Category Archives: What’s Up

Malik Yusef raised more than $10,000 to help slow COVID-19 behind bars

The sweeping coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on people from all walks of life. While many are at home practicing social distancing and wearing masks—which has been shown scientifically to slow the spread of the disease—there are some unable to comply: people behind bars.

One artist is trying to help. Multi-Grammy award winner Malik Yusef, who has written and produced music with Beyonce, Jay-Z and Rihanna, has created a concert series to draw attention to the issue.

“We must remember that these men and women are still human beings regardless of what they may have been charged with. We should help people no matter what their situation may be. This is not the time to argue about guilt or innocence; this is the time to make sure that these people have the necessities that they need to stay alive. This virus does not discriminate, and it can reach out and touch you no matter who you are.” Malik told Zenger News.

While some states have called for the immediate release of nonviolent offenders, many have not. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, jails in places as disparate as Los Angeles; Maricopa County, Arizona; Anderson County, Tennessee; and Hennepin County, Minnesota as well as Delaware and Hawaii have reduced their populations by at least 30% during the pandemic, though, the nonprofit advocacy organization reports, prisons are releasing far fewer people.

Multi-Grammy award winner Malik Yusef has written and produced music with Beyonce, Jay-Z and Rihanna, has created a concert series. (Photo Courtesy: Armani Sharpe of A Smoking Mirror)

Yusef teamed up with 147Calboy from Meek Mills Dream Chasers, who recently released a single, and Vic Mensa of Roc Nation, who has in the past taken a stance on climate change and passed out shoes in his community, for the inaugural show last month, which Yusef said raised more than $10,000.

The concert is available via an app called MATT, which allows users to download and purchase a virtual ticket for the show. The technology helps bring the experience to fans while assisting artists get paid. A portion of the proceeds will go to inmates as will personal care items and personal protective equipment.

The show is also available as a recorded segment.

And this won’t be the end: Yusef told Zenger there will be future shows.

Performances such as these may be the new normal going forward as it appears that the virus will be with us for some time. Virtual platforms allow fans to see artists from the comfort of home, keeping people safe while allowing artists to continue their trade.

There are some large differences performing on a virtual platform rather than in front of large crowds. “You can definitely feel your music and get pumped up but it’s kind of like being in a recording studio, it’s not the same as being around the fans and feeling their energy,” said Yusef.

The Chicago area continues to be one of the hardest-hit urban centers in the United States. According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Cook County, where Chicago is located, has seen more than 50,000 cases and more than 2,300 deaths from the virus.

While politicians struggle to keep people safe and businesses closed and some people start to feel as though they are being incarcerated in their own homes, the goal of efforts such as this concert series is to grounded fans in their humanity and remind viewer there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

More shows in the series have not yet been announced, but Yusef says there have been discussions about furthering the project to benefit the community as a whole.

(Editing by Allison Elyse Gualtieri)

 

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Police target attacks against Zimbabwean women

As she sits on her lawn battered, bruised and bitten from an alleged assault from members of Zimbabwe’s army, Lucia Mashoko recounts a harrowing tale.

Around 8 p.m. on the previous night, the 26-year-old said she was outside of the main house cooking when she saw people fleeing back inside the house.

When searching for what made them run, Mashoko caught glimpse of soldiers patrolling her street who were in the area to enforce Zimbabwe’s 21-day COVID-19 national lockdown that started on March 30.

“I was the last one to run inside the house, and just as I was getting in I noticed three of the soldiers followed and slapped me, and then forcefully dragged me from the house,” she said. “They took me behind the house and there I met dogs. One of the soldiers with the dog came to me and set it on my leg.”

The soldiers then took Mashoko to the street in front of her house where their vehicle had pulled up, she said, and then dismissed her because she was “injured.”

“I had troubling sleeping as I could only sit in pain the whole night,” said Mashoko.

She said the reason she was cooking outside the house was because her family uses wood as fuel. There is no power to cook inside her Chikangwe township home, located in the Karoi District of Mashonaland West Province in north-central Zimbabwe.

“I always cook around 8 p.m. If we don’t cook, we will sleep with hunger because of this corona thing,” Mashoko said. “I was not able to go to the hospital the next day because I was in pain and I don’t have money to go to the hospital.”

Mashoko first narrated her story to the Zimbabwe Independent, a weekly newspaper, on April  6 in a 1.25-minute video clip, which has been posted online. Visibly shaken in the video, Mashoko and her story are part of a larger trend of violent acts being perpetrated by members of the police and army deployed during the national lockdown.

While there are no statistics as to how many of these incidents have occurred, two of Zimbabwe’s leading women’s rights groups, Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence and Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe, have received numerous reports of such practices.

Reports to these two organizations include police officers beating up women while they were laying on the ground.

“There are many cases so far recorded of state security heavy handedness on women,” said Sitabile Dewa, Director of the women’s academy. “That’s why as WALPE continue to call for the setting up of the independent complaints mechanism against members of the security forces as stipulated by section 210 of the constitution.”

Ronika Mumbire, vice chair of the women’s coalition, also confirmed an increase in violence against women by state security.

“We have received some reports,” said Mumbire. “It’s sad that the easy target for gender-based violence is women. It puts them in a situation where they bear the brunt in cases of pandemics, conflicts etc. It is even very unfortunate when it’s coming from the security forces. There are ways of enforcing laws without being violent.”

Women are being subjugated to violence by the security sector in part because women are the primary caregivers in the household, said the women’s academy after conducting research. Current national electrical and water shortages combined with decreased access and poor food supplies at supermarkets mean women must search for firewood, water and food outside.

Searching outside the home for basic provisions means they are exposed to harassment from the security sector.

The Zimbabwe Defense Forces disagree.

“We can investigate such matters. You guys are sending me videos of incidents happening outside Zimbabwe then claim it is being perpetrated by the ZDF,” said spokesperson Overson Mugwisi of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces. “Some of this is being exaggerated.”

Zimbabwe security forces roll through downtown Harare, Zimbabwe in a tank in 2017. (Public Domain)

Mugwisi then viewed Mashoko’s video. “I am not saying that it didn’t happen but do you think three soldiers who are in a crowd with police can come and just attack someone at their house?” he said.

The police were not involved in any acts of violence against women, said Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson Commissioner Paul Nyathi, and some of the reports were exaggerated or fake.

Both Mugwisi and Nyathi said no reports of assault against women from their organizations had been made. However, the women’s academy said incidents are not being reported because the perpetrators are the same people to whom victims are supposed to file a report.

The Zimbabwe security sector has been questioned by its citizens on other issues in the past.

Following a delay in Zimbabwe’s presidential results in the July 2018 election, a protest broke out in the central business district in Harare, the nation’s capital. In response, the government deployed the army to quell the demonstrations, which left six dead.

Again in January 2019, following a three day anti-government national stay-away, the army and police killed 17 people.

Violence against women by the security sector is part of a growing global trend. Where COVID-19 cases are most prevalent, United Nations Women reports a 30 percent increase in reported domestic violence cases and a 33 percent increase in emergency calls for gender-based violence.

(Editing by Zack Baddorf and Stephanie Mikulasek)

 

 

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Sudan allegedly sent millions to America’s Mideast rivals

Sudan’s former dictator siphoned off “millions of dollars” from one of Africa’s poorest nations and sent it to bank accounts in Qatar and Iran—nations generally at odds with United States foreign policy—according to French investigative news site Mediapart.fr.

Melanie Chavron, a Mediapart investigative reporter, cited unnamed “Sudanese intelligence officers” aligned with the new transitional government that is probing the financial activities of the former regime.

Gen. Omar al-Bashir came to power in a bloodless coup in 1989 and ruled alongside Islamic extremists who welcomed Osama bin Laden to Sudan’s capital city, Khartoum, where the terror mastermind lived openly from 1992 to 1996. Al-Bashir’s mishandling of the economy led to his downfall. First, came the secession of the largely Christian and animist South Sudan in 2011, depriving the north of substantial oil wealth. Next, after more than a decade, al-Bashir decoupled Sudan’s currency from its fixed-exchange rate with the U.S. dollar, triggering inflation and galloping prices. When government workers complained of months of nearly worthless pay while students decried higher food and fuel prices, the mass demonstrations became too large for police and soldiers to disperse. Al-Bashir stepped down on April 11, 2019.

Al-Bashir now awaits his fate at Kober prison, a whitewashed walled structure mainly built during the British colonial period that ended in 1956.

During the protests, al-Bashir sought funds from Qatar to rescue his struggling regime.

Al-Bashir refused to renounce his ties to Qatar despite entreaties from neighboring Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states—and demands from some Sudanese opposition figures. Until recently, none had publicly suggested that al-Bashir’s loyalty has had a personal financial motive.

During al-Bashir’s rule, Sudan’s oil sales, backed by Chinese investment, and port infrastructure, backed largely by Qatar, billions of dollars in aid, loans, and cash passed through government ministries controlled by al-Bashir and his close associates—with virtually no public accounting.

Now Sudan’s total debt is estimated at $150 billion and the transitional government is desperately trying to locate funds to treat its nation’s Covid-19 patients. Sudan has long been ranked as one of the world’s poorest nations by United Nations measurements; roughly half of Sudanese subsist on less than $2 per day.

According to French reports of the Sundanese internal audit, some of those funds have been tracked to banks in Qatar and Iran.

Qatar, the home of Al Jazeera satellite television network, has publicly acknowledged sending more than $1 billion to Hamas, which is officially listed as a terrorist entity by the U.S., the E.U., Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Qatar also shares the offshore South Pars natural gas field with Iran, providing a financial lifeline for one of the world’s most-sanctioned nations. Qatar, a U.S. ally, is also home to some 11,000 U.S. airmen and soldiers at base on that prosperous peninsula and its emir has visited President Trump in the White House.

Iran is listed by the U.S. State Department as a “state sponsor” of terrorism, because of its financing of Hezbollah, which has killed more Americans than any other terror group other than al Qaeda. The Islamic regime also held 52 U.S. diplomats hostage for 444 days from 1979 to 1981, where they were subjected to mock executions, beatings and bouts of starvation.

Al-Bashir maintained close financial ties to both nations. Qatar has been essential to financing the peace deal among some 88 tribes in Darfur, which was one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the 2000s. That peace deal required regular payments to tribal leaders; those payments passed through agencies controlled by al-Bashir.

Qatar also funded the Suakin port development project, on Sudan’s Red Sea coast. It was announced in March 2018, just months before al-Bashir was forced to flee the tree-shaded gardens and fountains of his white-marble-clad presidential complex. The massive Suakin project, which was to include both onshore facilities and offshore docks and cranes for ocean-going vessels, was said to be in the billions. Al-Bashir received bribes from that vast project, according to Sudanese officials who talked to Mediapart.fr.

Some of Qatar’s port funds may have been used to finance terrorists in Sudan, according to an Eritrean government report. Mediapart.fr quotes, but does not link or cite, the Eritrean report: “Supporters of the radical Islamist, Mohammed Jumma (a notorious terrorist), have secretly opened an office in an isolated area to organize political and military activities and to train their members. Funding for their activities is provided by the Qatar Embassy in Khartoum [Sudan]. Training and other logistical functions are managed by the Sudanese Security and Intelligence Service.”

Zenger News cannot independently confirm the Eritrean report and U.S. intelligence officials have declined to comment on it.

Meanwhile, Sudan’s transitional government is gradually succeeding in removing U.S. sanctions, which were applied after bin Laden’s 1992 arrival there. The new government has pledged to turn over al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court in The Hague and make restitution payments to U.S. families who lost loved ones in al Qaeda terrorist attacks.

Another sign of warming relations: The U.S. has offered an official visit to Abdel Fattah Al-Burhane, the leader of Sudan’s transitional Supreme Council. Though delayed by the COVID-19 crisis, it would mark the first official visit of a Sudanese leader to Washington in more than three decades.

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Afghanistan-Pakistan border is slowly easing open to people and trade

Pakistan allowed thousands of stranded Afghans to return home after reopening the two primary border crossings between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Islamabad said the two border crossings on the Durand Line, Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing in Afghanistan’s southeastern Kandahar province and the Torkham gate near the Pakistani northern city of Peshawar, were reopened at a special request from Kabul. The crossings had been closed for a month because of COVID-19.

The Durand Line, established by the British in 1893, divided Afghanistan’s majority Pashtun tribe with Pakistan and still is not officially recognized by Afghanistan as the national border. Federally Administered Tribal Areas serve as the buffer along the Durand Line, of which the Pakistan government retains little control.

The four-day opening ended when Pakistan’s interior ministry shut down the border crossings to slow the spread of COVID-19 through at least April.

Nangarhar’s governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said he expected 10,000 containers transited into Afghanistan from Pakistan over the weekend. Another avenue of trade between the two countries is Pakistan’s Karachi Port, where currently 1,900 containers with Afghan Transit Trade items are stuck.

Despite lockdowns on both sides, Pakistan’s cement exports to Afghanistan have grown 49%, said the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association. Exports rose in March despite the COVID-19 border restrictions.

Afghanistan’s Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Hanif Atmar met Pakistan’s Ambassador Zahid Nasrullah Khan recently to discuss the border crossings and the Afghan refugees, especially those affected by the outbreak of #COVID-19. The first Afghan national, 45 years, died last month from the COVID-19 pandemic in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The outpatient departments of major hospitals in Peshawar and elsewhere in the country have been shut due to the rapid spread of the virus. Pakistan reports 15,759 people have tested positive for the virus and 346 have died. Just a week ago, 5,715 people tested positive and 98 had died.

Compiled from news reports of Pajhwok Afghan News.

(Editing by Stephanie Mikulasek and Allison Elyse Gualtieri.)

The post Afghanistan-Pakistan border is slowly easing open to people and trade appeared first on Zenger News.

Afghanistan-Pakistan border slowly eases open to people and trade

Pakistan allowed thousands of stranded Afghans to return home after reopening the two primary border crossings between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Islamabad said the two border crossings on the Durand Line, Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing in Afghanistan’s southeastern Kandahar province and the Torkham gate near the Pakistani northern city of Peshawar, were reopened at a special request from Kabul. The crossings had been closed for a month because of COVID-19.

The Durand Line, established by the British in 1893, divided Afghanistan’s majority Pashtun tribe with Pakistan and still is not officially recognized by Afghanistan as the national border. Federally Administered Tribal Areas serve as the buffer along the Durand Line, of which the Pakistan government retains little control.

The four-day opening ended when Pakistan’s interior ministry shut down the border crossings to slow the spread of COVID-19 through at least April.

Nangarhar governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani (center) speaks at a press conference on Dec. 17, 2016 in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. (Photo: Pajhwok)

Nangarhar’s governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said he expected 10,000 containers transited into Afghanistan from Pakistan over the weekend. Another avenue of trade between the two countries is Pakistan’s Karachi Port, where currently 1,900 containers with Afghan Transit Trade items are stuck.

Despite lockdowns on both sides, Pakistan’s cement exports to Afghanistan have grown 49%, said the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association. Exports rose in March despite the COVID-19 border restrictions.

Afghanistan’s Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Hanif Atmar met Pakistan’s Ambassador Zahid Nasrullah Khan recently to discuss the border crossings and the Afghan refugees, especially those affected by the outbreak of #COVID-19. The first Afghan national, 45 years old, died last month from the COVID-19 pandemic in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The outpatient departments of major hospitals in Peshawar and elsewhere in the country have been shut due to the rapid spread of the virus. Pakistan reports 15,759 people have tested positive for the virus and 346 have died. Just a week ago, 5,715 people tested positive and 98 had died.

Compiled from news reports of Pajhwok Afghan News.

(Editing by Stephanie Mikulasek and Allison Elyse Gualtieri.)

The post Afghanistan-Pakistan border slowly eases open to people and trade appeared first on Zenger News.

Beyond Meat and its rivals rely on Chinese ingredients, opening food-safety debate in the COVID-19 era

While America’s biggest beef and pork producers were nearly laid low in April by COVID-19 cases in their workforce, sales of what detractors call “fake meat” boomed. But the pandemic may in time affect sales of plant-based protein, too, as U.S. consumers become more wary of all things China—which supplies a majority of the products’ ingredients.

The market research firm Nielsen said nationwide sales of meat alternatives rose 224% in the week ending April 25, compared with the same period in 2019. During the last eight weeks, the gain over last year was more than 269%.

China’s food-processing factories provide most of what goes into vegan burger patties and other meat replacements made by market leaders Beyond Meat and Impossible foods—an arrangement that could damage their standing among consumers in the coronavirus age.

 

Four “Beyond Meat” brand beyond sauasages are wrapped on November 18, 2018. (Photo: Helen Alfvegren on CC 2.0 License)

Beyond Meat recently signed a significant deal with Shuangta Foods, located in China’s Shandong province. Shuangta will provide 85 percent of the pea protein for its products. The company said its first purchases will total some 285 tons.

Ever since the emergence of the novel coronavirus in China’s Wuhan province, the world press has criticized the Middle Kingdom for its sanitary standards and its lack of institutional transparency.

“We have lots of opportunities to buy food—whether plants, real meat or other foods—that is grown and produced right here in North America,” Will Coggin, managing director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, a food industry-backed advocacy group, said. His organization runs CleanFoodFacts.com, an unsubtle dig at imitation meat brands.

“The coronavirus crisis has many Americans questioning the wisdom of being so reliant on China, both from a practical and ethical point of view,” he said. “Once American consumers learn that so much ultra-processed plant protein comes from China, fake meat won’t seem so appetizing.”

Fans of meat alternatives cite animal welfare, climate change, global food shortages and human health as reasons for their devotion. As a result, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have made their way into the mainstream, signing deals with Dunkin Donuts and Burger King.

But food safety scandals have long plagued China. Plant-based proteins sourced from China were used to produce pet food that killed nearly 4,000 cats and dogs across the United States in 2007. The food was contaminated with melamine, an ingredient found in plastics and glues.

Some farm animal feed was also affected.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture later concluded that between 2.5 million and 3 million Americans had eaten chicken and pork from animals that consumed tainted Chinese feed.

The Impossible Whopper from Burger King is wrapped in its signiture green label on August 19, 2019. (Photo: Tony Webster on CC 2.0 License)

Chinese-made baby formula laced with melamine killed six children and hospitalized 53,000 there a year later. Manufacturers had added the nitrogen-rich chemical to milk in order to mask the results of tests measuring protein, according to the World Health Organization. The milk’s protein levels were low, the agency said, because it had been watered down.

Undeclared wheat gluten was the other culprit in the damaging Chinese pet-food episode. The FDA reported in January 2020 that pet food is “not subject to mandatory inspection” in China. The agency concluded that it “does not know which regions of the country may or may not be impacted by the problem, which firms are the major manufacturers and exporters of vegetable proteins to the United States, where these vegetable proteins are grown in China, and what controls are currently in place to prevent against contamination.”

While many American food companies source their pea protein from China, few disclose much to American or European regulators. Axiom Foods provided more than 100 pages of data to the FDA when it asked the agency to certify that its ingredients are “Generally Recognized As Safe,” a designation that would exempt it from many food safety regulations. The company mentioned Chinese production in just one paragraph.

Now Foods published a report about a trip to audit its providers in China, but details were similarly thin.

Representatives from Now Foods and Beyond Meat did not respond to requests for comment about how the safety and quality of food sourced from China can be guaranteed in light of that nation’s role in sparking the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lucas Thompson, a spokesman for Impossible Foods, said the company’s supply chain and production volumes haven’t been affected, and that it is “continuously evaluating our entire supply chain with the goal of ensuring product safety and minimizing delays or disruptions.”

The company is restricting external visitors to its facilities and those of its manufacturing partners, he said, and is sanitizing, disinfecting and deep cleaning all workplaces to ensure strict hygiene standards and worker safety.

“Impossible Foods meets or exceeds all guidelines set forth by applicable public health agencies and continuously consults with experts in the public and private sector,” he said.

The “Supplier Code of Conduct” handed out to Impossible Foods vendors lays the food safety burden on their shoulders, however, saying they must ensure ingredients “are accurately labeled and comply with all federal, state and local requirements. Suppliers are required to immediately report to us any issue that could negatively affect the quality or safety of any Impossible Foods product.”

The code is thin on enforcement mechanisms. It offers Hong Kong whistleblowers—but not those in mainland China—a toll-free hotline.

It’s unclear whether Chinese suppliers are better at maintaining food safety standards than they used to be.

A poter advertises “The Impossible Burger” on April 22, 2018. (Photo: anokarina/Flickr on CC 2.0 License)

Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Starbucks were forced to apologize six years ago for selling expired meat sourced from Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd. A television exposé found workers handling meat with their bare hands and packaging ground beef patties that had sat on the floor.

Then came aluminum-laced dumplings and cadmium in rice. And Hunan province police in 2010 raided a network of underground businesses that made and sold “peas”—in reality small soybeans mixed with illegal dyes and sodium metabisulfite, a preservative also used as a disinfectant. People who attempted to cook them found they turned yellow, and the water turned green.

A 2018 study from the Clean Label Project, a nonprofit watchdog that licenses safety certifications to food producers, found significant levels of lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium and other toxins in a majority of 130 protein powders sold at Amazon and organic food retailers.

Seventy-five percent of the protein powders had elevated levels of lead; 55 percent had elevated levels of BPA, an endocrine disruptor that medical research suggests may be linked to Type 2 diabetes.

Many of those products originated in China or were made with Chinese components.

Despite a raft of scandals, China’s global dominance of food processing continues. Today China processes up to 79 percent of the soy protein isolate, 50 percent of the textured soy protein, and 23 percent of the soy protein concentrate used worldwide, according to research published by the Good Food Institute, an advocacy group that promotes vegan food.

These same raw materials are often used in protein supplements, including energy bars and milkshake powders widely consumed by Americans and Europeans.

Fake Meat, Diced Onions and Bell Pepper fry in a pan on November 25, 2010. (Photo: “lvalue” on Flickr, CC 2.0 License)

China’s share of the global food processing market has climbed sharply since 2016. “As of 2017, there were seven pea producers in China with a total processing capacity of 67,453 tonnes per year, which will increase to 146,313 tonnes per year by the end of 2019, according to expansion plans,” the Good Food Institute wrote in 2019.

Dietary vegans who spoke with Zenger News said they try to rely mostly on unprocessed sources of protein instead of meat substitutes.

Montreal resident Camilo Gómez said he occasionally uses protein powder in a smoothie, but covers his protein needs with tofu, tempeh, beans, lentils, quinoa and nuts. “I see [them] as treats, when I crave a burger, I’ll have one,” he said of meat alternatives like Beyond’s burgers and faux chicken nuggets, “but I don’t rely on them as my protein source.”

Aleksandra Denda, a vegan who lives in New York City, said she’s “not a fan of any kind of protein powders” because of the lack of heavy metals testing. The contamination, she said, brings “larger damage than benefit.”

Chaya Bender, a vegan from Greenwich, Connecticut, told Zenger she consumes meat substitutes regularly. “I think fake meat is delicious and I do eat it about once a week,” she said. “I really think it’s for vegetarians and meat eaters, primarily. It’s like gateway veganism.”

More casual consumers of meat alternatives could be driven away as grassroots anger against China builds this year.

A Pew Research Center study found 60% of Americans already had an unfavorable view of China in 2019, a 14-year high. Nearly 24% of Americans saw China as the biggest threat to America, tying with Russia and well ahead of North Korea’s 12%.

Impossible Foods founder and CEO Pat Brown predicted robust growth at the end of the year.

“Demand has soared from every category in which we do business.” Brown said then, citing “large fast-food chains, individual restaurants, colleges and universities, corporate campuses, theme parks and more.” No such projections have circulated since the COVID-19 panic shut down many restaurants across the country.

(Editing by Allison Elyse Gualtieri)

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Test your news knowledge with Zenger: May 7

Which state has canceled its upcoming Democratic presidential primary election?


Pixabay

Correct!
Wrong!

Saturday Night Live did a skit with a fake TV message from which state governor?


Joe Senft/Flickr

Correct!
Wrong!

Cecily Strong played Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Which NBA team returned a $4.6 million federal loan intended for small businesses?


Kenny Westray

Correct!
Wrong!

The Lakers are the most recent major company to return a loan from the federal government intended to grant small businesses relief from the COVID-19 epidemic.

The Pentagon released unclassified footage of “unidentified aerial phenomena” from which years?


Pentagon

Correct!
Wrong!

The Department of Defense released the footage from 2004 and 2015 taken by Navy pilots.

Model Gigi Hadid is expecting a baby with which former member of One Direction?


Eva Rinaldi on CC 2.0 License

Correct!
Wrong!

TMZ reported that Hadid is around 20 weeks along.

AMC Theaters will no longer show which studio’s movies after a dispute over whether to release films in theaters before allowing the public to stream them?


U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez

Correct!
Wrong!

AMC Theatres will no longer play Universal films effective immediately, after NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell commented on its decision to skip a traditional theatrical release for “Trolls World Tour” during the coronavirus pandemic and make it a digital exclusive.

Swiss authorities said children younger than 10 can now do what as the country begins to ease its coronavirus restrictions?


Pixabay

Correct!
Wrong!

The Swiss health ministry’s infectious diseases chief Daniel Koch said scientists “now know young children don’t transmit the virus.”

Which U.S. state is NOT among the five with the most reported COVID-19 cases, as of the end of April?


Videoblocks

Correct!
Wrong!

The top five states, in order, are New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois and California.

Which American multinational corporation plans to cut about 10% of its jobs as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on earnings?


Videoblocks

Correct!
Wrong!

Boeing posted its second consecutive quarterly loss after turning a profit for more than 40 straight quarters.

Which talk show is airing longer episodes during the coronavirus pandemic?


Jorge Franganillo/Flickr

Correct!
Wrong!

For the first time in its history, “The Daily Show” will air for 45 minutes instead of 30 minutes amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Test your news knowledge with Zenger: May 7

News Novice
Casual Content Consumer
Current Events Connoisseur
Certified News Junkie

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