The Boston City Council voted Wednesday to skip a special election to choose the city's next mayor.
- The Independent
The attack was carried out on Iranian-backed militias
Australia on Thursday continued its downward trend of COVID-19 cases, stoking hopes of a faster return to normal, while Qantas Airways pushed back international travel plans by four months as it waits on the country finishing its vaccination drive. Victoria, the country's second-most populous state, recorded no cases for nearly a week, suggesting the most recent outbreak in Melbourne has been contained, prompting authorities to flag easing of more restrictions soon. "With six days of zero cases, with the number of active cases falling each day... we can be quite positive about making some announcements tomorrow," state Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters when asked about lifting of curbs on gatherings.
- The Week
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wanted to break the ice at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, so he warmed up the Florida crowd with a questionable joke about his weather preferences. "I gotta say, Orlando is awesome," Cruz said. "It's not as nice as Cancun. But it's nice." Cruz was alluding to the trip he took to Cancun last week in the midst of a massive snowstorm plaguing Texas. Cruz's trip lasted just 11 hours, but the storm — which resulted in a yet-unknown number of deaths and widespread power outages — is still impacting Texans, making his CPAC icebreaker all the more unfunny. As of Wednesday, more than a million Texans still lacked drinkable water in their homes, with 1.2 million people facing "water disruptions," The Texas Tribune reports. Yulissa Gonzalez, a mother of three in North Texas, detailed to The Dallas Morning News how burst pipes have caused her apartment to flood and reek of mildew. Gonzalez is one of hundreds of people in the area still awaiting post-storm repairs, writes The Dallas Morning News. One plumbing company in Austin, Texas, has over 2,500 unfulfilled customer requests, reports the Tribune, and supply chain shortages have only made the increased number of requests more daunting. Cruz, for his part, did help pass out at least one case of water last week. More stories from theweek.comGOP lawmakers reportedly cite 'public health emergency' in skipping votes, despite speaking at CPACJournalist Tim O'Brien, who's seen Trump's taxes, thinks Trump's accountant will now flip in D.A. inquiryJosh Hawley, Senator No
- The Telegraph
Former SNP minister demands release of Salmond documents and says Sturgeon must go if they show conspiracy
A former SNP minister has called for secret documents about the Alex Salmond affair to be made public and said Nicola Sturgeon should resign if they prove allegations of a conspiracy. Alex Neil, an MSP who held senior cabinet posts in Edinburgh under both Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon, called for transparency from both the Scottish Government and the Crown Office, which have both been criticised for withholding evidence. Mr Salmond has alleged that senior figures in the SNP, including Ms Sturgeon’s husband and her chief of staff, conspired against him by using sexual assault allegations to attempt to ruin his political career and potentially imprison him. Ms Sturgeon has said claims of a conspiracy involving not only the SNP but the prosecution service and other public bodies are ridiculous.
Britain must show it is fully using the avenues available under the Brexit divorce deal to minimise trade disruption in Northern Ireland before seeking concessions, a senior EU official said on Tuesday. Britain's exit from the EU's trading orbit in January has created trade barriers between Northern Ireland - which remains in the EU's single market for goods - and the rest of the United Kingdom. Maros Sefcovic, a vice president of the European Commission, said he hoped to learn of British efforts during an online meeting on Wednesday .
There was no breakthrough at a "hugely disappointing" meeting between the European Commission and the British government on Wednesday over post-Brexit trade issues in Northern Ireland, the region's first minister, Arlene Foster, said on Wednesday. The British government is demanding concessions from the European Union to minimise disruption in trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom that have emerged since Britain left the bloc's trading orbit in January.
BNSF, owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc and one of the largest railroad operators in North America, had said on Tuesday that 13 of the train's 110 carriages were derailed, with five of those carrying gasoline. "Local first responders and BNSF personnel are still on site, working to completely extinguish the flames," BNSF, one of the largest railroad operators in North America, said in a statement.
- The State
The arts and culture community has been particularly hampered by the global pandemic, with scores of performances canceled or altered in the last year.
- Business Insider
Johnson & Jonhson's coronavirus vaccine is the only one that's been tested out in the US as just one shot.
U.S. President Joseph Biden's new administration said on Wednesday it would continue its international re-engagement by seeking election to the U.N. Human Rights Council where it will press to eliminate a "disproportionate focus" on ally Israel. Under former President Donald Trump's more isolationist approach, Washington quit the council in 2018 but the Biden government has already returned as an observer. "I'm pleased to announce the United States will seek election to the Human Rights Council for the 2022-24 term," Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the council by video.
- The Independent
‘I lost 20 retailers, and it’s cost me $65 million this year that I won’t get back, OK?’
Celebrity dermatologist Dr. Pimple Popper used her fingers to squeeze and loosen the "cute" and slimy lipoma on a woman's shoulder.
- The Independent
Conference speeches will be live streamed on Independent TV
Britain's Prince Philip is getting a lot better, his youngest son said on Tuesday after Buckingham Palace said the 99-year-old husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth would remain in hospital for several more days to receive treatment for an infection. Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, walked into London's private King Edward VII Hospital last Tuesday evening after he was advised by his doctor to be admitted after he felt unwell, and has spent seven nights there. "He is comfortable and responding to treatment but is not expected to leave hospital for several days," Buckingham Palace said, adding he was receiving medical attention for an unspecified infection.
Israel hopes to prevent personal tension between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden over their differences on the Iranian nuclear question by delegating talks on the topic to their senior staff, an Israeli official said. Netanyahu's foreign-policy fortunes have waned since Biden succeeded Republican president Donald Trump, who withdrew the United States from world powers' 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, deeming it too advantageous for Tehran - a view Israel shared. Biden, a Democrat, wants to rejoin the deal.
- Associated Press
Twenty20 specialist Mohammad Hafeez has declined a central contract offer from the Pakistan Cricket Board. The allrounder “politely turned down” a contract offer in category C for 2020-21, the cricket board said Wednesday. “While I am disappointed, I fully respect his decision,” PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said in a statement.
- Associated Press
Visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has proclaimed his Muslim-majority nation a choice destination for religious tourism by Sri Lankans, most of whom are Buddhists. In talks with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday, Khan highlighted Buddhist heritage sites in Pakistan and stressed the building of cultural ties, the Pakistan Embassy said in a statement.
- Business Insider
A judge dismissed claims by a Capitol riot suspect that he shouldn't be held responsible because Trump put him up to it
Lawyers for William Chrestman, a Proud Boys member, argued that the group believed it had Trump's "official endorsement."
- Reuters Videos
Amnesty International, the human rights NGO, says that it no longer considers jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny a "prisoner of conscience" due to past comments he made that it believes -- qualify as advocacy of hate.In a statement sent to Reuters Amnesty said, “some of these comments, which Navalny has not publicly denounced, reach the threshold of advocacy of hatred, and this is at odds with Amnesty's definition of a prisoner of conscience."Amnesty did not say what comments it was specifically referring to.But in the past he’s Navalny has been criticized for nationalist statements against illegal immigration and for attending an annual nationalist march several years ago.In a 2007 video, he called for the deportation of migrants to prevent the rise of far-right violence saying "We have a right to be (ethnic) Russians in Russia. And we'll defend that right." However, the Amnesty did go on record to say Navalny still should be released from jail and that he has committed no crime.It says he is being persecuted for his campaigning and outspoken criticism of President Vladimir Putin.He was arrested on his return to Russia last month following his near-fatal poisoning last year. Navalny is set to spend just over two-and-a-half years in jail for parole violations he called trumped up.His allies protested the move by Amnesty on Twitter.They included ally Ivan Zhdanov, who said: "the procedure for assigning and revoking Amnesty International status has proven extremely shameful."
Canada's parliament passed a non-binding motion on Monday saying China's treatment of the Uighur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region constitutes genocide, putting pressure on Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government to follow suit. Canada's House of Commons voted 266-0 for the motion brought by the opposition Conservative Party. Trudeau and his Cabinet abstained from the vote, although Liberal backbenchers widely backed it.