Tribune News Service

Newsfeatures Budget for Thursday, May 21, 2020

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Updated at 4:30 a.m. EDT (0830 UTC).


Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^She sought freedom from prison. Nothing but the coronavirus could get her out<

CORONAVIRUS-NC-PRISONER:RA — Faye Brown was a quiet, stoic woman who rose each morning in a Raleigh prison, pulled on a pair of dress slacks and walked out the gates to catch a city bus — her routine for years.

At age 67, she had earned enough trust to work each day as a teacher and hair stylist at Sherill's school of cosmetology, carrying a pair of scissors though she was serving a life sentence for murder and bank robbery.

At the end of each day, she caught the bus back to prison, where the younger inmates considered her a grandmother — an older, wiser prisoner who loved peppermint candy and held a vain hope she would be free one day.

She came close in 2009, but was stopped by the North Carolina Supreme Court the next year. On May 8, however, Brown kept her promise, technically. She died in a Raleigh hospital from COVID-19 complications.

1300 by Josh Shaffer in Raleigh, N.C. MOVED



^Coronavirus hitting hardest in Chicago ZIP codes already struggling with deadly threat of gun violence<

CORONAVIRUS-CHICAGO-VIOLENCE:TB — On a recent Saturday morning at Springfield Avenue and Wilcox Street, residents wearing masks walked dogs past blooming red tulips. A family stepped onto their porch with laundry bags stuffed with clothes to start a day of chores, just as a neighbor across the street arrived home with sacks of groceries.

Even with a blue and white Chicago police squad car idling nearby, it was hard to tell in that still, quiet moment that the neighborhood is at the crossroads of two massive public health crises.

By the end of April, gun violence and the COVID-19 pandemic had claimed nearly the same number of lives in the West Side ZIP code. Eight men and one teenage boy had been shot and killed, while 11 others, mostly men, had suffered deaths blamed on the coronavirus.

A Chicago Tribune analysis of crime and COVID infection data by ZIP code over roughly a month showed the highest rates of infection are happening in communities that also have high rates of crime and violence.

2100 by Annie Sweeney, Joe Mahr and Jeremy Gorner in Chicago. MOVED


^Tennessee's secret to plentiful coronavirus testing? Picking up the tab<

CORONAVIRUS-TENN-TESTING:KHN — To reopen businesses and public spaces safely, experts say, states need to be testing and contact tracing on a massive scale. But only a handful of states are doing enough testing to stay on top of potential outbreaks, according to a state-by-state analysis published by NPR.

Among those, Tennessee stands out for its aggressive approach to testing. In Tennessee, anyone who wants a test can get one, and the state will pick up the tab. The guidance has evolved to "when in doubt, get a test," and the state started paying for it in April.

1100 by Blake Farmer in Nashville, Tenn. MOVED



^Coronavirus threatens China's Belt and Road. What happens when it wants half a trillion dollars back?<

CORONAVIRUS-CHINA-INITIATIVE:LA — When Chinese engineers flew home in January for the Lunar New Year, few in Africa would have imagined that a coronavirus outbreak was about to ground planes, upend supply lines and freeze work on dozens of Chinese-built roads, railways, ports and power stations.

Many of the engineers haven't returned. Construction sites fell silent. And now the COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a global recession that threatens the colossal international loan program that is a symbol of China's growing prestige and a centerpiece of President Xi Jinping's reign.

The Belt and Road Initiative — China's effort to finance nearly half a trillion dollars in new infrastructure across Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America — took flight during a period of global expansion and easy travel that has now slammed into a sober reckoning.

Beijing faces mounting calls to reschedule loans for shipping hubs, electrical plants and transport links that look unsustainable as economies struggle and globalization slows.

1600 by Shashank Bengali and Neha Wadekar in Nairobi, Kenya. MOVED




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