There is now a total of 29 COVID variant cases in the state.
OPEC and its allies agreed to extend most oil output cuts into April, offering small exemptions to Russia and Kazakhstan, after deciding that the demand recovery from the coronavirus pandemic was still fragile despite a recent oil price rally. OPEC's leader Saudi Arabia said it would extend its voluntary oil output cut of 1 million barrels per day (bpd), and would decide in coming months when to gradually phase it out. The news pushed oil prices back towards their highest levels in more than a year with Brent trading up 5% above $67 a barrel as the market had expected OPEC+ to release more barrels.
- The Independent
‘I’m always up for a good fight,’ says Trump ally
- Associated Press
The New Zealand “nomads” are back on the road again. Due to continuing coronavirus quarantines in Australia and New Zealand, the Auckland-based New Zealand Warriors will play their National Rugby League season in Australia until at least the middle of June. It means the team will be away from their families in New Zealand for four months, adding to the five months they were away in 2020 while playing all of their matches in Australia.
- The Daily Beast
- USA TODAY
- Associated Press
- The Week
Experts feared the Johnson & Johnson vaccine's slightly lower efficacy rate would lead to an impression of a two-tiered system. That has been exactly the case in Detroit, where the mayor just rejected a shipment of the company's vaccine. CNN reports that Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (D) declined an allocation of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week, saying the other available vaccines are better. "Johnson & Johnson is a very good vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer are the best," he said. "And I am going to do everything I can to make sure the residents of the City of Detroit get the best." Stat News' Matthew Herper called this a "bad plan." It's true that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine trials showed a 72 percent efficacy rate, while Moderna and Pfizer, the two other approved coronavirus vaccines, have a rate of about 95 percent. But health experts say it's still an excellent option, and has other perks like only requiring a single shot and frequently leading to fewer side effects, reports The New York Times. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, said people shouldn't overthink which one to get, and explained the vaccines can't really be compared head-to-head because of different trial circumstances. Besides, experts note, the raw numbers don't show the full picture. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine prevented all hospitalizations and deaths in its large clinical trial, meaning the slightly lower efficacy rate really only points to mild to moderate disease. Detroit's mayor, however, said the city has been able to meet demand with just its supply of Pfizer and Moderna doses, but CNN notes Duggan's administration only expanded vaccine eligibility to residents ages 50 and older with chronic medical conditions on Thursday. Duggan said he would accept Johnson & Johnson doses later on if all other doses are distributed and there are remaining residents who want a vaccine. More stories from theweek.comWhat Republicans talk about when they talk about the 'working class'Why the Dr. Seuss 'cancellation' is chillingBernie Sanders is forcing other senators to go on the record about a $15 minimum wage
- The Telegraph
The European Union began blocking exports of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine on Thursday as Europe's leaders finally admitted they were wrong about the jab and that it worked. EU countries now recognise that the vaccine is vital to ramping up the slow pace of their vaccine programmes – which lag far behind those in Britain, the US, Serbia and Israel – after attacking AstraZeneca for delivery failures and branding its vaccine ineffective. Germany made the vaccine available to over-65s after Angela Merkel, the chancellor, called for age restrictions to be lifted. New data proved the jab was "highly effective". Jens Spahn, the country's health minister, said: "This is good news for any elderly person waiting to be vaccinated. They can now be vaccinated faster." Jean Castex, the French prime minister, said the AstraZeneca vaccine was "very efficient" and as good as the other EU-approved jabs. In January, Emmanuel Macron, the French president, sparked fury when he said the vaccine was only "quasi-effective" in older people – comments thought to have slowed French vaccinations further. Greece and Sweden announced they would lift age restrictions on the jab following Belgium, with Spain considering following suit as realisation dawns that countries were wrong not to follow Britain's lead in approving it for all ages.
- 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.
- The Daily Beast
- NBC News
Social media has exposed long-standing hatred — and helped Asian Americans organize against it.
- Business Insider
The one-tonne robot wiggles its wheels before rolling forwards across Jezero Crater's dusty terrain.
- NBC News
The week leading up to Prince Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah Winfrey has delivered daily episodes of royal drama.