, so it’s unlikely other patients were potentially exposed.

The hospital enacted a strict visitor policy

It’s critical everywhere to curb coronavirus from spreading within hospitals, but it’s especially dire in New York: The state is reporting the bulk of coronavirus cases in the US at over 80,000, according to CNN’s tally.
New York state overrules a hospital policy saying mothers must give birth without their partners
As a result, University of Rochester Medicine Hospitals have restricted all visitors with few exceptions. One “support person” is permitted to be in the room for patients in labor, though they must be screened for symptoms twice daily. And once that support person is in the patient’s room, they cannot leave.
Theirs isn’t the most restrictive visitor policy tried in the state. The NewYork-Presbyterian healthcare system initially banned all visitors, including the partners of patients giving birth. Hospital officials said the extreme measure was enacted after patients who were asymptomatic later tested positive.

But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo later issued an executive order to allow obstetric patients to have one visitor.

“In no hospital in New York will a woman be forced to be alone when she gives birth,” Cuomo tweeted. “Not now, not ever.”

States get strict on stay-at-home orders

Unknowingly spreading coronavirus is not a crime. But several states are toughening up on social distancing, and now, violating stay-at-home orders is an arrestable offense.
Hawaii will fine self-quarantine violators $5,000 or send them to prison
In Hawaii, all visitors or residents who travel between islands must quarantine themselves for 14 days. Anyone who violates that order could face a fine of up to $5,000 or a one-year prison sentence, if convicted.
In Florida, a megachurch pastor was arrested and charged with unlawful assembly and a violation of health emergency rules for holding services for hundreds of churchgoers. A Louisiana pastor who held services and said the virus was a political ploy was hit with similar charges.
Police have broken up weddings and house parties in New Jersey and charged hosts with disorderly conduct.



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Google cuts Xiaomi’s Nest access for showing random photos of strangers’ homes


“We’re aware of the issue and are in contact with Xiaomi to work on a fix,” Google said in a statement on Friday. “In the meantime, we’re disabling Xiaomi integrations on our devices.”

The move comes two days after a Xiaomi camera owner in the Netherlands said he saw still images of homes that aren’t his own as he tried to stream video from the smart device to Google Nest Hub. The images included a baby fast asleep in a crib, an old man dozing off in an armchair, and a sun-filled living room.

The incident was first reported by Android Police.

Xiaomi, a Chinese technology company best known for its inexpensive and wildly popular smartphones, told CNN Business in a statement that it had fixed the issue and apologized for the inconvenience caused to users.

“Upon investigation, we have found out the issue was caused by a cache update on December 26, 2019, which was designed to improve camera streaming quality,” it said.

It said the incident the user experienced happened during the integration between Mi Home Security Camera Basic 1080p — the model the Dutch user owns — and the Google Home Hub “with a display screen under poor network conditions.” It has suspended the integration service until the root cause is solved.

According to Xiaomi, the issue would not occur if the camera is linked to Xiaomi’s own Mi Home app.

Home security cameras have long had security issues. Last week, Wyze Labs, which makes smart cameras and connected home gadgets, confirmed database holding millions of customers’ information were exposed to the public.

The leaked data included customer email addresses, as well as the email addresses of those people who were given permission to view the camera feeds. A list of cameras in customers’ home and tokens used to connect to smart phones and personal assistants were left open for public view.



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Amazon pulls Auschwitz Christmas ornaments showing concentration camp



Pictures of the Nazi death camp complex were used on a variety of tree ornaments, a mouse pad and a bottle opener, which the Auschwitz Memorial described as “disturbing and disrespectful.”

Images used showed the train tracks leading to the entrance of Auschwitz II-Birkenau and a number of scenes inside the camps, where around 1 million Jewish people are estimated to have been killed during World War II.

Amazon removed the products, which were being offered by third-party sellers, when the Auschwitz Memorial tweeted about them.

The memorial then noticed more products for sale also bearing images of the death camp, which operated in Nazi-occupied Poland. Those products also appear to have been pulled from sale.
Most of the sellers’ products feature pictures from tourism sites around the world. One company, which offered a tree ornament showing a freight car on the tracks to Auschwitz, is also still selling Christmas ornaments featuring the Genbaku Dome on the Hiroshima bomb site.
An Amazon (AMZN) spokesperson told CNN Business in a statement: “All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action, including potential removal of their account. The products in question have been removed.”
This is not the first time the site has been forced to pull products from its marketplace. Earlier this year, a range of products were removed after complaints that they were offensive to Muslims.
In March, a number of anti-vaccination documentaries were taken down from its Amazon Prime Video streaming services following a CNN Business report.



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Elementary teacher arrested, accused of showing up to school ‘highly intoxicated’



PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — A teacher in Pinellas County is out of a job only one week after starting because she allegedly showed up drunk on Friday, according to police.

Pinellas Park Police arrested Lisa Edelstein, 55, at Skyview Elementary School on 60th Street North just after 9 a.m.

“When you make that decision in the line of work you are in that’s an automatic fire and not rehire,” said mom of seven Brandi Parker. Her daughter is a second-grader at Skyview.

According to police, the school called them when they noticed Edelstein was acting drunk and yelling in front of the children. They told police Edelstein was trying to leave campus in her car.

Sergeant Roxanne Pohl of Pinellas Park PD, the assisting agency, Edelstein showed several signs of impairment.

“Some bloodshot, watery eyes. Slurring of the words. There was some rocking back and forth, stumbling,” she described.

Officers responded and spoke with Edelstein.

“I did ask her to lower her voice. I attempted to explain that there were students in the school that we wish they were not interrupted,” said Pohl.

Officers noted an obvious odor of alcohol on Edelstein’s breath and say she was swaying while trying to get in her car.

“I was shocked, I was shocked. Disappointed. Here is someone we expect to come to school ready to teach and unfortunately that’s not what happened this morning,” said Pohl.

Edelstein was a probationary teacher and was only at Skyview for seven days, the school district says. Officers say they also found marijuana in Edelstein’s car.

ABC Action News found out Edelstein has faced disciplinary action before as part of her 30 years working as an assistant teacher in Hillsborough County. We’re working on getting more details into her work history there.

Police arrested her for disorderly conduct, but officers say additional charges are pending. The school district says she’s been fired from her position.

The Pinellas County School District released this statement:

Ms. Edelstein was recently hired as an itinerant teacher by Pinellas County Schools and was on a probationary contract. School staff noticed Ms. Edelstein exhibiting unusual behavior prior to the start of the school day. She was immediately moved to a private area and the Schools Police Department was called for assistance. Ms. Edelstein was ultimately charged with disorderly conduct and her employment contract was terminated.”





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Trump slams Chicago crime rate despite new numbers showing improvement



The Chicago Police Department announced early Friday that Chicago experienced the lowest number of shootings and murders in any October since 2015. Additionally, murders for the month of October fell more than 20% compared to October of last year.

Despite the numbers, Trump tweeted hours after the announcement: “Chicago will never stop its crime wave with the current Superintendent of Police. It just won’t happen!”
Trump has frequently stoked racial tensions while in office. He’s also sharply criticized so-called “sanctuary cities” — a broad term applied to jurisdictions with policies designed to limit cooperation with or involvement in federal immigration enforcement actions — and Chicago is one of them.
He has also continually criticized Chicago over the city’s handling of crime. He cited “problems like Chicago” at last year’s annual police chiefs meeting and recommended the city implement a “stop and frisk” policy.
Earlier this week, Trump visited Chicago and delivered remarks at the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference. During his remarks there Trump slammed the Superintendent of Police, Eddie Johnson, for not attending.

“There is one person that’s not here today. I said, ‘Where is he, I want to talk to him.’ In fact, more than anyone else, this person should be here because maybe he could learn something. And that’s the superintendent of Chicago, police chief Eddie,” Trump said Monday.

Before Trump’s Chicago speech, Johnson said the President’s planned address at the conference didn’t “line up with our city’s core values, along with my personal values.” Johnson’s decision not to attend later a prompted the board of the city’s police union to issue a no-confidence vote in him.

In his Friday tweet, Trump also hailed Chicago’s police officers as “GREAT” adding they will have “tremendous crime fighting potential if allowed to do your thing!”

While the new numbers from Chicago show a significant improvement, crime continues to be a problem. On Halloween, a 7-year-old girl was shot trick-or-treating in the city and remains in critical condition.

CNN’s Brad Parks and Shawna Mizelle contributed to this report.





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