February 26, 2020

Clive Cussler, the prolific author and founder of a nonprofit that searched for shipwrecks, died on Monday, his family announced Wednesday. He was 88.

Cussler was "the kindest, most gentle man I ever met," his wife Janet Horvath wrote on Facebook. "I have always loved him and always will. I know his adventures will continue."

Cussler wrote more than 50 books, which were published in over 40 languages in more than 100 countries. Two of those books, Raise the Titanic and Sahara, were made into movies. His fascination with underwater shipwrecks led Cussler to start the National Underwater and Marine Agency, a nonprofit that was mainly supported through his book royalties.

The organization found more than 60 major shipwrecks, with Cussler leading the 1995 expedition that discovered the H.L. Hunley off of Charleston, South Carolina. The Hunley was a Confederate submarine, and the first to ever sink a warship. Catherine Garcia

7:43 p.m.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the state's presidential primaries and local elections scheduled for Tuesday must take place.

Hours earlier, Gov. Tony Evers (D) issued an executive order delaying in-person voting until June 9. He said the elections must be postponed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, arguing that in-person voting during the pandemic compromised the safety of voters and poll workers. "I cannot in good conscience allow any types of gathering that would further the spread of this disease and to put more lives at risk," he said.

The court ruled 4-2 that Evers lacked the authority to unilaterally move the election. Originally, Evers had agreed with Republicans, saying the elections had to take place because local offices on the ballot have terms that start in two weeks. On Monday, as volunteers said they wouldn't show up to the polls and more critics jumped on him for not stopping the election during the pandemic, Evers changed course.

Wisconsin state Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D) told The Associated Press Democrats have high voter turnout on the day of elections, and this was another way for Republicans to suppress the vote. "Your choice is to go and vote in person and take a chance on contracting COVID-19 or stay home," Erpenbach said. "What do you think people are going to do?" Catherine Garcia

6:56 p.m.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Monday said he is lending 500 state-owned ventilators to the Strategic National Stockpile, under the condition that they are returned to California if needed.

"These are lent," he said. "They are not given." The ventilators will go to New York and other states dealing with a high number of COVID-19 coronavirus patients. "We want to extend not only thoughts and prayers, but we're also extending a hand of support with ventilators," Newsom said.

Over the last few weeks, hospitals in California have been able to secure thousands of ventilators, bringing the total number in the state up from 7,587 to 11,036, the Los Angeles Times reports. California residents have been under stay-at-home orders for several weeks, and COVID-19 cases are estimated to peak in the state next month. "That will give us the time, well within the next few weeks, to have enough ventilators, we believe, to meet the needs of 40 million Californians that may be vulnerable to this virus," Newsom said. Catherine Garcia

5:58 p.m.

Stocks rebounded Monday after there were some signs of progress in the fight against the novel COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up 7.7 percent, and all 30 stocks in the index climbed, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 7 and 7.3 percent, respectively. That's largely a result of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) reporting that the rate of daily COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations, as well as the number of patients in intensive care units, may be slowing in the Empire State, which is the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak.

But don't expect the market rebound to be permanent — volatility has been the rule over the last several months, so there will likely be more upswings and downturns along the way, especially because a lot could still change regarding the pandemic. "Everyone is just desperate for good pieces of news," said Peter Cecchini, the chief marketing strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald. "It doesn't necessarily reflect anything fundamental. Nothing's changed." Read more at The Wall Street Journal. Tim O'Donnell

5:26 p.m.

Former President Barack Obama is handing out an endorsement of sorts.

Even though she ended her presidential campaign a month ago, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has continued to crank out plans for how she'd like the government to be run. They've continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and, on Monday, got a stamp of approval from Obama.

Linking to Warren's appearance on the Vox podcast The Ezra Klein Show, Obama described Warren as providing a "cogent summary of how federal policymakers should be thinking about the pandemic in the coming months." In the discussion, Warren outlined plans for protecting health care workers and stemming disease spread, federal deficit spending to save the economy, and collecting data to improve future response measures.

To some observers, it looked like an endorsement of Warren's policy agenda. And to NBC News' Mike Memoli, it looked like a wholesale endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden's potential 2020 vice presidential pick. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:49 p.m.

Al Kaline, who spent 22 seasons patrolling right field for the Detroit Tigers, died Monday at his home in Michigan, a close family friend confirmed to The Detroit Free Press. A cause of death was not made immediately available. He was 85.

Kaline played his entire career with the Tigers, debuting at age 18 in 1953, shortly after he graduated high school. At age 20, he won the American League batting title. All told, Kaline won a World Series title in 1968, made 18 All Star appearances, and earned 10 gold gloves while crossing the 3,000-hit threshold en route to the Hall of Fame, which he made his first year on the ballot.

Kaline was a fan-favorite in Detroit, even picking up the nickname "Mr. Tiger," and became the first Tiger to have his number retired. He remained involved with the ballclub long after he retired in 1974 as a broadcaster and special assistant.

He was known for his genuinely kind nature off the field, evidenced by the outpouring of support following the news of his passing. Tim O'Donnell

3:47 p.m.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to an intensive care unit on Monday after his COVID-19 symptoms worsened.

Johnson was hospitalized on Sunday, 10 days after testing positive for the novel coronavirus. A spokesperson described this as a "precautionary step" after he continued to experience "persistent symptoms," and Johnson tweeted Monday that he went to the hospital for "some routine tests." Upon announcing he tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27, Johnson described his symptoms as "mild," saying they included a fever and a cough.

Downing Street announced on Monday afternoon that Johnson is now in intensive care at St. Thomas' Hospital, saying, "Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the prime minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital." Johnson has also asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab "to deputise for him where necessary," Downing Street said.

A report from the Times of London had previously emerged suggesting Johnson had been treated with oxygen at the hospital, while The Guardian reported it was told last week "that Johnson was more seriously ill than either he or his officials were prepared to admit, and that he was being seen by doctors who were concerned about his breathing." Brendan Morrow

3:08 p.m.

Honor Blackman, who starred as Pussy Galore in the classic James Bond film Goldfinger, has died at 94.

Blackman's family in a statement to The Guardian on Monday said she died "died peacefully of natural causes at her home in Lewes, Sussex, surrounded by her family."

"As well as being a much-adored mother and grandmother, Honor was an actor of hugely prolific creative talent," her family also said, adding she "achieved an unparalleled iconic status" in the world of entertainment.

Prior to her role as Goldfinger's Bond girl Pussy Galore, Blackman starred as Cathy Gale on the classic 1960s TV series The Avengers. This character helped make her "a role model for an emerging generation of women," BBC News wrote in its obituary, noting that her characters were "more than a match for their male co-stars." Other notable films of Blackman's include Jason and the Argonauts and Shalako.

James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli paid tribute to Blackman in a statement, calling her a "film icon."

"She was an extraordinary talent and a beloved member of the Bond family," they said. "Our thoughts are with her family at this time." Brendan Morrow

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