Britain's highest court on Friday rejected a bid by a woman who was stripped of her U.K. citizenship for joining the Islamic State group to return to challenge the decision.'There is no perfect solution' »
President Biden and Senate Democrats drew fire from progressives after opting to not fight a ruling that would strip a $15 minimum wage increase from the Senate's COVID-19 relief legislation. To pass the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan with just 50 votes, Democrats in the Senate are using a process called budget reconciliation, which requires the approval of the Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough. On Wednesday, MacDonough ruled that the provision increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 by 2025 violated the Senate's “Byrd rule,” which prohibits “extraneous” provisions from being included in budget legislation passed through reconciliation.
AstraZeneca will deliver 180 million COVID-19 vaccines to Europe in the second quarter, including 20 million to Italy, the head of its Italian unit was quoted as saying on Thursday, but EU officials remained wary about supply. Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing an EU official directly involved in talks with the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, that AstraZeneca expected to deliver less than half the COVID-19 vaccines it was contracted to supply the European Union in the second quarter. Lorenzo Wittum, CEO and chairman of AstraZeneca in Italy, told daily Il Corriere della Sera that Italy would receive more than 5 million shots by the end of March, fewer than the 8 million previously agreed, leading to a total of 25 million doses by June.
In the digital universe, the young netizens in India and Pakistan have no problem sharing across a tense and often violent border between the two rival states. The latest example is an Instagram video of a Pakistani teenage influencer suggesting people need to party (“pawri”). It went viral in India, sparking joyous spinoffs.
Stacey Abrams, whose voting rights work helped make Georgia into a swing state, exhorted Congress on Thursday to reject “outright lies" that have historically restricted access to the ballot as Democrats began their push for a sweeping overhaul of election and ethics laws. “A lie cloaked in the seductive appeal of election integrity has weakened access to democracy for millions,” Abrams, a Democrat who narrowly lost Georgia's 2018 gubernatorial race, said during a committee hearing for the bill, which was introduced as H.R. 1 to signal its importance to the party's agenda. Democrats feel a sense of urgency to enact the legislation ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, when their narrow majorities in the House and Senate will be at risk.
Philippine police said on Thursday they were looking into a government review of thousands of killings in the country's "war on drugs", after the justice minister made an unprecedented admission to the United Nations of widespread police failures. Human Rights Watch described Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra's video statement on Wednesday as an "astounding disclosure". Guevarra said police had in many cases failed to examine weapons and crime scenes after officers had shot dead suspected drug dealers.
President Joe Biden heads to Texas on Friday to tour some of the areas hit hardest by the winter storm last week. While he's there, he won't be meeting with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz has a speaking engagement that day at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Josh Venable, a longtime Michigan GOP operative and chief of staff to former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, can trace the arc of the state's Republican Party clearly. “This was the state where to be Republican was defined by Gerald Ford and George Romney,” Venable said, referring to the moderate former president and former governor. Now, he said, it's defined by Mike Shirkey, the state Senate majority leader who was overheard calling the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot a “hoax"; Meshawn Maddock, the new co-chair of the state party who backed former President Donald Trump's false claims of voter fraud; and the Proud Boys.
China is expected to reveal a robust increase in defence spending at the March 5 annual opening of parliament, as its economy rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic and military tensions rise, Chinese and Western security experts said. With the coronavirus hammering its economy, China last year announced a 6.6 per cent boost in defence spending to $178 billion, the lowest rate of increase in three decades. The new administration of President Joe Biden has moved quickly to remind Beijing that the United States intends to compete with China's growing influence and military strength in the Asia-Pacific.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he would "absolutely" support former President Donald Trump again if he secured the Republican nomination in 2024.
Plans to ramp up production of chips in Taiwan have been hampered by droughts, affecting factories' water supplies. US President Joe Biden has signed an executive order calling for a 100-day review to increase domestic production of chips in the long term. The island nation, one of the world's biggest producers of chips, had promised to help the US, Germany and Japan by speeding up manufacture.
Mohammad Mosaed is an Iranian reporter who has twice been arrested by the government. The Committee to Protect Journalists awarded him its 2020 International Press Freedom Award. Mohammad Mosaed, an Iranian freelance journalist who has twice been arrested by the government for his investigative reporting and criticism of Iranian officials, was detained by Turkish border officials earlier this year after fleeing Iran following a prison summons.
Myanmar's U.N. ambassador strongly opposed the military coup in his country and appealed for “the strongest possible action from the international community” to restore democracy in a dramatic speech to the U.N. General Assembly Friday that drew loud applause from diplomats from the world body's 193 nations. Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun urged all countries to issue public statements strongly condemning the military coup and refuse to recognize the military regime and ask its leaders to respect the free and fair elections in November won by Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party. Tun's surprise statement not only drew applause but commendations from speaker after speaker at the assembly meeting including ambassadors representing the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the new U.S. ambassador, Linda Thomas Greenfield, who joined others in calling it “courageous.”
From ornate to subtle, these beautiful screens double as functional art Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
It is looking ever more probable that Donald Trump will run for the White House again in 2024. All eyes are on his speech this Sunday at CPAC, the annual conservative conference, which like Mr Trump has relocated from Washington to Florida. An adviser told The Telegraph that Mr Trump has spent the last weeks taking a break, and practising his golf swing, but is keen to re-engage in the fight.
Vaccines from AstraZeneca, Russia's Gamaleya Institute and Johnson & Johnson fight the coronavirus with another virus, leaving scientists concerned the shots may lose potency if annual inoculations become necessary to fight new variants. So-called viral vector shots - also used by several Chinese COVID-19 vaccine developers - use harmless modified viruses as vehicles, or vectors, to carry genetic information that helps the body build immunity against future infections. However, there is a risk that the body also develops immunity to the vector itself, recognising it as an intruder and trying to destroy it.
Driving the news: An analysis of the real-world outcomes of the Pfizer vaccine in Israel, released earlier this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the vaccine was 60% effective at preventing documented coronavirus infection 21 to 27 days after the first dose, and 92% effective 7 or more days after the second dose. But one shot was much more effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalization during the same time period, with respective efficacies of 80% and 78%. Two doses were 92% effective at preventing severe disease and 87% effective at preventing hospitalization.
President Joe Biden has spoken with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia ahead of the release of a report from US intelligence officials that is expected to reveal that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved and likely ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. A White House report of their phone call on Thursday did not disclose whether they discussed the findings in the report. The leaders “discussed regional security, including the renewed diplomatic efforts led by the United Nations and the United States to end the war in Yemen, and the US commitment to help Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups,” according to a readout of their call.
Brazil's COVID-19 death toll, which surpassed 250,000 on Thursday, is the world's second-highest for the same reason its second wave has yet to fade: Prevention was never made a priority, experts say. Since the pandemic's start, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro scoffed at the “little flu” and lambasted local leaders for imposing restrictions on activity; he said the economy must keep humming along to prevent worse hardship.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told sailors on the USS Nimitz Thursday that he hopes to avoid long ship deployments like the more than 10 months they just spent at sea. But as he made his first aircraft carrier visit as Pentagon chief, he acknowledged the demand for American warships around the globe as he wrestles with security threats from China in the Pacific and Iran in the Middle East. Standing in the ship's hangar bay, Austin said he will make a decision soon on whether to send a carrier back to the Middle East, where the Nimitz had been.
Hungary is entering its toughest period since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and over the next two weeks hospitals will come under strain like never before, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday. "I have only bad news," Orban said in a Facebook video. On Thursday, Hungary reported 4,385 new infections, the highest number this year.
US president Joe Biden spoke to Saudi Arabia's King Salman ahead of the release of a potentially explosive US intelligence report which is set to accuse his son Mohammed bin Salman of complicity in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Mr Biden, who has already seen the intelligence report, is said to have insisted that he speak to King Salman only - and not to Mohammed bin Salman, his son and Crown Prince. During the presidential election campaign, Mr Biden described Saudi Arabia as a “pariah” and claimed its government had “very little social redeeming value .
Three family members of an assassinated journalist in western Afghanistan have been killed by gunmen, local officials said Friday, amid a rising wave of attacks targeting journalists and civil society actors. Ghor provincial council member Hamidullah Mutahid said that at least five others were wounded in the attack late Thursday. The gunmen stormed the family home of Afghan journalist and activist Bismillah Adil Aimaq, who was shot dead in an unclaimed attack nearby Ghor on Jan. 1.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is struggling to beat back his biggest political challenge in years from a protest movement which began with disgruntled farmers travelling to New Delhi on tractors and is now gaining wider support at home and abroad. Simmering in makeshift camps housing tens of thousands of farmers since last year, the movement has seen a dramatic growth in recent weeks, getting backing from environmental activists, opposition parties and even A-list Western celebrities. At its heart are three new farm laws passed by the government last September, thanks to the majority Modi's right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) enjoys in the lower house of parliament.
The United States has pledged to tell the world its conclusions on what role Saudi Arabia's crown prince played in the brutal killing and dismembering of a U.S.-based journalist, but as important is what comes next — what the Biden administration plans to do about it. Ahead of the release of the declassified U.S. intelligence report, and announcement of any U.S. punitive measures, President Joe Biden spoke to Saudi King Salman on Thursday for the first time since taking office more than a month ago. It was a later-than-usual courtesy call to the Middle East ally, timing seen as reflecting Biden's displeasure.
Addressing the annual CPAC conference of American conservatives, Texas Senator Ted Cruz mocked a former Republican speaker for reportedly telling him to “go f*** himself” during an audiobook recording. During a high-energy roving-microphone speech in which he repeatedly referenced the Star Wars movies and implored Americans to “have fun” rather than fall prey to “cancel culture”, Mr Cruz complained that many in the right-wing establishment “act like they've got a stick inserted somewhere it doesn't belong. He then referred to Mr Boehner's reported comments.
“How about we skip ‘he won’t win’ cycle and not do 2016 all over again. Trump can absolutely win another presidential election.”
“With independents deserting him, there is simply no path for Trump to get back into the White House — except as a tourist.”
“They might as well cancel the 2024 primaries...because there is no way he can lose.”
“The next Republican presidential primary will be heavily shaped by Trump — whether or not he decides to run again.”
“Donald Trump will not be running for president again. He will, however, continue to tease the possibility of a 2024 run.”