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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. “The risk to the American people of the coronavirus remains low.”
That was Vice President Mike Pence in a briefing tonight. His reassurance contrasted with warnings delivered by other federal officials today, as the virus claimed the lives of three more residents of a Kirkland, Wash., nursing care facility.
That brought to six the number of U.S. deaths, all in the state of Washington. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the virus had “now reached outbreak proportions and likely pandemic proportions.”
The U.S. is radically expanding its testing for the virus, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is coming under criticism for the prior pace of testing.
More than 3,000 people around the world have died after contracting the virus, and more than 90,000 have been infected. More than 45,000 have recovered.
2. Stocks snapped back from last week’s shellacking on expectations for a global policy response if the world economy is constricted by the effects of the coronavirus.
But a major multinational economic group cut its outlook for 2020, suggesting that global growth could be cut in half, to 1.5 percent, if infections spread more widely.
If the coronavirus plunges the world into recession, China will be the biggest reason. The virtual shutdown of one of the world’s biggest economies is already hurting business around the world.
Most symptoms are as mild as a cold or a slight case of flu. Here’s what scientists have learned so far.
4. Amy Klobuchar exited the campaign on the eve of Super Tuesday. Joe Biden stands to gain.
Both Ms. Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, who dropped out of the race on Sunday, are expected to endorse Mr. Biden at a rally in Dallas tonight. They’re joining forces to try to halt the momentum of Bernie Sanders.
Fourteen states hold primary votes Tuesday, including Minnesota, Ms. Klobuchar’s home. Above, she appeared at a final rally in Salt Lake City shortly before announcing her withdrawal.
While Mr. Biden’s strength with black voters could help him in Southern states, Mr. Sanders is strong in California. Senator Elizabeth Warren will also be on the ballot, as will Mike Bloomberg, who did not compete in the first four contests.
5. For Benjamin Netanyahu, the third election may be the charm.
Two previous elections ended in stalemate, but this time, exit polls show that the Israeli prime minister’s right-wing and religious coalition holds a significant lead over the challenger and is on the cusp of an outright parliamentary majority.
Actual results will dribble in for hours, but if the polls are borne out by official returns, Mr. Netanyahu’s group will win the chance to assemble a majority coalition, giving him a record fifth term in office.
Mr. Netanyahu faces trial in two weeks on felony corruption charges. Spearheading the opposition is Benny Gantz, a former army chief who has pleaded with voters to rally behind the rule of law.
6. The Affordable Care Act will go before the Supreme Court. Again.
After surviving two major challenges, President Barack Obama’s health care initiative is back on the docket in a case that could wipe out the entire law.
The court agreed to take a case brought by Republican state officials, who argued that when Congress eliminated the law’s requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance, the law became unconstitutional.
Arguments could take place in the fall, in the heat of the presidential campaign. Democrats like that timing, since it would force the Trump administration to publicly argue against insurance protection for people with pre-existing medical conditions.
7. An Interior Department official caused misleading claims about climate change to be inserted in scientific government reports.
The official is Indur Goklany, who in the early months of the Trump administration was elevated to a position guiding the department’s climate policy. He pressured scientists to include inaccuracies in their reports. One claim, which they called the “Goks uncertainty language” after his nickname, inaccurately said that there was a lack of scientific consensus that the earth is warming.
The false language appears in at least nine reports, including environmental studies and impact statements on major watersheds in the American West, according to a Times review of the documents.
8. Remembering Jack Welch, “manager of the century.”
Fortune magazine gave him the title 20 years ago, honoring his achievements over decades at General Electric — which included raising its revenue nearly fivefold, to $130 billion. He was also called “Neutron Jack,” for his earlier aggressive pruning of jobs.
Combative and blunt, Mr. Welch distilled his management concepts into one-sentence nuggets: “Control your destiny, or someone else will.” “Be candid with everyone.” “If we wait for the perfect answer, the world will pass us by.” He died on Sunday at the age of 84.
G.E.’s fortunes have suffered since the financial crisis of 2008. Last year, it reported a loss of $5.4 billion.
In memoriam: James Lipton, 93, the host of “Inside the Actors Studio.”
9. It’s neither Tuscany nor Napa Valley. But Nashik, India, has wine, too.
Better known for its onions than its zinfandels, the farm country of west-central India boasts three dozen wineries.
Nashik’s lack of a tourism-industrial complex — and the absence of tourists — is part of its charm, our Mumbai-based reporter says. “We even found some delightful wines,” he notes.
10. And finally, we’re not the only animals that vote. We’re not even the only primates that primary.
Meerkats, above, honeybees and baboons are among other species that have ways of finding agreement that are surprisingly democratic.
African wild dogs, for instance, hold something akin to a rally to decide whether to go hunting or keep resting. The more sneezes they produce during the caucus, the more likely that a hunt is to begin.
No word on when their Super Tuesday might be.
Have a decisive evening.
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