ABUJA (Reuters) - A Nigerian Air Force plane crashed into a house in the northern city of Kaduna on Saturday, killing all seven people on board, a military spokesman said. The air force said the Dornier-228 aircraft crashed into a house shortly after taking off from Kaduna Military Airfield around 06:45 (0145 ET). Nobody on the ground was hurt. "The plane was on a daily routine flight to Abuja when it crashed within the premises of the barracks, killing the four crew members and three civilian passengers," said military spokesman Colonel Abdul Usman. An investigation has been launched to establish the cause of the crash. (Reporting by Isaac Abrak, additional reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; editing by John Stonestreet)
- Associated Press
More than 75 former U.S. attorneys are throwing their support behind President Joe Biden’s nominee for associate attorney general and urging congressional leaders to quickly confirm her to the post. Vanita Gupta has been nominated for the No. 3 position in the Justice Department, a position in which she would be responsible for overseeing the department’s civil, antitrust and civil rights litigation, but also for helping to implement policy decisions on a host of nationwide issues. The Senate has scheduled the confirmation hearing for Gupta and Lisa Monaco, Biden’s nominee for deputy attorney general, for March 9.
- Reuters Videos
The Burmese python strayed from its natural habitat nearby and got stuck in the pipe leading to an industrial complex.Forest department official Arith Dey led the rescue effort, saying "we tried for nearly three hours and finally rescued it. Now we will take it with us and release it in Baikunthapur Forest."
Data from Britain's vaccine rollout on the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University COVID-19 shot in older people should help other countries reassess their use of it, the head of the university's vaccine research group said on Tuesday. Britain has been rolling out the vaccine since January, beginning with the elderly and health workers, after approving its use for all adults. Many European countries have advised that the vaccine should not be given to over-65s due to a lack of clinical trial data on its efficacy in that age group, and a significant proportion of doses of the vaccine that they have acquired have gone unused.
- The Telegraph
European Commission raises hopes of coronavirus vaccine passports to ease travel for work and tourism
European Union plans for a coronavirus vaccine passport could be opened up to British tourists and other non-EU holidaymakers, Brussels said on Monday. Ursula von der Leyen said the EU-wide “Digital Green Pass” would be proposed this month and that it could be a first step towards a virus passport for travel from outside the bloc. "The Digital Green Pass should facilitate Europeans‘ lives. The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the EU or abroad - for work or tourism,” the European Commission president said. The chief spokesman for the European Commission said the process would be done "step by step". “We work on a European solution now, this is where we start and then anything else would need to come after,” he said. "We’re of the view that in collaboration with the World Health Organisation there should be a way to scale this up globally." The UK said it was looking into the idea. “The Department for Transport will work and speak to countries across the world in terms of how they may look to introduce passports," the Prime Minister’s spokesman said in London. The Green Pass will include information such as whether the carrier has ever had coronavirus, been tested or vaccinated and is aimed at “facilitating safe free movement in the European Union.” The legislation will be put forward on March 17. Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said that work should be speeded up to save the summer season and enable safe travel from the UK. “It is important to have the tools ready to start mobility and make Europe a safe travel destination again as soon as the virus incidence data allows for this,” Ms Maroto said at a meeting of EU tourism ministers in Lisbon.
- The Week
With a vote of 97-72, the Georgia state House on Monday passed a bill supported by Republicans that would roll back voting access. House Bill 531 requires a photo ID for absentee voting, limits weekend early voting days, restricts ballot drop box locations, and sets an earlier deadline to request an absentee ballot. The measure now heads to the state Senate for more debate. State Rep. Barry Fleming (R), the bill's chief sponsor, said it is "designed to begin to bring back the confidence of our voters back into our election system." Democrats and civil rights organizations disagree, arguing that it would make it much harder for people to vote, especially voters of color. State Rep. Renitta Shannon (D) said it is "pathetically obvious" that the bill is in response to Georgia voters turning out in record numbers for November's presidential election, making the state blue for the first time in decades. Voters also showed up in January for the Senate runoffs, when Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock defeated the Republican incumbents, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. This gave Republicans the message "that they were in a political death spiral," Shannon said. "And now they are doing anything they can to silence the voices of Black and brown voters specifically, because they largely powered these wins." Demonstrators marched outside the Capitol on Monday to protest the bill, which the Rev. James Woodall, president of the Georgia NAACP, called one of the "most egregious, dangerous, and most expensive voter suppression acts in this entire nation, rolling back years of hardball progress and renewing our own reputation for discrimination." More stories from theweek.comMcCarthy claims during House debate that Dr. Seuss has been outlawed. Dr. Seuss has not been outlawed.The myth of the male bumblerThe Trump administration reportedly quietly funded Operation Warp Speed with money set aside for hospitals
Global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has accused Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and several top officials of committing crimes against humanity in a criminal complaint filed in Germany. The 500-page complaint, filed on Monday with the German Public Prosecutor General in the Karlsruhe federal court, includes allegations of arbitrary detention of more than 30 journalists and the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Prince Mohammed has denied any involvement in Khashoggi's killing.
- Associated Press
The Philippine president has dismissed his former ambassador to Brazil after she was seen on video physically abusing a Filipino member of her household staff. President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday night he had approved a recommendation to fire Marichu Mauro, revoke her retirement benefits and disqualify her from public office for life. The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila said at the time that the unidentified victim had returned to Philippines and that it was trying to reach her amid an investigation.
An eagle-eyed 'Harry Potter' fan noticed leads being replaced by random actors in a 'Prisoner of Azkaban' scene
A viral TikTok pointed out an error with characters like Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley during a scene in the third movie.
- Associated Press
Roger Federer is withdrawing from this month's Miami Open so he can spend extra time preparing to “work his way back out on tour,” his agent told The Associated Press on Monday. Federer, who turns 40 in August, is scheduled to make his return to the tour next week in a hard-court tournament at Doha, Qatar. Federer also had been on the entry list for the Masters 1000 stop in Miami, where play starts on March 24.
- The Telegraph
David Cameron has accused Theresa May of making a “very bad mistake” by combining the role of National Security Adviser and Cabinet Secretary during her tenure. The former prime minister heaped criticism on his successor, saying her decision in 2018 to hand both roles to one person, Sir Mark Sedwill, “temporarily weakened” Whitehall’s national security infrastructure. “They are two jobs,” Mr Cameron said on Monday. “Even if you were a cross of Einstein, Wittgenstein & Mother Teresa, you couldn’t possibly do both jobs.” The Cabinet Secretary is the most senior civil servant on Whitehall and is the senior policy adviser to the Prime Minister. The NSA is the central co-ordinator and adviser to the prime minister and cabinet on security, intelligence, defence, and some foreign policy matters. The roles were split up again by Boris Johnson after he took office. Addressing MPs and peers who sit on the Joint Committee on the National Strategic Security, Mr Cameron conceded it was a “mistake” that the Government’s future pandemic planning had focused on flu rather than respiratory diseases in the years leading up to the Covid-19 outbreak. “I think there was a pretty good flu pandemic plan but it was a flu plan rather than a respiratory diseases plan,” he said. He also admitted that more lessons should have been learned from the SARS epidemic in 2004. He questioned what had happened to a unit that he said was set up during his administration in the Cabinet Office to concentrate on “global virus surveillance”. Mr Johnson is now pushing for an international version of such a unit. He has called on global leaders to join a “global pandemic early warning system to predict a coming health crisis”, part of his five-point plan for curbing future pandemics. It would require “a vast expansion of our ability to collect and analyse samples and distribute the findings, using health data-sharing agreements covering every country”, the Prime Minister has said. Mr Cameron ruled out returning to the political arena when asked on Monday whether he would consider a comeback. “No,” he said. “Thinking about Donald Trump making a comeback is enough to keep us all spinning over.” He added that he was “happy doing what I’m doing for Alzheimer’s and dementia” and highlighted a fragile states council he has set up with former Liberian and Rwandan ministers. Asked whether he missed being prime minister, he quipped that he did not miss Wednesdays at noon, the time at which he faced his weekly Commons showdown with the Leader of the Opposition during Prime Minister’s Questions. Mr Cameron seized the opportunity to restate his criticism of Mr Johnson for axing the Department for International Development (DfID), branding it another “mistake”. “Having the Foreign Office voice around the (National Security Council) table and the DfID voice around the table I think is important,” Mr Cameron said. He added: “Can you really expect the foreign secretary to do all of the diplomatic stuff and be able to speak to the development brief as well? That's quite a task, so I think it is good to have both.”
- Business Insider
Biden refused to sanction MBS over Khashoggi's murder because he doesn't want his relationship with Saudi Arabia to get worse, officials say
A US intelligence report released Friday found that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directly approved the 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
The comic legends told Jimmy Kimmel that Louie Anderson was cast in the classic 1980s comedy because he was one of three names given to them.
- Associated Press
Israel's Supreme Court on Monday dealt a major blow to the country's powerful Orthodox establishment, ruling that people who convert to Judaism through the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel are also Jewish and entitled to become citizens. The landmark ruling, 15 years in the making, centered around the combustible question of who is Jewish and marked an important victory for the Reform and Conservative movements.
- The Daily Beast
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / Getty ImagesPrince Harry and Meghan Markle are being urged by some commentators in the U.K. to ask CBS to postpone the airing of its Oprah Winfrey interview, in which they are expected to mount a stinging attack on the royal family, as concern mounts over Prince Philip’s prospects of beating an infection.Prince Harry Tells Oprah He Left the Royals Because He Feared Meghan Markle Would Suffer Like Princess Diana Philip, 99, was moved to a specialist heart hospital on Monday and royal sources have been quoted by British newspapers saying the family is “pretty appalled” at the idea of the interview, which Oprah has said sees Meghan saying “pretty shocking things” being broadcast while Philip is so unwell.Penny Junor, author of Prince Harry, Brother, Soldier, Son, told The Daily Beast that airing the interview while Prince Philip was undergoing very public health travails risked making the interview look inappropriate, saying, “Anything could hijack this interview. Philip is ill. He is 99 and could die at any time. They were not to know he would get ill, but it could be seen to be the wrong time. But I doubt it is in their gift to postpone the interview. The control is in the hands of CBS and Oprah.”Robert Lacey, historical consultant for The Crown and author of the definitive royal biography Majesty, told The Daily Beast, “I think it would be a marvelous turnaround for Harry’s image if he took the brave step of canceling the whole thing this weekend—or, if that’s not practical, postponing it at least.”Royal commentator and former editor of Who’s Who Richard Fitzwilliams said it would “surely be appropriate” to postpone the interview.He told MailOnline, “Oprah is their friend and neighbor and would undoubtedly comply if asked and the gesture would I am sure be appreciated by the royal family. If an interview has been extended, as this recently has, it can also be postponed, as this undoubtedly should be.” Royal biographer Robert Jobson told the Mail, “With the Duke of Edinburgh clearly very unwell, the fact that the couple plan to go ahead with airing their self-indulgent, no-holds-barred interview with chat show queen Oprah Winfrey makes them appear heartless, thoughtless, and supremely selfish.“For U.S. broadcast network CBS, this interview is a coup, all about securing big viewing figures and big advert sales around the airing of their exclusive interview. So even if they wanted to, Harry and Meghan probably couldn’t dictate terms to Oprah Winfrey and the network now. Too much has been invested.”A TV industry insider told the Mirror, “CBS has sold millions of dollars worth of advertising around the interview, but bosses are aware of the delicacy of the Duke’s health. They have no loyalty to the royal family, although some feel as though they do to Harry and Meghan. For it to run if Philip’s condition worsened would be like setting off a diplomatic bomb. It would be grossly insensitive and hugely disrespectful.”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.
From fun fashion moments to pets and "Schitt's Creek" references, here are interesting things you might not have seen during the award show.
- LA Times
Op-Ed: It's official. Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for Jamal Khashoggi's murder. Hold him accountable
President Biden's failure to punish the Saudi crown prince defies justice and weakens the rule of law everywhere.
- The Daily Beast
Carl Court/GettyBy William G. Bain, Georgios D. Kitsios, and Tomeka L. SuberA year ago, when U.S. health authorities issued their first warning that COVID-19 would cause severe “disruption to everyday life,” doctors had no effective treatments to offer beyond supportive care.There is still no cure, but thanks to an unprecedented global research effort, several treatments are helping patients survive COVID-19 and stay out of the hospital altogether.COVID-19 treatments target two broad problems: the coronavirus’s ability to spread through the body, and the damage caused by the body’s immune system response. When the virus enters the body, it takes over cells and uses them to replicate itself. In response, the body sends inflammatory signals and immune cells to fight the virus. In some patients, that inflammatory response can continue even after the virus is under control, leading to damage in the lungs and other organs.The best tool is prevention, including using face masks and vaccines. Vaccines train the immune system to fight off attackers. With less risk of an uncontrolled infection, they can cut the risk of death from COVID-19 to near zero. But vaccine supplies are limited, even with a third vaccine now authorized for U.S. use, so treatments for infected patients remain crucial.This Drug Is a Staple of COVID Treatment. Should It Be?As doctors who work with COVID-19 patients, we have been following the drug trials and success stories. Here are six treatments commonly used today for COVID-19. As you’ll see, timing matters.Keeping you out of the hospitalTwo promising types of treatments involve injecting antiviral antibodies into high-risk COVID-19 patients before the person becomes severely ill.Our bodies naturally create antibodies to recognize foreign invaders and help fight them off. But natural antibody production takes several days, and SARS-CoV-2—the coronavirus that causes COVID-19—replicates fast. Studies show that injecting patients with antibodies soon after symptoms begin can help protect patients against serious infection.Monoclonal antibodies: These lab-engineered antibodies can bind to SARS-CoV-2 and prevent the virus from entering cells and infecting them. They include Bamlanivimab and the combined therapy casirivimab/imdevimab developed by Regeneron. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for these therapies because they have been found to protect high-risk patients from hospitalization and death. Once patients are sick enough to need hospitalization, however, studies haven’t found a proven benefit from them.Convalescent plasma: Another way to deliver antibodies involves blood drawn from patients who have recovered from COVID-19. Convalescent plasma is primarily given in research settings because the clinical evidence so far is mixed. Some trials show benefits early in the disease. Other studies have not shown any benefit in hospitalized patients.There may be a role for convalescent plasma as a supplemental therapy for some patients because of the growing threat of mutated SARS-CoV-2 variants, which may evade monoclonal antibody therapy. However, careful research is necessary.If you are hospitalizedOnce patients become so sick that they have to be hospitalized, treatments change.Most hospitalized patients have difficulty breathing and low oxygen levels. Low oxygen occurs when the virus and corresponding immune response injure the lungs, resulting in swelling in lung air sacs that restricts the amount of oxygen getting into the blood. Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 usually need supplemental medical oxygen to help them breathe. Doctors frequently treat patients on oxygen with the antiviral agent remdesivir and anti-inflammatory corticosteroids.Remdesivir: Remdesivir, originally designed to treat hepatitis C, stops the coronavirus from replicating itself by interfering with its genetic building blocks. It has been shown to shorten the length of hospital stays, and doctors may prescribe it to patients on oxygen shortly after arrival in the hospital.Chris Christie Says He’s Out of the Hospital After Week-Long Stay for COVID-19Corticosteroids: Steroids calm the body’s immune response and have been used for decades to treat inflammatory disorders. They are also widely available, cheap and well-studied medications, so they were among the first therapies to enter clinical trials for COVID-19. Several studies have shown that low-dose steroids reduce deaths in hospitalized patients who are on oxygen, including the sickest patients in the intensive care unit, or ICU. Following the findings of the landmark RECOVERY and REMAP-CAP COVID-19 studies, steroids are now the standard of care for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who are treated with oxygen.Blood thinners: Inflammation during COVID-19 and other viral infections can also increase the risk of blood clots, which can cause heart attacks, strokes and dangerous clots in the lungs. Many patients with COVID-19 are given the blood thinners heparin or enoxaparin to prevent clots before they occur. Early data from a large trial of COVID-19 patients suggests that hospitalized patients benefit from higher doses of blood thinners.Some patients with COVID-19 become so sick that they need an ICU for high levels of oxygen support or a ventilator to help them breathe. There are several therapies available for ICU patients, but ICU patients have not been found to benefit from high doses of blood thinners.Treating the sickest patientsICU patients with COVID-19 are more likely to survive if they receive steroids, studies have found. However, low-dose steroids alone may not be enough to curb excessive inflammation.Tocilizumab: Tocilizumab is a lab-generated antibody that blocks the interleukin-6 pathway, which can cause inflammation during COVID-19 and other diseases. New results from the REMAP-CAP trial that have not yet been peer-reviewed suggest that a single dose of tocilizumab given within one to two days after being placed on respiratory support reduced the risk of death in patients already receiving low-dose steroids. Tocilizumab has also been shown to benefit patients with high levels of inflammation in early results from another trial.These innovative therapies can help, but careful supportive care in the ICU is also crucial. Decades of extensive research have defined core management principles for helping patients with severe lung infections who need ventilators. These include avoiding underinflation and overinflation of the lung by the ventilator, treating pain and anxiety with low levels of sedative medications, and periodically placing certain patients with low oxygen levels on their belly, among many other interventions. The same key principles likely apply to patients with COVID-19 to help them survive and recover from a critical illness that can last weeks or months.Medical progress since the start of the pandemic has been awe-inspiring. Doctors now have vaccines, antiviral antibodies for high-risk outpatients and several treatments for hospitalized patients. Continued research will be crucial to improve our ability to fight a disease that has already claimed more than 2.5 million lives worldwide.William G. Bain, Georgios D. Kitsios, and Tomeka L. Suber are assistant professors of medicine at the University of PittsburghRead 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
Marjorie Taylor Greene Demonizes Big Tech. She and Her Husband Just Sold Up to $210,000 in Tech Stocks.
Drew Angerer/GettyWhen she was running for office, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) constantly antagonized tech giants like Facebook for allegedly censoring and silencing pro-Trump Republicans, and vowed to fight what she called the “Silicon Valley Cartel” after being elected to Congress.During her first two months on Capitol Hill, Greene has loudly ratcheted up the anti-tech rhetoric. But shortly after her swearing-in, she quietly moved to offload significant stock holdings in the very same companies she so vehemently denounced—netting a healthy sum in the process.According to her latest financial disclosure form, released on Feb. 19, Greene and her husband sold anywhere from $49,000 to $210,000 worth of shares in Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon on Jan. 20.It’s unclear exactly how much Greene and her husband, Perry, made from each individual company stock, since congressional forms only list broad value ranges, but it may have been as much as $65,000 each for the four tech stocks. Some shares were owned jointly between the couple and others were owned solely by her husband.Greene’s only other public financial disclosure form, filed in May 2020 when she was a candidate, lists joint or spousal ownership of up to $65,000 in Apple stock, $30,000 in Facebook stock, $30,000 in Amazon stock, and $15,000 in Google stock. The couple sold these holdings in January at a profit—the official form lists capital gains above $200—but the precise figure is unknown.The Sickening History of Marjorie Taylor Greene’s HometownIn light of the growing push from good-government advocates for lawmakers to sell off their holdings of individual stocks to avoid conflicts of interest, Greene’s sell-off could be perhaps welcomed. But her financial disclosure report shows she remains invested in a number of other companies, from Fortune 500 giants like Goldman Sachs and Lockheed Martin to the sports gambling platform DraftKings and activewear brand Lululemon.There’s also the plain irony that Greene was personally invested in, and later profited off, tech companies that she had excoriated for months as totalitarian tools of evil and social control. A spokesperson for Greene did not respond to requests for comment about her stock sale and why she invested in the companies to begin with.Like many hardcore Trump Republicans, Greene has oriented her politics around “cancel culture” and Big Tech’s alleged censorship of those promoting pro-Trump views. On her social media platforms, where she has hundreds of thousands of followers, Greene posts fresh, steaming outrage about them on a near-daily basis.Facebook, shares of which Greene and her husband sold for up to $65,000 net gain on Jan. 20, have been a constant target for her as a candidate and as a member of Congress. Last September, the platform removed a post from Greene in which she posed with a gun next to images of the progressive “Squad,” on the grounds it incited violence. The GOP candidate claimed she was being canceled and now wears a face mask in Congress with the message “CENSORED.”At various points in 2020, Greene called Facebook racist for promoting a message to support Black-owned businesses during the holiday season and slammed it as anti-semitic for censoring the far-right Islamophobic provocateur Laura Loomer. She also accused Facebook of allowing “ANTIFA” to carry out terrorist attacks and charged that the social media platform had “canceled our kids.”In October, when a Facebook spokesperson tweeted they would not link to a New York Post story on Hunter Biden, the Georgia Republican tweeted in outrage that “the Silicon Valley Cartel has taken the First Amendment and ripped it to shreds.”“When I get to Congress,” declared Greene, “Big Tech will be held accountable!”Ironically, in June 2020, the Facebook investor publicly called on her many thousands of followers to use a competitor instead. “For those of yall tired of being censored by Facebook,” she wrote, “I encourage you to open a Parler account today!”Greene has been less critical of the other tech companies she once owned, but her broadsides against the “Silicon Valley Cartel” leave little room for nuance, especially given Google, Amazon, and Apple’s dominance of the sector.Marjorie Taylor Greene Hangs Anti-Trans Sign Outside Office of Congresswoman With Trans DaughterGreene’s tech stock sell-offs could be interpreted as a sign she wished to sever any financial links to companies she had so stridently opposed. A Greene spokesperson did not respond to questions about why she and her husband sold the shares when they did.Barely two weeks after her stock sale, though, Greene was calling on like-minded conservatives to harness the free market system to develop alternatives to the tech companies she’d previously been financing.“Conservatives must join together to invest, develop, and compete in Big Tech in order to protect our conservative values and speech from the never ending cries of the thought police. This would give people the ability to choose the online “community” they invest themselves in,” tweeted Greene on Feb. 7.“The Silicon Valley cartel controlling social media, free speech, and even targeting to take down rising competition, like Parler, must be stopped. The way to stop it is in the free market, while we still can…”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.
- Associated Press
The plane laden with vaccines had just rolled to a stop at Santiago’s airport in late January, and Chile’s president, Sebastián Piñera, was beaming. The source of that hope: China – a country that Chile and dozens of other nations are depending on to help rescue them from the COVID-19 pandemic. China’s vaccine diplomacy campaign has been a surprising success: It has pledged roughly half a billion doses of its vaccine to more than 45 countries, according to a country-by-country tally by The Associated Press.
- Associated Press
The United States wasted billions of dollars in war-torn Afghanistan on buildings and vehicles that were either abandoned or destroyed, according to a report released Monday by a U.S. government watchdog. The agency said it reviewed $7.8 billion spent since 2008 on buildings and vehicles. Only $343.2 million worth of buildings and vehicles “were maintained in good condition,” said the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, which oversees American taxpayer money spent on the protracted conflict.