NASA's science rover Perseverance, the most advanced astrobiology laboratory ever sent to another world, streaked through the Martian atmosphere on Thursday and landed safely on the floor of a vast crater, its first stop on a search for traces of ancient microbial life on the Red Planet.
- Associated Press
A technical committee of experts in Mexico gave a unanimous favorable opinion Friday on approving the Covaxin vaccine made by the Indian pharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech. The report by the committee for new molecules will be sent to the federal medical safety commission's approval board, which usually follows such recommendations. The interim results from the vaccine manufacturer’s late stage trials shows its COVID-19 vaccine to be about 81% effective in preventing illness from the coronavirus.
- Business Insider
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle interview with Oprah will cost CBS at least $7 million to air, per report
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, however, are reportedly not being compensated for the interview.
Meghan Markle's 'Suits' costar said 'it sickened' him to see the royal family's 'obscene' treatment of her
"It sickened me to read the endless racist, slanderous, clickbaiting vitriol spewed in her direction from all manner of media," Patrick J. Adams wrote.
- Reuters Videos
Pope Francis landed in Baghdad for what's been described as the most risky foreign trip of his time leading the Roman Catholic Church.The pontiff touched down slightly ahead of schedule at Baghdad International Airport on Friday (March 5) afternoon.He said he felt duty-bound to make the "emblematic" visit because Iraq had suffered so much for so long."It is essential to ensure the participation of all political, social, and religious groups and to guarantee the fundamental rights of all citizens. May no one be considered a second-class citizen. I encourage the strides made so far on this journey and I trust that they will strengthen tranquility and concord."The first stop was to meet Iraqi President Barham Salih at the presidential palace, where a red carpet, military band, and flock of doves greeted him.Iraq has deployed thousands of additional security personnel to protect the 84-year-old. And while he usually insists on traveling in simple and small cars, this Friday saw him in a bulletproof BMW within a massive motorcade.The country has suffered a spate of rocket and suicide bomb attacks that have raised fears for the pope’s safety.Naem Faouzi was part of a selected group of Iraqi Christians permitted to make a journey to see the pope shortly after he arrived."I never thought that I would see the Pope, honestly. It was a visit we believed to be impossible. Even though the country's conditions are poor, infrastructure is poor. (We thought) it was impossible, but it was the best surprise."Francis's whirlwind tour will take him by plane, helicopter, and possibly armored car to four cities, including areas that most foreign dignitaries are unable to reach, let alone in such a short space of time.The pope will also be making a another scheduled stop, to say Mass at a Baghdad church where militants killed 50 worshippers n 2010.
Preliminary data from a study conducted at the University of Oxford indicates that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca PLC is effective against the P1, or Brazilian, variant, a source with knowledge of the study told Reuters on Friday. Early results indicated the AstraZeneca vaccine was significantly less effective against the South African variant, which is similar to P1. The information comes as a plasma study published ahead of peer review on Monday (https://bit.ly/3bX3LBa) suggested the CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech may not work effectively against the Brazilian variant.
- Business Insider
Warship captains told the skipper of a COVID-stricken aircraft carrier he was 'doing what is right' just before the Navy fired him, emails show
"I read your letter," an aircraft carrier skipper wrote in an email to Capt. Brett Crozier. "I thought it was awesome."
- Associated Press
Pope Francis is honoring the victims of one of Iraq’s most brutal massacres of Christians by Islamic militants by saying their deaths are a reminder that violence is incompatible with authentic religious teaching. Francis was welcomed joyfully with song and a yellow and white flower necklace as he entered Our Lady of Salvation Cathedral, hours after he arrived in Iraq for the first-ever papal visit. Francis was praying at the church, where on Oct. 31, 2010 extremists gunned down worshippers in an attack that left 58 people dead.
- 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.
- Business Insider
India has reportedly threatened to jail Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp employees if the firms don't give up data regarding the farmers protests
India wrote letters to Facebook and Twitter citing specific employees in the country who risk jail time, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- The Daily Beast
Charles McQuillan/Getty ImagesAt least ten former staffers who worked for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are “queuing up” to cooperate with an investigation ordered by the queen into allegations that Meghan bullied her staff, it was claimed Thursday evening.The claim was made in the British newspaper the Mirror and is likely to be taken seriously as it was made by well-sourced royal reporter Russell Myers.Sources connected to the group, who have been assured of confidentiality as the investigation continues, said the staffers were considered to be “hugely professional and proud of their efforts” while working at Kensington Palace.One source told The Mirror, “A group of people are queuing up to be involved. They have been silent for too long and there is much to talk about.”Meghan Markle Dismisses Bullying Allegations as Pre-Oprah ‘Calculated Smear Campaign’It came after a report in the Daily Mail said that some alleged victims of workplace bullying by Meghan dub themselves the “Sussex Survivors Club” and are believed to be suffering a form of post-traumatic stress.The paper’s royal reporter Rebecca English said that during a royal tour in Fiji, “I witnessed Meghan turn and ‘hiss’ at a member of her entourage, clearly incandescent with rage about something, and demand to leave. I later saw that same—female—highly distressed member of staff sitting in an official car, with tears running down her face. Our eyes met and she lowered hers, humiliation etched on her features.”A bombshell report in The London Times Tuesday said that Meghan systematically bullied members of the staff and that her head of communications, Jason Knauf, was so appalled by Meghan’s behavior that he put his concerns in writing to his superiors. That email was leaked to The Times.Buckingham Palace responded by ordering a full investigation into the bullying claims.Meghan’s camp has been keen to point out that the complaints raised by Knauf were dropped. However, the Mirror’s source said, “The complaint was considered and those members of staff were spoken to and given the option of taking it further. For whatever reason, they decided not to, possibly because they were still in their job and they were worried about the implications.”A source close to the Sussexes told the Mirror of the palace probe: “The first we heard about this was via the press—this is a whole tit-for-tat scenario... it’s very hard to know what the process is. If this was a private company, we’ve effectively already been fired and I’m not entirely sure what any process could be.”A spokesperson for Meghan and Harry declined to comment to The Daily Beast.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.
I flew business class for 9 hours, and it made me wish I saved my money and bought an economy ticket
The writer reviewed how safe she felt, which perks she got, and the food she had during an international British Airways flight from Texas to London.
Prosecutors are working to permanently dismiss charges against Breonna Taylor's boyfriend Kenneth Walker
A judge will make a final decision on dropping charges against Breonna Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker on March 8.
- 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.
- The Daily Beast
JACK TAYLORThis story was produced in partnership with Coda Story.One month after Myanmar’s military seized power in a bloodless coup and declared a year-long state of emergency, daily protests continue to shake cities and towns across the country. Now, in addition to taking their anger to the streets, an underground movement of pro-democracy activists has unleashed a raft of new digital tools on the armed forces and police.Myanmar’s powerful military has long maintained a tight grip on the country’s finances by investing in a number of lucrative sectors, including mining, tobacco, garment manufacturing, and banking.The Feb. 1 power grab, which ousted the elected government of leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has highlighted ties to a number of businesses. International and local companies with links to the security forces have come under growing pressure from activists who say the firms are complicit in war crimes committed by the armed forces.A recent Amnesty International investigation found that shareholders in a secretive business conglomerate called Myanma Economic Holdings Limited—which is linked to international businesses such as the Japanese drinks giant Kirin Holdings and INNO Group, a South Korean property developer—have received payments of up to $18 billion over 20 years.Last week, Kirin Holdings announced it would abandon its partnership with a brewery part-owned by military generals. In a statement, the company said it was “deeply concerned” by the recent actions of the military and would be “taking steps as a matter of urgency to put this termination into effect.”The focus on businesses connected to the military has spurred the release of new mobile apps from activists in Myanmar seeking to weaken the income of the now ruling junta. Last week, the Yangon-based company Genxyz launched an app titled Way Way Nay (Stay Away). It lists 250 companies, including financial institutions, retail concerns, construction firms, media outlets, and health and beauty manufacturers with links to the military.Way Way Nay, which is available on both Google Play and Apple’s App Store, has been downloaded 70,000 times since its launch.In an interview, the app’s operations manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was looking at adding another 450 businesses to the list. “We wanted to be able to show ordinary people in Myanmar how the military is linked with all aspects of daily life. We thought an app would be a good way to remind people what to boycott when they are shopping for products or services.”The military’s efforts to quell Myanmar’s largest pro-democracy protests in more than a decade have led to increasingly repressive crackdowns in the past month. According to human rights groups, more than 50 people have been killed and nearly 1,700 detained since the armed forces took control of the country.On Wednesday, at least 38 people were killed, when security forces fired on protesters in multiple cities and towns across the country. Video footage apparently taken by residents in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, appeared to show security officials shooting one man at point-blank range. In a separate incident, CCTV footage published by Radio Free Asia showed police assaulting and detaining three ambulance workers.The severity of the official response to the protests marks the hardening of the junta’s attitude to daily demonstrations that have paralyzed the economy and large swaths of the country. On Thursday, Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, called on Myanmar's security forces to halt their “vicious crackdown on peaceful protesters” and urged the military to release the hundreds of people believed to have been unlawfully detained since February 1.Blacklist Myanmar, launched on March 3 on Android, is a guidebook for shoppers who want to avoid firms whose sales benefit Myanmar’s armed forces. Blacklist Myanmar also allows users to submit new suggestions for businesses to boycott via an in-app email function.The creator of Blacklist Myanmar, who asked to go by the pseudonym Red Warrior, explained that the app was designed to limit the military’s access to different revenue streams. “In the long term, the reason why they have all the power and all the influence is because of these businesses and brands that they have been promoting,” he said.“If people don’t support these brands or services, then our money won’t go into the military regime. We can slowly cut down their monopolizing influence on the country.”Myanmar’s digital activists have also created apps to warn ordinary citizens and protesters of the increased presence of the police and troops on the streets. Launched on Android on February 11, Myanmar Live Map takes real-time data from users to highlight areas with a high concentration of security personnel. The app, which has 40,000 users already, also reveals the locations of water cannons, roadblocks, and ambulances. All of the data is fact-checked by moderators before it is uploaded.One of the makers of Myanmar Live Map told me that the app’s designers took their cue from a similar digital street map used by protesters during pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong in 2019. He added that members of his team consulted an anonymously authored 70-page document named The HK19 Manual, widely shared by protesters in Hong Kong and recently translated from English to Burmese.Over the past month, digital activists in Myanmar have had to overcome a series of military-enforced internet outages and disruptions to mobile networks. On Thursday night, the U.K.-based organization Netblocks confirmed that national internet connectivity had plummeted for the 19th night in a row to 13 percent of pre-coup levels.Pro-democracy organizers in Southeast Asia say that Myanmar’s internet shutdowns are similar to those deployed by authoritarian governments elsewhere. Sunny Chou, a former Hong Kong protester and founder of the human rights group Umbrella Union, who sought asylum in the U.K. earlier this year, said that the interruption of internet and data services in Myanmar was a strategy widely employed by the authorities in Hong Kong. “During the height of the movement in Hong Kong, there were a few times when our apps were disabled,” he said. “Telegram was also attacked a few times so that the protesters could not properly communicate and organize their response.”However, as Myanmar’s pro-democracy demonstrations have gathered pace, the country’s digital insurgency has also sparked interest among online and offline activists in the region. In Thailand, Cambodia, and Hong Kong—places that have all been rocked by pro-democracy protests in recent years—an informal but watchful alliance of like-minded campaigners has used the internet to highlight the ongoing violence in Myanmar, while shedding light on their own oppressive regimes.Sina Wittayawiroj is a Bangkok-based visual designer and activist who first took an interest in his country’s pro-democracy movement in January 2019 when demonstrators took to the streets after the country’s ruling military junta signaled that long-postponed elections would be delayed for the fifth time in five years.Activists like Wittayawiroj have gathered on social media, spreading satirical memes and advice highlighting the violence in Myanmar under the hashtag #MilkTeaAlliance, named for a sweet drink popular across the region. Many who follow the hashtag share a common fear about China’s dominance in the region—in Thailand, for example, support for Taiwan and Hong Kong has become a rallying point for ordinary citizens who believe their own government is anti-democratic and too closely aligned with Beijing.Wittayawiroj, who works for a video production and streaming platform, said he learned about the current crisis in Myanmar from a Burmese co-worker. He has regularly posted illustrations featuring the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag since Myanmar’s Feb. 1 coup. “I talk to them a lot and try to understand the situation that people are facing. I understand there was an election, but the military took control. I felt I had to draw something to help them.”Regional experts say that the #MilkTeaAlliance has been energized by regional pro-democracy movements. “When we had the very popular pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong in 2014 and 2019, the world was watching,” said Debby Chan, a Hong Kong-based researcher who studies Sino-Myanmar relations. “The activists in Thailand and Myanmar also paid close attention to what happened in Hong Kong back then.”“When some of the Hong Kongers witness Thai and Myanmar activists in their struggle, we see ourselves in their movements,” she added.This story was produced in partnership with Coda Story.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.
Calls are growing in India for Chief Justice Sharad Bobde to resign over his "atrocious" remarks.
- Business Insider
A future COVID-19 vaccine could be squirted up the nose. The nasal spray could stop transmission, especially in kids.
A company called Altimmune is working on a nasal-spray version of a COVID-19 vaccine. The technology could stem the virus' spread better than shots.
- 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.
- Associated Press
Israel Adesanya stepped onto the UFC 259 scale in a mask and sweatpants. Few fighters love a little extra cheese more than Adesanya, whose charismatic flamboyance is as much fun as his otherworldly fighting skill. Adesanya's attempt to join the UFC's most exclusive champions' club tops the long list of reasons to be curious about UFC 259 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
The Darkhold is an ancient book of spells that could connect "WandaVision" and "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," and introduce Mephisto.
- Business Insider
Rudy Giuliani, who helped lead Trump's bogus election-fraud conspiracy theory, is being mocked after warning of the dangers of misinformation
After spending months pushing Trump's election fraud conspiracy theory, Giuliani unexpectedly warned of the dangers of misinformation.