As Italy mourns thousands of coronavirus dead, and survivors brace for life in an economic wasteland, one rung of society looks to win big: organised crime.
“The Italian mafia can turn threats into opportunities,” top government anti-mafia investigator Giuseppe Governale told AFP.
Over 10,000 people have died in Italy of the flu-like disease, which has forced the country into a lockdown that is devastating the eurozone’s third largest economy.
From the historic Cosa Nostra in Sicily, to the immensely powerful ‘Ndrangheta in Calabria and trigger-happy Camorra in Naples, Italy’s mafias were “caught on the back foot (by the virus), but are now organising themselves,” Governale said.
The Economist Intelligence Unit said Thursday it expected Italy’s GDP to contract by a colossal seven percent for the year. Italian experts say some 65 percent of Italian small and medium businesses are at risk of bankruptcy.
BOCA RATON, Fla. (CBS12) — The Berman Law Group filed a class action federal lawsuit against the People’s Republic of China and several other Chinese government entities, alleging they mishandled the outbreak of COVID-19.
According to the law group, the lawsuit accuses the Chinese government of failing to contain the virus and allowing it to spread globally, causing it to become acostly global pandemic.
The law group is backed by big names such as Frank Biden, Joe Biden’s brother, and former Sen. Joseph Abruzzo.
The suit names five plaintiffs, none of whom have the virus, but who say they were adversely impacted by the outbreak. The Berman Group, a Boca Raton-based law firm representing the five plaintiffs, say they’ve received dozens of calls from others looking to be added to the complaint since filing.
AS THE NEW CORONAVIRUS spreads illness, death, and catastrophe around the world, virtually no economic sector has been spared from harm. Yet amid the mayhem from the global pandemic, one industry is not only surviving, it is profiting handsomely.
“Pharmaceutical companies view Covid-19 as a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity,” said Gerald Posner, author of “Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America.” The world needs pharmaceutical products, of course. For the new coronavirus outbreak, in particular, we need treatments and vaccines and, in the U.S., tests. Dozens of companies are now vying to make them.
“They’re all in that race,” said Posner, who described the potential payoffs for winning the race as huge. The global crisis “will potentially be a blockbuster for the industry in terms of sales and profits,” he said, adding that “the worse the pandemic gets, the higher their eventual profit.”
There were fierce clashes at the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday and a fierce critique from Chief Justice John Roberts afterward upon learning about statements made by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer outside while the arguments were taking place inside.
Addressing a crowd of abortion-rights demonstrators, Schumer, D-N.Y., referred to the court’s two Trump appointees, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, and said, “You have unleashed the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Schumer’s statement was apparently a reference to Kavanaugh’s angry statement to Democratic senators at his 2018 confirmation hearing, “You sowed the wind. For decades to come, I fear the country will reap the whirlwind.”
The hours-of-service laws, which mandate how many hours a truck driver may work and have been in place for truck drivers since 1938, are suspended at a federal level for the first time in history.
As of Friday evening, truck drivers who are moving medical supplies and consumer goods like masks and hand sanitizer do not have to follow HOS.
It’s common on a local or state level to lift these safety regulations amid natural disasters, like floods or hurricanes, that require stores and hospitals to stay stocked with necessary goods.
Truck drivers move 70% of the nation’s goods by weight. They’re responsible for replenishing stores and hospitals with necessary items.
The federal administration that oversees regulations for America’s six million professional drivers has temporarily suspended a trucking safety law that’s been in place since 1938.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said Friday evening that truck drivers who are moving goods “in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks” will temporarily not have to follow the hours-of-service laws, which mandate how many hours a truck driver may work.