North Carolina woman is accused of using her $149,000 Covid-19 relief loan for shopping sprees

As millions struggle to stay afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic, the last purchases on most minds are Louis Vuitton and diamonds. But in a state facing a 6.5% unemployment rate last August, one North Carolina woman allegedly used a $149,000 Covid-19 relief loan to purchase items at businesses including Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, IKEA and multiple diamond stores. Jasmine Johnnae Clifton, a 24-year-old Charlotte resident, appeared in federal court this week after being charged with two counts of fraud for using a business that had been dissolved to get Covid-19 relief funds, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina. The loan was part of the CARES Act’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Funds were provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to North Carolina small businesses “suffering substantial economic injury” due to the pandemic, according to an SBA press release. Clifton did not respond to CNN requests for comment, and her public defender declined to comment due to the case’s pending status. Indictment: The loan was for a business that no longer existed Clifton…

Coronavirus can survive on some fabrics for 72 hours in a lab, study finds

Click here for updates on this story     TORONTO, Ontario (CTV News) — A new study has found that the novel coronavirus can survive on some forms of fabric and transmit to other surfaces for up to 72 hours in a laboratory setting. The study, conducted by researchers at the De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester, U.K., reported that traces of the coronavirus can remain infectious on polyester, polycotton, and 100 per cent cotton for up to three days. “When the pandemic first started, there was very little understanding of how long coronavirus could survive on textiles,” lead researchers and DMU microbiologist Dr. Katie Laird said in a press release. “Our findings show that three of the most commonly used textiles in healthcare pose a risk for transmission of the virus. If nurses and health-care workers take their uniforms home, they could be leaving traces of the virus on other surfaces,” she added. To find this out, researchers added droplets of a model coronavirus called HCoV-OC43, which they reported has a “very similar structure and survival pattern” to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to the…

BLM launches Survival Fund to assist those in need amid ongoing coronavirus pandemic

The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is formally expanding a $3 million financial relief fund that it quietly launched earlier this month, to help people struggling to make ends meet during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The foundation, which grew out of the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement nearly eight years ago, said Thursday that it plans to make up to 3,000 microgrants of $1,000 each to people who it believes need it most. The BLM foundation has already begun asking recipients to apply for the Survival Fund grants as it builds out its philanthropic arm. If approved, the money is deposited directly into recipients’ bank accounts or made available on prepaid debit cards, the foundation said — no strings attached. “This came from a collective conversation with BLM leadership that Black folks are being hurt the most financially during the pandemic,” BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors told The Associated Press. “I believe that when you have resources, to hoard them is a disservice to the people who deserve them,” she said. Cullors, the foundation’s executive director, said that so far the Survival Fund’s…

GOP rallies against Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package

Republicans rallied solidly against Democrats’ proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill as lawmakers awaited a decision by the Senate’s parliamentarian that could bolster or potentially kill a pivotal provision hiking the federal minimum wage. Despite their paper-thin congressional majorities, Democratic leaders were poised to push the sweeping package through the House on Friday. They were hoping the Senate, where changes seem likely, would follow quickly enough to have legislation on President Joe Biden’s desk by mid-March. By late Wednesday, not one Republican in either chamber had publicly said he or she would back the legislation. GOP leaders were honing attacks on the package as a job killer that does too little to reopen schools or businesses shuttered for the coronavirus pandemic and that was not only wasteful but also even unscrupulous. “I haven’t seen a Republican yet that’s found something in there that they agree with,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. “I think all Republicans believe in three simple things: They want a bill that puts us back to work, back to school and back to health. This bill is too costly, too corrupt and too liberal.” The hardening…

Researchers Developing Rapid At-Home COVID Test That Connects To Your Smartphone

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Researchers are developing a new, rapid COVID-19 test that connects to your smartphone to reveal results at home. Ever since the pandemic began, researchers in France have been working on a way to test for COVID-19 quickly and accurately. “Since March, we try to develop a portable device everybody can use at home,” said University of Lille Professor Sabine Szunerits. The research at the French university started, oddly enough, with camels, llamas and alpacas. Scientists took tiny antibody particles from the animals called nanobodies. After some complicated science, they produced a device that plugs into a smartphone. A nasal or saliva swab is placed onto a strip and if nanobodies come into contact with the virus, the test will know it. “You start your mobile phone, a signal will occur, and depending on the height of the signal, you can say if you’re COVID positive or negative,” said Professor Szunerits. Researchers said initial trials on 300 samples were 90% accurate and delivered in 10 minutes. The next phase of the project is to run a three-month trial on more than 1,000 people.…

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