Johnson & Jonson vaccine 66% effective
The World Health Organization said this week that variants of the coronavirus are provoking another uptick in infections across Europe.Why it matters: European countries reported around 1 million new cases last week, around a 9% increase from the week prior. Last week's surge ended a six-week decline in new infections, the WHO said Thursday, according to AP.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.By the numbers: The variant first found in the United Kingdom, which may be more transmissible and more deadly than the original strain of the virus, is spreading in 27 European countries monitored by WHO, according to AP.It's now the dominant strain in at least 10 countries: Britain, Denmark, Italy, Ireland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Israel, Spain and Portugal.Meanwhile, the variant first discovered in South Africa has been found in 26 European countries. Vaccine producers Moderna, Pfizer and Novavax have each reported their vaccines, while still effective, offer less protection against the South African variant. The Brazilian variant, detected in 15 European countries, may be able to reinfect people who survived infections with earlier versions of the coronavirus, according to Reuters.The big picture: Italy's government tightened coronavirus restrictions in some of its 20 regions this week in response to the surge.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
- The Independent
Tucker Carlson calls QAnon supporters ‘gentle’ patriots a week after suggesting the conspiracy didn’t exist
‘Do you ever notice how all the scary internet conspiracy theorists – the radical QAnon people ... they’re all kind of gentle people now waving American flags?’
- Associated Press
While the Wyoming National Guard was sending more than 100 troops to Washington, D.C., to help with security around President Joe Biden's inauguration in January, Gov. Mark Gordon quietly mobilized dozens of Guard troops and others in case of violence at the state Capitol in Cheyenne. The all-but-undisclosed local deployment Jan. 15-21, specifics of which came to light Friday after an inquiry by The Associated Press, stood in stark contrast with the state's contribution to U.S. Capitol security praised by Gordon and other top Wyoming officials. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis and Rep. Liz Cheney, all Republicans — likewise have posed in photos with and lauded the Wyoming troops at the U.S. Capitol but not those working similar duty back home.
- Associated Press
NASA’s newest Mars rover hit the dusty red road this week, putting 21 feet on the odometer in its first test drive. The Perseverance rover ventured from its landing position Thursday, two weeks after setting down on the red planet to seek signs of past life. “This is really the start of our journey here,” said Rich Rieber, the NASA engineer who plotted the route.
The one-tonne robot wiggles its wheels before rolling forwards across Jezero Crater's dusty terrain.
"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has a March 25, 2022, release date and ties into "WandaVision," "Loki," and "Spider-Man: No Way Home."
- Associated Press
Two firefighters loaned to Washington for the day were the only medics on the Capitol steps Jan. 6, trying to triage injured officers as they watched the angry mob swell and attack police working to protect Congress. Law enforcement agents were “being pulled into the crowd and trampled, assaulted with scaffolding materials, and/or bear maced by protesters,” wrote Arlington County firefighter Taylor Blunt in an after-action memo. The memo is one of hundreds of emails, texts, photos and documents obtained by The Associated Press.
- 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.
President Biden said Saturday that the Senate passage of his $1.9 trillion COVID relief package means the $1,400 direct payments for most Americans can begin going out later this month. Driving the news: The Senate voted 50-49 Saturday to approve the sweeping legislation. The House is expected to pass the Senate's version of the bill next week before it heads to Biden's desk for his signature.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeThe big picture: As part of the legislation, individuals who make less than $75,000 or heads of households who make up to $112,500 will qualify for the $1,400 payments. Couples who make less than $150,000 will get $2,800.Individuals who make between $75,000 and $80,000 and couples who earn between $150,000 and $160,000 will receive a reduced payment.Parents who qualify will get an additional $1,400 for every child claimed on their most recent tax returns.What he's saying: "Everything that is in this package is designed to relieve the suffering and meet the most urgent needs of the nation and put us in a better position to prevail," Biden said following the Saturday passage of the bill. "This plan will get checks out the door, starting this month to the American people who so desperately need the help," he added. "The resources in this plan will be used to expand and speed up manufacturing and distribution of vaccines so we can get every single American vaccinated sooner rather than later.""I promised the American people that help is on the way. Today, I can say we've taken one more giant step forward in delivering on that promise." The bottom line: "This plan puts us on a path to beating the virus. This plan gives those families who are struggling the most the help and breathing room to get through this moment. This plan gives small businesses in this country a fighting chance to survive," Biden said. More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
Kim Kardashian will reportedly stay in family's $60 million mansion as part of divorce from Kanye West
Kim Kardashian West will stay in the minimalist, beige-filled Hidden Hills, California, home she and Kanye West bought in 2014, TMZ reported.
A Missouri pastor is reportedly seeking 'professional counseling' after he told women to lose weight and strive to be like Melania Trump for their husbands
Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark of Missouri's Malden First General Baptist Church gushed over an "epic trophy wife" and warned, "don't let yourself go."
Former NBA star Deron Williams says he tried to recruit star players to the Jazz but no one wanted to play in Utah
Deron Williams said he knew he needed help to make the Jazz contenders, but he couldn't find other stars that wanted to join him in Utah.
- The Telegraph
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex 'called all the PR shots', say royal sources despite Oprah interview claims she was gagged
The Duchess of Sussex “called all the shots” when it came to managing her own media, royal sources have said, casting doubt on her claim she could not be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey three years ago. Multiple royal sources have told The Telegraph the 39-year-old former actress “had full control” over her media interviews and had personally forged relationships not only with Ms Winfrey, but other powerful industry figures including Vogue editor Edward Enninful. In a teaser clip released from the Sussexes’s interview with the US chat show host, due to be aired in the US on Sunday, the Duchess said it felt “liberating” to be able to speak and accused the Royal family of effectively gagging her and taking away that choice. “It’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say yes, I’m ready to talk, to be able to make a choice on your own and be able to speak for yourself,” the Duchess said. In the clip, the Duchess and Ms Winfrey reference the fact that a royal aide was listening in to their first phone call in February 2018, although it is understood the pair had spoken privately before then.
- Business Insider
MSNBC host and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough says there's 'no doubt' that the GOP is 'unsavable'
"You know, my friends and my family members, they all voted for him, and it's been hard for me to process it," Scarborough said of support for Trump.
A Texas middle school student said he was forced to drink urine by teammates at a sleepover. His mom called the bullying racially motivated.
Summer Smith, SeMarion Humphrey's mom, says she has reported multiple incidents of her son being abused by other students for months, CBS 21 reported.
- USA TODAY
'Let kids be kids': California considers bill requiring gender-neutral children's sections at large retailers
In a push for inclusivity, a proposed bill in California will ban large retail stores from dividing children's items by gender.
- Business Insider
Her dismissal prompted fury from other Republicans like Rep. Virginia Foxx, who called it an "unprecedented firing of an honorable public official."
- Associated Press
Four of 47 pro-democracy activists charged under Hong Kong's tough national security law were released on bail Friday after prosecutors dropped an appeal of an earlier court decision. The 47 activists were charged Sunday with conspiracy to commit subversion under the security law over their involvement in an unofficial primary election last year, which authorities say was a plot to subvert state power and paralyze the government. The four activists — Clarisse Yeung, Lawrence Lau, Hendrick Lui and Mike Lam — appeared in court on Friday prior to being released.
A Texas high school removed an assignment on chivalry where female students were directed to cater to men like in medieval times
A list of tasks showed female students were asked to "dress in a feminine manner to please the men" and lower their heads when curtsying for men.
Even with all the compromises—and the agita on the left—the Covid relief bill may be just what the Democrats needed to deliver.