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' »
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.
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.
President Biden on Friday signed an emergency determination to speed the processing of prospective refugees, but will retain the Trump administration's refugee cap of 15,000-per-year, backtracking on an earlier pledge to raise the cap and allow for additional refugee resettlement. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Congress on February 12 that the Biden administration planned to raise the cap to allow up to 62,500 refugees to settle in the U.S. by the end of the current fiscal year. The Biden administration was concerned that raising the refugee cap would put undue pressure on the Department of Health and Human Services while the agency attempts to house migrant children at the southern border, a senior administration official told the New York Times.
Scientists at Johnson & Johnson on Friday refuted an assertion in a major medical journal that the 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.
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.
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.
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Face masks will not be used at a series of large-scale pilot events in the coming weeks as ministers plan for the return of mass gatherings without Covid rules. Trials that involve suspending combinations of restrictions including face coverings and social distancing will take place at up to 15 pilots before the end of May. The moves will be offset by a requirement for all event attendees to show a negative Covid test, but the Government confirmed on Friday that it will not be trailing the use of vaccine passports in the pilots.
Fifty American flags were recently placed along Miami Springs' popular Curtiss Parkway walking path as a show of local patriotism. “One nation is a right-wing, 501 (4)(c), dark-money fundraising group,” said resident Dan Wells, at last Monday's City Council meeting. Wells referred to a section of Miami Springs' code that states: “No political or election signs may be placed or located on the swales, medians, sidewalks, streets, alleys, bike paths or other public rights-of-way of the City.”
The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Blood type not a factor in COVID-19 risks in U.S. patients Blood type does not affect susceptibility to COVID-19 in U.S. patients, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed data on nearly 108,000 people from Utah, Idaho, and Nevada who were tested for COVID-19 and whose blood type was listed in their medical records.
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.
She said that 10 of the first 12 U.S. presidents had been slave owners. That's true, but the full list is longer. Among the first 12, Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk, and Zachary Taylor were slave owners, eight of them while in office.
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 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.
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.
Reports are emerging of Brazilian health workers forced to intubate patients without the aid of sedatives, after weeks of warnings that hospitals and state governments risked running out of critical medicines. One doctor at the Albert Schweitzer municipal hospital in Rio de Janeiro told the Associated Press that for days health workers diluted sedatives to make their stock last longer. Lack of required medicines is the latest pandemic problem to befall Brazil, which is experiencing a brutal COVID-19 outbreak that has flooded the nation's intensive care units.
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.
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.
Google broke Australian law by misleading users about personal location data collected through Android mobile devices, a judge found Friday. The Federal Court decision was a partial win for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the nation's fair trade watchdog, which has been prosecuting Google for broader alleged breaches of consumer law since October 2019. Justice Thomas Thawley found that Google misled Android mobile device users about personal location data collected between January 2017 and December 2018.
Ted Cruz was among six Republicans who voted against a bill on Wednesday that would strengthen federal efforts to end rampant anti-Asian hate crimes in America. An overwhelming majority of senators voted to advance the legislation directing the Justice Department to "facilitate the expedited review" of hate crimes against Asian communities. But six Republicans — Texas senator Mr Cruz, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Josh Hawley from Missouri, Rand Paul from Kentucky, Tommy Tuberville from Alabama, and Roger Marshall from Kansas — voted against it.
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."
As some countries look towards an end to the coronavirus pandemic, Brazil is facing an ever-worsening crisis, with overwhelmed health systems and a soaring death toll leading to a significant number of babies dying from Covid-19. The South American country's seven-day rolling average for deaths reached more than 3,000 this month, as the medical NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned that a “humanitarian catastrophe” was unfolding due to government mismanagement of the pandemic. Dr Christos Christou, MSF's international president, said far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro's government had all but refused to introduce “evidence-based comprehensive public health guidelines”.
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.
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“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.”