Hillary Clinton to Appear at $50,000 Virtual Dinner to Raise Money for Biden PAC

Hillary Clinton is set to host a pricey virtual fundraiser for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden later this month, her first fundraiser appearance as an official surrogate for the Biden campaign.

On May 19, the former first lady and failed 2016 Democratic nominee will hold a “virtual conversation” on the teleconferencing platform Zoom along with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez. The event will raise money for the Biden Victory Fund, a joint committee of the DNC and the Biden campaign.

“Hosts” will pay $100,000 to attend the virtual event while the least expensive tickets, which have “limited availability,” go for $2,800. Other tickets are available for $50,000, $41,100, $15,600, and $5,600.

Clinton endorsed the former vice president last month at a virtual town hall, which addressed the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on women, after largely staying out of the political fray during the Democratic primary.

“I am thrilled to be part of your campaign — to not only endorse you but to help highlight a lot of the issues that are at stake in this presidential election,” the former secretary of state said in her endorsement.

“I’ve been in the lobby of the Senate. I’ve been in the cloakroom and I’ve watched Joe bring people together. We have a lot of the same values in common, the same work ethic, the same belief in America, the same focus on family,” she said. “We need a leader — a president — like Joe Biden.”

“I really appreciate your friendship. What a, just a wonderful personal endorsement,” Biden responded to her endorsement during the event.

In the weeks since Senator Bernie Sanders ended his presidential bid early last month, Biden has received endorsements from some of the nation’s most high-profile Democrats. Former president Barack Obama endorsed his former running mate, and Sanders himself endorsed his former primary rival. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who dropped her presidential bid in March, as well as former vice president Al Gore have also endorsed Biden.

The endorsements have rolled in despite increasing coverage of Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegation. Reade, who served as Biden’s staff assistant in 1993, claims the then-senator pinned her up against a wall in the Capitol Building and penetrated her with his fingers. A number of prominent female Democrats, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have emphasized Reade’s right to be heard but have said they believe Biden’s denials.


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Coronavirus highlights the need for open green spaces in cities

In times of social distancing, green areas are more important than ever

Ensuring nature access for the public should be a fundamental strategy of cities when coping with this crisis
Nature offers a way to deal with and counteract stressors of everyday life, while still allowing for social distancing.

Contact with nature offers a way to deal with and counteract stressors of everyday life, while still allowing for social distancing. Provided people are allowed outdoors, of course.

Nature contact provides a host of positive well-being effects while still allowing for social distancing.

Although increased greenery in cities will not happen during the current pandemic crisis, it can insights for future planning.

Global effort to raise $8B for coronavirus vaccine won’t include US, Russia


U.S. President Donald Trump (right) and
A consortium of world leaders, banks and non-governmental organizations pledged Monday to raise at least $8 billion to fund research toward a COVID-19 vaccine – but the United States won’t be taking part.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the funding for coronavirus vaccines, diagnostics and treatment will “help kick-start unprecedented global cooperation” in the ongoing fight against the global pandemic.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the goal would actually only serve as a “down payment” of overall funds needed to successfully fight the virus that has caused more than 248,000 deaths across the globe as of Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

“To reach everyone, everywhere, we likely need five times that amount,” Guterres said.

The funding fell short of an initial goal of 7.5 billion euros, but additional money may be forthcoming. Organizers had first sought to raise about $4.37 billion for vaccine research, $2.18 billion for treatments and about $1.64 billion for testing.

“I believe the fourth of May will mark a turning point in our fight against coronavirus because today the world is coming together,” von der Leyer said to kick off the fundraising effort, which she equated to a marathon, Reuters reports.

Organizers of the event included the European Union, as well as nations like Japan, Canada, Saudi Arabia and China, although China was solely represented by its European Union ambassador, Reuters reports.

World leaders launch WHO COVID-19 plan, but US not involved

No US officials were included on a list of conference speakers, and EU diplomats confirmed that the US was not participating despite having the highest number of citizens diagnosed with COVID-19 in the world, according to Reuters.

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Russia is also not taking part.

A senior US administration official declined to say why the US wasn’t joining the effort, Reuters reports.

“We support this pledging effort by the EU,” the official told reporters. “It is one of many pledging efforts that are going on and the United States is at the forefront.”

Two senior US officials said during a conference call with reporters that the country’s participation was not needed because the United States remains the world’s largest donor to global health initiatives — even after President Trump said last month he planned to stop funding to the World Health Organization.

Leaders from Australia, Israel, Jordan, South Africa and France also spoke at the event. French President Emmanuel Macron said a “race against time” was underway as his country donated 500 million euros.

The decision by the US not to take part in the effort is unfortunate, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg told Reuters.

“It is a pity the US is not part of it,” said Solberg, whose nation pledged $1 billion. “When you are in a crisis, you manage it and you do it jointly with others.”


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Cuba’s EGREM record label announces online tribute to the flute


Havana, May 5 (Prensa Latina) The Recordings and Musical Editions Company (EGREM) announces the online presentation of an album and concert honoring the Cuban flute.

Entitled ‘Esa flauta’ (That Flute), several Cuban musicians gathered to recreate different musical styles that made history in the world for more than a century.

Among participants are Orlando Valle ‘Maraca,’ Yumuri, Alain Perez, Calunga, Jose Luis Cortes, Peruchin, Cesar Lopez, Rene Luis Herrera, Enrique Lazaga and Guillermo Pedroso.

The album will be available online from May 8, while the concert can be enjoyed on May 15 on EGREM´s YouTube channel.

EGREM was established in 1964 and has the largest fund of music records in Latin America, so it is rated as the leading company in the Cuban music.

International musicians have recorded at EGREM´s recording studios. Including Nat King Cole and Josephine Baker, and on the Cuban side, Los Van Van, Irakere, Buena Vista Social Club, Silvio Rodriguez and Pablo Milanes.


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Chinese State Media Labels Pompeo ‘Evil’ in Response to Claims that Coronavirus Leaked from Wuhan Lab

China’s state broadcaster CCTV broadcast a commentary segment entitled “Evil Pompeo is wantonly spewing poison and spreading lies.”

“The so-called ‘virus leaked from a Wuhan lab’ hype is a complete and utter lie,” CCTV stated in a translation by Qatari government-owned Al Jazeera. “American politicians are rushing to shift the blame, cheat votes and suppress China when their own domestic anti-epidemic efforts are a mess.”

Chinese state media have repeatedly criticized Pompeo, who took a hard line against China even before the coronavirus pandemic.

“I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that [the coronavirus] came from that laboratory in Wuhan,” Pompeo said in a Sunday appearance on ABC’s This Week. Pompeo was referring to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which studies coronaviruses.

World Health Organization adviser Jamie Metzl told National Review in an interview that it was “likely” that the coronavirus did indeed escape from a lab in Wuhan, although the allegation has not yet been confirmed. China has so far refused to allow WHO representatives to participate in an investigation of the coronavirus’s origins.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that China attempted to cover up the spread of coronavirus during the initial stages of the pandemic, in order to stock up on medical supplies before other nations.


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