Duran Duran's John Taylor reveals coronavirus recovery

John Taylor of Duran Duran, shown last year, said Sunday he is recovering from COVID-19.Amy Harris / Amy Harris/Invision/AP

LOS ANGELES — Duran Duran bassist John Taylor took to Facebook on Sunday to reveal he had tested positive for coronavirus and is on the mend. Taylor was diagnosed with COVID-19 "three weeks ago" and has been self-quarantining.

"I am speaking out to answer to the enormous amount of fear being generated by the pandemic, some of it entirely justified, and my heart goes out to everyone who has had to deal with real loss and pain," he wrote. "But I want to let you know that it isn't always a killer, and we can and will beat this thing."

The entertainment community has been rocked by the virus, having recently lost Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger, country star Joe Diffie and jazz musician Ellis Marsalis Jr., among others.

Outages and delays mar new small business loan program

The electronic system the Small Business Administration is using to set up new coronavirus loans was down much of Monday, according to senior banking executives, making it impossible for many new loans to be guaranteed.

Billions of dollars in loans sought by small businesses trying to pay employees and keep their doors open were on pause as the SBA, supported by the Treasury, grapples with the demand on its system.

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MLB reportedly discussing plan for all teams to play in Arizona

Putting all 30 teams in the Phoenix area and playing in empty ballparks was among the ideas discussed Monday by Major League Baseball and the players’ association.

The sides held a telephone call to talk about paths forward for a season delayed by the new coronavirus pandemic, people familiar with the discussion told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no details were announced.

Ideas are still in the early stage, and the Arizona option would have many obstacles to overcome, the people said.

“It allows for immediacy of a schedule, where you might be able to begin it and televise it, provide Major League Baseball to America,” said Scott Boras, baseball’s most prominent agent. “I think players are willing to do what’s necessary because I think they understand the importance of baseball for their own livelihoods and for the interest of our country and providing a necessary product that gives all the people that are isolated enjoyment.”

New Zealand’s health minister demoted after going to beach during lockdown

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand’s health minister has described himself as an “idiot” and has been stripped of some responsibilities after breaching the country’s strict lockdown measures.

David Cook drove about 12 miles to the beach to take a walk with his family. He said that at a time when the government was asking New Zealanders to make historic sacrifices by staying at home, he had let them down.

“I’ve been an idiot, and I understand why people will be angry with me,” he said in a statement.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said under normal circumstances, she would sack Clark. But she said the country couldn’t afford massive disruption in its health sector while it was fighting the virus. Instead, she said, she was stripping Clark of his role as Associate Finance Minister and demoting him to the bottom of the Cabinet rankings.

New Zealand is nearly halfway through a planned four-week lockdown aimed at minimizing the spread of the virus.

USNS Comfort crew member tests positive

A crew member on the Navy hospital ship the USNS Comfort, dispatched to New York City to help in the coronavirus outbreak in the region, has tested positive for the illness COVID-19.

The Navy said in a statement that the crew member tested positive Monday and is isolated from other crew or any patients.

"There is no impact to Comfort’s mission, and this will not affect the ability for Comfort to receive patients," the Navy said. 

The USNS Comfort, with a capacity of around 1,000 beds, was initially supposed to take non-virus patients in order to help local hospitals care for cases associated with the epidemic, but on Monday the governor and President Donald Trump said it would take COVID-19 patients. Trump said it would also take patients from New Jersey.

Trump aide Navarro reportedly warned White House of pandemic risks in January

U.N. secretary-general to brief Security Council on pandemic

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will brief the U.N. Security Council for the first time on the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, behind closed doors.

The U.N.’s most powerful body has come under criticism for not addressing the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 disease. The council has in the past spoken out on two public health emergencies — HIV/AIDS and Ebola.

The U.N. General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution on April 2 recognizing “the unprecedented effects” of the coronavirus pandemic and calling for “intensified international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat” the COVID-19 disease. Resolutions of the 193-member world body reflect global opinion but are not legally binding.

More than 800 die in France in 24 hours

PARIS — France’s health minister has reported the country’s highest 24-hour death toll recorded in the country since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Olivier Veran said Monday evening that 833 people died of coronavirus in hospitals and nursing homes since Sunday.

Though some predicted that the infection rate might start to slow, Veran said that “we have not reached the end of the ascent of this epidemic.”

France has only recently started counting nursing home deaths in their COVID-19-related death counts, and previously only reported deaths in hospitals.

The total number that have died from the coronavirus stands at 8,911.

Texas teen faces terrorism charge after threatening to spread coronavirus, police say

Police in Texas are searching for an 18-year-old girl who claimed in a series of Snapchat videos to have tested positive for and to be "willfully spreading" the coronavirus.

18-year-old Lorraine Maradiaga.Carrollton Texas Police Department / via Facebook

The teenager, identified by police in Carrollton, near Dallas, as Lorraine Maradiaga, faces a charge of making a terroristic threat.

"I'm here at Walmart about to infest every motherf------, because if I'm going down, all you motherf------ are going down," Maradiaga says in the video, according to police.

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