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.
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.
Negotiations to bring the United States back into a landmark nuclear deal with Iran resumed Thursday in Vienna amid signs of progress — but also under the shadow of an attack this week on Iran's main nuclear facility. After more than two hours of talks characterized by Russia's delegate as generally positive, issues were turned back over to two working groups for continued discussion and refinement. In 2015, Iran signed an agreement with the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain that was intended to set limits on Tehran's nuclear program in order to block it from building a nuclear weapon — something it insists it doesn't want to do.
The European Union insisted on Friday that Britain not change trading rules in Northern Ireland on its own and said it would continue legal action against unilateral British action in the province for as long as necessary. European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic hosted UK negotiator David Frost for talks on Thursday evening and said that only agreements by joint bodies established by the Brexit divorce deal could provide stability in Northern Ireland. The British-ruled province is in the EU single market for goods to ensure an open border with EU member Ireland and so requires checks on goods coming from other parts of the United Kingdom.
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.
A police officer wounded during a shooting incident inside a high school in Knoxville, Tennessee, was struck by a bullet that was not fired by the gun of the student who police shot and killed, according to a preliminary investigation. A 17-year-old high school student, who opened fire at an Austin-East Magnet High School, was fatally shot on Monday during a confrontation with the police. The officers, who were responding to the scene, tracked the gunman to a bathroom where shots were fired.
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.
The Department of Homeland Security has agreed to reopen the public comment period on plans to build a number of high-powered surveillance towers along Vermont's border with the Canadian province of Quebec, Vermont's congressional delegation said Friday. U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch said in a statement that they have heard from many Vermonters in border communities with privacy concerns about the towers proposed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The White House, meanwhile, defended claims it was "passing the buck" on gun violence to Congress amid a new mass shooting at a FedEx centre in Indianapolis, and "chilling" footage of the death of 13-year-old boy Adam Toledo. In a statement condemning an "epidemic" of gun violence, Biden called on Congress to pass gun control legislation to stem the tide of killings that have "become too normal and happens every day somewhere in our nation". Last night and into the morning in Indianapolis, yet again families had to wait to hear word about the fate of their loved ones,” he said.
The Biden administration is set to sanction Russian intelligence officials over attempts to influence the 2020 election. Russian officials and entities could also be sanctioned for misconduct, including the SolarWinds hack. The sanctions may be announced this week, just days after Biden and Putin last spoke on Tuesday.
The drugmaker will deliver about 650,000 doses by the end of April, not the expected 1.2 million, Canada's Procurement Minister Anita Anand said. Moreover, one million to two million Moderna doses of the 12.3 million doses slated for the second quarter would be delayed until the third. These delivery woes further complicate European vaccine issues already being exacerbated by rare side effects linked to AstraZeneca's and Johnson & Johnson's vaccines, with Britain advising pregnant women now to get Moderna or Pfizer shots.
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Mike Tindall has paid tribute to his grandfather-in-law, the Duke of Edinburgh, calling him a "devoted family man who we will forever miss but always love." The former England centre who married the Queen and Prince Philip's granddaughter, Zara Phillips paid a personal tribute on Instagram, sharing a photo of his eldest daughter Mia enjoying a picnic at a log cabin with the Duke. "It's been a very sad week but it has given us time to reflect on great memories and stories both personal and shared," Mr Tindall said.
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.
Raúl Castro said he will resign as head of Cuba's Communist Party Friday, giving up the island's most powerful post amid a crushing economic crisis, The Associated Press reported. The announcement was made during the opening day of the party's four-day congress in Havana, according to the report. It means that for the first time in over six decades there will be no Castro at the helm of the government.
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.
Bank of America says about half of Biden's infrastructure plan is traditional, or physical, infrastructure. This contrasts with the GOP argument that less than 6% of Biden's plan goes to roads and bridges. The bank added that nontraditional infrastructure will take longer to prompt economic growth.
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.
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.
Former vice president Mike Pence is recovering after surgery to install a pacemaker, a small device to regulate a heartbeat. Mr Pence is expected to fully recover and return to normal activity in the coming days following the procedure, described as “routine surgery”. While Sanders praised Joe Biden's commitment to withdraw troops from Afghanistan before the 20th anniversary of September 11, he made clear it was a deal negotiated by the former president.
A 52-year-old woman walking with her boyfriend in the Bronx was fatally shot Wednesday afternoon, and her boyfriend then ran down the suspect with his car.
More than 31.4 million people in the United States have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Friday morning, April 16, according to Johns Hopkins University. Federal officials on Tuesday called for a pause on using the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after six women developed rare blood clots days after receiving the single-dose shots. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it's joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in urging a halt on administering the single-shot vaccines.
President Joe Biden has echoed his demands to Congress to pass gun control legislation in the wake of another mass shooting and the deaths of eight people fatally shot at a FedEx facility in Indiana on Thursday night. “Last night and into the morning in Indianapolis, yet again families had to wait to hear word about the fate of their loved ones,” he said. In a statement on Friday, the president condemned the “epidemic” of gun violence in the US following the killings, just one week after his administration issued a series of executive actions with the Justice Department to curb the proliferation of certain firearms.
Major firms like Microsoft and top government agencies were attacked, and sensitive data was exposed. Foreign hackers, who some top US officials believe are from Russia, were able to use the hack to spy on private companies like the elite cybersecurity firm FireEye and the upper echelons of the US Government, including the Department of Homeland Security and Treasury Department.
“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.”