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' »
President Biden's decision to keep a strict Trump-era cap on refugees was met with harsh condemnation from progressives in the House and two powerful committee chairmen in the Senate. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called the decision “simply unacceptable and unconscionable” in a statement on Friday. “After four painful years of fighting Trump's all-out draconian assault on immigrants, President Biden promised to restore America as a beacon of hope and committed to increasing our refugee resettlement numbers,” Japayal said.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy had a message Friday afternoon for the 6.8 million Americans who have received the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine and who, in recent days, have read concerning reports about blood clotting: “The vast and overwhelming likelihood is that you will be just fine,” Dr. Murthy said during a briefing of the White House COVID-19 response team. He added that the response team was quite confident in that assertion, which is in keeping with what scientists know about the vaccine. The Biden administration told states on Tuesday to stop using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six reports of blood clotting, including one death.
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.
Eritrea told the United Nations Security Council on Friday that it has agreed to start withdrawing its troops from Ethiopia's Tigray region, acknowledging publicly for the first time the country's involvement in the conflict. The admission in a letter to the 15-member council - and posted online by Eritrea's Ministry of Information - comes a day after U.N. aid chief Mark Lowcock said the world body had not seen any proof that Eritrean soldiers have withdrawn. "As the looming grave threat has been largely thwarted, Eritrea and Ethiopia have agreed - at the highest levels - to embark on the withdrawal of Eritrean forces and the simultaneous redeployment of Ethiopian contingents along the international boundary," Eritrea's U.N. Ambassador Sophia Tesfamariam wrote.
Russia on Friday responded to a barrage of new U.S. sanctions by saying it would expel 10 U.S. diplomats and take other retaliatory moves in a tense showdown with Washington. The Russian Foreign Ministry also published a list of eight current or former U.S. officials barred from entering the country, including U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also said Moscow will move to shut down those U.S. nongovernment organizations that remain in Russia to end what he described as their meddling in Russia's politics.
The encrypting of online chat by Facebook and other social media giants could put up to 700,000 children at risk of grooming by sexual predators, according to official data. Some 682,000 children aged 10 to 15 spoke to someone online they had not met in person in the past year, according to the Office for National Statistics. Of these contacts, 74 per cent were through private messages, while one in six girls received a sexual message including explicit videos or images.
An appeals court has overturned the sentence of Texas's longest-serving death row inmate, whose attorneys say has languished in prison for more than 45 years because he's too mentally ill to be executed.
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A Las Vegas man faces prison time after he traveled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and marijuana was detected in his urine, his lawyer said. Peter Clark, 51, traveled to Dubai for a business trip on Feb. 24 but was hospitalized for pancreatitis, Clark's attorney Radha Stirling wrote on her website Detained in Dubai. The hospital took a urine test, found traces of marijuana and reported it to the police, who charged Peter and took him to the Al Barsha police station on March 3, Stirling said.
Lebanon's Hezbollah has made preparations for an all-out collapse of the fracturing state, issuing ration cards for food, importing medicine and readying storage for fuel from its patron Iran, three sources familiar with the plans told Reuters. The moves, responding to a grave economic crisis, would mark an expansion of services provided by the armed movement to its large Sh'ite support base, with a network that already boasts charities, a construction firm and a pension system. The steps highlight rising fears of an implosion of the Lebanese state, in which authorities can no longer import food or fuel to keep the lights on.
Police in Indian-controlled Kashmir said Friday that they arrested one of their own officers and dismissed her for obstructing a counterinsurgency operation in the disputed region. The officer livestreamed a cordon and search operation by government forces in southern Frisal village on Wednesday “with the intent of disrupting the search operation,” police said in a statement. In the video, which went viral on social media, the woman was seen shouting: “This is our Kashmir” while hurling invectives at the raiding troops.
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.
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.
“They're celebrating Easter,” said Sasha Iovenko, a 33-year-old combat medic who has served for five years on the frontlines of Ukraine's forever war. There has been a lot of that kind of thing since February, said Sgt Iovenko, when Russian-backed separatists on the other side of no-man's land began “testing” the Ukrainian troops after a peaceful winter. After seven years, the cycle of violence on Eastern Ukraine's frontlines is not so much one of fear and loathing as weariness and uncertainty.
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.
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.
An angry crowd gathered in a park in Portland, Oregon, on Friday after police fatally shot a man while responding to reports of a person with a gun, the deputy police chief said. Deputy Police Chief Chris Davis said at a news conference that a white man in his 30s was shot and killed by police, who fired both non-lethal projectiles and a gun at him. A witness at the scene said the man, who had removed his shirt and was blocking an intersection, appeared to be in a mental health crisis, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
Reports of mass Russian troop mobilisations in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine have sparked fears of renewed war between Moscow and Kiev. In an exclusive interview with the Daily Telegraph's Senior Foreign Correspondent Roland Oliphant, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy argues that the confrontation is a test for Western values. Daily Telegraph: What do you think the Kremlin is trying to achieve with the current troop build-up?
The Central Florida man is $235.4 million richer Friday after winning the Powerball jackpot on March 27, according to the Florida Lottery. The Land O' Lakes man, at 23, is the youngest winner in Florida Lottery history to win the Powerball. Three cheers for Thomas Yi from #LandOLakes who just became Florida's 15th POWERBALL jackpot winner!
A federal judge gave the green light Thursday to move jailed R&B singer R. Kelly to New York City to go on trial this summer after several delays. Kelly has been held in Chicago, where he's facing a potential second trial in the fall in a separate federal case related to a sprawling sex crimes investigation. The trial in Brooklyn federal court had been put off because of the pandemic.
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.
A heavy metal guitarist and self-described “founding” member of the Oath Keepers who stormed the U.S. Capitol armed with bear spray has become the first Jan. 6 insurrectionist to plead guilty and cooperate with the feds, prosecutors said Friday. Jon Ryan Schaffer, a 53-year-old from Indiana, pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding and entering a restricted building with a deadly or dangerous weapon during a Friday hearing. During the hearing, Judge Amit Mehta also revealed that Schaffer will be sponsored for witness protection.
Republicans have spent the week blocking their own agenda in Congress in an attempt to "own the libs." This is the kind of foolishness you see when a party has no ambition beyond making clips for Fox News. Over the past week Republicans have been blocking their own policy goals in order to make legislating more difficult for the Democratic majority.
The Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex will be reunited behind closed doors at Windsor Castle on Saturday before laying their beloved grandfather to rest. Members of the Royal family including Prince William and Prince Harry will gather in the State Entrance Hall before the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin emerges from the State Entrance at 2.41pm. In an apparent sign of ongoing tensions between the brothers, they will not walk shoulder to shoulder in the funeral procession but will be separated by their cousin Peter Phillips, the Queen's eldest grandchild.
OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) -Experts advising Canada's most populous province of Ontario said on Friday new COVID-19 cases could more than double to 10,000 a day in June, and potentially overwhelm hospitals, even if a stay at home order is extended. The dire forecast came as Moderna said it would cut its next delivery to Canada by nearly half to 650,000 doses, and Canada announced a deal to buy 8 million more Pfizer vaccine doses. In recent weeks Ontario has closed schools, restaurants, limited in-store shopping, and cancelled elective surgeries as a surge of admissions threatened to overwhelm hospitals.
“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.”