President Donald Trump conceded Tuesday that more Americans will die in reopening the US economy but underlined his insistence on a dwindling coronavirus threat by refusing to wear a mask, even as he toured a mask-making factory.Asked by ABC News whether a lifting of social distancing measures and reopening of the shuttered economy will lead to higher death tolls, Trump said “it’s possible there will be some.””Because you won’t be locked into an apartment or a house or whatever it is,” Trump said at the Honeywell factory in Phoenix, Arizona, which he visited on his first major trip since the coronavirus lockdown began. Alterative facts Trump’s Arizona mask moment came after his vice president, Mike Pence, caused an uproar a week ago when he was photographed mask-less during a visit to the famous Mayo Clinic hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, which requires visitors to cover up.Pence — unusually for a member of the Trump administration — publicly admitted he’d been wrong.”I didn’t think it was necessary, but I should have worn a mask,” he said on Sunday.On a subsequent trip, Pence did wear a mask.The White House says that because top officials and their guests are frequently tested for the coronavirus they generally don’t need to follow the guidance.However, the controversy runs deeper, reflecting a dispute over facts that has turned swaths of the United States into camps where the left and right see different basic realities.Polls show that Democrats support face covering as a sign of shared responsibility, while some Republicans see mask-wearing orders as a big government threat to individual liberty.Trump-supported groups protesting the coronavirus lockdown — sometimes ostentatiously brandishing firearms and parading in paramilitary garb — liken going mask-free to an act of political independence.In Stillwater, Oklahoma, and other cities, local leaders abandoned orders to wear masks after threats of violence.A common slogan at the protests now is that the entire pandemic is a “hoax.” Topics : Bolstering that shift of direction, the White House said that Trump’s emergency coordination group for the pandemic would be disbanding, probably by early June. “Will some people be affected badly? Yes,” he admitted earlier at the factory. “But we have to get our country open.”Trump’s November reelection campaign is reeling from the massive shutdown ordered to try and stop the spread of the virus, which has already killed 70,000 Americans and is forecast to take tens of thousands more lives.Praising the Honeywell workers, who churn out masks used by medical staff and other first responders, Trump reiterated that it’s time to look ahead.”I want to be a cheerleader,” he said. Unpresidential masks?Trump’s audience at Honeywell sat masked in compliance with US government recommendations and their own company rule, which was clearly displayed on a sign in the facility reading: “Please wear your mask at all times.”Trump had teased as he left Washington that after months of resistance he might finally cover his face.The fact that he skipped the opportunity to make a statement about safety was in line with his new focus on getting Americans to return to work.And he has been skeptical about masks since early on.White House medical experts and even First Lady Melania Trump promote masks as a crucial tool in fighting the viral spread.But the president, tuned closely into his loyal right-wing base, has used his massive visibility to downplay the need.”I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know,” he said in April, apparently suggesting a mask would be unpresidential. “Somehow, I don’t see it for myself.”
LNG World News Staff FSRU Independence (Image courtesy of Klaipedos Nafta)Liquefied natural gas (LNG) volumes at Lithuania’s first import terminal in the port of Klaipeda have dropped more than a third in the January-July period, according to the latest data by the terminal operator, Klaipėdos Nafta.Klaipėdos Nafta said Monday its Klaipeda LNG import terminal has during the January-July period in total regasified and reloaded 6.5 terawatt hours (TWh) as compared to 10.2 TWh in the same period in 2016.The 36 percent drop in the volumes is explained by lower capacities ordered by the terminal users, according to Klaipedos Nafta. Deliveries to Lithuania’s LNG terminal are being split between Litgas, a part of state-controlled energy group Lietuvos Energija, Lietuvos Duju Tiekimas, and Lithuanian fertilizer producer Achema.On the other side, revenues coming from regas and reloading activities from Höegh LNG’s FSRU Independence used as Lithuania’s first import terminal in the port of Klaipeda rose 2.3 percent to 40.5 million euros ($47.7m) in the period under review.For the month of July, LNG terminal revenues were flat at 5.5 million euros while volumes rose almost 65 percent to 1.6 TWh, Klaipedos Nafta said.Worth mentioning, Lithuania, the largest of the three Baltic nations started importing LNG in December 2014 in order to reduce its dependence on Russian pipeline gas supplies.The FSRU currently provides Lithuania with roughly half of its gas needs with the rest being sourced from Russian Gazprom.
Morning Wrap: Angels avoid disaster, Dodgers win with the long ball and more … Koretz, a lifelong Dodger fan, said even the players who knew of the scheme to steal pitch signs but did not come forward about it should be held accountable. He said the cheating likely robbed longtime Dodgers players of a shot at the title, but he conceded there’s no way to know. Photos: Find your face (or your pup’s) amid fan cutouts at Dodger Stadium GOING, GOING VIRAL: What they’re saying on social media about Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly Morning Wrap: Full coverage from Lakers-Clippers thriller; Angels, Dodgers going in different directions; Whicker pays tribute to legendary Mike Gillespie BUSTED: Social media goes wild again after Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly gets eight-game suspension There’s no crying in baseball, but there could be government action.Los Angeles City Councilmen Paul Koretz and Gilbert Cedillo introduced a resolution on Wednesday, Jan. 15, asking Major League Baseball to award the 2017 and 2018 World Series titles to the Dodgers.The league concluded this week that the Houston Astros used a camera to illicitly steal signs from opposing catchers during the 2017 season, which ended with the Astros defeating the Dodgers in the World Series.According to the league, the sign-stealing system was orchestrated by then-Astros bench coach Alex Cora, who served as manager of the Boston Red Sox in 2018, which ended with the Red Sox defeating the Dodgers in the World Series. Cora, who has yet to be punished by MLB, parted ways with the Red Sox this week following the release of the league investigation.Koretz conceded that it’s “uncharted territory” to request the league to strip two teams of their titles and award them to another, but he said it would be fair to give the Los Angeles players a championship after being cheated.“MLB did take it seriously by (issuing) significant suspensions, which were followed by major league clubs firing managers,” Koretz told City News Service. “There have been scandals in the past over the century-plus that we’ve had Major League Baseball in this country. I’m not sure if we’ve had this documented an effort to steal two World Series, and we know the results. … I think that would be an appropriate payback. I think this really besmirches the national pastime and the most historic sport in American history, and there has to be a message that this isn’t allowed.”Related Articles According to Forbes Magazine, it’s highly unlikely that the teams will have to forfeit their World Series titles, as MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is “exceptionally limited in making it happen without going to war with the MLBPA,” the union that represents the league’s players.The resolution does not call for the city to initiate any legal action, although some Dodger fans have suggested going to court over the matter.The last time the Dodgers won the World Series was in 1988, when they defeated the Oakland Athletics. Morning Wrap: Angels avoid disaster, Dodgers win with the long ball and more … BUSTED: Social media goes wild again after Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly gets eight-game suspension Morning Wrap: Full coverage from Lakers-Clippers thriller; Angels, Dodgers going in different directions; Whicker pays tribute to legendary Mike Gillespie The league initially suspended Astros’ general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for a year, but the club quickly fired the pair. The Astros were also fined $5 million and ordered to forfeit its first- and second-round draft picks for two years.Related Articles GOING, GOING VIRAL: What they’re saying on social media about Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly Photos: Find your face (or your pup’s) amid fan cutouts at Dodger Stadium Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error