The number of new coronavirus cases per week has nearly doubled globally over the past two months, approaching the highest rate seen so far during the pandemic.'Situation is extremely challenging' »
A Spanish court has provoked outrage by acquitting a man of sexually abusing his 14-year-old stepdaughter despite the fact she gave birth to his child. The Pamplona court accepted the defendant's claim that the teenager had sat astride him while he was asleep on the sofa and engaged in penetrative sex. The girl's mother reported the father for alleged sexual abuse of her daughter, who initially said she had been raped in the street before changing her story to corroborate her stepfather's claim that he had not been conscious when they had sex.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden signed an order on Friday limiting U.S. refugee admissions this year to the historically low 15,000 cap set under his predecessor Donald Trump, a senior administration official said, shelving a plan to raise it to 62,500 and drawing the ire of refugee advocates and some Democratic lawmakers. The decision was a blow to advocacy groups that wanted the Democratic president to move swiftly to reverse the refugee policies of the Republican Trump, who had set the 15,000 figure as a way to limit immigration. Biden, who took office in January, had signaled two months ago plans to raise the cap to 62,500 during the 2021 fiscal year ending on Sept. 30, but held off on actually doing so.
Israel's foreign minister said Friday that his country was determined to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon, after Tehran promised to step up its uranium enrichment process. “We will do whatever it takes to prevent the extremists (in Iran) from succeeding, and definitely will prevent this regime from having a nuclear weapon,” Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi told reporters on a visit to Cyprus. Iranian officials say the country will begin enriching uranium up to 60% purity following an attack on its nuclear facility at Natanz, in central Iran, on Sunday, that it blamed on Israel.
The European Union has agreed to impose sanctions on another 10 individuals linked to the Feb. 1 coup in Myanmar and to target two businesses run by the armed forces for the first time in protest at the military takeover, two diplomats said. The measures, which the diplomats said could take effect next week, would target two companies that generate revenue for the Myanmar Armed Forces. While the EU has an arms embargo on Myanmar and targeted 11 senior military officials last month, the decision to target two companies is the most significant response so far for the bloc since the coup that ousted an elected government led by Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
China said Friday it has expressed “serious concerns” to the United States and Japan over what it calls negative moves and collusion between the two countries against China. The statement from Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian came just before President Joe Biden welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to the White House on Friday in his first face-to-face meeting with a foreign leader. That meeting is seen as reflecting Biden's emphasis on strengthening alliances to deal with a more assertive China and other global challenges.
La Soufriere volcano shot out another explosive burst of gas and ash on Friday as a cruise ship arrived to evacuate some of the foreigners who had been stuck on a St. Vincent island coated in ash from a week of violent eruptions. Friday morning's blast “wasn't a big explosion compared to the ones that we last weekend, but it was big enough to punch a hole through the clouds," said Richard Robertson, lead scientist at the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center, in an interview with local NBC radio. During a comparable eruption cycle in 1902, explosive eruptions continued to shake the island for months after an initial burst killed some 1,700 people, though the new eruptions so far have caused no reported deaths among a population that had received official warning a day earlier that danger was imminent.
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Scientists at Johnson & Johnson on Friday refuted an assertion in a major medical journal that the adenovirus-based design of their COVID-19 vaccine, which is similar AstraZeneca's, may explain why both have been linked to very rare brain blood clots in some vaccine recipients. The United States earlier this week paused distribution of the J&J vaccine to investigate six cases of a rare brain blood clot known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), accompanied by a low blood platelet count, in U.S. women under age 50, out of about 7 million people who got the shot. The blood clots in patients who received the J&J vaccine bear close resemblance to 169 cases in Europe reported with the AstraZeneca vaccine, out of 34 million doses administered there.
Crews have suspended the search for a missing man, who is now presumed dead, after officials spotted a capsized kayak on Sunday and rescued his dog from Carter Lake in Colorado, according to officials. The Larimer County Sheriff's Office officials said on Friday that the search has been suspended after teams have spent more than 700 hours looking for the man believed to be from Loveland. Rangers found an uninjured dog wearing a flotation device and a kayak in the lake Sunday afternoon but no kayaker.
The French embassy in Pakistan on Thursday advised all of its nationals and companies to temporarily leave the country after anti-France violence erupted in the Islamic nation over the arrest of a radical leader. Saad Rizvi was arrested Monday for threatening the government with mass protests if it did not expel French envoy Marc Baréty over the publication depictions of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes Von Der Muhll said about 400 to 500 French nationals live in Pakistan and they will be able to leave via commercial flights.
The billionaire media mogul Jimmy Lai is one of the most prominent supporters of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement. Mr Lai was 12 years old when he fled his village in mainland China, arriving in Hong Kong as a stowaway on a fishing boat. Like a number of the city's famed tycoons, he went from a menial role, toiling in a Hong Kong sweatshop, to founding a multi-million dollar empire.
A 2-year-old Georgia girl died Thursday, almost a week after she was found unresponsive in the swimming pool of the Florida Keys vacation rental home in which she and her family were staying. Leland Rudeen's family released a statement on Facebook Thursday saying that she had died a day after undergoing an MRI at Nicklaus Children's Hospital near South Miami. “Shortly after the devastating MRI results, as we were trying to wrap our head around some hard decisions ahead of us, Leland took the choice out of our hands and started her painless decline,” the statement reads.
The coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions that Michigan's governor, Gretchen Whitmer, enacted in March last year were among the nation's toughest, and the governor's leadership is thought to have saved lives. Now, as Michigan faces another surge of cases and hospitalizations, its worst yet, Whitmer has changed tack. Despite past success and growing calls for another lockdown from public health experts, and doctors managing hospitals with Covid patients, the governor is resisting further restrictions, and is instead largely relying on a vaccination rollout and a voluntary suspension of in-person dining services.
In a flurry of statements, the US published a vast trove of information about Russian intelligence activities, including naming front organisations and individuals who have worked with Moscow in recent years. The aim of the measures was to send a signal and to impose costs, making it harder for Russia to operate and deter future activity. One Russian tech company which supports the Federal Security Service (FSB) but also does work for foreign governments and international companies was accused of hosting "large-scale conventions that are used as recruiting events" for two Russian intelligence services.
Nearly six years after William Evans was found shot and cold in a Durham parking lot, his grandson pleaded guilty to shooting the 65-year-old man with his own gun. Under a plea agreement, Dominick Jackson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to up to nearly 10 years in prison, with credit for the more than five years he spent in jail awaiting trial. Under North Carolina sentencing laws, courts must consider mitigating and aggravating factors that could decrease or increase the sentence.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Thursday to sell Afghan leaders and a wary public on President Joe Biden's decision to withdraw all American troops from the country and end America's longest war. Blinken sought to assure senior Afghan politicians that the United States remains committed to the country despite Biden's announcement a day earlier that the 2,500 U.S. soldiers remaining in the country would be coming home by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that led to the U.S. invasion in 2001.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin confirmed on Thursday that he will not testify in his murder trial. Mr Chauvin is currently standing trial for the murder of unarmed Black man George Floyd, who died in the former Minneapolis police officer's custody last May. Meanwhile, Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter's first court hearing on second-degree manslaughter charges is scheduled for today.
On Thursday, Katie Wright, the mother of Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old Black man shot and killed by police in Brooklyn Center, Minn. expressed her grief and called for accountability for her son's death.
Famous musicians long aligned with the communist government poke a finger at the revolution with a song that mocks a slogan penned by Fidel Castro. Cuba's upcoming Communist Party Congress, in which Raúl Castro is expected to hand the reins of power to a younger generation of leaders, coincides not just with a deep economic crisis but also the advent of a nascent civil society movement demanding greater freedoms and channeling growing discontent on the island. In the lead up to the conclave, opposition groups have called on Cuba's leaders to open the debate on the island's future to a more diverse range of voices and consider significant reforms to the island's one-party system and Soviet-style economy.
A federal judge is demanding that a Pennsylvania woman arrested for her alleged role in the Capitol riot, Rachel Powell, explain why a video of her circulating online shows her wearing a porous, mesh mask despite another judge's order to comply with Covid mask requirements while she awaits trial. U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said Powell's decision to wear the obviously noncompliant mask “mocks” the initial requirement decreed by the court's chief judge, Beryl Howell, soon after Powell's release in February. Defendant must wear a mask whenever she leaves her residence,” Howell ruled at the time.
Lawmakers who criticized Trump or voted to impeach him spent thousands to improve personal security after the Capitol attack. Republicans including Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney beefed up their security, per Punchbowl News. Prominent lawmakers spent tens of thousands of dollars on private security guards and other protection following the Capitol riots, a Punchbowl News analysis of campaign finance records shows.
Eric Stillman fatally shot the 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago on March 29. A lawyer for the police officer who fatally shot the 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago has complained that few people have asked how his client is doing. The lawyer for Eric Stillman said in a statement quoted by The Daily Beast: "What is amazing and disheartening is that very few have asked about the welfare of the officer."
An army investigation has revealed that helicopters used during George Floyd protests in June last year showed a “systemic lack of understanding” by the National Guard “of how to use military aviation to respond to civil disturbances.” The investigation into low-flying helicopters during protesters has now resulted in disciplinary action against those involved in the operation. Major General William Walker, commander of the Washington, DC Guard, launched an investigation after reports of helicopters flying low over demonstrators near Capitol One Arena on the evening of June 1.
US president Joe Biden has announced sanctions against a number of Russian officials and ordered the immediate expulsion of ten diplomats from the country, following allegations of election interference and hacking. The US government said for the first time on Thursday that that the hack, which affected at least 100 private-sector businesses and nine federal agencies, was carried out by Russia. The US has also alleged that Russian president Vladimir Putin authorised attempts to swing the 2020 US presidential election in favour of Donald Trump.
GOP Reps. Greene and Boebert voted against a bill that would renew the National Marrow Donor Program. "Nothing in this bill prevents the funding of aborted fetal tissue," a spokesman for Greene said. GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado were the only members of Congress to vote against a bill that would provide patients who suffer from leukemia or other blood diseases access to potentially life-saving bone marrow transplants.
“There’s no ‘both sides of the debate’ when it comes to active voter suppression.”
“Companies that do this ooze contempt for their own customers and employees who are not in the leftmost quarter of opinion.”
“The truth is that Fortune 500 companies were never taking moral stances from the goodness of their corporate hearts.”
“The truth is, the companies hold the cards…If companies stick to their guns, Georgia is likely to back down as well.”
“When a company folds to the unfounded outrage of a few misinformed nuts, they are forever at the mob’s beck-and-call.”