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.
Two passengers who were aboard a United Airlines flight that had to make an emergency landing after one of its engines blew apart and sent debris raining down on Colorado neighborhoods sued the company Friday. In separate lawsuits filed in Chicago, where United is based, Joseph McGinley of Honolulu and Jonathan Strawn of Sioux City, Iowa, say they have suffered personal, emotional and financial injuries following the failure of the Boeing 777's engine on Feb. 20. United declined to comment on the lawsuits, spokesperson Leslie Scott said.
China said Friday it has expressed “serious concerns” to the United States and Japan over what it calls negative moves and collusion between the two countries against China. The statement from Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian came just before President Joe Biden welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to the White House on Friday in his first face-to-face meeting with a foreign leader. That meeting is seen as reflecting Biden's emphasis on strengthening alliances to deal with a more assertive China and other global challenges.
Priti Patel's officials were repeatedly warned last year about the growing crisis over queues at Heathrow forcing passengers to wait for hours. The airport wrote twice to the Home Office – in August and December – to say urgent action was needed, including more Border Force staff to tackle lengthening queues that meant planes had to be delayed and passengers held on board jets. The disclosure follows a warning on Wednesday by Chris Garton, Heathrow's chief solutions officer, that the situation had become "untenable" as passengers faced queues of up to six hours despite arrivals being more than 80 per cent below normal.
Attorneys for a Black Army officer whom police can be heard threatening during a traffic stop in Virginia have criticized what they called "cutting-corner policing." Windsor police on Tuesday fired Officer Joe Gutierrez, who was initially disciplined after an internal review of the incident in December concluded in January. Police Chief Rodney Riddle addressed the incident publicly for the first time Wednesday, saying Gutierrez was fired after the video of the traffic stop went viral this week.
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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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
A Cook County prosecutor who said in court the boy was armed when Chicago cops shot him is now backtracking. A prosecutor who said in court that 13-year-old Adam Toledo had a gun when he was shot by Chicago Police is now backtracking on his statement. Toledo was shot and killed in the early morning hours of March 29 while police were detaining a man, Ruben Roman, responding to a call of shots fired around 2:30 a.m.
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.
The Coast Guard said Friday that it has found the body of a second dead worker from the lift boat that capsized off Louisiana's coast earlier this week. Rescuers in the air and the sea have been searching for the 19 workers who were aboard the vessel when it overturned Tuesday in rough weather about 8 miles (13 kilometers) from the Louisiana coast. The second body was found in the water near the partially submerged Seacor Power lift boat Thursday night, according the Coast Guard news release.
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.
The ex-officer accused of killing George Floyd says he will not testify on his own behalf as the defence rests their case and court is adjourned. Derek Chauvin denies killing Mr Floyd. Video of Mr Chauvin kneeling on the neck of Mr Floyd led to worldwide protests against racism and policing.
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.
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.
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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.”