Amid new virus strains and plateauing case numbers, the Biden administration is in the difficult position of issuing warnings to a public exhausted by all it still can’t do.States rolling back restrictions »
A group of Democratic senators is urging President Joe Biden to support recurring direct payments to lower-income Americans, arguing that regular, additional cash assistance is necessary until the economy fully recovers from the pandemic-induced downturn. The proposal — which likely would face an uphill climb to become law even if gained wide support within the Democratic Party — would build on the means-tested, one-time $1,400 stimulus check included in Biden's coronavirus relief bill, which passed the House last week and is now under consideration in the Senate. The senators, who also requested Biden support automatic unemployment insurance extensions, said they would like the president to include the ideas in a future economic recovery bill.
An Ohio mother who told police her 6-year-old son was missing now faces murder and other charges in connection with his death. Before Brittney Gosney filed a missing persons report with the Middeltown Division of Police on Sunday, authorities said she tried to abandon James Robert Hutchinson in a wildlife area and ran over him when he attempted to get back into the car. Gosney, 29, told investigators she sped off and dragged Hutchinson in Preble County on Friday, according to court records obtained by NBC affiliate WWBT.
The Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans is asking Catholics to avoid the recently-approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which it says is “morally compromised” by its “extensive use of abortion-derived cell lines.” In a statement on Friday, the archdiocese noted that while deciding whether to receive the vaccine is an individual choice, that “the latest vaccine from Janssen/Johnson & Johnson is morally compromised as it uses the abortion-derived cell line in development and production of the vaccine as well as the testing.” While a number of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers have used cells originally derived from an aborted fetus in the 1970s, the archdiocese argues that Johnson & Johnson “extensive use” is worse than that of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, which used the cells lines only to test their vaccines, according to Religion News Service.
At the White House COVID-19 response team briefing on Monday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky expressed concern about a leveling off of the decline in weekly coronavirus cases.
The plane laden with vaccines had just rolled to a stop at Santiago's airport in late January, and Chile's president, Sebastián Piñera, was beaming. The source of that hope: China – a country that Chile and dozens of other nations are depending on to help rescue them from the COVID-19 pandemic. China's vaccine diplomacy campaign has been a surprising success: It has pledged roughly half a billion doses of its vaccine to more than 45 countries, according to a country-by-country tally by The Associated Press.
Jill Biden will travel to Connecticut and Pennsylvania on Wednesday with newly confirmed Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, a testament to a first lady well on the move. Why it matters: Biden already is the only first lady to hold a full-time job. Now, she's built a robust staff in the East Wing and is planning a busy travel schedule of her own.
Investigators with the Manhattan District Attorney's office are taking a closer look at Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, as they continue a probe into former President Donald Trump and his family business, people with knowledge of the matter told The New York Times. Weisselberg, 73, has worked for the Trump Organization for decades, starting at the company when it was helmed by Fred Trump, the former president's father. Two people familiar with the matter said prosecutors have been asking witnesses about Weisselberg, and spoke with one person about Weisselberg's sons — Barry, the property manager of Trump Wollman Rink in Central Park, and Jack, who works at Ladder Capital, one of Trump's lenders.
Utah senator Mitt Romney says he “took a fall” while visiting his grandkids in Boston over the weekend, knocking him unconscious and sending him to the hospital. Sen @MittRomney has a black eye and stitches, says he took a fall while visiting his son in Boston, “I took a fall, knocked me unconscious but I'm doing better.” Joked: “I went to CPAC, that was a problem...”
The head of the Los Angeles teachers union condemned California's plan to reopen schools as “propagating structural racism,” after the deal was announced on Monday. Governor Gavin Newsom reached the deal with state lawmakers to provide $2 billion in financial incentives for schools that reopen various grades for in-person learning by the end of March. Under the terms of the plan, counties with new daily coronavirus case rates of seven or fewer per 100,000 must open elementary schools and at least one grade in middle or high school for in-person learning in order to receive a share of the $2 billion in funds.
A Japanese a woman in her 60s died from a brain haemorrhage three days after receiving a Pfizer coronavirus vaccination, the health ministry said on Tuesday, adding that there may not be a link between the two. The woman was vaccinated on Friday and is suspected to have suffered a brain haemorrhage three days later, on Monday, it said. It was Japan's first reported death following a vaccination.
After the U.S. House of Representatives approved President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus deal and sent it to the Senate, White House officials indicated Biden is open to lowering the income threshold for direct payments. The legislation passed by the House last week includes $1,400 direct payments for individuals making up to $75,000 a year and married couples earning up to $150,000 a year. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Fox News Sunday that Biden is willing to lower the maximum income for stimulus check eligibility to “ensure they hit the Americans who need that help the most.”
Wealthy alumni are threatening to pull their donations from the University of Texas at Austin because students have been protesting the university's controversial alma mater song, The Texas Tribune reports. "The Eyes of Texas," which plays after football games, is a cherished tradition for many, but it was historically performed at campus minstrel shows, and the title is linked to a saying from Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. It appears, however, many donors consider the movement to be the product of "cancel culture" and "Marxist ideology," and emails obtained by the Tribune show they're willing to pull their financial support for the university over the issue.
On March 4, Donald Trump will be triumphantly returned to power to help save the world from a shadowy syndicate of Satan-worshipping pedophiles – or at least that is what a small fraction of American citizens believe. Adherents of the same conspiracy theory, QAnon, had previously marked Jan. 20, the day of Joe Biden's inauguration, as the big day. As Biden ascended the steps of the Capitol to take the presidential oath of office, tens of thousands of adherents of QAnon were eagerly awaiting the imminent arrest and execution of Democratic politicians in a “storm” that would upend the social and political order.
Senate Democrats set the stage to advance the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill without a minimum wage increase. "I expect a hearty debate and some late nights," Schumer said on Monday. Senate Democrats are preparing to advance the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill this week as efforts to push through a $15-per-hour minimum wage with a new tax penalty for large corporations crumbled over the weekend.
An analysis by the Food and Drug Administration found that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 85 percent effective at preventing severe Covid-19 and 100 percent effective at preventing death. In the U.S., the single dose was 72 percent effective at preventing moderate to severe disease. Moderna's vaccine is 94 percent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19, and Pfizer's vaccine was found to be 95 percent effective.
Merrick Garland could be confirmed as the next US attorney general as early as this week, after the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced his nomination for consideration before the full chamber by a bipartisan 15-7 vote. Mr Garland has breezed through his nomination process with the Senate Democratic majority controlling committee gavels. The longtime DC Circuit Court judge's ascent to the top spot in Justice Department leadership has been welcomed by Democrats and even some Republicans as a welcome change from the tumult of the Donald Trump years.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hit back at Sen. Ted Cruz after he mocked her during his CPAC speech. Ocasio-Cortez again criticized Cruz for fleeing Texas during the recent electrical-grid collapse. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hit back at Sen. Ted Cruz after the Texas Republican mocked her in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, on Friday.
If any further proof was needed of the vast unexplored wonders of the deep sea, this would fit the bill: researchers in New Zealand have discovered three new shark species that glow in the dark. The study, published in the Frontiers in Marine Science journal, explains how the kitefin shark, the blackbelly lanternshark, and the southern lanternshark were found during a survey off the Chatham rise, an oceanic area off New Zealand's east coast, in January 2020. Among the three glowing sharks, the kitefin shark is now the largest-known luminous underwater creature.
Days after far-right rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol, Montana state Rep. Braxton Mitchell introduced a resolution aimed at the opposite end of the political spectrum: “antifa,” the loosely affiliated left-wing anti-fascist movement. The bill is the latest attempt to push penalties on the left even as national-security experts plead with lawmakers to watch for new attacks from the far right. After Mitchell, a freshman lawmaker, introduced it in a contentious Montana House meeting on Feb. 16, most of the bill's Republican co-sponsors yanked their names from the measure.
Investigators are scrutinising new video evidence that appears to show chemical irritants sprayed at officer Brian Sicknick during the US Capitol riot as they work to determine his cause of death. Quoting law enforcement sources and people familiar with the matter, multiple outlets report that investigators are looking at whether there are any connections between a possible chemical assault on Officer Sicknick during the riot and the medical distress that led to his death. It comes as anonymous sources told The Washington Post that Officer Sicknick's death was not believed to be from blunt force trauma, despite early reports he was struck in the head by a fire extinguisher.
A newly declassified US intel report said the Saudi crown prince approved Jamal Khashoggi's killing. Joe Biden announced new sanctions over the murder but has declined to punish the crown prince. A US official told The Washington Post it's because Biden wanted to heal the US-Saudi relationship.
US Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, said Monday he will "never" change his mind on the filibuster. The filibuster means that 60 votes are needed to pass most legislation in the Senate. "Jesus Christ, what don't you understand about 'never'?" Manchin said.
The state Supreme Court agreed Monday with unusual speed to hear former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor's appeal of his third-degree murder conviction. Noor's lawyer Thomas Plunkett filed a petition last Thursday, asking the court to hear the case. It is extremely rare for the court to grant review so quickly but the charge Noor appealed has implications in the case against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer set to go on trial in Hennepin County District Court on Monday in the death of George Floyd.
This week, President Joe Biden's senior advisor, Cedric Richmond, confirmed that the White House plans “to start acting now” on reparations for African-American citizens. Richmond made the stunning admission to journalist Mike Allen during Sunday evening's broadcast of Axios on HBO. In the interview, the former Louisiana lawmaker explained to Allen that Biden remains consistent in his support of H.R. 40, the House of Representatives bill that received a Congressional hearing last month, that would look into the issue of reparations.
“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.”