Juan Ordoñez, 40, of North Arlington, N.J., is among the more than 500,000 Americans who have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic.This is his story »
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may have been spared direct punishment after a U.S. intelligence report implicated him in the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but he has not emerged unscathed. The declassified report, based on CIA intelligence, concludes that the prince approved an operation to "capture or kill" Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. President Joe Biden's decision to publish a report that his predecessor Donald Trump had set aside brings with it a broad refocusing of Washington's stance on dealing with the kingdom, on its human rights record, and on its lucrative arms purchases.
As many as 10 death row inmates in Oklahoma, more than one-fifth of the state's prisoners condemned to die, could escape execution because of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling concerning criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country. The inmates have challenged their convictions in state court following the high court's ruling last year, dubbed the McGirt decision, that determined a large swath of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation. The decision means that Oklahoma prosecutors lack the authority to pursue criminal charges in cases in which the defendants, or the victims, are tribal citizens.
Republican congressman Matt Gaetz attacked the way Ted Cruz's short-lived trip to Cancun, Mexico – amid a record-breaking winter storm – was reported by the media last week. The Florida congressman, who was speaking at the four-day Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando on Friday, accused the media of being 'biased' towards Mr Cruz, who was forced to return to Texas amid calls to resign last Thursday. It followed reports Mr Cruz flew to Cancun with his family on Wednesday evening as hundreds of thousands of Texans remained without water or electricity for a fourth day running.
Among the fatalities, most died from bullet wounds, a hospital source said, adding that about 120 protesters were wounded. At least 57 members of the security forces were injured, according to another hospital source and a security source. The clashes continued on Friday evening after a week of violence that erupted on Sunday when security forces fired to disperse protesters, who were trying to storm the provincial government building using rocks and Molotov cocktails.
Now, the hotel is open again as a symbol of an impending economic recovery and tourism boom in a country that has suffered the worst economic crisis in modern Latin American history. But the so-called Socialist president's touting of the luxurious, $300 per night hotel in a country where most live in poverty represents something else to others - an abandonment of a political project promising a socialist utopia in favor of an 'anything goes', capitalist kleptocracy. Since the dark days of mid-2019, when inflation hit 10 million per cent and Venezuela's weaved baskets out of useless Bolivar notes, the economy has shown signs of recovery.
The Philippines received its initial batch of COVID-19 vaccine doses on Sunday in a shipment donated by China, a day before its inoculation drive is due to begin, but President Rodrigo Duterte will not be among the first to be vaccinated. Duterte attended a ceremony to mark the arrival of the initial 600,000 doses of Sinovac Biotech's CoronaVac, which were delivered by a Chinese military aircraft ahead of a further 25 million CoronaVac doses due to be delivered in batches this year. But Duterte, who turns 77 next month, told a news briefing that, though he wants to be vaccinated, his doctor wants a different Chinese brand of vaccine for him.
Eight years after carving the heart out of a landmark voting rights law, the Supreme Court is looking at putting new limits on efforts to combat racial discrimination in voting. The justices are taking up a case about Arizona restrictions on ballot collection and another policy that penalizes voters who cast ballots in the wrong precinct. The high court's consideration comes as Republican officials in the state and around the country have proposed more than 150 measures, following last year's elections, to restrict voting access that civil rights groups say would disproportionately affect Black and Hispanic voters.
Minneapolis city council approved funding to hire social media influencers for Derek Chauvin's trial, WCCO-TV reported. The influencers will be paid to provide the local community with information about the trial. Chauvin was charged in Floyd's death, and his trial is set to begin on March 8.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) didn't exactly pull punches in an interview with Politico, going after congressional Republicans, Democrats, former President Donald Trump, and the Biden administration all in one go. Sasse, who is facing imminent censure from the Nebraska GOP for voting to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial, stands by that vote and says he's not bothered by the action his home state's Republican Party is taking against him, though he did say he thinks it's not "healthy." At one point, when asked about Trump loyalist Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Sasse simply said "that guy is not an adult," and described Congress, generally, as "a bunch of yokels screaming."
Archaeologists have unearthed a unique ancient-Roman ceremonial carriage from a villa just outside Pompeii, the city buried in a volcanic eruption in 79 AD. The almost perfectly preserved four-wheeled carriage made of iron, bronze and tin was found near the stables of an ancient villa at Civita Giuliana, around 700 metres (yards) north of the walls of ancient Pompeii. Massimo Osanna, the outgoing director of the Pompeii archaeological site, said the carriage was the first of its kind discovered in the area, which had so far yielded functional vehicles used for transport and work, but not for ceremonies.
Israel on Sunday announced plans to vaccinate tens of thousands of Palestinians who work inside Israel and its West Bank settlements, at a time of vast disparities in access to vaccines between the Israeli and Palestinian populations. Israel has launched one of the world's most successful vaccination programs, inoculating over half of its population in just two months. But it has come under international criticism for not sharing its vaccine stockpile with the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, even as it plans to share surplus vaccines with far-flung allies in Africa, Europe and Latin America.
High in the Indian Himalayas, a remote lake nestled in a snowy valley is strewn with hundreds of human skeletons. Roopkund Lake is located 5,029 metres (16,500ft) above sea level at the bottom of a steep slope on Trisul, one of India's highest mountains, in the state of Uttarakhand. The remains are strewn around and beneath the ice at the "lake of skeletons", discovered by a patrolling British forest ranger in 1942.
A man was killed by a rooster with a blade tied to its leg during an illegal cockfight in southern India, police said, bringing focus on a practice that continues in some Indian states despite a decades-old ban. The rooster, with a 3-inch knife tied to its leg, fluttered in panic and slashed its owner, 45-year-old Thangulla Satish, in his groin last week, police inspector B. Jeevan said Sunday. Jeevan said police filed a case and were looking for over a dozen people involved in organizing the cockfight.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease official, said on Sunday he would take the newly approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, as he encouraged Americans to accept any of the three approved shots. The U.S. government authorized Johnson & Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, making it the third to be available in the country following ones from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. Both of those vaccines require two doses and need to be shipped frozen.
Since signing a much-vaunted U.S.-Taliban peace agreement on Feb. 29, 2020, the United States has put enormous pressure on the Afghan government to make concessions to fulfill the Taliban's preconditions for intra-Afghan negotiations — the talks that most matter to Afghans, for they will determine the shape of the country to come. At the price of numerous painful concessions wrested from a reluctant Kabul by the special representative for Afghan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad — such as allowing the Taliban to bar almost all Afghan government officials from participation — those negotiations finally began in September in Doha, Qatar.
A Russian military helicopter made an emergency landing for technical reasons in northeast Syria on Sunday, Russia's Defense Ministry said. Syria's state media said there were casualties among the crew. Russia joined Syria's war in September 2015 and has since helped tip the balance of power in favor of President Bashar Assad's forces.
Over 300 schoolgirls have been kidnapped from a boarding school in Northern Nigeria. Gunmen attacked the school and a nearby military checkpoint, according to Associated Press. A joint rescue operation between the military and police is now said to be underway.
Saudi Arabia said Saturday it intercepted a missile attack over its capital and bomb-laden drones targeting a southern province, the latest in a series of airborne assaults it has blamed on Yemen's rebel Houthis. The Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen's yearslong war announced the Iran-allied Houthis had launched a ballistic missile toward Riyadh and three booby-trapped drones toward the province of Jizan, with a fourth toward another southwestern city and other drones being monitored. No casualties or damage were initially reported.
An Israeli-owned cargo ship that suffered a mysterious explosion in the Gulf of Oman came to Dubai's port for repairs Sunday, days after the blast that revived security concerns in Mideast waterways amid heightened tensions with Iran. Associated Press journalists saw the hulking Israeli-owned MV Helios Ray sitting at dry dock facilities at Dubai's Port Rashid. Although the crew was unharmed in the blast, the vessel sustained two holes on its port side and two on its starboard side just above the waterline, according to American defense officials.
An Ohio woman ordered held in jail pending trial on charges in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol told a federal judge late Friday that she has disbanded her armed group in Ohio and plans to cancel her membership in the Oath Keepers. Jessica Watkins, 38, of Champaign County, told U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta in the District of Columbus that she was appalled and humiliated by the events of Jan. 6. "As soon as I'm out, whether acquittal or release, I'm canceling my Oath Keepers membership," she said.
The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two. Health experts are anxiously awaiting a one-and-done option to help speed vaccinations, as they race against a virus that already has killed more than 510,000 people in the U.S. and is mutating in increasingly worrisome ways. The FDA said J&J's vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death.
Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said that he would bet his own home that Republicans take back the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterms. During a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida Mr McCarthy said to a cheering crowd: "We're going to get the majority back, we're five seats away! I would bet my house ...
Traveling across roads covered with ice and snow, vaccination teams have been going to Turkey's isolated mountain villages as the government seeks to inoculate 60% of the country's people against coronavirus over the next three months. After much effort, medical workers arrived Friday to vaccinate older villagers in Gumuslu, a small settlement of 350 in the central province of Sivas that lies 140 miles (230 kilometers) from the provincial capital. “It's a difficult challenge to come here,” said Dr Rustem Hasbek, head of Sivas Health Services.
In their own comments or by inviting skeptics to testify at legislative hearings, some GOP state lawmakers are using their platform to promote false information about the virus, the steps needed to limit its spread and the vaccines that will pull the nation out of the pandemic. In some cases, the misstatements have faced swift backlash, even getting censored online. That's raised tough questions about how aggressively to combat potentially dangerous misinformation from elected officials or during legislative hearings while protecting free speech and people's access to government.
Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio has condemned the rioters who besieged the US Capitol, but will not “cry” about lawmakers who came under attack on the day. Mr Tarrio, who was arrested two days before some members of the Proud Boys – and other Trump supporters – rioted at the US Capitol, told CNN that lawmakers did not need sympathy after the attack. The remarks come despite concerns among members of Congress that they were targets of those who broke into the complex on 6 January, citing baseless claims the 2020 election was “stolen”.
“How about we skip ‘he won’t win’ cycle and not do 2016 all over again. Trump can absolutely win another presidential election.”
“With independents deserting him, there is simply no path for Trump to get back into the White House — except as a tourist.”
“They might as well cancel the 2024 primaries...because there is no way he can lose.”
“The next Republican presidential primary will be heavily shaped by Trump — whether or not he decides to run again.”
“Donald Trump will not be running for president again. He will, however, continue to tease the possibility of a 2024 run.”