China said Wednesday that the number of cases of a new virus has risen to 440 and the death toll has risen to 9.
Deputy Director of the National Health Commission Li Bin told reporters on Wednesday that the figures were current as of midnight Tuesday and all the deaths had been in Hubei province, where the first illnesses from the new coronavirus were reported in December.
Li said that marked an increase of 149 confirmed cases. He said Japan and South Korea had confirmed one case each and Thailand three. The U.S. and Taiwan also confirmed one case each on Tuesday.
A Phoenix woman has been arrested on suspicion of killing her three children, who were found dead inside the family's home after firefighters got a call about a drowning, authorities said Tuesday.
The 22-year-old mother, Rachel Henry, "has admitted to harming her three children," which led to their deaths, police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune told reporters outside the home on a block with several weathered wooden houses and an old mobile home in a once rural area of southern Phoenix.
A relative who lives at the house called police late Monday, and officers found a 7-month-old girl, 2-year-old girl and 3-year-old boy in a living room with no obvious trauma.
The Phoenix Fire Department also received a call from the home reporting a drowning involving three children, Capt. Rob McDade said.
Relatives initially believed illness may have been a factor, but Fortune said police "are comfortable in saying now that the mother is responsible for the death of the children."
Officers administered CPR and fire officials provided first aid, but the children were pronounced dead.
Police were interviewing the children's 30-year-old father and a 49-year-old relative who lives in the home, authorities said. The family had recently moved from Oklahoma.
Television footage showed two officers escorting Henry into a Phoenix jail, where she was booked on three counts of first-degree murder, police said. She was clad in a white gown with her hands cuffed behind her.
In a brief initial court appearance Tuesday night, Henry didn't have an attorney present as a judge read her charges of three counts of first-degree murder.
She was ordered held on a secured bond of $3 million. Her next scheduled court appearance is Jan. 31.
The Arizona Department of Child Safety didn't have any earlier contacts or abuse reports involving the family, spokesman Darren DaRonco said.
The killings prompted Mayor Kate Gallego to issue a rare statement thanking those who responded to a crime that she called an "atrocity."
"This is an investigation that will undoubtedly stick with these individuals for the rest of their lives," she said.
A makeshift memorial of three white candles was seen near the house. It's in a neighborhood with old homes of wood or stucco, and a white Spanish-style church graces a corner. But new construction is going up all around, with a golf course and several housing developments of single-family homes priced at more than $500,000.
Two different air bag glitches have forced Toyota and Honda to recall over 6 million vehicles worldwide, and both problems present different dangers to motorists.
The Toyota recall affects about 3.4 million vehicles globally and is being done because the air bags may not inflate in a crash. The cars have air bag control computers made by ZF-TRW that are vulnerable to electrical interference and may not signal the bags to inflate.
The problem could affect as many as 12.3 million vehicles in the U.S. made by six companies. It's possible that as many as eight people were killed when air bags didn't inflate. U.S. safety regulators are investigating.
Honda's recall covers about 2.7 million vehicles in the U.S. and Canada with Takata air bag inflators. But they're a different version than the ones blamed for 25 deaths worldwide. Still, it's possible the air bags could blow apart a metal canister and hurl shrapnel at drivers and passengers.
Both recalls were announced on Tuesday.
In a statement, Toyota said the computer may not have adequate protection against electrical noise that can happen in crashes, such as when the vehicle runs under a different vehicle. The problem can cause incomplete opening of the air bags, or they may not open at all. Devices that prepare seat belts for a collision also may not work.
In most cases Toyota dealers will install a noise filter between the air bag control computer and a wiring harness. But in some vehicles dealers will inspect the computer to determine if it needs the filter. Owners will be notified by mid-March.
The recall covers certain 2011-2019 Corollas, the 2011 to 2013 Matrix, the 2012 through 2018 Avalon and the 2013 to 2018 Avalon Hybrid in the U.S.
Toyota wouldn't say if it will offer loaner cars to people who fear their air bags might not protect them. A spokeswoman suggested that owners call its customer hotline to discuss their issue at (800) 333-4331.
In March of 2017, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating problems with ZF-TRW air bag computers. The probe was expanded in April of last year to 12.3 million vehicles made by Toyota, Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Fiat Chrysler from the 2010 through 2019 model years.
Toyota joins Hyundai, Kia and Fiat Chrysler in issuing recalls for the problem. Four deaths that may have been caused by the problem were reported in Hyundai-Kia vehicles and three in Fiat Chrysler automobiles. The investigation was upgraded after investigators found two serious crashes involving 2018 and 2019 Toyota Corollas in which the air bags did not inflate. One person was killed. Toyota said it's cooperating in the probe, which is continuing.
NHTSA is evaluation how susceptible the air bag control units are to electrical signals as well as other factors that could stop air bags from inflating. In documents, the agency said that it didn't find any other cases of electrical interference in Hyundai, Kia or Fiat Chrysler vehicles that used the ZF-TRW system but were not recalled.
ZF-TRW said Tuesday it continues to cooperate with the NHTSA investigation.
The Honda recall covers certain Honda and Acura vehicles from the 1996 to 2003 model years. Honda vehicles included are the 1998 to 2000 Accord Coupe and Sedan, the 1996 to 2000 Civic coupe and sedan, the 1997 to 2001 CR-V, the 1998 to 2001 Odyssey and the 1997 and 1998 EV Plus.
Acura vehicles covered are the 1997 and 1998 2.2CL, the 1997 to 1999 3.0CL, the 1998 and 1999 2.3CL, the 2001 and 2002 3.2CL, the 2001 and 2002 MDX, the 1998 to 2003 3.5RL, and the 1999 to 2001 3.2TL.
The front driver's inflators being recalled are part of a recall announced by Takata in November covering at least 1.4 million vehicles from five automakers. Honda said it's recalling a larger number of vehicles to make sure it gets all of the bad inflators.
In this case, the inflators don't contain ammonium nitrate, which is blamed for previous Takata problems that have killed 25 people and injured hundreds worldwide.
But three of the newly recalled inflators exploded and hurled shrapnel, two in Japan and one in Texas that injured a driver, Honda said in a statement. The company said in all three cases, the inflators were exposed to excessive moisture. In Texas, the car had a salvage title with a date that coincided with a major flood, while the two cases in Japan were in salvage yards where the windows are typically left open, the company said.
"Honda believes that the risk of improper air bag deployment in its vehicles remains very low at this time, but we cannot absolutely guarantee the performance of any recalled part," the company said in a statement.
Owners will be notified in mid-March, but replacement parts won't be available for another year, Honda said.
Asked about loaner cars, a Honda spokesman said customer concerns will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Customers can call Honda at (888) 234-2138 with questions.
A rancorous dispute over rules marked the first full day of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.
Highlights of Tuesday's session and what's ahead as senators conduct just the third impeachment trial of a president:
A proposal by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would have imposed a tight two-day schedule for opening arguments by each side. The plan, an apparent bid by McConnell to get the trial moving quickly, also would have forced senators to vote affirmatively to consider evidence compiled by the House during its impeachment proceedings.
The proposal drew immediate protests from Democrats, and some Republicans made their concerns known in private during a GOP lunch. The initial plan, they argued, would have helped Democrats cast Republicans as squeezing testimony through in the dead of night.
McConnell quickly added an extra day for opening arguments and stipulated that evidence from the House proceedings be included in the record.
FROM EUROPE, A PRESIDENTIAL TWEET
Trump, attending a global leaders conference in Davos, Switzerland, made his feelings about impeachment clear. "READ THE TRANSCRIPTS!" he tweeted from overseas. The tweet referred to a rough transcript of Trump's phone call in which he asked new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for "a favor."
The call sparked a whistleblower's complaint that led to an investigation culminating in a House vote to impeach Trump on a charge of abuse of power for pushing Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden while withholding military aid from Ukraine. The House also voted to impeach Trump on a charge of obstruction of Congress.
REJECTED RULES AMENDMENT
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York offered the first amendment to the rules — a proposal to issue a subpoena to the White House for "all documents, communications and other records" relating to the Ukraine matter. In a likely prelude to other Democratic requests, Republicans promptly rejected Schumer's amendment on a 53-47, party-line vote.
CHARGES OF COVER-UP
Amid the partisan back and forth, House prosecutors and White House lawyers offered initial arguments. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and lead prosecutor, said the rules package proposed by McConnell was "a process for a rigged trial" and a "cover-up."
Schiff and other Democrats cite the White House transcript as evidence of Trump's political pressure campaign on Ukraine, although the president repeatedly describes the call as "perfect."
NO CRIME, NO IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE
Trump's legal team does not dispute his actions in the July 25 call. But White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, the president's lead lawyer, said the charges against the president don't amount to impeachable offenses and that Trump committed no crime. They also say there's no evidence that aid to Ukraine was tied to a request for an investigation of Biden and his son Hunter, a former board member of a Ukrainian gas company.
AVOIDING A SENATE CIRCUS
"Just because the House proceedings were a circus that doesn't mean the Senate's trial needs to be," tweeted Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. He supports holding a vote after hearing arguments on both sides to determine whether additional witnesses or documents should be considered by the Senate.
More legal skirmishes are expected Wednesday, and White House lawyers may move to call for the case to be dismissed, although it was not clear if they planned to pursue that option. Some Republicans have said they would oppose a dismissal vote.
Absent another unexpected delay, opening arguments by both sides are likely to resume.
The U.S. on Tuesday reported its first case of a new and potentially deadly virus circulating in China, saying a Washington state resident who returned last week from the outbreak's epicenter was hospitalized near Seattle.
The man, identified as a Snohomish County resident is in his 30s, was in good condition and wasn't considered a threat to medical staff or the public, health officials said.
U.S. officials stressed that they believe the virus' overall risk to the American public remained low.
"This is not a moment of high anxiety," Gov. Jay Inslee said.
The newly discovered virus has infected about 300 people, all of whom had been in China, and killed six. The virus can cause coughing, fever, breathing difficulty and pneumonia. The U.S. joins a growing list of places outside mainland China reporting cases, following Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Airports around the world have stepped up monitoring, checking passengers from China for signs of illness in hopes of containing the virus during the busy Lunar New Year travel season.
Late last week, U.S. health officials began screening passengers from Wuhan in central China, where the outbreak began. The screening had been underway at three U.S. airports — New York City's Kennedy airport and the Los Angeles and San Francisco airports. On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it would add Chicago's O'Hare airport and Atlanta's airport to the mix later this week.
What's more, officials also will begin forcing all passengers from Wuhan to go to one of those five airports if they wish to enter the U.S.
The hospitalized U.S. resident had no symptoms when he arrived at the Seattle-Tacoma airport last Wednesday, but he started feeling ill on Thursday and went to a doctor on Sunday with a fever and a cough, officials said. Lab testing on Monday confirmed he had the virus.
"The gentleman right now is very healthy," Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the CDC said Tuesday.
The hospital, Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, said in a statement that it expected the man would remain in isolation and under monitoring there at least until Thursday.
CDC officials said they sent a team to Washington to try to track down people who might have come in contact with the man. The hospital also said it was contacting "the small number of staff and patients" who may have been with the man at a clinic.
The man is originally from central China, lives alone in the U.S. and made the trip solo, officials said. There were relatively few people who came in contact with him since he got back, health officials said.
Last month, doctors in Wuhan began seeing the new virus in people who got sick after spending time at a wholesale seafood market. More than 275 cases of the newly identified virus have been confirmed in China, most of them in Wuhan, according to the World Health Organization.
The count includes six deaths — all in China, most of them age 60 or older, including at least some who had a previous medical condition.
Officials have said the virus probably spread from animals to people, but this week Chinese officials said they've concluded it also can spread from person to person.
Health authorities this month identified the germ behind the outbreak as a new type of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold; others found in bats, camels and other animals have evolved into more severe illnesses.
SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, belongs to the coronavirus family, but Chinese state media say the illness in Wuhan is different from coronaviruses that have been identified in the past. Earlier laboratory tests ruled out SARS and MERS — Middle East respiratory syndrome — as well as influenza, bird flu, adenovirus and other common lung-infecting germs.
The new virus so far does not appear to be as deadly as SARS and MERS, but viruses can sometimes mutate to become more dangerous.
University of Washington coronavirus researcher David Veesler said the public "should not be panicking right now."
The response has been "very efficient," Veesler said. "In a couple of weeks, China was able to identify the virus, isolate it, sequence it and share that information."
Veesler added: "We don't have enough data to judge how severe the disease is."
The CDC's Messonnier said health officials expected to see more cases in the U.S. and around the world in the coming days.