No injuries were reported. CBS2's Jessica Moore has the story.
- The Independent
Senator falsely claims vice president bailed out ‘rioter’ who later ‘broke somebody’s head open’
- Associated Press
Residents in northeastern Japan on Sunday cleaned up clutter and debris in stores and homes after a strong earthquake set off a landslide on a highway, damaged buildings and parts of bullet train lines and caused power blackouts for thousands of people. The 7.3 magnitude temblor late Saturday shook the quake-prone areas of Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures that 10 years ago had been hit by a powerful earthquake that triggered a tsunami and a meltdown at a nuclear power plant. Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility that runs the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant that was hit by the March 2011 disaster, said the water used to cool spent fuel rods near the reactors had spilled because of the shaking.
- The Telegraph
A catastrophic explosion and fire at an Afghan customs depot has destroyed hundreds of fuel tankers and caused traders tens of millions of pounds of losses. A series of blasts hurled lorries hundreds of yards into the air and deposited the crumpled remains of fuel tanks as far as half a mile from the blast site. Nasa satellites could reportedly see the blast from space and the fire was so intense that Afghan officials appealed to neighbouring Iran for help. The blast on the Iranian border in Western Afghanistan destroyed as much as $50 million worth of vehicles and goods, the local chamber of commerce said. “It's a huge catastrophe for the private sector,” said Younis Qazizada, a spokesman for the chamber. Health officials in the nearby city of Herat said only 17 people had been injured, but with the customs depot entirely incinerated, there were fears bodies would only be found later. The cause of the blast was unknown, officials said. “The devastation is much higher than we imagined,” said Mr Qazizada. “There's no infrastructure remaining at all.” Some estimates put the number of destroyed fuel tankers as high as 500. The blast site was still smouldering on Sunday. Electricity pylons had been knocked down by the force of the blast and the highway next to the depot was blocked by incinerated vehicles. Crowds looted many of the remaining lorries and on Sunday there were repeated bursts of gunfire as soldiers tried to keep order. Local traders blamed delays by customs officials for building a dangerous backlog of tankers are the border. Iranian state media said the country had sent several helicopters, 11 fire engines and 21 ambulances to the scene after requests for help from the local governor. Units of the Iranian Army's Ground Force were also sent to the border area and the Iranian police were drafted into rescue operations.
President Biden's National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement on Saturday that the administration is concerned by the World Health Organization's (WHO) probe into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. Why it matters: Sullivan said the administration fears the Chinese government may have intervened or altered the findings of the investigation.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeContext: On the first day of his administration, Biden acted to return the U.S. to the WHO. The Trump administration had started a withdrawal from the organization in July 2020.WHO teams last month conducted the investigation in Wuhan, China, where the virus first emerged. The investigation had been agreed to last May, but it was delayed after Chinese officials withheld authorization to allow the international team's scheduled visit. The delay drew a rare rebuke from WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.The WHO team concluded that it's "extremely unlikely" the virus came from a laboratory accident, and that it most likely jumped to humans via an intermediate species.“Our initial findings suggest that the introduction through an intermediary host species is the most likely pathway and one that will require more studies and more specific, targeted research,” said WHO scientist Peter Ben Embarek.What they're saying: "The mission of the World Health Organization (WHO) has never been more important, and we have deep respect for its experts and the work they are doing every day to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and advance global health and health security," Sullivan said in a statement."But re-engaging the WHO also means holding it to the highest standards. And at this critical moment, protecting the WHO’s credibility is a paramount priority." "We have deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the COVID-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them.""It is imperative that this report be independent, with expert findings free from intervention or alteration by the Chinese government. To better understand this pandemic and prepare for the next one, China must make available its data from the earliest days of the outbreak."The big picture: Going forward, Sullivan said all countries, including China, should be more transparent in order to prevent health emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic and allow other countries to respond to them faster.The other side: The Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., said in a statement the U.S. has in recent years "severely undermined multilateral institutions, including the WHO, and gravely damaged international cooperation on COVID-19." So the U.S. should not be "pointing fingers at other countries" who've supported the WHO, the statement added.Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from the Chinese Embassy.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
The European Union's executive asked Hungary to "take urgent action" to let an opposition radio station continue broadcasting after it lost an appeal against the removal of its licence, according to a letter seen by Reuters. The EU this week expressed concern over media freedom in Hungary over the case of Klubradio, which has been broadcasting for 19 years and whose political and talk show guests often criticise government policies.
Disha Ravi was held for sharing a document designed to help ongoing protests against new farming laws.
- Associated Press
Sightings of armored personnel carriers in Myanmar’s biggest city and an internet shutdown raised political tensions late Sunday, after vast numbers of people around the country flouted orders against demonstrations to protest the military’s seizure of power. Public concern has already been heightened for the past few nights by what many charge is the military’s manipulation of criminals released from prison to carry out nighttime violence and stir up panic. Ambassadors from the United States and Canada and 12 European nations called on Myanmar's security forces to refrain from violence against those “protesting the overthrow of their legitimate government.”
- Yahoo News Video
White House deputy press secretary T.J. Ducklo has resigned, the day after he was suspended for sending a sexist and profane threat to a journalist seeking to cover his relationship with another reporter.
- NBC News
After three decades on the run, Howard Farley Jr. was arrested in Florida, where he had been hiding in plain sight.
Supporters of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny held candle-lit gatherings in residential courtyards across Russia on Sunday despite warnings that they could be arrested. Navalny's allies have declared a moratorium on street rallies until the spring after police detained thousands of people in the past few weeks at protests against the opposition politician's arrest and imprisonment. People on social media posted pictures of themselves holding candles or phones with flickering flashlights across Russia, including in the Eastern Siberia city of Irkutsk, Yekaterinburg in the Urals mountains and Novosibirsk in Western Siberia.
Freezing temperatures have been recorded across the usually hot southern US state.
- Associated Press
The United States announced Friday it is revoking the designation of Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a terrorist group effective Feb. 16, a reversal by the Biden administration welcomed by the United Nations and humanitarian groups who feared former president Donald Trump's actions would impede aid deliveries to the conflict-torn country facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called President Joe Biden’s decision to rescind the designation “a recognition of the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen.”
- Associated Press
A speeding minibus jumped a road divider and crashed into a truck on a highway in southern India early Sunday, killing 14 members of a family, police said. The only survivors in the bus, four children under the age of 12, were critically injured, said police officer Fakirappa, who uses one name. The family was heading to Ajmer on a Muslim pilgrimage in western India, he said.
Militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) have executed 13 kidnapped Turks, including military and police personnel, in a cave in northern Iraq, Turkish officials said on Sunday, amid a military operation against the group. Forty eight PKK militants were killed during the military operation, while three Turkish soldiers were killed and three wounded, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement.
- The Week
The University of Oxford announced Saturday it will launch a new trial to test the COVID-19 vaccine it has developed in partnership with AstraZeneca on children between the ages of six and 17. The two-dose Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is already in use in the United Kingdom, though only people 18 and over can receive the shots as of now. Trial inoculations are expected to begin later this month, with around 300 volunteers enrolling to help determine efficacy and safety. This marks the first attempt by a coronavirus vaccine developer to test its candidate in young people, NBC News notes. Prof. Andrew Pollard, the chief investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial, acknowledged children are "relatively unaffected" by the novel coronavirus, but it's still "important to establish the safety and immune response" because "some children may benefit from the vaccine." The Food and Drug Administration has yet to assess the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for use in the United States. Read more at NBC News and BBC. More stories from theweek.comMurkowski delivers 'scorching' statement on voting to convict Trump7 scathingly funny cartoons about Republicans' impeachment cowardiceFuture presidents will remember Trump's impunity
Last September, Diamonds Ford was arrested for shooting a Jacksonville Sheriff SWAT team officer after law enforcement broke a window while serving a search warrant. The Jacksonville, Florida woman, who was woken the morning of Sept. 28 by the sound of glass breaking, is now asking that charges brought against her be dropped arguing that she was unaware that it was law enforcement attempting to enter her home when she fired gunshots through the window.
- Associated Press
Serbia on Sunday donated a first batch of 8,000 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to North Macedonia, which is yet to deliver its first jabs. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev attended a border checkpoint handover ceremony of the shipment, praising friendship between the two neighboring Balkan states. Serbia, a country of 7 million, has so far vaccinated some 600,000 people, mainly with the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine and Russian Sputnik V, and to a lesser extent with the Pfizer jab.
The Biden administration will start by processing some 25,000 people, reversing a Trump-era policy.
- Associated Press
Iran’s army test fired a sophisticated short-range missile on Sunday, state media reported. The report by the official IRNA news agency quoted the chief of the army’s ground forces, Gen. Kioumars Heidari, as saying that the missile's range was 300 kilometers, or 186 miles. Iran’s national army controls short-range missiles, although longer-range ones capable of travelling up to 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) — far enough to reach archenemy Israel and U.S. military bases — are controlled by the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.
Israel's largest healthcare provider on Sunday reported a 94% drop in symptomatic COVID-19 infections among 600,000 people who received two doses of the Pfizer's vaccine in the country's biggest study to date. Health maintenance organization (HMO) Clalit, which covers more than half of all Israelis, said the same group was also 92% less likely to develop severe illness from the virus. "It shows unequivocally that Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine is extremely effective in the real world a week after the second dose, just as it was found to be in the clinical study," said Ran Balicer, Clalit's chief innovation officer.