Federal officials said this week that they had been considering a testing requirement.
A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday recommended the authorization of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.Why it matters: The FDA is expected to make a final decision within days on the J&J vaccine, which was found to be 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID. An emergency use authorization would allow distribution to immediately begin, helping streamline and speed up the vaccine rollout across the U.S.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said on Wednesday that J&J will have 3 million to 4 million ready for distribution next week.The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNtech shots are the only other vaccines that have received FDA authorization. Unlike Moderna's shot, J&J's vaccine does not require ultra-cold storage, simplifying the logistics of distribution.Go deeper: FDA analysis finds Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine is safe and effectiveMore from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
- The Telegraph
Calm, controlled and forensic, Alex Salmond sought to finish off his protege, but it may well be voters who do the job
Anyone who has the slightest doubt that we are witnessing the gory end of a fairly spectacular political phenomenon, namely the double-act of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, couldn’t have caught even the briefest of snatches of his icily frank performance at Holyrood on Friday. It’s over and so, too, must surely loom the love affair that much of the Scottish electorate appears to have had with Ms Sturgeon over the last year. The diehards will stay but how can she keep normally non-nationalist voters, who defeated her in the 2014 referendum, and who’ve been won over by her daily television appearances in the battle against the Covid. And the polls suggest they might back her in an election in two months time and in any subsequent referendum. But Salmond said on Friday that Ms Sturgeon wasn’t fit to run an independent country and that she had, without doubt, broken the ministerial code about what they knew and when of allegations - which he denied - against him of sexual assault. He did believe that it was up to an independent inquiry - not him - to decide whether she should resign, but Salmond did rage against the fact that the Crown Office said that evidence could be published then subsequently said it should be ‘unpublished’. This was an issue that he believes should lead the Lord Advocate to ‘consider his position’, in other words submit his resignation. Salmond said he had been the subject of a ‘witch hunt’ by people close to the First Minister, including Peter Murrell - Ms Sturgeon's husband - who had been contacting people to secure allegations against him. And after a judicial inquiry into an investigation by the Scottish Government had found in his favour - costing the taxpayer over £500,000 - a senior government special advisor had told a colleague ‘We’ll get him in the criminal case’. Salmond said that the Scottish Government had delayed settling the judicial review, even when they knew they’d lose, in the hope, he added, that the criminal case against him "would ride to the rescue like the cavalry coming over the hill". In a display of all the forensic debating powers which once made him a power not just in Scottish, but UK, politics, Salmond sought to finish his former protege off as a political leader. He said that in spite of all the bad publicity the country had suffered in recent days. “Scotland hasn't failed, its leadership has failed." He said he wanted Scotland to be independent, but he also wanted it to be somewhere with robust safeguards where citizens were not subject to “arbitrary authority” . Wearing an SNP tie and lapel badge - he’s not now a party member - he kept mostly calm and controlled as he went carefully through a catalogue of what he said was a campaign against him. Nobody should forget, as Sturgeon will undoubtedly make plain when she gives evidence next week, that the root of this incredible saga was allegations of sexual assault levelled against Salmond - claims he denied - by two civil servants. And when members of the committee sought to question him about this episode he twice repeated the same mantra - namely that two judges and one jury had cleared him. He did urge the committee to continue to get agreement to publish the censored evidence but in relation to his main ‘target’ - his successor as First Minister - Salmond said that while he hadn’t made any allegations against others that he couldn’t corroborate, for that reason he hadn’t made any specific allegation against Sturgeon. However, in what sounded like a threat, he insisted that he was being prevented from disclosing evidence ‘way beyond’ what he’d so far been allowed to reveal. But a question remains at the end of all of this, based on the evidence we heard on Friday. Namely, can voters really continue to say they retain confidence in Sturgeon when they understand that what they’re backing is a government that is besmirching not just the good name of important national institutions, but of Scotland itself?
- The Independent
Texas senator shamed for Cancun trip delivered a high-energy CPAC speech studded with Star Wars references
- The Independent
The attack was carried out on Iranian-backed militias
- USA TODAY Opinion
The problem in 2020 was with the Republican candidate. That won't change in 2024 if Trump stays on top.
- USA TODAY
A pilot at American Airlines radioed Sunday that an unidentified object flew over their jet during a flight while they were over New Mexico.
At least two political rights groups advocating democracy have quietly quit Hong Kong and moved overseas, unnerved by a national security law that has fanned fears over the erosion of freedoms under China’s rule, sources told Reuters. In the past, China-focused rights groups had valued the wide-ranging autonomy, including freedom of speech and assembly, guaranteed for Hong Kong when control over the former British colony was returned to Beijing in 1997. But some non-government organisations (NGOs) say the new legislation means they face a choice of either having to leave Hong Kong or work with the same kind of fears and constraints they would encounter in mainland China.
Residents of an Indian slum thought they were getting vaccinated like everyone else but were unknowingly part of a clinical trial
After a white van advertised COVID-19 vaccines to a central-Indian slum, many of its residents feel duped after finding out they were in a trial.
What Harry thinks of The Crown, what the Queen got Archie for Christmas, and other key information.
- The Daily Beast
Prince Harry Tells Friend James Corden He Left the Royal Family Because It Was Destroying His Mental Health
KOEN VAN WEELPrince Harry has said that he stepped back from royal duties because the British press was “toxic” and “destroying” his mental health.In an extraordinary interview unparalleled in the annals of royal history, Harry gave a candid interview to his close friend James Corden on The Late Late Show while they toured Los Angeles on an open-air double-decker bus. Corden was a guest at Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018 and arrived at the evening reception dressed as Henry VIII. Another guest at the wedding, Oprah Winfrey, has taped an interview primarily with Meghan that will be screened next weekend.Oprah Winfrey’s Interview With Meghan Markle and Harry Will ‘Shine a Light on What They Have Been Through’The two men were served afternoon tea, which Corden said he had provided to remind Harry of home, however the tea service was abandoned after the bus braked sharply, depositing the contents of a tea trolley on top of the prince.“Clear it up, Harry,” Corden joked as the prince picked up tea cups and scones.While the 17-minute long package had a humorous tone and was packed with jokes and gags, it also provided the most candid insight yet into why Harry withdrew from royal duties.Asked about his decision to leave royal life, Harry said he was left with no choice because the British press “was destroying my mental health.”He said of the “toxic” situation: “I did what any husband and father would do—I need to get my family out of here.”In what will be perceived as a dig at the royal establishment that refused to accept Harry and Meghan’s proposal of a hybrid public-private role, Harry said: “We never walked away, and as far as I’m concerned, what decisions are made on that side, I will never walk away.”Royal Family ‘Wringing Their Hands’ at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ActivismHarry said that his life now would continue to be about “public service” and added that he and Meghan were “trying to bring some compassion and try to make people happy and try to change the world in any small way we can.”When Harry said he and Meghan often watched Jeopardy! and Netflix (with whom the couple recently signed a $100 million production deal) in the evenings after putting Archie to bed, Corden asked him about The Crown and its controversial portrayal of his family’s history.Harry, who joked he would like to be played in the series by Damian Lewis, said he preferred it to the tabloid media coverage of the royals because it “does not pretend to be news.”He added: “It’s fictional. But it’s loosely based on the truth.“Of course it’s not strictly accurate, but it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle—the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else—what can come from that.”He continued: “I’m way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family, or my wife or myself, because it’s the difference between fiction—take it how you will—and being reported on as fact because you’re supposedly news. I have a real issue with that.”Harry also opened up about meeting Meghan and how he knew she was the one on their second date.“We hit it off with each other, and we were just so comfortable in each other’s company,” he said.“Dating me or any member of the royal family is kind of flipped upside down. All the dates become dinners or watching the TV or chatting at home.“We went from zero to 60 in the first two months.”Meghan, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, made a cameo in the interview via FaceTime when Harry and Corden paid a trip to the house from the ’90s TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.When Corden suggested the couple should buy the house, Meghan said: “I think we’ve done enough moving.”During the visit to the house, Corden and Harry spoke to the owner and jokingly made an offer to buy it, before Harry asked if he could use the toilet.“I’m actually dying for a pee. Can I use your bathroom?” he asked.Showing that family relations are at least still somewhat functional, Harry said his grandmother, the queen, bought his son Archie a waffle maker for Christmas.He revealed Meghan now makes waffles with a “beautiful organic mix” and they eat them for breakfast with toppings including berries and syrup.He also said that both his grandparents know how to use Zoom, but joked that his grandfather slams the laptop shut physically to finish a call.Over to you, Oprah.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.
- Business Insider
While Biden visits storm-torn Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz will be giving a speech on 'cancel culture' in Florida
The president is set to tour the state with Gov. Greg Abbott.
TikTokers tried to prove that snow in Texas was 'fake' as weather conspiracy theories ran wild online
From "fake snow" to Bill Gates, conspiracy theories about the Texas storm are spreading. Right-wing pundits and politicians aren't helping.
- The Telegraph
Lord Frost must drop his confrontational style of negotiating if Britain and the EU are to rebuild their strained relationship, Brussels sources have warned. The rebuke was angrily rejected by the Government, which insisted that former Brexit negotiator Lord Frost was “the best person” to reset UK-EU relations. Lord Frost, who negotiated the EU trade deal last deal, will oversee thorny talks over the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol from Monday after being promoted to a minister in Boris Johnson’s Cabinet. During last year’s Brexit trade talks, he ruffled feathers in Brussels with his uncompromising insistence on the EU respecting the UK as a “sovereign equal”. "The EU and UK relationship is in dire need of more consensus, unfortunately Lord Frost is, so far, better known for confrontation,” an EU diplomat told the Telegraph. “Putting the relationship on ice is not an option. Britain and the continent are too close, too interlinked and there's too much going on affecting both sides of the English Channel.” “Based on evidence so far this year, the EU’s efforts can hardly be described as having promoted harmony,” a UK government source said. The source said that European Commission moves towards a coronavirus vaccine export ban and its short-lived threat to impose a hard border on the island of Ireland to enforce it were “concerning”. The source added, “We are working at pace to ensure a friendly and productive relationship. The best person to lead that effort is Lord Frost.” The EU warning came after reports that senior figures in Brussels hoped to “reset” the relationship with Britain. Relations have been further strained by rows over the implementation of new customs arrangements in Northern Ireland and the status of the EU's ambassador to the UK. An EU official said, “We know Lord Frost and I’m sure we will be more than capable of working with him and finding solutions.” Recent meetings between the two sides over the protocol have failed to find agreement on the extension of various grace periods to, for example, ensure continued supermarket supplies to Northern Ireland from Great Britain. The RTE broadcaster reported that the reset could be a meeting between Boris Johnson and senior EU figures such as European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. The EU is due to ratify the new trade deal, which has been provisionally applied, in April. This would be a good moment to draw a line under past disagreements, especially if new agreements on the grace periods on the protocol can be agreed in time The EU official said, "This would be a nice thing to happen but we are not holding our breath. The timeline sounds about right. I’m not so sure if a ‘reset’ is possible, but I think it’s admirable that we’re at least trying." The reset would be aimed at drawing a line under the tetchy relations that have bedevilled London and Brussels since the UK left the Brexit transition period at the end of last year. A UK government spokeswoman said, “The deal we struck with the EU is the beginning of our new partnership in Europe, with new stability and certainty around our future relationship. “It will build on our shared history of friendship and cooperation, but as sovereign equals, with greater democratic autonomy and a clear, independent voice to speak and act on our priorities.” Britain and the EU were reported as nearing an agreement on a memorandum of understanding on financial services on Friday, which could be a small step to securing access to the Single Market for some UK firms.
- Business Insider
Merkel says she won't take AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine because she's too old, as 1.4 million jabs are left unused
The German chancellor said she wasn't eligible because the vaccine isn't approved for people over 65 in Germany.
- Yahoo News
The decision to reopen the Texas influx shelter reveals how, in opting for a more humane approach to migrant children, the Biden administration is left dealing with some of the same tough choices that vexed its predecessors.
United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Friday that China is restricting basic civil and political freedoms in the name of national security and COVID-19 measures, adding to a wave of criticism of the country's rights record. "Activists, lawyers and human rights defenders – as well as some foreign nationals – face arbitrary criminal charges, detention or unfair trials," Bachelet told the Human Rights Council. More than 600 people in Hong Kong are being investigated for taking part in protests, some under the new national security law imposed by mainland China on the former British colony, she said.
Episode eight finally introduces Wanda Maximoff's comic-book name that's been hinted at throughout the first season of "WandaVision."
- Associated Press
An international research group examining the fatal shooting of a Palestinian motorist challenged Israeli self-defense claims, saying the man had emerged from his car after it crashed into a checkpoint, did not approach troops and was instantly shot six times. Israel has said 27-year-old Ahmad Erekat intentionally rammed his car into a guard booth at a military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank, and that troops killed him in self defense. The London-based group Forensic Architecture, working with the Palestinian human rights group Al Haq, reviewed the June 23 shooting at the request of the Erekat family and released its findings this week.
- Associated Press
A U.S. airstrike targeting facilities used by Iran-backed militias in Syria appears to be a message to Tehran delivered by a new American administration still figuring out its approach to the Middle East. The strike was seemingly a response to stepped-up rocket attacks by such militias that have targeted U.S. interests in Iraq, where the armed groups are based. It comes even as Washington and Tehran consider a return to the 2015 accord meant to rein in Iran’s nuclear program.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who excoriated former President Donald Trump over the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot less than two weeks ago, said on Thursday that he would "absolutely" vote for Trump if he became the 2024 Republican presidential nominee. McConnell, who Trump blasted last week as "a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack," said he expects to see an open contest for the Republican White House nomination in 2024 but showed no hesitation in backing Trump when asked whether he would vote for him as nominee.