The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced Wednesday that 100,000 people may have vaccination appointments rescheduled or canceled after some providers gave second-doses of the Moderna vaccine as first-doses.
- Associated Press
China approved two more COVID-19 vaccines for wider use Thursday, adding to its growing arsenal of shots. The National Medical Products Administration gave conditional approval to a vaccine from CanSino Biologics and a second one from state-owned Sinopharm. Both are already being used among select groups of people under an emergency use authorization.
- Business Insider
Two counties in Georgia want Donald Trump to pay for the cost of his failed lawsuits alleging voter fraud in the election.
Fraudsters have offered 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines worth some 3 billion euros to European Union countries, two officials, showing how criminals seek to capitalise on a botched inoculation campaign weighing on the bloc's economic recovery. Two officials with the bloc's executive European Commission estimated that around 400 million doses of "ghost" vaccine had been offered by fraudsters at a price of up to 3 billion euros ($3.67 billion). The official, who noted that most of the shots offered to EU governments by traders were purportedly the AstraZeneca vaccine, compared the situation to the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020 when criminal exploited a shortage of masks and other protective equipment.
- Associated Press
Israel’s defense minister on Thursday called for an immediate halt in plans to ship surplus coronavirus vaccines to a group of allied nations, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of acting without oversight or transparency. In a letter to the prime minister, Benny Gantz said the decision to share vaccines was taken without “discussions in the relevant forums.” “We are talking about a significant diplomatic and security decision, and in accordance with that, it needs to be approved according to procedures established by law,” Gantz said.
Finland will go into a three-week lockdown starting on March 8 and is prepared to declare a state of emergency, the prime minister said on Thursday, to try to stem a rising number of coronavirus cases. Prime Minister Sanna Marin said she is ready to declare a state of emergency next week, having discussed this with the president. Among other things, a state of emergency would allow closing restaurants, requiring health care workers to work longer hours and cancel their holidays.
From Meryl Streep to Jennifer Lawrence, not every star who won more than once deserved every Golden Globe award they received.
- Associated Press
William Nylander tied it with 1:28 left in regulation and scored 1:06 into overtime to give the NHL-leading Toronto Maple Leafs a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night. Nylander took a pass from Auston Matthews in the extra period and beat goalie David Rittich high for his seventh of the season. “Nice to be able to score,” Nylander said.
- Business Insider
NASA just unveiled a high-def, 360-degree panorama of Mars from the Perseverance rover. It's made from 142 photos.
The Perseverance rover wasted no time snapping photos on Mars. NASA scientists stitched together 142 of them to create a high-definition panorama.
The first big real-world study of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be independently reviewed shows the shot is highly effective at preventing COVID-19, in a potentially landmark moment for countries desperate to end lockdowns and reopen economies. Up until now, most data on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines has come under controlled conditions in clinical trials, leaving an element of uncertainty over how results would translate into the real world with its unpredictable variables. The research in Israel - two months into one of the world's fastest rollouts, providing a rich source of data - showed two doses of the Pfizer shot cut symptomatic COVID-19 cases by 94% across all age groups, and severe illnesses by nearly as much.
- WCVB - Boston
There is promising new data today on Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine. If approved, it would add a third option to the vaccine rollout in the United States.
- The Telegraph
The Northern Ireland Protocol must be abolished rather than tweaked, the European Research Group will urge the Government on Thursday. The hardline Tory Brexiteers will publish a report, seen by The Telegraph, urging Boris Johnson to overhaul the problematic protocol rather than work with the EU to amend it. It comes amid a growing outcry over bureaucracy and checks, required under the protocol, hampering the inward flow of some goods to Northern Ireland from Great Britain. The protocol was established to smooth trade friction arising from Northern Ireland remaining inside the UK internal market while continuing to apply some EU rules. The Brexiteer MPs propose replacing it with a “mutual enforcement” arrangement, via which both the UK and EU would agree voluntarily to enforce each other’s rules. This would see the UK apply EU customs regulations in Northern Ireland, undertaking checks “at source” in warehouses and factories instead of checks taking place at a border. The ERG’s 38-page report comes after Michael Gove and Maros Sefcovic, the EU Commission vice-president, on Wednesday night issued a joint statement declaring both the UK and EU’s “full commitment” to “the proper implementation of the protocol”. The pair’s statement acknowledged that “joint action” was needed to make it work, but their declaration of support for it disappointed Tory Eurosceptics and Unionists. A UK Government source was also downbeat on the prospect of a breakthrough over the issues surrounding the protocol, conceding “there was no real progress” made in the meeting between Mr Gove and Mr Sefcovic. The source added that there “seems to be a lack of understanding on the EU side” of the situation on the ground in Northern Ireland and how the protocol is impacting people’s everyday lives there. It appeared Mr Sefcovic has “not been given any political room for manoeuvre” by hardliners in the Commission and member states, the source added, saying the bloc appeared to have forgotten its aborted move to trigger Article 16 of the protocol last month. The ERG, which boasts more than 50 MP supporters, called in senior Brexiteer lawyers Martin Howe QC, Barnabas Reynolds and James Webber to help draft its report. Their publication, entitled “Re-uniting the Kingdom: How and why to replace the Northern Ireland Protocol”, argues the mechanism has “had a profound and negative effect” on the UK’s internal market, as well as the constitutional position of Northern Ireland. It sees the ERG formally join the growing chorus of opposition to the protocol, which has been led by the Democratic Unionist Party and other Unionists who insist it is unworkable. This week DUP leader Arlene Foster, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, and senior party DUP MPs announced they were backing legal action against it. She has said a “long-term solution rather than sticking plasters” is needed, adding: “Whether it is the flow of parcels, supermarket goods, chilled meats or medicines, from GB to NI, the United Kingdom single market has been ruptured.” Mark Francois, chairman of the ERG, told The Telegraph: “As this report makes crystal clear, from the viewpoint of the ERG, the NI protocol has to go. We’ve recommended an alternative called mutual enforcement which gives both sides what they need without infringing the sovereignty of either party.” He added: “We very much hope that just as the EU swore blind they would never abandon the backstop and then did so, they may yet abandon their adherence to the protocol as well.” Eurosceptic Tories were buoyed last week by Downing Street’s promotion of Lord Frost to the Cabinet to lead on the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU, believing he will take a tougher approach to Brussels than Mr Gove, who holds the brief until the end of this month.
- Associated Press
Republican leaders in the House and Senate say a proposed plan for an independent commission to study the Capitol insurrection is overly tilted toward Democrats, arguing that the panel should have an even party split like the one formed to study the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that a legitimate commission would be comprised of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats. A draft proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would create an 11-member commission with four Republicans and seven Democrats, three of whom would be chosen by President Joe Biden, according to one of multiple aides who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the details under negotiation.
- The Independent
Biden news - live: Trump Jr deposed over inaugural funds as White House defends migrant camp after AOC attack
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Kaley Cuoco thought she was meeting with her 'Big Bang Theory' costars to discuss a 13th season - instead she found out the show was ending
The actress said she was "in a state of shock" when Jim Parsons said he wanted to leave the series, which ended the popular CBS sitcom.
South Dakota's top lawman could be removed after officials say he fatally hit a man with his car.
- Associated Press
Bahrain’s crown prince spoke with the Israeli prime minister on Thursday about the return to nuclear talks with Iran, Bahrain’s state-run news agency reported, as the U.S. administration tries to revive the tattered 2015 nuclear accord. Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, also the country’s prime minister, stressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “the importance of the participation of regional countries in any negotiations on the Iranian nuclear file” to support “security and stability in the region,” according to the official Bahrain News Agency.
- Business Insider
A preliminary study from Israel suggests people vaccinated against COVID-19 have lower viral loads, which are linked to less spread of the virus.
Olympic Champion Caster Semenya Is Taking Her Fight to Compete to the European Court of Human Rights
"All we ask is to be allowed to run free, for once and for all"
- Business Insider
Over the last month, several cruise lines have started requiring crew members or guests to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to sailing.
- The Week
Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Tuesday unveiled a plan to gradually raise the minimum wage to $10, rather than the $15 their Democratic colleagues are targeting. The reaction among conservatives was mixed. Brad Polumbo, writing in The Washington Examiner, called the plan an "abandonment" of fiscal conservatism, likening it to "something out of" Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) office. The plan, Polumbo continues, "ignores everything conservatives are supposed to understand about economics and the perils of big government," asserting that while both Romney and Cotton market themselves as "pro-family social conservatives," their plan "would hurt working families if implemented." At The National Review, however, John McCormack writes that research has shown the plan wouldn't cost any jobs at its median estimates, and high-end estimates point to around 100,000 losses. McCormack's colleague Robert VerBruggen thinks it will "resonate with the public" as a middle ground policy that comes attached to an immigration enforcement measure — in addition to the gradual wage increase, the Romney-Cotton plan would require businesses to use the "E-verify system" to ensure their employees are in the country legally and eligible to work. At Bloomberg, Michael Strain, the director of of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, praised the Romney-Cotton plan for its patience, noting that it would delay the increase until after the coronavirus pandemic "is in the rear-view mirror," whereas the Democratic proposal backed by President Biden would start churning in June. But he doesn't believe it will prevent Democrats from continuing to lobby for further raises, and ultimately doesn't solve the fact that "Republicans would still be on the losing side of a popular issue." He is also skeptical of the immigration enforcement tradeoff. He described it as a "politically interesting pairing," but explained he'd "rather see a modest minimum wage increase paired with policies that would improve employment and skills." More stories from theweek.comIt's been 1 year since Trump infamously tweeted the 'coronavirus is very much under control' in the U.S.The MyPillow guy might be Trump's ultimate chumpBiden nominates postal board slate that could oust Louis DeJoy after DeJoy vows to stay put