- Business Insider
Warship captains told the skipper of a COVID-stricken aircraft carrier he was 'doing what is right' just before the Navy fired him, emails show
"I read your letter," an aircraft carrier skipper wrote in an email to Capt. Brett Crozier. "I thought it was awesome."
Preliminary data from a study conducted at the University of Oxford indicates that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca PLC is effective against the P1, or Brazilian, variant, a source with knowledge of the study told Reuters on Friday. Early results indicated the AstraZeneca vaccine was significantly less effective against the South African variant, which is similar to P1. The information comes as a plasma study published ahead of peer review on Monday (https://bit.ly/3bX3LBa) suggested the CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech may not work effectively against the Brazilian variant.
- The Daily Beast
Rosa Woods - Pool/Getty ImagesMeghan Markle has said she was not allowed to make her own choices when she was a member of the royal family.The comments were made in a new preview clip from Oprah Winfrey’s eagerly-awaited interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, which dropped Friday morning on CBS This Morning.In the new clip, Meghan said that she had not been “allowed” to give an interview before.In the clip, Oprah told Meghan that she recalled calling her before her wedding and asking for an interview.Meghan said, “I recall that conversation very well. I wasn’t even allowed to have that conversation with you personally. Right? There had to be people from the [communications team] sitting there…”Oprah then said, “You turned me down nicely…What is right about this time?”Meghan replied, “Well, so many things. That we are on the other side of a lot of life experience that’s happened. And also that we have the ability to make our own choices in a way that I couldn’t have said yes to you then. That wasn’t my choice to make. So, as an adult who lived a really independent life, to then go into this construct, that is, um, different, than I think what people imagine it to be, it’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say, ‘Yes, I am ready to talk.’ To say it for yourself... To be able to just make a choice on your own, to be able to speak for yourself.”Meghan’s new comments appear to reiterate a frequent complaint of hers that she was denied her voice and agency when she was a member of the royal family.The new clip came as tensions between Meghan and Harry and Buckingham Palace boiled over into all-out war, with reports in the British media suggesting multiple witnesses were ready to come forward and give evidence to a hastily-announced inquiry into alleged bullying by Meghan of her staff at Buckingham Palace.Meghan’s friends responded to the bullying claims by launching a social media counterattack against Buckingham Palace today, calling her a “warm, kind, caring person.”In a previous clip, Meghan accused the palace of “perpetuating falsehoods” about them.An emotional Meghan said, “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.”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
This April should look very different than the last for California’s nearly 40 million residents, with a new plan from the governor that will speed up reopening a year after he imposed the nation’s first statewide coronavirus shutdown. Next month, nearly the entire state could see a return of inside restaurant dining, the reopening of movie theaters and other indoor businesses, far more children back in classrooms and competing in sports — maybe even fans in the stands for Opening Day of Major League Baseball. “It’s important that we start getting back to work and recovery,” said Emilie Cameron, district affairs and development director at the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, which represents businesses in California's capital city.
I flew business class for 9 hours, and it made me wish I saved my money and bought an economy ticket
The writer reviewed how safe she felt, which perks she got, and the food she had during an international British Airways flight from Texas to London.
This week's surprise decision by Saudi Arabia and other top oil producers to broadly stick with output cuts despite rising crude prices was influenced by events in an unexpected place - Italy. "Take a look at what is happening in Milan today," Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud told a news conference on Thursday after a meeting of OPEC and its allies. Restrictions on movement destroyed up to a fifth of oil demand last year and led OPEC and its allies - known as OPEC+ - to make record output cuts.
- Business Insider
A future COVID-19 vaccine could be squirted up the nose. The nasal spray could stop transmission, especially in kids.
A company called Altimmune is working on a nasal-spray version of a COVID-19 vaccine. The technology could stem the virus' spread better than shots.
- Business Insider
Rudy Giuliani, who helped lead Trump's bogus election-fraud conspiracy theory, is being mocked after warning of the dangers of misinformation
After spending months pushing Trump's election fraud conspiracy theory, Giuliani unexpectedly warned of the dangers of misinformation.
Just over a half of Pakistan's health workers have received a COVID-19 shot since inoculations began last month, while a poll released on Friday suggested nearly half had concerns over China's Sinopharm, the only vaccine available so far. Pakistan had distributed 504,400 Sinopharm vaccine doses to provincial authorities by Feb. 20, and 230,000 frontline health workers had received a shot by Friday, according to health minister Faisal Sultan. In January, Sultan said 400,000 health workers had been registered to get the vaccine.
- Reuters Videos
Pope Francis landed in Baghdad for what's been described as the most risky foreign trip of his time leading the Roman Catholic Church.The pontiff touched down slightly ahead of schedule at Baghdad International Airport on Friday (March 5) afternoon.He said he felt duty-bound to make the "emblematic" visit because Iraq had suffered so much for so long."It is essential to ensure the participation of all political, social, and religious groups and to guarantee the fundamental rights of all citizens. May no one be considered a second-class citizen. I encourage the strides made so far on this journey and I trust that they will strengthen tranquility and concord."The first stop was to meet Iraqi President Barham Salih at the presidential palace, where a red carpet, military band, and flock of doves greeted him.Iraq has deployed thousands of additional security personnel to protect the 84-year-old. And while he usually insists on traveling in simple and small cars, this Friday saw him in a bulletproof BMW within a massive motorcade.The country has suffered a spate of rocket and suicide bomb attacks that have raised fears for the pope’s safety.Naem Faouzi was part of a selected group of Iraqi Christians permitted to make a journey to see the pope shortly after he arrived."I never thought that I would see the Pope, honestly. It was a visit we believed to be impossible. Even though the country's conditions are poor, infrastructure is poor. (We thought) it was impossible, but it was the best surprise."Francis's whirlwind tour will take him by plane, helicopter, and possibly armored car to four cities, including areas that most foreign dignitaries are unable to reach, let alone in such a short space of time.The pope will also be making a another scheduled stop, to say Mass at a Baghdad church where militants killed 50 worshippers n 2010.
- Associated Press
Israel Adesanya stepped onto the UFC 259 scale in a mask and sweatpants. Few fighters love a little extra cheese more than Adesanya, whose charismatic flamboyance is as much fun as his otherworldly fighting skill. Adesanya's attempt to join the UFC's most exclusive champions' club tops the long list of reasons to be curious about UFC 259 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
A small detail you may have missed in the 'WandaVision' finale may be a clue about a potential 'Spider-Man 3' and 'Doctor Strange 2' villain
Some fans were disappointed that Mephisto didn't show up in the "WandaVision" finale, but the theories about the villain aren't stopping.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday the latest problems surrounding Brexit and Northern Ireland could be solved with good will and common sense. The EU promised legal action on Wednesday after the British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, a move Brussels said violated terms of Britain's divorce deal. "I am sure that with a bit of good will and common sense that all these technical problems are eminently solvable," Johnson said in a pooled interview during a trip to north east England.
- Reuters Videos
Police in Myanmar on Friday again opened fire on protesters against the military coup, killing at least one person, and ahead of a United Nations Security Council meeting on the crisis.The violence took place as the military lost a fight over leadership of its U.N. mission in New York and the United States announced new sanctions targeting military conglomerates.The man killed was in the city of Mandalay, witnesses and a doctor told Reuters by telephone.In the city of Yangon, police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse protesters who had been joined by about 100 doctors in white coats, witnesses said.Hundreds of protesters in the south-eastern city of Dawei also faced tear gas fired by police as they marched in protest against last month's military coup.In all, at least 55 people have been killed since the coup on February 1.The U.N. human rights investigator on Myanmar, Thomas Andrews, has urged the Security Council - which meets later on Friday - to impose a global arms embargo and targeted economic sanctions on the junta.Indian security forces also stepped up patrols on the border with Myanmar on Friday to stop refugees entering after some Myanmar police officers crossed over, fearing retribution for refusing to participate in the crackdowns.
- Associated Press
Demonstrators defied growing violence by Myanmar security forces and staged more anti-coup rallies Friday, while the U.N. special envoy for the country called for urgent Security Council action, saying about 50 peaceful protesters were killed and scores were injured in the military's worst crackdowns this week. The escalation of violence has put pressure on the world community to act to restrain the junta, which seized power on Feb. 1 by ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Security forces escalated their crackdown with greater use of lethal force and mass arrests.
- Yahoo News
Ever since Democrats gained control of the Senate, voting rights experts and liberal pundits have been calling on them to get rid of the filibuster so they can push through the For the People Act to counteract the efforts of Republicans to make it more difficult to vote.
- Associated Press
North Korea may be trying to extract plutonium to make more nuclear weapons at its main atomic complex, recent satellite photos indicated, weeks after leader Kim Jong Un vowed to expand his nuclear arsenal. The 38 North website, which specializes in North Korea studies, cited the imagery as indicating that a coal-fired steam plant at the North’s Yongbyon nuclear complex is in operation after about a two-year hiatus. This suggests “preparations for spent fuel reprocessing could be underway to extract plutonium needed for North Korea’s nuclear weapon,” the website said Wednesday.
- The Daily Beast
JACK TAYLORThis story was produced in partnership with Coda Story.One month after Myanmar’s military seized power in a bloodless coup and declared a year-long state of emergency, daily protests continue to shake cities and towns across the country. Now, in addition to taking their anger to the streets, an underground movement of pro-democracy activists has unleashed a raft of new digital tools on the armed forces and police.Myanmar’s powerful military has long maintained a tight grip on the country’s finances by investing in a number of lucrative sectors, including mining, tobacco, garment manufacturing, and banking.The Feb. 1 power grab, which ousted the elected government of leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has highlighted ties to a number of businesses. International and local companies with links to the security forces have come under growing pressure from activists who say the firms are complicit in war crimes committed by the armed forces.A recent Amnesty International investigation found that shareholders in a secretive business conglomerate called Myanma Economic Holdings Limited—which is linked to international businesses such as the Japanese drinks giant Kirin Holdings and INNO Group, a South Korean property developer—have received payments of up to $18 billion over 20 years.Last week, Kirin Holdings announced it would abandon its partnership with a brewery part-owned by military generals. In a statement, the company said it was “deeply concerned” by the recent actions of the military and would be “taking steps as a matter of urgency to put this termination into effect.”The focus on businesses connected to the military has spurred the release of new mobile apps from activists in Myanmar seeking to weaken the income of the now ruling junta. Last week, the Yangon-based company Genxyz launched an app titled Way Way Nay (Stay Away). It lists 250 companies, including financial institutions, retail concerns, construction firms, media outlets, and health and beauty manufacturers with links to the military.Way Way Nay, which is available on both Google Play and Apple’s App Store, has been downloaded 70,000 times since its launch.In an interview, the app’s operations manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was looking at adding another 450 businesses to the list. “We wanted to be able to show ordinary people in Myanmar how the military is linked with all aspects of daily life. We thought an app would be a good way to remind people what to boycott when they are shopping for products or services.”The military’s efforts to quell Myanmar’s largest pro-democracy protests in more than a decade have led to increasingly repressive crackdowns in the past month. According to human rights groups, more than 50 people have been killed and nearly 1,700 detained since the armed forces took control of the country.On Wednesday, at least 38 people were killed, when security forces fired on protesters in multiple cities and towns across the country. Video footage apparently taken by residents in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, appeared to show security officials shooting one man at point-blank range. In a separate incident, CCTV footage published by Radio Free Asia showed police assaulting and detaining three ambulance workers.The severity of the official response to the protests marks the hardening of the junta’s attitude to daily demonstrations that have paralyzed the economy and large swaths of the country. On Thursday, Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, called on Myanmar's security forces to halt their “vicious crackdown on peaceful protesters” and urged the military to release the hundreds of people believed to have been unlawfully detained since February 1.Blacklist Myanmar, launched on March 3 on Android, is a guidebook for shoppers who want to avoid firms whose sales benefit Myanmar’s armed forces. Blacklist Myanmar also allows users to submit new suggestions for businesses to boycott via an in-app email function.The creator of Blacklist Myanmar, who asked to go by the pseudonym Red Warrior, explained that the app was designed to limit the military’s access to different revenue streams. “In the long term, the reason why they have all the power and all the influence is because of these businesses and brands that they have been promoting,” he said.“If people don’t support these brands or services, then our money won’t go into the military regime. We can slowly cut down their monopolizing influence on the country.”Myanmar’s digital activists have also created apps to warn ordinary citizens and protesters of the increased presence of the police and troops on the streets. Launched on Android on February 11, Myanmar Live Map takes real-time data from users to highlight areas with a high concentration of security personnel. The app, which has 40,000 users already, also reveals the locations of water cannons, roadblocks, and ambulances. All of the data is fact-checked by moderators before it is uploaded.One of the makers of Myanmar Live Map told me that the app’s designers took their cue from a similar digital street map used by protesters during pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong in 2019. He added that members of his team consulted an anonymously authored 70-page document named The HK19 Manual, widely shared by protesters in Hong Kong and recently translated from English to Burmese.Over the past month, digital activists in Myanmar have had to overcome a series of military-enforced internet outages and disruptions to mobile networks. On Thursday night, the U.K.-based organization Netblocks confirmed that national internet connectivity had plummeted for the 19th night in a row to 13 percent of pre-coup levels.Pro-democracy organizers in Southeast Asia say that Myanmar’s internet shutdowns are similar to those deployed by authoritarian governments elsewhere. Sunny Chou, a former Hong Kong protester and founder of the human rights group Umbrella Union, who sought asylum in the U.K. earlier this year, said that the interruption of internet and data services in Myanmar was a strategy widely employed by the authorities in Hong Kong. “During the height of the movement in Hong Kong, there were a few times when our apps were disabled,” he said. “Telegram was also attacked a few times so that the protesters could not properly communicate and organize their response.”However, as Myanmar’s pro-democracy demonstrations have gathered pace, the country’s digital insurgency has also sparked interest among online and offline activists in the region. In Thailand, Cambodia, and Hong Kong—places that have all been rocked by pro-democracy protests in recent years—an informal but watchful alliance of like-minded campaigners has used the internet to highlight the ongoing violence in Myanmar, while shedding light on their own oppressive regimes.Sina Wittayawiroj is a Bangkok-based visual designer and activist who first took an interest in his country’s pro-democracy movement in January 2019 when demonstrators took to the streets after the country’s ruling military junta signaled that long-postponed elections would be delayed for the fifth time in five years.Activists like Wittayawiroj have gathered on social media, spreading satirical memes and advice highlighting the violence in Myanmar under the hashtag #MilkTeaAlliance, named for a sweet drink popular across the region. Many who follow the hashtag share a common fear about China’s dominance in the region—in Thailand, for example, support for Taiwan and Hong Kong has become a rallying point for ordinary citizens who believe their own government is anti-democratic and too closely aligned with Beijing.Wittayawiroj, who works for a video production and streaming platform, said he learned about the current crisis in Myanmar from a Burmese co-worker. He has regularly posted illustrations featuring the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag since Myanmar’s Feb. 1 coup. “I talk to them a lot and try to understand the situation that people are facing. I understand there was an election, but the military took control. I felt I had to draw something to help them.”Regional experts say that the #MilkTeaAlliance has been energized by regional pro-democracy movements. “When we had the very popular pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong in 2014 and 2019, the world was watching,” said Debby Chan, a Hong Kong-based researcher who studies Sino-Myanmar relations. “The activists in Thailand and Myanmar also paid close attention to what happened in Hong Kong back then.”“When some of the Hong Kongers witness Thai and Myanmar activists in their struggle, we see ourselves in their movements,” she added.This story was produced in partnership with Coda Story.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.
With U.S. policy toward North Korea in limbo as the new administration in Washington conducts a months-long policy review, former officials and experts are sparring over whether to shift focus from seeking the North's full denuclearisation. The administration of President Joe Biden says its review of North Korea policy will be finished in coming months, before announcing its plans for handling a rolling crisis that has bedevilled generations of U.S. presidents.
- The Daily Beast
Fox NewsDuring a shouting match with Geraldo Rivera on Fox News on Thursday night, Judge Jeanine Pirro went on a tirade that was shocking in its blatant racism—even for her. “We’ve got people being released at the border right now who’ve got COVID,” Pirro screamed at Rivera, who was attempting to push back on her argument. “Wait a minute, I listened to you, you listen to me! They’ve got COVID! They’ve got all kinds of diseases! They are being released into the United States!”“Now, you’re not going to tell me that a governor is going to shut me down and not allow me to do my job and let in illegals because we’ve got a heart? Mexico ought to have a heart!”Maybe only drink half of the box of wine next time pic.twitter.com/n9IC7UCw7D— Acyn (@Acyn) March 5, 2021 The host’s comments were reminiscent of ones made by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that set off a major firestorm and advertiser boycott in late 2018. “It’s indefensible, so nobody even tries to defend it,” Carlson said at the time of policies that would allow immigrants into the country. “Instead, our leaders demand that you shut up and accept this. We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our own country poor and dirtier and more divided.”A few months after that, Pirro was suspended by Fox News for questioning the patriotism of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Shariah law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?” Pirro asked on her Saturday night show. After an outcry from advertisers, Fox temporarily took her off the schedule. Drunk Fox News Host Jeanine Pirro Chugs Bleach on SNL 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.