People are trying to find ways to cope during the pandemic, including animal therapy. It can help with some of the biggest issues people are experiencing right now, like anxiety, fear and stress; CBS2's Meg Baker reports.
Pop star Rina Sawayama protested after being told she was "not British enough" for UK music awards.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A Fort Worth man was killed Sunday morning by a wrong-way driver, police said.
A Turkish court convicted an executive of Turkish jet company MNG and two pilots for migrant smuggling over their role in flying former Nissan Motor Co Ltd Chairman Carlos Ghosn out of Japan during his escape to Lebanon just over a year ago. Two other pilots and a flight attendant were acquitted, while charges were dropped against another flight attendant.
- Associated Press
Police officers who put a hood over the head of a mentally distraught Black man, then pressed his body against the pavement until he stopped breathing will not face criminal charges after a grand jury declined to indict them, New York's attorney general announced Tuesday. Daniel Prude, 41, died last March, several days after his encounter with police in Rochester, New York. Attorney General Letitia James, whose office took over the investigation, said her office had “presented the strongest case possible” to the grand jury, but couldn’t persuade it that the officers had committed a crime.
Sheikha Latifa, one of the daughters of the ruler of Dubai, has written to British police asking them to reopen their investigation into the kidnap of her older sister from a street in Cambridge in 2000, the BBC reported on Thursday. In a handwritten letter seen by the British broadcaster and dated 2018, Latifa asked Cambridgeshire Police to refocus on the case of her sister Shamsa, now 39, who was captured aged 18 and has not been seen in public since. The Dubai government's media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
EU countries report offers for 900 million COVID vaccines by 'alleged intermediaries': anti-fraud body
Several European Union countries have reported offers from "alleged intermediaries" for 900 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for some 12.7 billion euros, the bloc's anti-fraud agency OLAF said on Thursday. OLAF opened an inquiry earlier this month into scam vaccine offers, underlining how fraudsters have sought to capitalise on a botched EU inoculation campaign against COVID-19 that is hampering the bloc's economic recovery. "OLAF received information from several EU member states about offers of COVID-19 vaccines by alleged intermediaries," the agency's press office said in a statement sent to Reuters.
Mara Wilson details the perils of child stardom and draws a line between her experiences with those of Britney Spears.
- Reuters Videos
This is Alfa Romeo’s new C41 carready for the 2021 Formula One seasonLocation: Warsaw, Poland(SOUNDBITE) (English) ALFA ROMEO DRIVER, ANTONIO GIOVINAZZI, SAYING: "Every season when you see for the first time the car are really excited. This year looks (to be) the most beautiful one from the three years I was here in the team. I hope it's a faster one and yeah, just looking forward for the first test when we will drive the car for the first time and hopefully Kimi is fast straight away and we can have a great achievement for the season."The team hopes that the car's revamped Ferrari enginewill provide an extra push in the next season starting on March 28
- The New York Times
Even by Washington standards, this has been a particularly shameless week. With millions of Texans freezing in their homes, Sen. Ted Cruz fled to a Mexican beach, offering his constituents little more than the political cliché of wanting to be a “good dad.” (Apparently, flying your daughters to Cancún is just like carpooling — if your minivan were the Ritz-Carlton resort.) Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas blamed the complete meltdown of state infrastructure not on a lack of preparation from leaders in the state but the Green New Deal — a liberal policy proposal that is not even close to becoming law. His predecessor, former Gov. Rick Perry, suggested that Texans would willingly endure days of blackouts to keep the “federal government out of their business.” It seems hard to believe that any Texan — or really any human — would choose to have to melt snow for water. The outrageous behavior extended beyond the Lone Star State. In New York, a state lawmaker said that Gov. Andrew Cuomo had vowed to “destroy” him for criticizing Cuomo’s handling of the deaths of nursing home residents in the past year — an issue that is under investigation by the Justice Department. And Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin senator, said the armed attack on the Capitol did not seem all that well armed. Apparently, he missed the many, many videos of attackers carrying guns, bats and other weapons. And yet, beneath all this noise was the sound of something even more unusual: silence. For much of the past six years, former President Donald Trump has dominated the political conversation, prompting days of outrage, finger-pointing and general news cycle havoc with nearly every tweet. The audacious behavior of other politicians was often lost amid Trump’s obsessive desire to dominate the coverage. Well, the former president has now gone nearly silent, leaving a Trump-size void in our national conversation that President Joe Biden has little desire to fill. That has been a rude awakening for some other politicians, who find themselves suddenly enmeshed in controversy that is not quickly subsumed in a deluge of Trump news. It is unclear whether any will pay a significant political price for their actions. The last administration delivered a constant stream of chaos that may have fundamentally reshaped the kind of fact-based rhetoric and norm-abiding behavior we expect from our political leaders. Already, some politicians have adopted Trump’s playbook for surviving controversy: Blame liberals, double down and never admit any mistake. Biden, at least, seems determined to set a different tone. T.J. Ducklo, a deputy press secretary who reportedly used abusive and sexist language with a female reporter, resigned last Saturday — reflecting Biden’s Inauguration Day promise that he would fire anyone he heard being disrespectful. And in his first presidential town hall Tuesday, Biden repeatedly used two words that many in Washington have not heard in a while: “I’m sorry.” Democrats in Disarray. Kind Of? After a few weeks of party unity, Democrats are showing some fresh signs of division. Over the past week, Biden indicated that he was not fully sold on two proposals backed by his progressive base: forgiving $50,000 of student debt for each borrower and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Both plans have some high-profile champions. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have called on Biden to use his executive authority to cancel about 80% of the student loan debt run up by about 36 million borrowers. And the party is fairly united over a $15 minimum wage, with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont committed to including it in the COVID-19 relief package currently making its way through Congress. The issue for Democrats is how quickly to move. Biden favors a more gradual phase-in of the $15 minimum wage, in part to assuage concerns from business owners. And on student debt, Biden is not convinced that he can erase so much with a stroke of his executive pen. He has also signaled that the proposals should include income caps. “My daughter went to Tulane University and then got a master’s at Penn; she graduated $103,000 in debt,” he said at a CNN town hall Tuesday. “I don’t think anybody should have to pay for that, but I do think you should be able to work it off.” Biden may simply be looking at some political realities. Polls indicate that both proposals are popular, though support for a $15 wage drops when voters are told of potential economic effects — like a Congressional Budget Office forecast that it could cost more than 1 million jobs. As for student debt, majorities back the $50,000 in relief, but support rises when the plan is targeted at lower-income families. By the Number: 16 That was the number of crossover districts — congressional districts where the two parties split results between the presidency and Congress — in 2020, according to a new analysis by Daily Kos. That is the lowest number in a century. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
Drew Barrymore reflects on spending over a year in a psychiatric ward when she was 13 after being 'out of control'
"You would get thrown either in a padded room or get put in stretcher restraints," the actress told Howard Stern in a recent interview.
- Reuters Videos
A new study suggests that the first death from COVID-19 in Europe may have actually occurred in Serbia - 10 days before the first reported fatality came out of France.France reported Europe's first death on Feb. 15, 2020. But researchers in Belgrade now say that a 56-year-old construction worker from that city, who had not traveled abroad, was admitted to a hospital on Feb. 5 suffering from fever, cough and shortness of breath. He died within hours and an autopsy showed pneumonia was the cause. Months later, scientists at the Institute for Forensic Medicine of Belgrade's Medical Faculty, found evidence that the man had died from COVID.Milenko Bogdanovic, a forensic pathologist, says frozen samples were taken from the man's eye to prove the presence of the virus."One of the conclusions of this work would be that this is, for the time being, the first post-mortem corroborated death from COVID-19 in Europe to date."The study also says COVID-19 was probably the cause of reports of a pneumonia of unknown origin between January and February last year. Serbia's first official case was recorded on March 6, 2020.
Celebrity dermatologist Dr. Pimple Popper used her fingers to squeeze and loosen the "cute" and slimy lipoma on a woman's shoulder.
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.
- The New York Times
SAN ANTONIO — As millions of Texans shivered in dark, cold homes over the past week while a winter storm devastated the state’s power grid and froze natural gas production, those who could still summon lights with the flick of a switch felt lucky. Now, many of them are paying a severe price for it. “My savings is gone,” said Scott Willoughby, a 63-year-old Army veteran who lives on Social Security payments in a Dallas suburb. He said he had nearly emptied his savings account so that he would be able to pay the $16,752 electric bill charged to his credit card — 70 times what he usually pays for all of his utilities combined. “There’s nothing I can do about it, but it’s broken me.” Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times Willoughby is among scores of Texans who have reported skyrocketing electric bills as the price of keeping lights on and refrigerators humming shot upward. For customers whose electricity prices are not fixed and are instead tied to the fluctuating wholesale price, the spikes have been astronomical. The outcry elicited angry calls for action from lawmakers from both parties and prompted Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, to hold an emergency meeting with legislators Saturday to discuss the enormous bills. “We have a responsibility to protect Texans from spikes in their energy bills that are a result of the severe winter weather and power outages,” Abbott, who has been reeling after the state’s infrastructure failure, said in a statement after the meeting. He added that Democrats and Republicans would work together to make sure people “do not get stuck with skyrocketing energy bills.” The electric bills are coming due at the end of a week in which Texans have faced a combination of crises caused by the frigid weather, beginning on Monday, when power grid failures and surging demand led to millions being left without electricity. Natural gas producers were not prepared for the freeze either, and many people’s homes were cut off from heat. Now, millions of people are discovering that they have no safe water because of burst pipes, frozen wells or water treatment plants that have been knocked offline. Power has returned in recent days for all but about 60,000 Texans as the storm moved east, where it has also caused power outages in Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia and Ohio. The steep electric bills in Texas are in part a result of the state’s uniquely unregulated energy market, which allows customers to pick their electricity providers among about 220 retailers in an entirely market-driven system. Under some of the plans, when demand increases, prices rise. The goal, architects of the system say, is to balance the market by encouraging consumers to reduce their usage and power suppliers to create more electricity. But when last week’s crisis hit and power systems faltered, the state’s Public Utilities Commission ordered that the price cap be raised to its maximum limit of $9 per kilowatt-hour, easily pushing many customers’ daily electric costs above $100. And in some cases, like Willoughby’s, bills rose by more than 50 times the normal cost. Many of the people who have reported extremely high charges, including Willoughby, are customers of Griddy, a small company in Houston that provides electricity at wholesale prices, which can quickly change based on supply and demand. The company passes the wholesale price directly to customers, charging an additional $9.99 monthly fee. Much of the time, the rate is considered affordable. But the model can be risky: Last week, foreseeing a huge jump in wholesale prices, the company encouraged all of its customers — about 29,000 people — to switch to another provider when the storm arrived. But many were unable to do so. Katrina Tanner, a Griddy customer who lives in Nevada, Texas, said she had been charged $6,200 already this month, more than five times what she paid in all of 2020. She began using Griddy at a friend’s suggestion a couple of years ago and was pleased at the time with how simple it was to sign up. As the storm rolled through during the past week, however, she kept opening the company’s app on her phone and seeing her bill “just rising, rising, rising,” Tanner said. Griddy was able to take the money she owed directly from her bank account, and she now has just $200 left. She suspects that she was only able to keep that much because her bank stopped Griddy from taking more. Some lawmakers and consumer advocates said the price spikes had made it clear that customers did not understand the complicated terms of the company’s model. “To the Texas Utilities Commission: What are you thinking, allowing the average type of household to sign up for this kind of program?” Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, said of Griddy. “The risk-reward is so out of whack that it never should have been permitted in the first place.” Phil King, a Republican state lawmaker who represents an area west of Fort Worth, said some of his constituents who were on variable-rate contracts were complaining about bills in the thousands. “When something like this happens, you’re in real trouble” with such contracts, King said. “There have got to be some emergency financial waivers and other actions taken until we can work through this and get to the bottom of it.” Responding to its outraged customers, Griddy, too, appeared to try to shift anger to the Public Utilities Commission in a statement. “We intend to fight this for, and alongside, our customers for equity and accountability — to reveal why such price increases were allowed to happen as millions of Texans went without power,” the statement said. William W. Hogan, considered the architect of the Texas energy market design, said in an interview this past week that the high prices reflected the market performing as it was designed. The rapid losses of power — more than a third of the state’s available electricity production was offline at one point — increased the risk that the entire system would collapse, causing prices to rise, said Hogan, a professor of global energy policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. “As you get closer and closer to the bare minimum, these prices get higher and higher, which is what you want,” Hogan said. Robert McCullough, an energy consultant in Portland, Oregon, and a critic of Hogan’s, said that allowing the market to drive energy policy with few protections for consumers was “idiotic” and that similar actions had devastated retailers and consumers following the California energy crisis of 2000 and 2001. “The similar situation caused a wave of bankruptcies as retailers and customers discovered that they were on the hook for bills 30 times their normal levels,” McCullough said. “We are going to see this again.” DeAndré Upshaw said his power had been on and off in his Dallas apartment throughout the storm. A lot of his neighbors had it worse, so he felt fortunate to have electricity and heat, inviting some neighbors over to warm up. Then Upshaw, 33, saw that his utility bill from Griddy had risen to more than $6,700. He usually pays about $80 a month this time of year. He had been trying to conserve power as the storm raged on, but it didn’t seem to matter. He also signed up to switch to another utility company, but he is still being charged until the change goes into effect Monday. “It’s a utility — it’s something that you need to live,” Upshaw said. “I don’t feel like I’ve used $6,700 of electricity in the last decade. That’s not a cost that any reasonable person would have to pay for five days of intermittent electric service being used at the bare minimum.” As Texas slowly thaws out, Tanner is allowing herself a small luxury after days of keeping the thermostat at 60 degrees. “I finally decided the other day, if we were going to pay these high prices, we weren’t going to freeze,” she said. “So I cranked it up to 65.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- WBAL - Baltimore Videos
Baltimore City fire investigators have determined the origin of a fire and explosion that occurred on Oct. 11 in northwest Baltimore.
- Reuters Videos
[FORMER CAPITOL POLICE CHIEF STEVEN SUND]: “These criminals came prepared for war. They came with their own radio systems to coordinate the attack, and climbing gear and other equipment to defeat the Capitol’s security features. I am sickened by what I witnessed that day.” Gripping testimony Tuesday from former security officials and other witnesses to the January 6th siege on the U.S. Capitol, as two Senate committees tried to unravel where the breakdowns in planning and response occurred that allowed the unprecedented violence to unfold. A key point of contention: Whether authorities rejected calling in the National Guard ahead of a rally by Donald Trump supporters out of concerns that doing so might look bad. Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said in written testimony that he had requested National Guard troops two days before the event, but that the then-House of Representatives’ sergeant-at-arms, Paul Irving, told him he was concerned about the "optics" of having the National Guard there. Irving, however, on Tuesday appeared to refute that account:"Let me be clear: ‘Optics’ as portrayed in the media played no role whatsoever in my decisions about security. And any suggestion to the contrary is false.”If “optics” didn’t play a role in the planning stages, it did during a phone call that took place as the attack was happening, testified Robert Contee, the acting police chief in Washington, D.C. “Chief Sund was pleading for the deployment of the National Guard. And in response to that, there was not an immediate, ‘Yes, the National Guard is responding. ’ The response was more, asking about the plan. What was the plan for the National Guard? The response was more, in addition to the plan, the ‘optics’ – how this looks with boots on the ground on the Capitol. And my response to that was simply, I was just stunned.” The FBI also says it warned law enforcement agencies one day ahead of the siege that extremists were planning to commit violence.Sund told the Senate committees he did not see this report himself at the time. Irving also said he did not see the report – but said he was confident a proper plan was in place.PAUL IRVING: “We now know that we had the wrong plan.”Both Sund and Irving have since resigned from their posts. Five died in the Capitol siege. Over 200 police were injured.Senators next week plan to call witnesses from the FBI, the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Monday that white supremacy and neo-Nazi movements are becoming a "transnational threat" and have exploited the coronavirus pandemic to boost their support. Addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council, Guterres said the danger of hate-driven groups was growing daily. Without naming states, Guterres added: "Today, these extremist movements represent the number one internal security threat in several countries."
- WCVB - Boston
Massachusetts State Rep. Jon Santiago announced Tuesday that he is launching a campaign to run for mayor of Boston.
- Reuters Videos
Golf legend Tiger Woods was hospitalized on Tuesday after being involved in a single-vehicle accident in Los Angeles, according to police.The vehicle sustained major damage and Woods was removed from the wreck with the "jaws of life" by firefighters and paramedics.He was then transported to a local hospital by ambulance.The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department responded to a roll-over traffic collision at approximately 7:12 a.m. local time and said a traffic investigation was being conducted.The 45-year-old hosted the annual Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club over the weekend but did not compete due to ongoing issues with his surgically-repaired back.
Chinese private equity firm Boyu Capital, an investor in Chinese technology titans including billionaire Jack Ma's Ant Group, is raising a new, China-focused fund targeting as much as $6 billion, three people with knowledge of the matter said. Boyu did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The fundraising by a firm widely associated with tech startups amounts to a high-profile test of investor appetite at a time when heightened oversight of China's tech giants clouds the near-term outlook of those companies.