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.
In an effort to "follow in President Trump's footsteps," a new America First Caucus led by far-right lawmakers is seeking to protect "Anglo-Saxon political traditions." The new caucus is recruiting members, reports Punchbowl News, and is appealing to a "common respect for Anglo-Saxon political traditions," including pushing for infrastructure that "befits the progeny of European architecture." Punchbowl described the materials being distributed as "some of the most nakedly nativist rhetoric we've ever seen."
A 34-year-old man is in critical condition after he put on a mask and attempted to rob his grandfather, according to police in the North Carolina. The grandfather, who was not identified, “suffered facial injuries” during the incident, Long View police said in a news release. The suspect, identified as Jessie Dwayne Gibson, fled on foot and “was later located at a nearby hotel with life-threatening injuries,” police said.
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.
Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai was jailed for 12 months on Friday along with four other veteran democracy activists for helping to lead one of the city's biggest-ever protests. Organisers say 1.7 million people – almost one quarter of Hong Kong's population – turned out for a huge rally that formed the backbone of demonstrations that wracked the city throughout 2019. Mr Lai was among nine of Hong Kong's most prominent democracy campaigners found guilty of organising and participating in the rally.
The Biden administration on Friday said it will invest $1.7 billion to help states and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fight COVID-19 variants that are rapidly spreading across the United States. The investment, which will be part of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, will improve detection, monitoring, and mitigation of these variants by scaling up genomic sequencing efforts - a key step in containing the spread, the White House said. In early February, U.S. laboratories were only sequencing about 8,000 COVID-19 strains per week.
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The gunman who killed eight people at a FedEx facility in the US city of Indianapolis was a former employee, the company says. He began shooting "randomly" almost immediately after exiting his car, according to police. Seven people were also injured and the gunman apparently killed himself minutes before police arrived, officials say.
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.
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.
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.
The driver and passenger of a vehicle were killed in a shootout with a San Antonio police officer on Friday, as a casual encounter abruptly turned into a life-or-death struggle that left the officer and another passenger wounded, police said. The incident was at least the second time this week that a police traffic stop turned deadly, following the high-profile fatal shooting on Sunday of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb. The gunfire in San Antonio erupted shortly after police pulled over the vehicle and an officer engaged the driver in what appeared to be casual conversation for a few minutes, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said.
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?
An angry crowd gathered in a park in Oregon's largest city Friday after police fatally shot a man while responding to reports of a person with a gun, Portland's deputy police chief said. Deputy Police Chief Chris Davis told reporters that a white man in his 30s was shot and killed by police, who opened fire with a gun and weapons that fire non-lethal projectiles. The police investigation into the shooting was being hampered by a “decent-sized crowd of fairly aggressive people” who showed up at the park within two hours of the shooting.
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.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence received a heart pacemaker device during routine surgery on Wednesday and is expected to fully recover, his spokesman said on Thursday. Pence, 61, who previously disclosed an "asymptomatic" heart condition, underwent the procedure at the Inova Fairfax medical facility in Virginia after experiencing symptoms associated with a slow heart rate over the past two weeks, spokesman Devin O'Malley said in a statement. “I am grateful for the swift professionalism and care of the outstanding doctors, nurses and staff at Inova Heart and Vascular Institute," Pence said in a statement, adding thanks to his doctors in his home state of Indiana.
Raúl Castro says he is resigning as Cuban Communist Party leader, ending his family's six decades in power. The move, which was expected, ends the era of formal leadership by him and his brother Fidel Castro, which began with the 1959 revolution. "I believe fervently in the strength and exemplary nature and comprehension of my compatriots," he told party delegates in Havana on Friday.
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.
The European Union's imports from Britain almost halved in the first two months of the year following the UK exit from the EU single market, data showed on Friday, and the 27-nation bloc's trade surplus with Britain rose as exports fell by less. The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said EU imports from Britain dropped 47.0% year-on-year in January-February to 16.6 billion euros ($19.9 billion) while exports to the United Kingdom declined only 20.2% to 39.8 billion euros.
Kansas Republican Sen. Roger Marshall and Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley were two of only six lawmakers to vote Wednesday evening against advancing legislation intended to curb hate crimes against Asian Americans. The Senate voted 92 to 6 to advance the measure from Hawaii Democratic Sen. Maize Hirono, which orders the Department of Justice to “facilitate the expedited review of COVID–19 hate crimes” following a recent string of high-profile attacks against Asian Americans.
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.
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!
Sen. Ted Cruz has stopped wearing a mask while at the Capitol, according to a CNN report on Thursday. Defending his decision, the Texas Republican told CNN that since he got the COVID-19 vaccine and "everybody working in the Senate" has also received their shots, he no longer chooses to don a face-covering.
“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.”