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  • He was arrested and convicted of lying to and defrauding investors, but Martin Shkreli is asking the courts to let him out of prison temporarily so he can develop a treatment for COVID-19. Shkreli, also known as “Pharma Bro,” plans to tell federal authorities through his attorney that he would like to be released for three months under strict supervision to do lab work on a coronavirus treatment, The Associated Press reported. “I have always said that if focused and left in a lab, Martin could help cure cancer,” his attorney Ben Brafman said in a statement to the AP. “Maybe he can help the scientific community better understand this terrible virus.” Shkreli said that the pharmaceutical industry has had an inadequate response to the pandemic and that every drug company should be working to end the outbreak. Not only was Shkreli convicted of lying to investors about hedge funds performance, withdrawing more money than he should have been entitled to and defrauding investors by hiding ownership of stocks, he first was known for buying the rights to a drug and raising the price from $13.50 to $750 a pill, the AP reported. He was told to forfeit $7.3 million for his 2018 conviction.
  • American Airlines flight attendants are testing positive for COVID-19, officials with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants said Tuesday. While most of the country is in some sort of lockdown, there are still flights, albeit many fewer than normal. Despite working directly with the public in what could be cramped quarters in recirculated air, APFA president Julie Hedrick said only now are masks being given to flight attendants if they choose to wear one. Hedrick said the union has been asking for personal protective equipment for months, CNN reported. Employees have been permitted to wear their own facemasks, The Dallas Morning News reported. “We have consistently advocated for Personal Protective Equipment for all of our flight attendants to be available on every aircraft, for social distancing between passengers and crew jump seats, for thermal scanning in the airports and to receive immediate notification of flight attendants who have tested positive for the virus said,” Hedrick told CNN. American Airlines would not confirm for CNN that it had nearly 100 flight attendants testing positive for COVID-19, but did say in a statement: “The safety of our customers and team members is our top priority. We are in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health officials and are coordinating with them on any required health and safety related measures. We continue to look at all ways we can care -- and protect -- our team during this stressful time.” The number of attendants for American Airlines who have apparently tested positive still is less than 1% of the 25,000 employed by the company, the Morning News reported. Union officials said only about one in four flight attendants will be flying in May because of cuts to the schedules, CNN reported. The union representing flight attendants for Southwest Airlines said there are positive tests among its flight attendant community, the Morning News reported. But no concrete numbers were released.
  • Police in Texas arrested an 18-year-old woman who claimed she tested positive for coronavirus and was “willfully spreading it,” authorities said. According to a tweet Sunday by the Carrollton Police Department, Lorraine Maradiaga went on social media and said she tested positive for COVID-19, KTBC reported. Update 10:08 a.m. EDT April 8: Police in Carrollton, Texas, arrested Lorraine Maradiaga, 18, early Tuesday, KTRK reported. Maradiaga, who claimed she tested positive for coronavirus and filmed a video in which she is seen threatening to spread the disease, was charged with terrorist threat, a third-degree felony, the television station reported. According to a news release by the Carrollton Police Department, Maradiaga claimed she had tested negative for COVID-19. Police have not obtained proof whether Maradiaga tested positive at all, the news release said. Police said Maradiaga’s bond was set at $20,000. Under the condition of her bond, Maradiaga was ordered to quarantine for 21 days upon her release, police said. Original report: Police in Texas are investigating an 18-year-old woman’s claim she tested positive for coronavirus and is “willfully spreading it,” authorities said. According to a tweet by the Carrollton Police Department, Lorraine Maradiaga went on social media and said she tested positive for COVID-19, KTBC reported. Authorities said Maradiaga is facing a charge of terroristic threat for her claims, the television station reported. In a follow-up tweet, Carrolltown police said they have not confirmed whether Maradiaga actually has tested positive for the virus. “We are, however, taking her social media actions very seriously,” police said in their tweet. A Snapchat video circulating on social media shows a woman, later identified as Maradiaga, going to what appears to be a drive-thru testing site, KXAS reported. In the video, a nurse tells Maradiaga she needs to go home while awaiting results, the television station reported. In a subsequent video, Maradiaga is shown shopping at a store she claims is a Walmart, KXAS reported. “I’m here at Walmart about to infest every (expletive), because if I’m going down, all you (expletive) are going down,” Maradiaga said. Later in the video, Maradiaga is back in her car, coughing in the direction of the camera, KXAS reported. The video later shows the woman in her car, coughing into the camera. “If you want to get the coronavirus and (expletive) die, call me,” Maradiaga said. “I’ll meet you up and (cough, cough) and I will shorten your life.” A Carrollton Police Department spokesman told the television station officers went to Maradiaga’s home Sunday, but she was not there.
  • Houston rapper Slim Thug, who tested positive for the coronavirus last month, is doing his part to fight COVID-19 in his home city. The 39-year-old rapper, whose real name is Stayve Thomas, donated 1,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to Houston’s essential workers, including bus drivers and police officers, KTRK reported. “I want our police officers and bus drivers to know that we appreciate their service during this tough time,” Slim Thug told the television station. “They have always been a huge part of keeping Houston going.” The music artist teamed up with his relief team, Smoke Shield, to provide the bottles, KTRK reported. Slim Thug said his team, along with fellow rapper Baby Bash, will donate an additional 1,000 bottles of hand sanitizer by April 15, the television station reported. Slim Thug said his team also will provide hand sanitizer to health care workers throughout the month of April, according to KTRK. In a video posted to Instagram last month, Slim Thug warned his fans not to take the coronavirus lightly. “Y’all gotta take this stuff serious,” Slim Thug said on his video. “Sit home, self-quarantine, do not come outside for however long they’re saying. If you have symptoms, you need to go get checked out or whatever.”
  • For many, being stuck at home is no picnic. But one family in England is trying to be the bright spot of their neighborhood -- literally. Fern Taylor and her kids and her partner grabbed some sidewalk chalk and started a rainbow project. But it’s not the same rainbow project that is popping up in many neighborhoods. They colored every single brick of their townhome, ITV reported. They were just going to do just half of the house, but then Taylor’s partner Marco DeFazio grabbed a ladder and kept on coloring after the kids got bored -- all the way up to the roof, the Somerset County Gazette reported. By the time they were all done, 40 jumbo chalks were used over six hours, according to the newspaper. Taylor said she got the idea from a Facebook post and used it to entertain her 4- and 2-year-old daughters, ITV reported. The family isn’t alone in decorating their home with rainbows in unusual ways. Angelica Pollio painted the side of a vacant home she owns, turning it into a house-sized rainbow, Staten Island Live reported. It took her two nights to get it all done. He said the side of her home needed to be painted anyway so why not use the colorful color scheme, the news outlet reported. Once the empty home is remodeled, the outside color will be changed to more traditional paint.

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