For Antonina Palomo Cross, Japan's occupation of Guam started with terror at church. The then-7-year-old was attending Catholic services with her family when the 1941 invasion began, setting off bomb blasts, sirens and screams.
It ended with her family surrendering their home and eventually carrying the dead body of her malnourished baby sister on a forced march to a concentration camp.
Now 85, Cross is among more than 3,000 native islanders on Guam who are expecting to get long-awaited compensation from the U.S. government for their suffering at the hands of imperial Japan during World War II.
Payments of $10,000 to $25,000 — federal tax money normally reserved for Guam's government — will be made to those who underwent forced labor or internment, suffered severe injury or rape, or lost loved ones during the U.S. territory's nearly three-year occupation.
"I'm happy to get it," Cross said after a recent meeting at central Guam's newly opened war claims office, where she verified her application was approved. The amount hasn't been determined yet, but "every little bit helps," she said.
Cross is retired from a local government job and relies on Social Security and her pension to get by. The great-grandmother said the war claims money will come in handy for manåmko' — "elders" in the language of Guam's indigenous Chamorro people — like her.
The United States, which first captured Guam during the Spanish-American War, had a small contingent of troops on the island when Japan invaded on the same December day that it attacked Pearl Harbor. Many were taken prisoner or killed.
But most of those affected by the occupation were Chamorro people, who suffered internment, torture, rape and beheadings. More than 1,100 are estimated to have died during the occupation.
For Cross' family, it meant being forced from their house in Hagatña, the capital, to their rural farm about 5 miles (8.1 kilometers) away before being sent to a concentration camp in 1944. While living at the farm, Cross remembers hiding from foreign soldiers as she walked to her Japanese school, where she was forced to learn the Japanese language and bow in the direction of Japan with her classmates.
Her sister was among an unknown number of Chamorro children who died of malnutrition during the occupation, which ended when the U.S. returned and forced the Japanese to surrender in a bloody battle.
Receiving the compensation now is a bittersweet moment that caps decades of political efforts by Guam's nonvoting U.S. House delegates to persuade Congress that the people of Guam deserve recognition for their suffering under Japanese occupation.
"At the time the Chamorro people were experiencing this, there was a sense of abandonment by the U.S., and that sentiment has not gone away," former Guam Congressman Robert Underwood said.
President Barack Obama signed the Guam war claims measure in 2016. It provides $10,000 to those who underwent forced marches or internment, or had to escape internment; $12,000 to those who experienced forced labor or personal injury; $15,000 to people who were severely injured or raped; and $25,000 to children, spouses and some parents of those killed during the occupation.
The amounts reflect similar war claims paid to survivors of other Japanese-occupied territories.
Many survivors say they feel guilty receiving compensation while their parents and siblings who have died got nothing.
Judith Perez, 76, was only a baby during the war and said she was hesitant to apply for a claim. She teared up as she said the check should be going to her parents, who have long since passed away.
"It's great to have money, but the people who are more deserving of it are the ones who really suffered physically and mentally, but they're gone," she said.
A 1945 U.S. law gave Guam residents a year to apply for compensation for war damages. However, delays shrunk the application window to seven months, and the bulk of the $8 million in payments were for property loss, not death and injury.
Guam also was left out of subsequent legislation that provided compensation to U.S. citizens and others who were captured by Japan during the war.
In 2004, a federal Guam War Claims Review Commission found the U.S. had a moral obligation to compensate Guam for war damages in part because its 1951 peace treaty with Japan forgave Japan of the responsibility to pay the territory reparations.
Yet the current program is still limited. Only those who were still alive when Obama signed the measure are eligible, and they had to apply between June 20, 2017, and June 20, 2018. That eliminated thousands who died over the past seven decades and anyone who missed announcements about the deadlines.
Also, the claims are to be funded with so-called Section 30 money, federal taxes that are already remitted to Guam and typically added to the local government's general fund. The program is a compromise after decades of failed attempts to get more expansive compensation supported by both Congress and the people of Guam.
However, Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas said the law that created the war claims program was missing language needed to allow the U.S. Treasury to release the funds. His bill to fix that error passed the Senate this month and is headed to the House.
Rather than wait and risk more war survivors dying before receiving their checks, Guam politicians decided to start issuing payments using local money meant for Medicaid.
Krystal Paco-San Agustin, spokeswoman for Guam Gov. Lourdes Leon Guerrero, said the government expects to be reimbursed with Section 30 funds once San Nicolas' bill passes.
"It's a small amount, and it's definitely in no way enough to undo the pain of the past, but it's a token of our respect, our admiration and our love for them," Paco said.
Emotions were mixed at the war claims office as dozens lined up earlier this month, several with canes, walkers and wheelchairs.
Jesus Meno San Nicolas, 86, recalled his sister hiding in a tree to escape soldiers looking for women to rape.
He was forced to work six days a week in the rice fields as an 8-year-old, walking more than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) each way every day. He also helped grow cabbage, radishes and other food for the Japanese.
His brothers had to work on the airfield. Once, a Japanese soldier told him to leave the house so he could rape a female relative. Meno San Nicolas still remembers her screaming.
He almost didn't file a claim.
"It's not worth it for the money, what they do to us in the family," he said, his voice cracking with emotion.
A new coronavirus case in California could be the first in the U.S. that has no known connection to travel abroad or another known case, a possible sign the virus is spreading in a U.S. community, health officials said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the case Wednesday.
California officials said the person is a resident of Solano County, northeast of San Francisco, and is getting medical care in Sacramento County. They said they have begun the process of tracking down people who the patient has been in contact with, a process known as contact tracing.
The patient was brought to UC Davis Medical Center from another Northern California hospital on Feb. 19 but it was four days before the CDC heeded a request to test the patient for COVID-19, according to an email sent to employees Wednesday by the hospital's interim CEO, Brad Simmons, and David Lubarsky, CEO of UC Davis Health.
The patient arrived on a ventilator and special protection orders were issued "because of an undiagnosed and suspected viral condition," according to the email, which was sent to employees.
The hospital asked the CDC to test for the coronavirus but testing was delayed until Sunday "since the patient did not fit the existing CDC criteria for COVID-19," the email said.
The hospital, which has treated other coronavirus patients, has been taking infection prevention precautions since the patient arrived. The email said officials believe there was only a small chance that others at the facility were exposed to the virus.
"Nevertheless, a small number of medical center employees have been asked to stay home and monitor their temperatures," the email said.
Messages to the CDC seeking comment on the email were not immediately returned Wednesday night.
All of the 59 other cases in the U.S. had traveled from abroad or had been in close contact with those who traveled. Health officials have been on high alert for so-called community spread.
Earlier U.S. cases included 14 in people who traveled back from outbreak areas in China, or their spouses; three people who were evacuated from the central China city of Wuhan; and 42 American passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship who were evacuated by the federal government to the U.S. from where the ship was docked in Japan.
Some of those evacuated were taken to Travis Air Force Base, which is in Solano County. A number of the earlier cases have been in California, including among some of the people taken to Travis and one in which a traveler who returned to San Benito County spread it to a spouse.
California officials have been preparing for the possibility that community spread of the virus might first surface there.
"We have been anticipating the potential for such a case in the U.S., and given our close familial, social and business relationships with China, it is not unexpected that the first case in the U.S. would be in California," said Dr. Sonia Angell, Director of the California Department of Public Health and State Public Health Officer, in a statement.
The outbreak, which began in China, has infected tends of thousands of people in more than three dozen countries, with the vast majority in mainland China.
The new virus is a member of the coronavirus family that can cause colds or more serious illnesses such as SARS and MERS.
The virus can cause fever, coughing, wheezing and pneumonia. Health officials think it spreads mainly from droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads.
Officials are advising people to take steps to avoid infection with coronavirus or other respiratory infections like a cold or the flu, including washing hands with soap and water and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
A viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 82,000 people globally. The World Health Organization has named the illness COVID-19, referring to its origin late last year and the coronavirus that causes it.
The latest figures reported by each government's health authority as of Thursday in Beijing:
— Mainland China: 2,744 deaths among 78,497 cases, mostly in the central province of Hubei
— Hong Kong: 81 cases, 2 deaths
— Macao: 10 cases
— South Korea: 1,595 cases, 13 deaths
— Japan: 894 cases, including 705 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, 7 deaths
— Italy: 447 cases, 12 deaths
— Iran: 139 cases, 19 deaths
— Singapore: 93
— United States: 60
— Thailand: 40
— Taiwan: 32 cases, 1 death
— Bahrain: 33
— Australia: 23
— Malaysia: 22
— Kuwait: 26
— France: 17 cases, 2 deaths
— Germany: 21
— Vietnam: 16
— United Arab Emirates: 13
— United Kingdom: 13
— Spain: 12
— Canada: 12
— Russia: 5
— Iraq: 6
— Oman: 4
— Philippines: 3 cases, 1 death
— India: 3
— Croatia: 3
— Israel: 2
— Pakistan: 2
— Finland: 2
— Austria: 2
— Lebanon: 2
— Egypt: 1
— Algeria: 1
— Afghanistan: 1
— Greece: 1
— North Macedonia: 1
— Georgia: 1
— Estonia: 1
— Belgium: 1
— Romania: 1
— Nepal: 1
— Sri Lanka: 1
— Cambodia: 1
— Sweden: 2
— Norway: 1
— Denmark: 1
— Switzerland: 1
— Brazil 1
Chinese leading security firm Qi An Xin Group has won awards for its product and services that are capable of providing its customers with security solutions including accurate detection of advanced threats during a global cyber security conference here.
The QI-ANXIN SkyEye New Generation Threat Awareness System or SkyEye system won "Infosec Awards 2020 for Next Gen Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) Detection and Response," while its security services were honored for "Infosec Awards 2020 for Most Innovative Managed Detection and Response (MDR)."
The two awards for Qi An Xin Group were announced at the ongoing 29th annual RSA Conference (RSAC), which opened here on Monday.
The five-day event attended by over 700 exhibitors focuses on internet security, security technology, data protection, security products and strategies, and it is expected to draw more than 40,000 participants in the next few days.
China and South Korea should jointly strive to minimize the COVID-19 outbreak's impact on bilateral exchanges as well as economic and trade cooperation, said Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday night.
In a phone conversation with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, Wang suggested that on the basis of effective epidemic prevention and control, the two countries should help their affected industries and enterprises ride out the current difficulties, maintain the stability of their industrial chains and supply chains, and push forward bilateral practical cooperation.