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.
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.
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.
Ukraine must be allowed to join Nato, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the Telegraph on Friday as he warned that Russia's military build-up on his country's borders “threatens the entire democratic order”. Mr Zelenskiy reiterated his country's longstanding call for Nato membership in an exclusive interview with the Telegraph hours before travelling to Paris for talks with Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel. He backed Joe Biden's call for a bilateral summit with Vladimir Putin to defuse the crisis, warning that it was a test of “Europe and the West as a whole”.
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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.
An officer drew a gun on a young Black driver whose only infraction was driving with his headlights off, according to a lawsuit filed against a South Carolina town and its police department. Noah West was headed to a fast-food restaurant where his mother worked when a Summerville police officer pulled him over on March 21. The orders came as the officer's gun was pointed at him, according to the lawsuit filed by West's family.
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.
Danish anti-immigration activists are being sharply criticised after they put up mock travel adverts in Copenhagen telling Syrian refugees the "good news" that they can "now return to sunny Syria". The poster campaign, by the Danish wing of the far-Right Generation Identity group, came after Denmark became the first country in Europe to rule it safe for refugees to return to Syria, despite the human rights violations of the brutal Assad regime. Michala Bendixen from the rights group Refugees Welcome Denmark called the group's posters "cynical and prejudiced", adding that they exemplified a trend of immigrant-bashing in Denmark she witnessed "every day" on social media.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
Raul Castro said Friday he is resigning as head of Cuba's Communist Party, ending an era of formal leadership by he and his brother Fidel Castro that began with the 1959 revolution. The 89-year-old Castro made the announcement Friday in a speech at the opening of the Eighth congress of the ruling party, the only one allowed on the island. He said he was retiring with the sense of having "fulfilled his mission and confident in the future of the fatherland."
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”