We checked in with Missoula Mayor John Engen to see how he’s feeling now, and what he wants the community to know moving forward.
- Associated Press Videos
Doctors are still striving to better understand why many people with the coronavirus lose their sense of smell and how to treat that accompanying elidemic. (Feb. 23)
Singapore received its first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine made by China's Sinovac Biotech on Tuesday, its health ministry said, although the shot is still awaiting approval for use in the city-state. Sinovac has started submitting initial data but the Health Sciences Authority is currently awaiting all the necessary information to carry out a thorough assessment, the ministry said in a statement late on Wednesday. Singapore is the only wealthy country considering the use of Sinovac's vaccine, which has been found to have an efficacy rate ranging from about 50% to 90% in studies.
The first big real-world study of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be independently reviewed shows the shot is highly effective at preventing COVID-19, in a potentially landmark moment for countries desperate to end lockdowns and reopen economies. Up until now, most data on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines has come under controlled conditions in clinical trials, leaving an element of uncertainty over how results would translate into the real world with its unpredictable variables. The research in Israel - two months into one of the world's fastest rollouts, providing a rich source of data - showed two doses of the Pfizer shot cut symptomatic COVID-19 cases by 94% across all age groups, and severe illnesses by nearly as much.
- The Independent
Biden news - live: Trump Jr deposed over inaugural funds as White House defends migrant camp after AOC attack
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Malaysia's King Al-Sultan Abdullah said on Wednesday parliament can convene during a state of emergency, a move that could open the door for the opposition to launch a fresh confidence vote to challenge Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Last month, the king declared a nationwide state of emergency that could last till Aug. 1, as Malaysia struggled to control a jump in coronavirus cases after managing to contain infections for most of last year. But the opposition accused Muhyiddin of using the emergency to retain control during a power struggle, especially after it appeared he may have lost his majority when two government lawmakers said they no longer backed him.
Marvel Studios president hints 'we probably could' see characters like Jessica Jones again 'someday' in the MCU
"I'm not exactly sure...but perhaps someday," Kevin Feige said of the possibility that Netflix or ABC characters would enter the MCU.
- Associated Press
Coco Gauff and Jil Teichmann advanced to the Adelaide International semifinals on Thursday after three-set wins on the Memorial Drive hard courts. The 16-year-old Gauff beat Shelby Rogers 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, and Teichmann defeated Anastasija Sevastova 6-4 ,6-7 (8), 7-5. Gauff has won five straight matches in Adelaide, including two in qualifying, since her second-round loss to fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina at the Australian Open.
- Associated Press
American League MVP José Abreu tested positive for COVID-19 and will spend a few days away from the Chicago White Sox, while Cardinals reliever Andrew Miller told a St. Louis newspaper he tested positive 10 days before reporting to camp. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Wednesday in a statement that Abreu is “completely asymptomatic.” Hahn said testing also showed the presence of COVID-19 antibodies, and the Cuban slugger believes he had a mild case of the virus in January.
- Associated Press
Jimmy Butler went to the foul line in the final moments of the fourth quarter Wednesday night, talking and smiling the entire time. There's a lot for Butler and the Miami Heat to be happy about right now. Bam Adebayo had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Miami, Duncan Robinson added 17 points and Goran Dragic scored 15 in his return from an ankle injury.
- The Independent
‘She will be running against quality opposition,’ says district’s Democratic party chair
- The Daily Beast
Jim Watson./GettyLouis DeJoy had a defiant message on Wednesday for those craving to see him ousted as U.S. Postmaster General: “Get used to me.”The comment came after Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) asked the embattled U.S. Postal Service chief how long he would remain as Postmaster General—“long time,” DeJoy spat back—during a Wednesday hearing in the House Oversight Committee.That exchange was indicative of the entire proceeding, which was frequently chippy, combative, and fueled by Democratic lawmakers’ outrage over DeJoy’s handling of the USPS at a time of worsening mail delays and difficult questions about the service’s long-term viability.DeJoy’s crack to Cooper made Democrats’ blood boil even more. But he may have a point, at least for now: because the postmaster general is installed by the service’s board of governors—and not by the president—it means that President Joe Biden, or Congress, cannot fire DeJoy even if they wanted to.His removal would only be possible when Biden fills Democratic vacancies on the USPS Board of Governors, which has the authority to hire and fire postmasters general. Confirming those spots in the Senate will take time, though the Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Biden has identified three nominees to move forward.In the meantime, though, Democratic lawmakers are working with DeJoy on urgent legislation to reform the agency’s finances and employee pension burden, even while many publicly call for his resignation.To many Democrats, DeJoy’s performance on Wednesday on Capitol Hill may make that balancing act harder: they found much to dislike not only in what the postmaster general said, but how he said it.“I gotta say—I just don’t think the postmaster gets it,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), a member of the Oversight Committee who questioned DeJoy on Wednesday about the agency’s delivery standards. “I think it’s time for him to go.”“I thought he approached a lot of our questions with that exact same attitude, which was one of sneering condescension,” Krishnamoorthi told The Daily Beast after the hearing, invoking DeJoy’s response to Cooper. “That’s not gonna fly, man. Not gonna fly.”Wednesday’s hearing was the second time in DeJoy’s short tenure that he has been subjected to a high-profile grilling in the House Oversight Committee. Shortly after taking the USPS’ top job in June 2020, delays and irregularities quickly began to mount—a particularly alarming development for lawmakers on the eve of an election in which more voters than ever planned to vote by mail.Biden to Nominate 3 New USPS Board Members, Opening Path to Oust DeJoyIn a contentious August 2020 hearing, Democrats interrogated the former logistics executive and GOP mega-donor on everything from cuts in overtime hours to the price of a stamp. Questioning from Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) produced a memorable DeJoy response: “I will submit that I know very little about postage and stamps.”By the time House Democrats called DeJoy back to Capitol Hill this week, their worst fears about the USPS delays’ impact on the voting system had failed to materialize. But they still had plenty of questions about DeJoy’s stewardship of the USPS: in October, the USPS inspector general issued a report finding that the changes DeJoy made to delivery schedules and protocol led to the worsening delays. Already battered by the pandemic, the USPS limped into a busy holiday season, and is now providing the poorest service that many longtime observers of the agency have ever seen.Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), a member of the Oversight panel, was a 29-year veteran of the USPS before she came to Congress. She told The Daily Beast after the hearing that she has never seen the service in such dire straits as it is now: “I don’t think we’ve ever confronted this,” she said.The unprecedented delays are happening around the country. In Washington, D.C., just 40 percent of all first-class mail arrived on time by the end of December 2020—compared to nearly 90 percent the same time the year before. Chicago residents are receiving holiday packages a month-and-a-half late. Lawmakers are inundated with calls and emails from frustrated constituents looking for answers; this week, 33 senators signed a letter to DeJoy asking him to explain the recent delays.DeJoy apologized for those delays at the top of Wednesday’s hearing. “We must acknowledge that during this peak season we fell far short of meeting our service goals,” he said. “I apologize to those customers who felt the impact of our delays"But Lawrence expressed concern about DeJoy’s forthcoming “strategic plan” to get the USPS through this difficult stretch. Though the postmaster general has not revealed specifics, he testified on Wednesday that he will propose cuts to delivery standards, including the standard that local mail be delivered within two days. Democrats believe that would be a disastrous move at a time when the USPS is struggling to compete with private-sector competitors, particularly if it is coupled with consumer cost increases, which DeJoy has suggested.“To say that’s what’s bold and needed… that’s not leadership,” said Lawrence. “He has to prove himself. He heard us loud and clear, that he needs to prove himself.”The Michigan Democrat stopped short of saying that DeJoy deserved removal, and told The Daily Beast that she and other Democrats are working with the USPS on postal reform legislation. On Wednesday, CNN reported that Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was supportive of working with DeJoy to pass reforms.In the wake of the new political reality in Washington, the postmaster general has begun to attempt outreach to Democratic lawmakers. Lawrence said that during the last administration, DeJoy did not take her calls or respond to her—but after the 2020 election, they had a “cordial” call.Other Democrats see any charm offensive as too little, too late. Krishnamoorthi said he is supportive of working with whatever USPS leadership is in office in order to pass reforms, but argued that DeJoy should go as soon as is possible.Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), a senior member of the Oversight Committee, issued a statement after DeJoy’s hearing hailing Biden’s nomination of three appointees to the USPS Board of Governors—and explicitly stated his hope they would remove DeJoy. “These nominations are an important first step toward reforming the Postal Service,” said Connolly. “My hope is the newly constituted Board will do the right thing and bring in a new, qualified Postmaster General.”A majority of the nine-member board would be required to support DeJoy’s removal. Currently, there are four Republican appointees, and two Democratic appointees. If all Biden’s choices are confirmed, Democrats would hold a majority on the board.The Republicans on the Oversight Committee had questions for DeJoy about mail delays, but largely cast him as a victim in an anti-Trump Democratic crusade. Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the top Republican on the panel, compared the party’s concerns about USPS delays—and Trump’s potential role in those delays—to the Trump impeachment investigation he said was predicated on “baseless conspiracies.”Far-right Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), meanwhile, suggested that the root cause of USPS delays was actually the Black Lives Matter protests that took place over the summer, and read articles from fringe outlets like the Gateway Pundit to prove his point. And Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) raised the unfounded belief in widespread conspiracies about election fraud while saying it was not time to get into “specifics.”At one point, tempers flared when Connolly said that Republicans who voted to object to the Electoral College certification on Jan. 6 had “no right to lecture” anyone on the dangers of partisanship.Democrats left more concerned about the fate of the USPS, however, than the state of things in Congress. “It’s not some theoretical concept,” said Krishnamoorthi. “It’s not some abstract issue, it’s real for every single one of us… I’ve gotta tell you, people are starting to work around the mail, which is a scary concept.”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
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman underwent a “successful surgery” to remove his appendix Wednesday, the royal court said, and he left the hospital soon after the operation. The 35-year-old prince had surgery for appendicitis at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in the morning, according to the royal court. Prince Mohammed, the son of King Salman, has amassed immense powers in the kingdom since being appointed heir to the throne in 2017.
- The Week
Frasier Crane is headed back on the air. A revival of the hit sitcom Frasier has been officially announced at Paramount+, with star Kelsey Grammer set to return. The news was unveiled during a ViacomCBS presentation on Wednesday focused on Paramount+, the rebranded version of CBS All Access that's launching in March. "Having spent over 20 years of my creative life on the Paramount lot, both producing shows and performing in several, I'd like to congratulate Paramount+ on its entry into the streaming world," Grammer said. "I gleefully anticipate sharing the next chapter in the continuing journey of Dr. Frasier Crane." Frasier, a spin-off of Cheers, originally ran for 11 seasons from 1993 through 2004, and a potential return has been discussed for years. Chris Harris and Joe Cristalli will write and produce the revival, which Paramount+ promised "will have everything you love about the original: coziness, great writing, and of course, a cast led by" Grammer. Stars David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, and Peri Gilpin aren't currently attached to the revival, according to Variety. This was just one of a number of Paramount+ reboots and revivals discussed on Wednesday, with others including Rugrats and Criminal Minds, as ViacomCBS reaches into its catalog in hopes of gaining an upper hand in the continuing streaming wars. More stories from theweek.comIt's been 1 year since Trump infamously tweeted the 'coronavirus is very much under control' in the U.S.The MyPillow guy might be Trump's ultimate chumpBiden nominates postal board slate that could oust Louis DeJoy after DeJoy vows to stay put
14 Marvel shows are coming to Disney Plus from 'Secret Invasion' to 'I Am Groot' - here they all are
Some Marvel characters are getting their own shows on Disney Plus. Here's when you can expect "Ms. Marvel," "WandaVision," and more.
Eddie Murphy says Ryan Coogler tried to make a 'Coming to America' sequel starring Michael B. Jordan - but he didn't like the idea
Eddie Murphy said that Ryan Coogler's idea had Michael B. Jordan playing his son, "looking for a wife."
- Associated Press
President Joe Biden's nominee to run the CIA told lawmakers Wednesday that he would keep politics out of the job and deliver “unvarnished” intelligence to politicians and policymakers even if they don't want to hear it. William Burns told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee at his confirmation hearing that “politics must stop where intelligence work begins.” The comments from Burns appeared aimed at drawing a contrast with the prior administration, when President Donald Trump faced repeated accusations of politicizing intelligence while also publicly disputing the assessments of his own intelligence agencies, most notably about Russian election interference.
- Associated Press
Republicans rallied solidly against Democrats' proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill as lawmakers awaited a decision by the Senate's parliamentarian that could bolster or potentially kill a pivotal provision hiking the federal minimum wage. GOP leaders were honing attacks on the package as a job killer that does too little to reopen schools or businesses shuttered for the coronavirus pandemic and that was not only wasteful but also even unscrupulous.
A report describes how prisoners of war are used as slave labour to generate money for the regime.
U.S. President Joseph Biden's new administration said on Wednesday it would continue its international re-engagement by seeking election to the U.N. Human Rights Council where it will press to eliminate a "disproportionate focus" on ally Israel. Under former President Donald Trump's more isolationist approach, Washington quit the council in 2018 but the Biden government has already returned as an observer. "I'm pleased to announce the United States will seek election to the Human Rights Council for the 2022-24 term," Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the council by video.
- The Daily Beast
Officials Probe ‘Foul Play’ After Crash of Military Plane Close to Finding Abducted Nigerian Schoolboys
KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty ImagesABUJA, Nigeria—The seven personnel of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) who died in a fatal plane crash in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, on Sunday were close to discovering the location of dozens of students abducted by gunmen from their school in north-central Nigeria last week, two senior military sources told The Daily Beast.The crew—led by Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama, the aircraft captain, and Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo, the co-pilot—had been in Minna, the capital of Nigeria's north-central Niger state, for days conducting intelligence-gathering missions in connection with concerted efforts to secure the release of 42 people, including 27 students. The group was abducted last Wednesday, when gunmen in military uniforms raided the Government Science College in Kagara, killing one student in the process.On Sunday, the officers received intelligence regarding the location of the abductees. According to the two military sources, they quickly flew to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja to refuel their Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft. They were on their way back to Minna when the NAF said the plane reported engine failure and crashed as it attempted to return to Abuja, killing everyone on board.“They had a clue of where the students were located at the time and were preparing to survey the area when the crash happened,” one of the military sources, an officer from the NAF, told The Daily Beast. The source added that, had the incident not occurred, he believed the air force officers “would have been able to report the exact location of everyone kidnapped from the Kagara school.”News of the plane crash created anxiety across Nigeria and led to rumors on social media that the aircraft may have been deliberately touched by actors looking to get rid of the seven officers, described by the NAF in a statement as “well-trained” and “dedicated personnel.” The country's Chief of Air Staff Isiaka Amao on Sunday ordered an “immediate investigation” into the death of the officers, who had conducted intelligence-gathering operations across the entire region of northern Nigeria, including the northeast, where ISIS-backed militants and Boko Haram operate.“We should remain calm and wait for the outcome of investigation by the military,” Nigeria's minister of aviation Sirika Hadi Tweeted on Sunday, appearing to address rumors swirling around the cause of the crash. Nigerian authorities have often been accused of protecting armed groups affiliated with the Fulani tribe from the predominantly Muslim northern region of Nigeria, where President Muhammadu Buhari is from. Most of the officers killed in Sunday's plane crash were from southern Nigeria, a predominantly Christian region.“The investigators will look at every possible cause of the crash including foul play,” another military source told The Daily Beast. “I'm sure that the new Chief of Air Staff [who was appointed late in January] would want to get to the bottom of the matter.”It's not the first time the death of experienced NAF officers at the forefront of the fight against dangerous militants leads to an inquiry.Last year, the country's first-ever female combat helicopter pilot Tolulope Arotile was killed from the impact of a reversing vehicle that had crashed into her, raising suspicion across Nigeria that she was murdered. According to the NAF, Arotile was “inadvertently hit” by “an excited former Air Force secondary school classmate while trying to greet her” inside the NAF base in the northwestern city of Kaduna. The 24-year-old had just returned from an operation the military named “Gama Aiki” in Niger state, where she was deployed in the fight against ISIS-backed militants and other criminal gangs, referred to locally as “bandits,” by flying combat missions. Her final combat mission in northern Nigeria was devastating for the terrorists she targeted.She Flew Missions Against ISIS-Backed Terrorists—and Died in a Suspicious ‘Accident’Like Arotile, the seven NAF personnel killed in the crash on Sunday had been key actors in the fight to rid northern Nigeria of bandits and jihadists. According to the NAF, “in the course of conducting Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions, [the officers] had operated in virtually all theatres, including the North-East, North-West as well as the North Central.” Records show that they were flying in one of the NAF’s three Beechcraft King Air 350is, and were undoubtedly some of the most experienced and reliable in the Air Force, which said it has been dealt a huge blow by the loss.“The NAF would find it difficult to replace the personnel based on their training and experience acquired over the years,” Ibikunle Daramola, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, said in a press release on behalf of Chief of Air Staff Amao on Monday. “The Service was nevertheless consoled by the fact that the deceased personnel gave their utmost in service to the nation.”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.