Storm Dennis tragedy: Teenager pulled from water off Kent coast

China to waive toll road fees until epidemic control work is done

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s transport ministry said on Saturday it will waive road and expressway toll fees nationally from Feb. 17 until the country’s epidemic control work was done.

It made the announcement on its official WeChat account.

Chinese tourist in France dies of coronavirus, first fatality in Europe: minister

PARIS (Reuters) – An elderly Chinese tourist hospitalized in France has died of the coronavirus, becoming the first fatality in Europe, French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said on Saturday.

France has recorded 11 cases of the virus, out of a global total of 63,851. The vast majority of those suffering from the virus are in China. The epidemic has killed almost 1,400 people.

Barack, Michelle Obama Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Sweet Photo Exchange

Barack and Michelle Obama marked Valentine’s Day on Friday with a sweet exchange of photographs on social media.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, my loves. You make even the coldest days feel warm,” former FLOTUS Michelle captioned this throwback snap of her husband doing what appeared to be snow angels with their daughters Malia and Sasha:

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The former president described his wife as “my forever dance partner” with this image:

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Obama era White House chief photographer Pete Souza, meanwhile, marked the occasion with this picture of his former boss on Valentine’s Day in 2013:

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Macron opens door to North Macedonia, Albania EU accession talks

MUNICH, Feb 15 (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday that if the results of an EU Commission report in March on North Macedonia and Albania were positive, he would back opening negotiations for them to join the bloc.

“We are waiting for the report in March… depending on that if the results are positive and confidence is established then we should be in a position to open the negotiations,” Macron told the Munich Security Conference. (Reporting by Robin Emmott and John Irish)

Chris Hayes Names Only Thing Standing Against ‘Authoritarian Decline’ Under Donald Trump

Chris Hayes on Friday night broke down what he believes is the only thing standing between the rule of law in America and “a kind of authoritarian decline” under President Donald Trump.

And that ― the host of MSNBC’s “All In” declared ― “is us.”

“It’s not any law anywhere and it’s certainly not the words as written in the Constitution,” said Hayes, while picking apart the ongoing fallout surrounding Attorney General William Barr’s intervention in cases against Trump allies including Roger Stone.

“The laws we have, the institutions we have, those are all vitally important but fundamentally we are what stands in the way,” Hayes added.

The news anchor later noted how “the restraint, the thing stopping the president from doing whatever he wants are people” who mobilize, organize, call switchboards of Congress and resign from their roles as civil servants in protest.

“Heck, people marching and protesting outside the Department of Justice if that’s what it takes because the only thing to stop him is us,” he added.

Check out the full segment above.

Donald Trump Spins Twitter Users Out With Daytona 500 Lap Plan

Social media users got revved up over President Donald Trump’s reported plan to take a lap in the presidential limousine ahead of the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

Fox News’ chief White House correspondent John Roberts broke the news on Friday, tweeting that Trump’s ride (presumably as a passenger) around the Daytona International Speedway track in the vehicle nicknamed “The Beast” was “not 100%” confirmed, but “that is the plan at the moment.”

Trump will also serve as grand marshal of the NASCAR Cup Series season opener, reported Fox Business.

Twitter users inevitably had a variety of thoughts about the plan:

China's finance ministry issues $1.2 bln in funds for epidemic control efforts

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Feb 15 (Reuters) – China’s finance ministry on Saturday issued 8 billion yuan ($1.15 billion) in subsidy funds to support local authorities’ epidemic control efforts, 3.5 billion yuan of which are earmarked for Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak.

To date, 90.15 billion yuan in funds has been arranged by various finance authorities for coronavirus control efforts, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement published on its website. ($1 = 6.9859 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Huizhong Wu and Brenda Goh; Editing by Christina Fincher)

Storm Dennis tragedy: Teenager pulled from water off Kent coast

The 19-year-old man was found in Herne Bay just after noon on Saturday. 

Photos of the scene show rescue workers on the beach. 

The incident is not connected to a rescue operation underway in Margate, Kent, where a man fell off a fuel tanker early this morning. 

More to follow…