Temperatures in Texas are finally expected to stay above freezing after days of severe weather. Following the winter blast, thousands are flooding food banks for clean water as 1,300 public water systems statewide remain compromised. Meanwhile, as the state’s power grid and electricity gets restored, there are growing calls for accountability. NBC’s Morgan Chesky reports for Weekend TODAY.
- Associated Press
As the trial approaches for a white Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the death of George Floyd, prosecutors are putting the time Derek Chauvin’s knee was on the Black man's neck at about nine minutes. The fact that the figure has evolved probably won't matter at Chauvin’s trial, which begins Monday with jury selection. One former prosecutor says it’s common for such details to be fine-tuned as prosecutors build a case.
Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic apologised on Thursday after jokingly suggesting that Russia take a part of western Ukraine as payment for delivering doses of its Sputnik V vaccine to Slovakia. Matovic bypassed his cabinet partners to order the Russian vaccine even though it has not yet been approved for use in the European Union, of which Slovakia is a member. Asked in a radio interview what he had promised Russia in exchange for the vaccine, Matovic jokingly said he had offered "Transcarpathian Ukraine", referring to the western Ukrainian region bordering Slovakia.
- The Independent
White House admits Biden cannot force people to wear masks or get vaccines as Texas and Mississippi drop safeguards
With Republican governors in Texas and Mississippi rolling back Covid-related public health safeguards, the Joe Biden administration has recognised the stark reality when it comes to overseeing the pandemic response: There’s only so much the White House can do. On Wednesday, Mr Biden was highly critical of Governors Greg Abbott of Texas and Tate Reeves of Mississippi, who have both decided to dispense with mask mandates in their states and limitations on businesses, including restaurants that had previously been forced to operate at reduced capacity.
- Business Insider
A succession of communication blunders about the vaccine has led some Europeans to see it as second rate.
Eighty U.S. House of Representatives Democrats urged President Joe Biden on Tuesday to repeal Donald Trump's "cruel" sanctions on Cuba and renew engagement, an early sign of support in Congress for easing the clamp-down on the Communist-run country. In a letter to Biden seen by Reuters they urged the Democratic president to sign an executive order "without delay" to end restrictions on travel and remittances, noting that well over half of Cubans depend on the latter. "With the stroke of a pen, you can assist struggling Cuban families and promote a more constructive approach," they said.
- Associated Press
India spinners claimed eight more England wickets as the visitors were bowled out for 205 on the first day of the fourth and final test on Thursday. India was 24-1 at stumps, and on course to win the series 3-1. England opted to bat first on another dry pitch at Narendra Modi Stadium, where India won the third test inside two days.
- Reuters Videos
New Zealand police said on Thursday (March 4) they have arrested two people following a threat made against the mosques that were the scene of mass murder in Christchurch two years ago.Police said an online threat was made earlier this week against the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre, which was targeted by a white supremacist in 2019.The attack killed 51 people and was New Zealand's most deadly shooting.No information was given about the threat, nor the suspect, and no charges have been laid yet, police said.New Zealand is on heightened alert ahead of the March 15 anniversary of the Christchurch attacks.
- Associated Press
About 300 refugees from a Christian minority community from Myanmar held a demonstration in India's capital on Wednesday against last month’s military takeover in their country and demanded the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other Myanmar leaders. The demonstration was held at Jantar Mantar, an area of New Delhi close to Parliament that is often used for protests.
The European Union promised legal action on Wednesday after the British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, a move Brussels said violated terms of Britain's divorce deal. Since it left the EU last year, Britain's relations with the bloc have soured, with both sides accusing the other of acting in bad faith in relation to part of their trade agreement that covers goods movements to Northern Ireland. The British government extended a grace period for some checks on agricultural and food products imported by retailers to Northern Ireland until Oct. 1 in a move it said was necessary to ensure the free flow of goods to the British region.
- Architectural Digest
High-traffic areas are about to meet their matchOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
A New Orleans police officer groomed and raped a 14-year-old girl he was assigned to take to a rape kit exam, a lawsuit alleges
The lawsuit alleges the officer began grooming the girl as they sat in the waiting room of a New Orleans children's hospital.
The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is forcing the Senate clerk to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, a procedural move that will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.During that time, Republicans will propose amendments — some unrelated to COVID relief — intended to force uncomfortable votes for Democrats, in a practice known as vote-a-rama.Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) promised Thursday that the Senate will stay in session "no matter how long it takes" to finish voting on the "American Rescue Plan."Because the bill is being considered under the budget reconciliation process, it only requires a simple majority to pass, rather than the usual 60-vote Senate threshold for major legislation.Driving the news: Speaking on the Senate floor ahead of the vote to proceed, Schumer accused Johnson of going to "ridiculous lengths" to show his opposition to a COVID relief package widely supported by the American public — including a majority of Republicans.What they're saying: "It will accomplish little more than a few sore throats for the Senate clerks who work very hard day in, day out to help the Senate function," Schumer said."Still, we are delighted that the senator from Wisconsin wants to give the American people another opportunity to hear what's in the American Rescue Plan. We Democrats want America to hear what's in the plan," he continued."Oh, yes, when the senior senator from Wisconsin reads, the American people will get another chance to hear about the tax breaks for low-income workers, and assistance for American families struggling with child care — two measures that help make the American Rescue Plan one of the single largest anti-poverty bills in recent history."Go deeper: Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief voteLike this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
- The Week
Trump inadvertently boosts Biden's stimulus messaging with another statement raging against McConnell
Former President Donald Trump has released a new post-presidency statement, and Democrats might just be glad he did. The former president, who remains permanently banned from Twitter, released a statement Thursday once again raging against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), blasting him as the "most unpopular politician in the country" while blaming him for Republicans' Senate losses in Georgia — losses for which Trump himself has been blamed by other Republicans. One of the reasons Republicans lost the two Georgia Senate runoffs in January, Trump argues, was "Mitch McConnell's refusal to go above $600 per person on the stimulus check payments when the two Democrat opponents were touting $2,000 per person in ad after ad." The statement offered "quite the pre-stimulus political gift to Democrats," wrote National Journal's Josh Kraushaar, while The Washington Post's Dave Weigel noted that Trump "remarkably" used this opportunity to "validate Biden's messaging on the $1,400 checks instead of whacking him and Democrats for curtailing them." Remarkably, Trump also uses this statement to validate Biden's messaging on the $1400 checks instead of whacking him and Democrats for curtailing them. "The $2000 will be approved anyway by the Democrats." https://t.co/M9dXoX13VS — Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) March 4, 2021 Indeed, Trump writes that "the $2,000 will be approved anyway by the Democrats," while offering no comment on the fact that the new checks are actually for $1,400, nor on Biden's recent compromise that narrows the eligibility. Politico's Gabby Orr observed that Trump "could have put out a statement saying the income phase-outs in the Biden stimulus bill are going to mean he gave checks to more Americans," but "instead he's still targeting his own party with stuff like this." This was just Trump's latest statement in this vein after he released another one last month describing McConnell as an "unsmiling political hack." He also mentioned McConnell in a recent Conservative Political Action Conference speech, in which he took credit for McConnell's recent re-election. McConnell told Fox News he "didn't watch" the speech and that "we're dealing with the present and the future, not looking back to the past." More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceThe Republican grievance perpetual motion machineTrump wants revenge on Alaska's Sen. Murkowski. His advisers think he won't follow through because the flight is too long.
- Business Insider
GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn says being called a 'Neanderthal' is actually a good thing after Biden criticized states for lifting mask mandates
They're "hunter-gatherers, they're protectors of their family, they are resilient," Blackburn said of Neanderthals, who are now extinct.
- Business Insider
How much YouTube pays influencers for 100,000, 1 million, and 150 million views, according to top creators
We spoke with creators on YouTube who broke down how much money they've made on a single video from Google.
- The Week
Trump wants revenge on Alaska's Sen. Murkowski. His advisers think he won't follow through because the flight is too long.
Don't bet on former President Donald Trump traveling to campaign against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) — and not because of any sudden change of heart. A new report from The Washington Post discusses the Alaska Republican's influence during President Biden's administration, as well as the fact that Trump is "vowing publicly and privately to work to oust her" as she seeks a fourth Senate term in 2022. Murkowski was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial, and she's reportedly "higher on his list of enemies" than other lawmakers, coming in just under Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) At the same time, the Post reports that while Trump "does want to spend money against" Murkowski, some "people in his circle doubt, though, that he will be as much of a potent force in the race because traveling to campaign against her would require such a long flight, which Trump generally avoids." There's also the fact that, the Post says, Trump's advisers "recognize the complexity of winning in Alaska," which uses ranked-choice voting, though the report adds that it's likely Murkowski will face pro-Trump opposition in the race in some form. Trump recently went after Murkowski during his first speech since leaving office at the Conservative Political Action Conference, naming her while he slammed a series of Republican "grandstanders" and called on supporters to "get rid of them all." Murkowski has defended her vote to impeach Trump, saying she couldn't "be afraid of" the political repercussions and that if Alaska voters decide that "because I did not support my party that I can no longer serve them in the United States Senate, then so be it." More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceThe Republican grievance perpetual motion machineWhich states best handled the pandemic? There's no clear answer.
- Associated Press
Bay Hill was bustling Thursday, just like golf before the pandemic. The fans were limited in numbers but they all wanted the same dose of entertainment provided by Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau. First it was McIlroy, slowly feeling better about his game, and with good reason.
- Business Insider
Biden supports making a temporary $3,000 payment to parents in the stimulus bill permanent going forward
Senate Democrats want to make the larger tax credit permanent and give families an option to receive monthly checks. Biden wants a permanent one too.
- Business Insider
Unemployment benefits will expire in 10 days if Congress doesn't pass a stimulus bill. Here's what else could expire this month.
Unemployment benefits will expire on March 14 without a stimulus bill. Also on the table: paid sick leave, small business aid, and housing aid.
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle's wedding-dress embroiderer says she hasn't heard from the royal family since revealing she's on the brink of homelessness
"It just makes me feel like I don't exist," Chloe Savage, who worked on Kate Middleton's and Meghan Markle's wedding dresses, told Insider.