Coronavirus updates: Arrests after party boat with 170 guests cruises around NYC

ABC News Corona Virus Government. Response

The owners and captain were accused of violating a number of state laws.

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 687,000 people worldwide.

Over 18 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 4.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 154,841 deaths.

Latest headlines:

  • Thousands take part in Moscow half-marathon amid ban for mass events in the city
  • Arrests after illicit party boat with 170 guests cruises around New York City
  • Lord & Taylor files for bankruptcy as retail collapses pile up
  • Here’s how the news is developing today. All times Eastern.

    5:01 a.m.: Thousands take part in Moscow half-marathon amid ban for mass events in the city

    Moscow hosted a half-marathon with over 16,000 participants on Sunday.

    “Many marathons have been canceled abroad, and we are showing to the whole world how to continue living as normal in very tough conditions” Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matitsyn said at the event’s opening.

    He said the event was to celebrate the victory over the coronavirus.

    On Sunday morning city authorities said 664 novel coronavirus infections were diagnosed in the city. The number of daily cases have been declining but still consistently remains over 600 per day.

    On Wednesday, city mayor Sergey Sobyanin said that all mass events were banned in the city until August 16, even though that announcement did not affect the half-marathon event on Sunday.

    3:15 a.m.: Arrests after illicit party boat with 170 guests cruises around New York City

    The owners and captain of The Liberty Belle, a large riverboat that can fit up to 600 guests with four bars and three outdoor decks, have been arrested after flouting the rules and hosting a party on Saturday with more than 170 guests on board.

    Ronny Vargas and Alex Suazo, the boat’s owners, were arrested on Saturday night and accused of violating a number of state law provisions.

    “Deputy Sheriffs intercept the Liberty Belle at Pier 36 & arrest owners and captain for illegal party: violation of social distancing provisions of the Mayor’s and Governor’s Emergency Orders, Alcohol Beverage Control Law: unlicensed bar & bottle club & Navigation Law,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

    The Sheriff’s Office also said that the captain of the boat, who was not identified, was issued a summons for not displaying its identification number.

    This comes just a week after New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo slammed an event where The Chainsmokers were performing at a packed concert in the Hamptons, which saw audience members clustering together and outright defying social distancing guidelines.

    Cuomo blasted The Chainsmokers last Tuesday saying the performance was “grossly disrespectful to fellow New Yorkers” considering how hard the state fought to control the spread of COVID-19.

    “The concert that happened in the town of Southampton was just a gross violation of not only the public health rules, it was a gross violation of common sense,” the governor fumed during his daily press conference regarding the novel coronavirus.

    The Chainsmokers and those involved in the show now face potential civil or criminal repercussions, with the governor saying that violations of “public health law has civil fines and a potential for criminal liability, so we’re taking that very seriously.”

    What to know about coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself: Coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the U.S. and worldwide: Coronavirus map
  • 1:38 a.m.: Lord & Taylor files for bankruptcy as retail collapses pile up

    Lord & Taylor has become the latest retailer to file for bankruptcy as the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on retail chains and sales around the country.

    The company filed for bankruptcy protection in the Eastern Court of Virginia on Sunday.

    “Today, we announced or search for a new owner who believes in our legacy and values,” the company said in a statement on its website. “Part of our announcement also includes filing for Chapter 11 protection to overcome the unprecedented strain the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on our business.”

    Just last year Lord & Taylor sold its flagship building on New York City’s Fifth Avenue after more than a century in the 11-story building.

    “Thank you for your support, now more than ever,” the statement continued. “Our mission is to continue to serve you, your family and your community for generations to come.”

    ABC News’ Megan Stone and Will Gretzky contributed to this report.

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