On Monday we'll have occasional ice possibly mixed with some rain drops in the afternoon. In the evening the temperature will drop below with periods of sleeting and freezing rain becoming steadier likely causing significant icing problems.
- Yahoo News
In an interview with the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery,” Lincoln Project co-founder George Conway said the anti-Trump political group needs to provide a public accounting of what its leaders knew about the sexual misconduct of one of its top officials as well as questions about its finances.
- The Independent
The National Guard was in Washington DC in response to the attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters
- Associated Press
As a student at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy, Aaron Appelhans used to look at the photos of past graduating classes hanging on the wall. A decade later, Appelhans was appointed Wyoming's first Black sheriff, a post he took months after fury over racist policing roiled U.S. cities. Wyoming has made progress but remains “very racist," said Stephen Latham, president of the state NAACP.
- 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.
Clashes between traders from the Yoruba and Hausa ethnic groups broke out on Saturday at Shasha market in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo, the state governor's spokesman said. Most Yoruba live in southwestern Nigeria, while the Hausa are concentrated in northern states. Tensions have increased in southwestern states in recent weeks amid claims by public figures that nomadic cattle herders from the mainly northern Fulani ethnic group are carrying out violent crimes, which the pastoralists have denied.
- National Review
Senate Democrats considering the destruction of another set of Senate rules might want to heed the words of English lawyer and chancellor Sir Thomas More to his son-in-law centuries ago: And when the last law was down and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? Then-Senator Harry Reid started this modern clearcutting of the rules back in 2013. He used the “nuclear option” to lower the vote threshold for confirmation in order to stack the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Senator Mitch McConnell escalated by using the same standard to confirm Supreme Court nominees. As Majority Leader Chuck Schumer toys with the idea of blowing up the legislative filibuster as well, he is potentially poised to first unravel another important — if lesser-known — Senate rule in pursuit of an all-encompassing COVID-relief bill under the terms of “budget reconciliation.” We’re talking about the Byrd Rule (named after the late Senator Robert Byrd), which limits the ability of the majority to stuff extraneous legislative goodies into budget-related proposals and still pass them with a simple-majority vote under that process. Senator Byrd saw the danger of using reconciliation, which limits amendments and debate, to pursue broader, non-budgetary legislation outside regular order. As a defender of the right of all senators to debate and amend legislation, he fastened these restrictions onto the reconciliation process. This is for the greater good: the Byrd Rule protects Social Security from the reconciliation process, for instance, while limiting committees to proposals in their jurisdiction and requiring that the budget relevance of any proposal considered under this process be more than “merely incidental.” What this means is that major legislative policy changes can be made only when all senators have the right to fully debate and amend legislation — and to filibuster. Reconciliation otherwise “streamlines” this process at the expense of the minority. Today, fueled by rage and revenge, the leaders of the Senate care nothing for the reasons behind the rules; they want only to pass their legislation as quickly as possible. Most of the attention these past weeks has gone to the $15 minimum wage contained inside the COVID-relief package. This hardly meets the reconciliation standard on its own, but there will be other violations of the Byrd Rule in the bill the House will send to the Senate. That’s why Senate Democrats could aim to break the glass on Senate rules. As described by parliamentary expert Martin Gold, there are two ways to achieve this. First, there’s the more targeted attack on the Byrd Rule. Say Vice President Harris is in the chair when a senator raises a point of order against, for example, the minimum-wage hike. The Senate parliamentarian advises her that this particular section of the reconciliation bill is out of order. Despite all evidence and precedent that the section is out of order, the VP rules otherwise. Now the section takes only a simple majority to pass. However, if a senator who supports the Byrd Rule challenges the ruling of the chair, it will require a 60-vote majority to overrule Harris. That’s a high bar. So here, the chair’s judgment, which likely would stand, changes the precedent so that any other item in the bill that violates the Byrd Rule can be ruled acceptable under the new standard just established by the vice president. Republicans would have loved this when they were trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, but they respected Senate rules protecting the rights of the minority. This limited, surgical strike on the Byrd Rule would still disrupt the precedent in perpetuity. Meanwhile, there’s a broader attack that could be implemented. In this scenario, the majority leader addresses the chair and says that waiving the Byrd Rule only takes a simple-majority vote. It is clear under the rules and the precedents that this is false. If the chair rules that it takes 60 votes to waive the Byrd Rule, the majority leader then appeals the ruling of the chair, which takes a simple-majority vote to overturn. Bingo — the protections of the Byrd Rule are dead, and now it takes only a simple-majority vote to put any legislative proposal the majority wants into the budget-reconciliation bill, bypassing legitimate debate and amendment. The result of this action would threaten any rule in the Senate. If at any time the majority wants to get rid of any rule, all they would have to do is appeal the ruling of the chair and muster a simple majority — silencing the opposition and forcing their will on the American people. Once upon a time, the U.S. Senate was called the world’s greatest deliberative body. As envisioned by Thomas Jefferson, there were rules that protected the minority and allowed for thorough debate. Sadly, it appears this current Senate majority cares little for the precedents that earned the U.S. Senate that title. But some caution on their part might be well-advised self-interest; tables have been known to turn. Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated with a corrected version of the quote attributed to Sir Thomas More.
Yousaf Ali Khan is held on charges of sedition over remarks made in London alleged to be "anti-state".
- NBC News
After three decades on the run, Howard Farley Jr. was arrested in Florida, where he had been hiding in plain sight.
- Associated Press
Israel has decided not to send a delegation of defense companies to a prestigious arms fair in the United Arab Emirates next week due to coronavirus restrictions that have forced the closure of Israel’s international airport, the Defense Ministry announced Monday. Dozens of Israeli companies, including state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, had planned on sending delegations to the IDEX arms fair.
Turkey summoned the U.S. ambassador to Ankara on Monday to convey "in the strongest terms" its reaction to a statement on the killing of 13 Turks captured by Kurdish militants, which President Tayyip Erdogan called "a joke". Turkey said on Sunday militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) executed the captives, including Turkish military and police personnel, amid a military operation in northern Iraq where the group was holding them. The United States said it stood by fellow NATO member Turkey and that it condemned the killings if it was confirmed that responsibility lay with the PKK.
- The Independent
Texas residents told to stay off roads as ‘historic Arctic outbreak’ leaves 2.5 million without power
Areas of all of state’s 254 counties are currently under winter storm watch amid state of emergency
- NBC News
There are two cases each in Yamhill and Lane counties, the state's Health Authority said.
- The Telegraph
Hollywood resident Aaron M. Epstein had been complaining about his slow internet service for years. Despite hours on the phone to customer services and promises that action would be taken, the 90-year-old said any attempt at streaming a film on Netflix was “like watching a slideshow.” With frustrations at boiling point and all traditional avenues seemingly exhausted, the AT&T customer of more than 60 years took drastic action - paying $10,000 for an advert in the Wall Street Journal. Titled, "Open Letter to Mr. John T. Stankey CEO AT&T," Epstein hoped to catch the eye of the company’s directors and financial backers. “AT&T prides itself as a leader in electronic communications," he wrote in the Feb 3 advert.
- Associated Press
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration wants considerably more military aid from the United States in exchange for not abrogating a key security pact with Washington, his spokesman said Monday, rejecting criticism that the blunt demand resembled extortion. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Philippines has received much less security assistance from the U.S. than Pakistan and other countries despite Manila’s long treaty alliance with Washington. Roque did not specify how much more the U.S. should provide in exchange for the continuation of the Visiting Forces Agreement.
- Associated Press Videos
An Associated Press investigation, in collaboration with the Atlantic Council, found that China took the lead in spreading foreign disinformation about COVID-19’s origins, as it came under attack for its early handling of the outbreak. (Feb. 15)
- The Independent
Charges ‘not anticipated’ to be brought against juvenile
- The Conversation
The older you get, the more slowly you heal, and there are a number of reasons why. Westend61 via Getty ImagesI recently visited an 83-year-old patient in the hospital after EMTs rushed her to the ER with an infected leg wound. Her ordeal started inconspicuously when she bumped into the sharp edge of a table and developed a small cut. The patient’s wound didn’t close, but she ignored it until she woke up in pain one morning two weeks after first injuring her leg. Her daughter called 911 after noticing angry, red skin discoloration and pus – both signs of an infection. Our medical team treated her with IV antibiotics and cleared up the infection, but the wound did not fully close until at least a month later, well after she was discharged from the hospital. How different the story is when children get a cut. They may scream initially, but within days, the scab falls off, revealing new skin. Why was healing so delayed in my 83-year-old patient compared to a healthy child? The answer is age. Decades of life slow down healing for most tissues, and wounds in skin can offer a window into why this slowdown occurs. Three stages of wound healing I am physician who studies how aging predisposes patients to diseases like diabetes and whether behavioral changes such as intermittent fasting may slow down aging. In order to understand why the skin wound in my older patient healed so slowly, it is important to first understand how wounds heal under the ideal conditions of youth. The wound healing process is classically categorized into three stages. Right after a wound occurs, the inflammatory response begins. Jpbarrass via Wikimedia Commons The first stage is inflammation, essentially the body’s attempt to clean the wound. During the inflammatory phase, immune cells called phagocytes move into the wound, kill any contaminating bacteria, and ingest and dispose of dead cells and debris. After a few days, the regenerative phase will be well at work closing the wound. Jpbarrass via Wikimedia Commons Inflammation sets the stage for the regenerative phase, where several processes work in concert to regrow damaged skin. Replacement skin cells are born when cells at the edge of the wound divide, while fibroblast cells lay down a supportive scaffolding called the extracellular matrix. This holds the new cells together. Any damaged supporting structures of the skin, such as the blood vessels that supply critical oxygen and nutrients, also need to regrow. The second stage effectively closes the wound and restores a protective barrier against bacteria. Once the wound is fully closed, the remodeling phase will rebuild the tissue in a stronger way. Jpbarrass via Wikimedia Commons The regenerative phase is a relatively quick, but tenuous fix – new skin is fragile. The final remodeling phase plays out over a couple of years as the new skin is progressively strengthened by several parallel processes. The extracellular matrix, which was initially laid down in a haphazard fashion, is broken down and replaced in a more durable way. Any residual cells from prior phases that are no longer needed – such as immune cells or fibroblasts – become inactive or die. In addition to strengthening the new skin, these collective actions also account for the tendency of scars to visibly fade with time. Diseases disrupt the healing process One major way aging can derail the orderly and efficient progression through the stages of healing is through the health problems that stem from diseases of old age. Diabetes is one example of a disease that is strongly associated with older age. One of the many ways that diabetes negatively affects healing is by causing blood vessels to narrow. As a consequence of inadequate circulation, crucial nutrients and oxygen do not reach the wound in sufficient quantities to fuel the second regenerative phase. Diabetes is just one of many age-related diseases that disrupts normal processes in the body such as wound healing. Cell division is a critical part of healing, and when cells lose that ability, healing suffers. Andrezj Wojcicki/Science Photo Library Cells age too Aside from the negative impacts of age-associated diseases, cells themselves age. In an extreme sign of aging called cellular senescence, cells permanently lose the ability to divide. Senescent cells accumulate in skin and many other organs as people age and cause a host of problems. When cells divide more slowly – or when they stop dividing altogether due to senescence – skin becomes thinner. The replacement of fat cells, which form a cushioning layer under the skin, also declines with age. The skin of older patients is therefore more prone to injury in the first place. Once an older person’s skin is injured, the skin has a harder time healing properly as well. Aging and senescent immune cells cannot defend against bacteria, and the risk of serious skin infection rises. Then in the regenerative stage, slow rates of cell division translate into slow skin regrowth. My patient exhibited all of these negative effects of age – her thin, almost translucent skin ruptured from a minor bump, became infected and took nearly two months to fully regrow. But senescent cells are more than just dysfunctional bystanders. For reasons that are not yet fully understood, senescent cells release toxic byproducts that damage surrounding tissue and drive inflammation – even when there’s no bacterial threat present. Some of these byproducts can even accelerate senescence in neighboring cells. This suggests that intrinsic aging of cells is in essence contagious and senescent cells actively fuel an uncontrolled cycle of inflammation and tissue damage that further impedes successful regeneration and healing. It’s not just skin that ages; tissues throughout the body lose their healing abilities as people get older. David Sacks/TheImageBank via Getty Images A whole body problem As the most outwardly visible tissue of the body, the skin provides a window into why people heal more slowly with age, but all tissues can be injured and are susceptible to the effects of aging. Injuries may be small, repetitive and build up over time – like the effect of smoking on the lungs. Or they may be discrete and dramatic – such as the death of heart cells with a heart attack. Different tissues may heal in different ways. Yet all tissues share a sensitivity to the repercussions of an aging immune system and a decline in the ability to regrow dead or damaged cells. [Get our best science, health and technology stories. Sign up for The Conversation’s science newsletter.] Understanding why healing slows down with age is important, but my patient asked a very practical question that physicians often face in one form or another: “Doctor, what can you do for me?” Unfortunately, current treatment of wounds is fairly old-fashioned and often ineffective. Some of the options available include wound dressing changes, antibiotics when the wound is infected or treatment in a high oxygen chamber when circulation is bad due to diabetes. There is hope, though, that medicine can do better and that progress in understanding the aging process will lead to new therapies. Neutralizing senescent cells in mice, for example, improves a variety of age-associated diseases. While it is way too early to say that researchers have discovered the fountain of youth, I am optimistic for a future when physicians will bend the aging curve and make skin and other organs heal faster and better.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Matthew Steinhauser, University of Pittsburgh. Read more:How does aging affect athletic performance?As life expectancies rise, so are expectations for healthy agingThese at-home exercises can help older people boost their immune system and overall health in the age of COVID-19 Matthew Steinhauser receives funding from the National Institutes of Health. He is a member of the American Diabetes Association, the Endocrine Society, and the American Heart Association. In the past five years, he has served as a consultant for Regeneron and Amgen.
Mexico is working to fix a power outage caused by a cold snap in the north of the country that hit around 400,000 users and hammered neighboring Texas, authorities said on Monday. Amid the bad weather, national electricity grid operator CENACE said on Twitter the outage had come about due to a shortage of natural gas and some transmission problems. The freeze hit Texas hard, knocking out power for more than 2 million customers there.
- The Telegraph
Catalan separatist parties have won more than 50 per cent of the vote in local elections for the first time, with the result from Sunday's poll showing that the question of independence for Catalonia will continue to destabilise Spanish politics. Quim Torra, the region's former president, described the fact that separatist parties had won 51 per cent of the vote as “historic”, even though turnout was down by around 25 percentage points on 2017 because of the Covid pandemic. The election was called because Mr Torra was barred from public office last autumn after Spain’s courts found him guilty of disobedience for refusing to remove pro-independence symbols from public buildings during previous election campaigns. Carles Puigdemont, who illegally declared Catalonia's secession from Spain in 2017, said the result obliged Catalan parties to make a renewed push for independence. “Our duty is to try to execute this message explicitly because now we have the strength to do so”, Mr Puigdemont said from Belgium.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Game wardens rescued the reptiles on Valentine’s Day.