Two firefighters were hurt while battling a fire in Tarentum; KDKA's Jessica Guay reports.
- Associated Press
A North Carolina deputy shot and killed a Black man while serving a search warrant Wednesday, authorities said, spurring an outcry from community members who demanded law enforcement accountability and the immediate release of body camera footage. Authorities wouldn't provide details of the shooting but an eyewitness said that Andrew Brown Jr. was shot while trying to drive away, and that deputies fired at him multiple times. The car skidded out of Brown's yard and eventually hit a tree, said Demetria Williams, who lives on the same street.
- The Telegraph
Social distancing rules for hospitality 'a good way off' being lifted in Scotland, chief medical officer warns
Social distancing rules that threaten to bankrupt thousands of pubs and restaurants across Scotland are a "good way off" from being lifted indoors or outside, the country's chief medical officer warned on Thursday. Dr Gregor Smith said there was still a "theoretical risk" of Covid transmission outdoors with the one-metre distancing rule that will apply in licensed premises when they are allowed to reopen on Monday. He insisted the one-metre rule, which will even apply between people from different households enjoying a meal together, was "proportionate" and it would not change before more information is available about the impact of vaccination on transmission. But Scotland's crisis-hit hospitality industries warned their businesses could not even start to recover while the "toxic" rule remains and "every extra day of social distancing will result in more business failures, more job losses, and more small business owners losing what has often taken a lifetime to build." The Scottish Government’s position stands in stark contrast to England, where Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick wrote to local authorities cautioning them against “overzealous interpretation” of distancing rules at tables outdoors.
- The Independent
Three former police officers who responded to George Floyd call now face trial in August
Climate activist Greta Thunberg released a video Thursday denouncing world leaders for the "hypothetical targets" announced at President Biden's virtual climate summit this week.Why it matters: The virtual summit came hours before Thunberg urged U.S. lawmakers "to listen to and act on the science" in testimony before a House Oversight Committee panel. Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free."These targets could be a great start," Thunberg said in the four-minute-long clip, "if it wasn't for the fact that they're full of gaps and loopholes." Thunberg lambasted the leaders for "leaving out emissions from consumption of imported goods, as well as international aviation, shipping and the burning of biomass; using baseline manipulation; excluding most tipping points and feedback loops; and ignoring global aspects of equity and historic emissions.""They will call these hypothetical targets ambitious. But when you compare our insufficient targets with the overall current best available science, you clearly see that there's a gap. There are decades missing." The Swedish activist said the goals are "reliant on future, fantasy-scaled, currently barely-existing negative emissions technologies." State of play: Biden announced on Thursday the U.S. would seek to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-52% by 2030 relative to 2005 levels — about twice as ambitious as a goal set during the Obama administration. Leaders in Brazil, Canada and Japan also announced new targets at the summit. The bottom line: "The point ... is that we can keep cheating in order to pretend that these targets are in line with what is needed," Thunberg said. "But while we can others and even ourselves, we cannot fool nature and physics." "The emissions are still there, whether we choose to count them or not." Go deeper: All the new emissions targets announced at Biden’s climate summitMore from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
- The Independent
If tensions between the United States and China intensify, North Korea can take advantage of it and capitalise on it’, says Moon Jae-in
- The Independent
Mother of boy who testified at hearing forced to ‘file a police report’
- The Independent
‘Symbolic power of destroying house of horrors cannot be overstated,’ says attorney representing around 50 alleged victims of convicted sex offender
- The Telegraph
Anas Sarwar has admitted it is a “fair” to call him a hypocrite after he unveiled plans for an attack on private education despite sending his own children to a fee-paying school. Scottish Labour’s manifesto, published Thursday, calls for the charitable status of private schools to be revoked and for any public sector backing for them to end. The document states that such a policy would serve as “a contribution towards achieving a more socially just and inclusive society”. Mr Sarwar, the party leader, sends his own children to Hutchesons’ Grammar School in Glasgow, which he also attended, and currently charges annual fees of up to £12,924 per pupil. Asked whether he was a “hypocrite and humbug” for sending his own sons to a private school despite his own party presenting them as a force for social injustice, the father-of-three admitted criticism of him was valid. “I'm open about the fair question and the fair criticism that people make around the decision that my wife and I made for our children,” he said. “I want every child to have opportunity and that's why we put our education comeback plan at the heart of this manifesto. “There are different forms of inequality and prejudice that my children will face that other children won’t face, [but] that still means I accept the criticism around the choice I've made for my children's education.” Mr Sarwar also insisted that his support for the Union was “unequivocal” dispute pledging to “double down” on his attempt to win back support from pro-independence voters in the final fortnight of the Holyrood campaign. The manifesto includes a commitment not to support an independence referendum, warning a repeat vote would cause economic instability and “constitutional turmoil”. Mr Sarwar claimed the “political bubble” was wrong to focus on the constitution and that, despite failing to so far make a breakthrough in opinion polls, his plan to appeal across the constitutional divide was working. He was introduced at the manifesto launch by a business owner from Glasgow who said she was a lifelong SNP voter before switching to Labour. “I'll consider each issue on its merits,” Mr Sarwar said about potentially offering support to Nicola Sturgeon's SNP in the next parliament. “But does that mean I'm equivocating on the constitutional position? Absolutely not. I don't support independence, and I don't support a referendum.” Labour rebranded its manifesto a ‘national recovery plan’ and proposes handing every adult £75 to spend on high streets and offering state subsidised holidays in Scotland to boost the ailing tourism industry. The party did not propose immediate increases to income tax, however. It said if there is a need to raise revenues in the next term, rates should rise for those earning £100,000 or more. The better off could also be hit if Labour gets its way on council tax, which the party said should be scrapped and replaced with “a fairer alternative based on property values and ability to pay”.
- The Telegraph
The publisher of a new, bestselling biography about Philip Roth has temporarily halted the book's shipping and promotion as its author, Blake Bailey, faces allegations of rape and sexual harassment. Mr Bailey, 57, was chosen by Mr Roth to write his biography in 2012 and it was among the most anticipated and heavily promoted literary biographies in recent years, appearing on the bestseller list of The New York Times this month. The book charts the life of the literary great, who wrote Portnoy's Complaint and American Pastoral, and picks up on his “breathtaking tastelessness towards women”. But it is now Mr Bailey in the spotlight, having been accused of grooming his former high school students when he was a teacher and pursuing sexual relationships with them soon after they graduated. One former student, Eve Peyton, accused him of raping her when she was 22.
An 86-year-old woman enters to receive her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic targeting minority community members at St. Patrick's Catholic Church on April 9, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. A new survey released by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and the Interfaith Youth Core found that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy remains prevalent in some American communities—but a faith-based approach could prove crucial in the fight to combat it. It found that among Americans who attend some type of religious service at least a few times a year, 44% of people “hesitant” about COVID-19 vaccines said that a faith-based approach—or approaches—could impact their eventual decision to get vaccinated, and 14% of people “resistant” to the vaccine said the same.
Unreleased Apple product blueprints claimed to be among hackers' haul.
- The Independent
Former police officer found guilty on all three counts
- The Independent
House votes for second time to make DC nation’s 51st state, setting up historic Senate debate
- Miami Herald
Here’s what they had to say about Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict.
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos GettyLatin America’s monied and middle classes are flocking in ever-increasing numbers to Texas for a much-coveted vaccine jab, which remains elusive in their home countries.María, a 38-year-old psychologist in Mexico City who spoke to The Daily Beast under a pseudonym, was tired of waiting for the government-run vaccination program to announce her age group. She also worried about her 68-year-old father who suffers high blood pressure and is overweight—both COVID-19 comorbidities—and was diagnosed with pericardial effusion.So Maria decided to travel to San Antonio with her husband, father, and father-in-law for vaccinations. She stayed with friends, received her first dose of Pfizer on March 1, and returned three weeks later for her second.“[The health-care workers] were super nice,” said Maria. “And we only had to give them our [Mexican] passports as identification.” Maria subsequently advised 15 friends on getting vaccinated in San Antonio.“For me, it was worth pushing up the process and, having gone, a lot of friends—many, many friends—are now going, too,” she said. “Four really good friends went this weekend. And today we were making appointments for another friend.”Although Mexico was the first country to receive vaccines in Latin America, its campaign subsequently sputtered due to production glitches, crushing demand, and a policy of not vaccinating all medical workers. Mexico has only fully vaccinated 2.6 percent of its population of 130 million—with much of Latin America vaccinating at the same rate.Official figures on the number of Latin Americans heading north for vaccinations have not been reported, and—in an effort to avoid the wrath of a populist president quick to brand opponents as “snobs”—many prefer discretion when speaking of their vaccine tourism adventures. But the signs are all there: airfares to Texas from Mexican cities have surged, and WhatsApp groups dedicated to trading tips on getting vaccinated abroad have been formed in recent weeks, according to details shared with The Daily Beast.While Trump Wants to Blame Mexico for COVID Spikes, Mexico’s Just Not CountingTexas has apparently become a particularly popular destination for vaccine tourists, likely because the state doesn’t require proof of residency for receiving a vaccination. University Health in San Antonio—where María received her vaccination—now allows patients to register for their jabs with a Canadian or Mexican address. With U.S. customs, Maria advises people to be truthful about their motives for their trip, saying, “The problem is when you lie and tell them, ‘I’m not here for a vaccination.’”A 40-year-old restauranteur who owns a bakery and a breakfast cafe in Mexico City told The Daily Beast that he and his wife traveled to Dallas last week, where they received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine at a local Walmart. The restaurant owner requested anonymity because he didn’t want to jeopardize their appointments for the second doses in three weeks.“It was super fast,” the restauranteur said during a phone interview Tuesday morning. “No one was ahead of us. From what I understand, a lot of people in Texas don’t want the vaccine.” He and his wife returned to Mexico City the same day—and local news outlets have also reported Mexicans flying in via private plane to Lubbock and Amarillo, where they are transported to a local CVS and a government-run vaccination site, respectively.“I interact with a lot of people on a daily basis,” the restauranteur said. “I want the vaccine to protect my family. Flying to Texas for the vaccine is not something people speak about publicly around here, but it’s happening. If anyone asks me, I would tell them to go.”Mexico’s COVID czar Hugo López-Gatell says Mexicans aged 50 to 59 should be vaccinated by the end of June. But the restauranteur “didn’t want to wait anymore,” adding that he thought the “the Chinese and Russian vaccines” available in Mexico “are not as effective as the ones made in the U.S.”The restauranteur said he has a friend who is charging Mexican citizens to sign them up for vaccine appointments via Walmart’s online registration website. “For me, he did it for free,” the 40-year-old said. “It’s a service business that he launched.”María said she started thinking of a U.S. vaccine trip after hearing López-Gatell—who was stricken with the virus earlier this year and was seen strolling his neighborhood while still infected—muse about combining different vaccinations for the first and second doses of the vaccine. She didn’t like the sound of that.Then there was the sense that her age group wouldn’t be called for many more months. “Obviously it wasn’t going to be our turn until 2022,” she said. “I’m 38 so it wouldn’t be my turn until the very end so if I had the chance to go [to the U.S.] I was going to do it. And it’s not illegal.”Health analysts say it’s not unusual for the rich and influential to seek medical treatment in the United States—though many middle-class Mexicans are making the trip, too. A Monterrey professional soccer team traveled to Dallas earlier this month for vaccinations, according to Mexican media reports.Jaime Square, a professor in the northeastern city of Tampico, got vaccinated in late December in El Paso, Texas. But he says it was luck; his son works as a physician and some of the staff at his clinic declined their vaccinations—leaving leftover doses for Square and his wife. He spent an extra month there to get the second dose of the Moderna vaccine.Mexico’s vaccination campaign only arrived in Square’s hometown last week. Lines of seniors formed 24 hours in advance he said and the line of cars for the drive-through vaccines, he said, “was the longest I’ve ever seen.”The U.S.-Mexico Vaccine Deal Is Inciting a Brutal Migrant CrackdownAn American expat in the Lake Chapala region—home to a large population of U.S. and Canadian retirees—described a similar situation. “It was an early morning disaster: long lines for four hours and some people were turned away. The system to verify people was slow and all that to get the Chinese vaccine,” the expat said. “Some gringos want to bail out of their first shot of Sinovac and switch.”His wife traveled to Houston, where she used to live, to get her jab. The expat had booked an appointment at a Walmart pharmacy across the border in suburban San Diego for his own vaccination, but wasn’t able to get it after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was pulled from the market.The expat, a retired military officer, later found out about a drive-through vaccination operation in nearby Guadalajara and was promptly vaccinated. “It was the best you could get,” he said. “It took 60 minutes and there was a free Macarena dance show,” he said of the boisterous scene of staff dancing as they directed traffic.But Mexico’s vaccine strategy has raised some uncomfortable questions aimed at Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who was vaccinated on television on April 20. He didn’t wear a mask during the vaccination, which was applied by military personnel. Health Secretary Hugo Alcocer hovered by him, also maskless, despite being a prominent physician prior to entering politics.On the same day as Mexico’s president was vaccinated, the Health Secretariat released excess mortality figures, which put the country’s true COVID-19 death toll at 444,000. While the government has already started vaccinating teachers—a key constituency courted by politicians ahead of elections this summer—many workers in private health facilities are still waiting for their turn.“Many of our parents and grandparents are vaccinated, which is great. But there are still first-line health-care personnel to be vaccinated... and you start vaccinating teachers? Leaves you wondering what this is all about,” said a neurologist in Monterrey, who plans on traveling to Texas for a vaccination when their U.S. visa is renewed. “We have the highest physician mortality due to COVID-19.”The neurologist shared the details of a colleague, who said in a private Facebook post from her vaccination site in Texas that she had “begged to get a Sinovac dose in Mexico,” but was denied.It’s not only Mexicans who are traveling to the U.S. for vaccinations. Carlos, a journalist from Colombia who spoke to The Daily Beast using an alias, bought a flight to Houston with his girlfriend in April to get his vaccine.“I went to Texas cause they said it was legal there for ‘any person over 16.’ Unlike Florida where they said it was for residents only, said Carlos. “With the possibility that at some point the U.S. might cancel flights from Colombia, I decided to do it ASAP.”He added: “If the government of Colombia is not going to get me a vaccine soon and I have the resources to get one, then I might as well solve the problem myself. I'm not going to sit around here waiting for the government to solve the problem for me.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Associated Press
A powerful bomb exploded in the parking area of a luxury hotel in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta on Wednesday, killing at least four people and wounding at least nine others, police said. Footage on Pakistan news channels showed burning cars. Hours after the attack, the Pakistani Taliban in a statement claimed responsibility, saying it was a suicide attack.
- The Daily Beast
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via GettyAs the nation passes President Joe Biden’s ambitious goal of 200 million vaccinations in his first hundred days in office with more than a week to spare, and as the “dark winter” the president forewarned gives way to summer, more and more vaccinated Americans are itching to get back to some imitation of normalcy. And for many of them, “normal” looks like being able to go outside without wearing a mask.But despite a growing scientific consensus that the risk of infection outdoors is negligible in most realistic settings, the White House’s COVID-19 task force has remained publicly adamant that the public keep wearing masks outside—at least for now.“Let’s get to the 100 days,” Andy Slavitt, the White House’s senior advisor for COVID-19 response, told reporters on Monday when asked whether the president’s call for 100 days of mask-wearing might be reconsidered anytime soon. “You know one thing about President Biden: He follows the science, he listens to his scientists, and we’ve got 12 more days to go until we get there. So please mask up, everybody, because it does save lives.”At this point, nearly all of us have thought it. It’s first thing in the morning or late in the evening. After a brutal winter and an unending March 2020, you’re enjoying a break from the inside of your home by taking a stroll outside, enjoying the increasingly tempting spring weather by walking your dog or sipping a “walktail.” Slowly, you realize two things: there’s hardly a person in sight, much less within six feet of you, and that you’re still, somehow, wearing a mask.Twenty-six states require people to wear masks in public to one degree or another, as well as the District of Columbia, where the National Park Service has recently erected all-caps signs in public parks tut-tutting residents for gathering outside without masking up. But the public health consensus has shifted around how and where a person is most likely to contract the not-so-novel coronavirus—the days of spraying takeout pizza boxes with Everclear are mercifully behind us—and outdoor spread is extremely unlikely.“There’s really very limited evidence to suggest that outdoor transmission plays any significant role in SARS-CoV-2 transmission,” said Dr. Tim Brewer, a professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Brewer, who has advised the World Health Organization and the CDC, pointed to a meta-analysis published by the Journal of Infectious Diseases in February that suggested that even if outdoor transmission does contribute to the COVID-19 pandemic, “it probably plays a very limited role.”So why the disconnect?“The reason public health authorities are insisting on universal masking outdoors is because they are thinking in terms of the population, not the individual,” said Lawrence Gostin, director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University. “If an unvaccinated person sees a lot of people failing to mask up, it will be tempting to do the same. And that would be dangerous.”To put it bluntly, Gostin said, the government is asking the people who have already played by the strictest rules to keep doing so—even if the rules don’t make sense for them, specifically.“It is hard to make a nuanced case that vaccinated people needn’t wear masks while unvaccinated individuals still have to,” Gostin said. “It is far easier, and more effective, to make a blanket rule that applies to everyone in a public space.”Part of the hesitancy is that COVID-19 infection numbers and daily death rates, while dramatically lower than the peak of the third wave, remain stubbornly steady despite a massive vaccination campaign that this week expanded to include every American over the age of 16. Combined with fear of vaccine-dodging variants and increasing concern that vaccine supply is on the verge of outpacing vaccine demand with only one-third of adult Americans fully inoculated, the White House’s COVID-19 team is holding fast.Michigan Parents Stage Protest to Let Their Kids Go Maskless at School During COVID Surge“I appreciate that everybody’s getting tired of this pandemic—we’ve been in it for over a year, and we’re ready to move on with our lives,” Brewer said. “I think what the task force is grappling with is that our case numbers and now our deaths have stabilized a little bit… The fact that we were making progress for about two and a half months and then we seemed to stop, I suspect that’s what’s leading to the recommendations.”But as more Americans begin to thoughtfully examine the straightforward weirdness of wearing a mask while walking to a restaurant or a bar, only to take it off when entering an indoor space where aerosolized transmission is at a much higher risk, continued messaging from the government about required outdoor mask-wearing risks turning people off the entire enterprise.In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday, Slavitt acknowledged that the continued insistence on outdoor masking may not be in step with the reality on the ground.“How much longer do I need to wear a mask outdoors by myself? How does it make sense for me to wear a mask walking down the street by myself?” Tapper asked, noting that he has been fully vaccinated for more than two weeks, long after the point when Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, indicated that people “do not carry the virus”—a statement that was later walked back. “I mean a lot of this is confusing to people. They hear, ’wait, I get vaccinated, and I still have to do all this stuff.’”Slavitt called the issue of wearing masks outdoors while being allowed to take them off inside restaurants and bars “reasonable questions,” and suggested that at long last, the government may soon be willing to answer them.“I think they’re in the process of putting together further guidance,” Slavitt said, admitting that while the CDC is “not always going to be as fast as everybody wants them to be,” he is “quite confident that over the next couple of weeks and months those questions will be answered, those guidelines will absolutely loosen.”Some states aren’t in the mood to wait, however. On Wednesday, Gov. Gary Cooper of North Carolina issued a stick-and-carrot statement promising that the state’s mask mandate would be lifted entirely once two-thirds of the state’s citizens are vaccinated—the kind of reward that could make a huge difference in combating growing vaccine hesitancy.“Public health officials should hold out the hope and expectation that in the near future vaccinated individuals can enjoy the outdoors without wearing a mask,” Gostin said. “That would comport with scientific findings showing the risk is negligible.”Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told reporters this week that “we all want normalcy in America” like other countries have begun to experience, pointing to Israel’s decision to rescind its outdoor mask mandate on Sunday.But, Fauci said, pointing to a graph showing that nearly two-thirds of Israelis had received at least one dose of the vaccine, “the highway to that normalcy is vaccination.”“We can get there,” Fauci said. “And every single day, as we get 3 to 4 million people vaccinated, we get closer and closer to that normalcy.”In the meantime, though, the social science of setting a good example may outweigh the hard science showing that outdoor exposure isn’t as much of a risk.Brewer, for example, still wears a mask when he walks his dogs in the morning, despite being fully vaccinated and despite his dogs’ leashes providing a helpful six-foot measuring stick.“I do that as much to set as an example, as because of concern about risk,” Brewer said. “The chances are extremely low that I would become infected, especially now that I’m vaccinated… Really, I do it to set an example.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Miami Herald
Some South Florida detainees in immigration detention have begun to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of a Miami federal court case settlement.
- Miami Herald
When Christopher Luis pulled up to a West Kendall bank drive-thru ATM earlier this year, police say he was confronted by three gun-wielding robbers. Luis himself was armed. A firefight erupted.
Tom Brady is not a fan of the NFL rule change that will allow players at more positions to have single-digit jerseys numbers.