Federal Officials Warn Winter Weather Could Cause COVID-19 Vaccine Shipment Delays
- The Telegraph
A single-shot vaccine to combat Covid in Britain could be just weeks away, with regulators set to begin the approval process this week. Ministers are expecting the Johnson & Johnson jab – which has been authorised in the US for emergency use – to start formal regulatory approval in the coming days. The UK has ordered 30 million doses, the US 100 million and Canada 38 million. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which must carry out the checks for the UK, did not respond to a request for a comment. The development came as reports emerged that just one shot of the Pfizer or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine reduced the risk of being admitted to hospital by more than 90 per cent. Public health officials have briefed ministers on the new results, according to a report in The Mail on Sunday. Health sources said the jab, developed by Johnson & Johnson's vaccines division Janssen, was not yet being considered by the MHRA for formal approval – a process that normally takes less than two weeks, based on the timelines for Pfizer and Astra Zeneca's jabs. A senior Government source said the MHRA formal process was "very likely" to start this week. The Department of Health and Social Care declined to comment. A department source said: "We are working with them to complete the rolling review process and we look forward to receiving more data from them as soon as possible."
- The Telegraph
Anas Sarwar has been elected Scottish Labour leader, and pledged in his victory speech to “rebuild" the party before turning his attention to the country. Winning a snap leadership election ten weeks before May’s Holyrood election, Mr Sarwar, MSP for Glasgow, beat his only rival candidate, Monica Lennon, by getting 57.6 percent of the vote. The contest was announced following the resignation of Richard Leonard, the previous Scottish Labour leader, in January. Mr Sarwar, described as the first Muslim leader of a major political party in the UK, now faces the task of rebuilding a party running third in polls ahead of the Holyrood election. In his victory speech he called his win the “greatest honour of my life.” He said: “Today we have elected the first-ever ethnic minority leader of a political party in the UK. That doesn't say something about me. "That says something great about Scotland and its people. But the fight for equality is far from over. I'll work with all our diverse communities in Scotland to rebuild the country we love." Mr Sarwar became the fifth leader of Scottish Labour, seen by many as a divided party, to hold the position since 2014. He has rejected calls for a new referendum on Scottish independence. “I know Labour has a lot of work to do to win back your trust, because if we’re brutally honest, you haven’t had the Scottish Labour party you deserve,” he said. “With rising injustice, inequality and division, I’m sorry we haven’t been good enough, and I will work day and night to change that, so we can build a country we all need.” UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said of Mr Sarwar: “Under his leadership, Scottish Labour will focus on what unites us, not what divides us. "I know Anas will do the hard work that is necessary to win back the trust of the Scottish people and build for the future as we emerge from this pandemic.” Mr Sarwar, a former deputy leader of Scottish Labour, pledged to “make the case for a Covid recovery parliament with an NHS restart plan at its heart, so we never again have to choose between treating a virus or treating cancer.” Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, tweeted congratulations to Mr Sarwar. “He (and his dad before him) and I are long-time political opponents, but I also like and rate him,” she wrote. “That may not always be obvious in the weeks ahead as election battle is joined, so worth saying so now." Mr Sarwar's father Mohammad became the Muslim MP in the UK in 1997 when he was elected to represent Glasgow Govan. Retiring in 2010, Mohammad relinquished his UK citizenship in 2013 before launching a political career in Pakistan. In August 2018, he was elected Governor of Punjab after previously serving the Senate.
- Business Insider
Opinion: The costs of a foreign policy that emphasizes US global preeminence are now inescapable clear, and US leaders need to change course.
It's been 40 years since Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer announced their engagement with a televised interview.
- The Telegraph
Perched on the mountain range that divides the sprawling city of Caracas from the Caribbean Sea, Venezuela’s Hotel Humboldt can be seen from nearly all corners of the capital. The 65-year-old, 14-floor structure can only be reached by cable car from the city below. It currently boasts 69 rooms, six dining areas, a casino, a night club, and a swimming pool and spa. “It will be the first seven star hotel in Venezuela,” President Nicolas Maduro once proudly proclaimed as the 1956 symbol of oil wealth was being lavishly renovated. Now, the hotel is open again as a symbol of an impending economic recovery and tourism boom in a country that has suffered the worst economic crisis in modern Latin American history. But the so-called Socialist president’s touting of the luxurious, $300 per night hotel in a country where most live in poverty represents something else to others - an abandonment of a political project promising a socialist utopia in favor of an 'anything goes', capitalist kleptocracy.
DUBAI (Reuters) - "No smoking gun," pro-government Saudi commentators concluded in response to a U.S. intelligence assessment that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved the operation to capture or kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi. A few minutes after the report was released, many Saudis flooded Twitter with the hashtag saying, "We are all Mohammed bin Salman." Saudi Arabia, one of Washington's closest Arab allies, officially dismissed what it called the "negative, false and unacceptable assessment in the report pertaining to the kingdom's leadership", according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Associated Press
Paul Stastny scored in the first minute of overtime to give Winnipeg a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night, extending the Jets’ winning streak to four games. Nikolaj Ehlers also scored for Winnipeg, which won the game despite being outshot 41-21. Connor Hellebuyck made 40 saves.
- Associated Press
PGA champion Collin Morikawa went from feeling he could do no wrong to wondering if he could do anything right, and that was just over the final hour Saturday in the Workday Championship. What mattered at the end of the third round was he had a two-shot lead as he goes for his first World Golf Championship title, even knowing it could have been a lot bigger. Morikawa walked off the 12th hole with his seventh birdie in eight holes, stretching his lead to five shots with two par 5s still to play.
Prince Harry says 99-year-old Prince Philip just slams his laptop shut instead of hanging up at the end of Zoom calls
The prince told James Corden that he'd had a few Zoom calls with his grandparents where they got to see Archie running around.
- USA TODAY
FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-dose COVID vaccine, doses expected to start rolling next week
Shipments of the J&J vaccine are expected to begin as soon as next week, adding to the nation's defense against the coronavirus.
- The Daily Beast
Sarah Meyssonnier/ReutersFederal authorities rolled into Shelby County, Tennessee, this week as the mismanagement disasters plaguing the local coronavirus vaccine rollout reached a boiling point.The county health department allowed more than 2,000 doses to spoil, two children were vaccinated against Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, and a volunteer allegedly made off with doses from one site. The Tennessee Health Department, the FBI, and the CDC are now investigating. The head of the Shelby health department, Alisa Haushalter, resigned Friday. Now residents are left questioning whether the doses they received were expired doses.“You begin to feel like you were safe to go out and do things, but now you don’t know if you’re covered or not. You don’t know if the shot you got is effective or not,” said Gayle Jones, 80, who was born and raised in Cordova, Tennessee. She received her second shot of the Pfizer vaccine Wednesday. “We’ve missed a whole year by staying at home. We finally felt like we could get out and maybe be OK.”Hundreds of people are echoing her statements on Facebook in comments on bulletins from the county health department.Ingrid Chilton, 68, vented her frustration below one post, “Let’s talk about the thousands of Memphians who don’t know whether they have been properly vaccinated since the thawing of the vaccines was not done in accordance with CDC guidelines!”Chilton and her 75-year-old husband flew from their home in Tiburon, California, to visit their son in downtown Memphis for two weeks in late February 2020. They have stayed for a year, living in the same two weeks’ worth of clothing. Saturday would be the day they reached full immunity, two weeks from their second Pfizer shots. She and her husband had begun discussing when they would return to Tiburon.“Today was the day I was supposed to be celebrating, like ‘We’re free!’ and instead we get this. I feel like we’re in limbo again,” she told The Daily Beast.The state began investigating the county health department last week after an announcement that the county had permitted 1,300 doses to expire in February. State investigators found that in actuality, 2,400 doses had gone bad this month and were trashed, with 840 wasted in one day, Feb. 15. Though the vaccines require ultra-cold storage to remain viable, some syringes felt warm to the investigator’s touch, the Tennessean reported.Adding to residents’ fears, some doses have gone missing. State Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said in a press conference Friday that 12 syringes had expired during a Feb. 23 vaccination event, but no one had returned them to the distributing pharmacy. The doses remain unaccounted for.“There does appear to be a lack of accountability and in some sense leadership, which has undoubtedly potentially harmed some folks and withheld vaccine from people who needed it,” Piercey said.Jones had hoped to feel safe attending the births of two great-grandchildren due soon. She thinks she will still go, albeit now with feelings of uncertainty and risk. Her daughter, her son, and two of her grandchildren have all had COVID-19. A granddaughter and a granddaughter-in-law are both pregnant and work in health care.“We’ll have to take it as it is. I don’t know if they’ll be able to prove if the vaccine we got was real and effective or not,” she said.Chilton will postpone her travel until the investigation into the vaccination effort concludes.“I don’t know if we’ll ever know accurately whether we’re protected or not,” she said.Memphis’ city health department has taken over vaccination efforts for the entire county.In addition to its procedural woes, the vaccination effort has suffered an alleged robbery. The state notified the FBI Thursday that a volunteer allegedly stole vaccine doses on Feb. 3, according to Piercey. The state health commissioner said the city had not been forthcoming with information on the disappearance of the doses, leading to a delay of nearly a month in reporting it. Shelby County Chief Administrative Officer Dwan Gilliom said Piercey was incorrect and that law enforcement had been made aware but that no arrests had been made.Two children were vaccinated in Shelby County on Feb. 3 as well, according to Piercey. Neither the Moderna nor Pfizer vaccine is approved for anyone under the age of 16, as the medicine has only been tested on adults.The mess has further eroded Jones’ already cratering trust in the local government, which has struggled with picking up garbage and supplying water to residents in recent weeks.“They just need to get their act together in the Memphis government. They’re totally unreliable,” said Jones. “We just had the water boil for 8 days because all the mains broke. It just has you thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, can’t you do anything?’”Chilton feels similarly.“I don’t think my feelings toward the county and state health department would be fit to print, frankly,” she said.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
Trump wants to start a new super PAC headed by former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, report says
Trump plans a new political action committee to maintain his grip on the Republican Party, Politico says.
- Business Insider
Johnson & Jonhson's coronavirus vaccine is the only one that's been tested out in the US as just one shot.
- The Telegraph
Stolen manhole covers have become the latest indication of growing poverty in Lebanon as it’s grave economic crisis barrels on with no end in sight. The cast-iron covers, which weigh up to 70 kilos, can fetch up to $100 USD when sold for scrap. A practice that has wreaked havoc on Lebanon’s roads for years has now become even more problematic as the cash-strapped authorities argue over who can afford to replace them. Beirut’s governor, Marwan Abboud, was called into the control room of the ISF yesterday, a governmental source told the Telegraph, where the issue of the stolen manhole covers was brought to his attention. “They used the stolen manhole covers as a way to get Abboud to pay to fix the city’s camera network,” they said. “It’s not just in Beirut, but it’s all over the country,” a source in the security forces with knowledge of the meeting said. “People have been stealing them to sell for scrap for years, but now with the economic crisis they are so expensive to replace that there is fighting between the Beirut municipality, ministry of interior and internal security forces over who can pay for these things”. The stolen manhole problem has worsened as poverty has soared, a separate member of the ISF said, who refused to be named as they did not have authority to speak on the matter. The Telegraph could not get hold of Mr Abboud for comment. Lebanon’s economic crisis is the biggest threat to stability it has seen since the 1975-1990 civil war. In the throes of a currency collapse that has seen over half of the population descend into poverty, the country has also had to grapple with a pandemic and one of the world’s largest non-nuclear explosions levelling parts of the capital. In a city that is struggling to rebuild from the destruction of the August 4th port explosion, the quickly disappearing manhole covers mean a trip down the street can be perilous. $100 for a manhole cover could go a long way in Lebanon. “It is internationally documented that when inequality sharply rises, so does crime,” said financial expert Ziad Hayek. “It’s fortunate that people are stealing manhole covers and we have not reached the stage of seeing a lot of robberies and assaults, but if we continue like this - a year and a half into a crisis without any measures taken by the government - it will eventually happen.” More than a year since the start of the currency collapse, the political class that ran Lebanon’s economy into the ground - while siphoning from its resources in deeply entrenched patronage networks - continues to resist the anti-corruption reforms necessary to unlock international aid.
Jill Biden said on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" that her daughter, Ashley, was the first to tell her that the Valentine's Day scrunchie sparked a trend.
It is the latest in the spate of mass kidnaps in Nigeria. On Saturday, 42 people, including 27 students, were freed by gunmen after 10 days.
Ben Affleck says his divorce from Jennifer Garner and other 'life experience' shaped him into a better actor
In a new interview as part of The Hollywood Reporter's Actor Roundtable series, Affleck spoke about Garner and the three kids they share.
- Business Insider
QAnon's most devout followers believe bizarrely that former President Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 19th President on March 4, 2021.
- Business Insider
Go back to the place you got your first shot if you lose your paper card, and make sure to take a photo of the vaccine card after your first dose.
- The Telegraph
The Duke of Cambridge has warned that social media is “awash with rumours and misinformation” about coronavirus vaccines as he sought to bolster his grandmother’s message of support for the jab. He said that vaccinations were “really, really important” and highlighted the need to keep the take-up high among younger generations. The Duke and Duchess took part in a video call with two clinically vulnerable women who have been shielding with their families since last March, the latest in a string of royal engagements focused on the vaccine campaign. Last week, the Queen made a rare personal comment on the nationwide rollout, suggesting that those who refuse the vaccine "ought to think about other people rather than themselves". Her Majesty, 94, said it was important that people were "protected" by the vaccine, revealing that hers was "very quick” and “didn't hurt at all." The Royal Family's engagement with the programme comes after the Queen declared last March, just before the first lockdown: "You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part." The Duke and Duchess were chatting to Shivali Modha, 39, who has type 2 diabetes, and Fiona Doyle, 37, who has severe asthma, both of whom are now eligible for the vaccine as part of Priority Group 6.