Amid new virus strains and plateauing case numbers, the Biden administration is in the difficult position of issuing warnings to a public exhausted by all it still can’t do.States rolling back restrictions »
A group of Democratic senators is urging President Joe Biden to support recurring direct payments to lower-income Americans, arguing that regular, additional cash assistance is necessary until the economy fully recovers from the pandemic-induced downturn. The proposal — which likely would face an uphill climb to become law even if gained wide support within the Democratic Party — would build on the means-tested, one-time $1,400 stimulus check included in Biden's coronavirus relief bill, which passed the House last week and is now under consideration in the Senate. The senators, who also requested Biden support automatic unemployment insurance extensions, said they would like the president to include the ideas in a future economic recovery bill.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday supported an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “These stories are difficult to read, and the allegations brought forth raise serious questions that the women who have come forward and all New Yorkers deserve answers to,” she said in a statement. “I'm glad to see that there will be a full, independent, and thorough investigation,” the former senator from New York added.
The plane laden with vaccines had just rolled to a stop at Santiago's airport in late January, and Chile's president, Sebastián Piñera, was beaming. The source of that hope: China – a country that Chile and dozens of other nations are depending on to help rescue them from the COVID-19 pandemic. China's vaccine diplomacy campaign has been a surprising success: It has pledged roughly half a billion doses of its vaccine to more than 45 countries, according to a country-by-country tally by The Associated Press.
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Jill Biden will travel to Connecticut and Pennsylvania on Wednesday with newly confirmed Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, a testament to a first lady well on the move. Why it matters: Biden already is the only first lady to hold a full-time job. Now, she's built a robust staff in the East Wing and is planning a busy travel schedule of her own.
Investigators with the Manhattan District Attorney's office are taking a closer look at Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, as they continue a probe into former President Donald Trump and his family business, people with knowledge of the matter told The New York Times. Weisselberg, 73, has worked for the Trump Organization for decades, starting at the company when it was helmed by Fred Trump, the former president's father. Two people familiar with the matter said prosecutors have been asking witnesses about Weisselberg, and spoke with one person about Weisselberg's sons — Barry, the property manager of Trump Wollman Rink in Central Park, and Jack, who works at Ladder Capital, one of Trump's lenders.
The Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans is asking Catholics to avoid the recently-approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which it says is “morally compromised” by its “extensive use of abortion-derived cell lines.” In a statement on Friday, the archdiocese noted that while deciding whether to receive the vaccine is an individual choice, that “the latest vaccine from Janssen/Johnson & Johnson is morally compromised as it uses the abortion-derived cell line in development and production of the vaccine as well as the testing.” While a number of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers have used cells originally derived from an aborted fetus in the 1970s, the archdiocese argues that Johnson & Johnson “extensive use” is worse than that of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, which used the cells lines only to test their vaccines, according to Religion News Service.
Utah senator Mitt Romney says he “took a fall” while visiting his grandkids in Boston over the weekend, knocking him unconscious and sending him to the hospital. Sen @MittRomney has a black eye and stitches, says he took a fall while visiting his son in Boston, “I took a fall, knocked me unconscious but I'm doing better.” Joked: “I went to CPAC, that was a problem...”
A Japanese a woman in her 60s died from a brain haemorrhage three days after receiving a Pfizer coronavirus vaccination, the health ministry said on Tuesday, adding that there may not be a link between the two. The woman was vaccinated on Friday and is suspected to have suffered a brain haemorrhage three days later, on Monday, it said. It was Japan's first reported death following a vaccination.
After the U.S. House of Representatives approved President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus deal and sent it to the Senate, White House officials indicated Biden is open to lowering the income threshold for direct payments. The legislation passed by the House last week includes $1,400 direct payments for individuals making up to $75,000 a year and married couples earning up to $150,000 a year. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Fox News Sunday that Biden is willing to lower the maximum income for stimulus check eligibility to “ensure they hit the Americans who need that help the most.”
The head of the Los Angeles teachers union condemned California's plan to reopen schools as “propagating structural racism,” after the deal was announced on Monday. Governor Gavin Newsom reached the deal with state lawmakers to provide $2 billion in financial incentives for schools that reopen various grades for in-person learning by the end of March. Under the terms of the plan, counties with new daily coronavirus case rates of seven or fewer per 100,000 must open elementary schools and at least one grade in middle or high school for in-person learning in order to receive a share of the $2 billion in funds.
Wealthy alumni are threatening to pull their donations from the University of Texas at Austin because students have been protesting the university's controversial alma mater song, The Texas Tribune reports. "The Eyes of Texas," which plays after football games, is a cherished tradition for many, but it was historically performed at campus minstrel shows, and the title is linked to a saying from Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. It appears, however, many donors consider the movement to be the product of "cancel culture" and "Marxist ideology," and emails obtained by the Tribune show they're willing to pull their financial support for the university over the issue.
The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package pending before the U.S. Senate would give Florida state and local governments $16 billion in one-time aid, more than enough to wipe out the state's $2 billion shortfall, but Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday said the funding formula is unfair to Florida because it is tied to unemployment. “You shouldn't be penalizing states for doing a good job, which is exactly what this bill does,” DeSantis told reporters Monday, adding his voice to a chorus of GOP officials opposed to President Joe Biden's first legislative initiative.
Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization released new guidelines on Monday that advise against vaccinating people who are 65 years and older with AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, citing lack of information about efficacy in that age group. The vaccine was authorized for people who are 18 and older by drug regulator Health Canada on Friday. Health Canada's decision noted that available clinical trial data was too limited to reliably estimate how well the vaccine worked in people 65 and older.
Britain, France and Germany are pressing ahead with a U.S.-backed plan for a resolution by the U.N. nuclear watchdog's board criticising Iran for curbing cooperation with the agency, despite Russian and Iranian warnings of serious consequences. The International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation Board of Governors is holding a quarterly meeting this week against the backdrop of faltering efforts to revive Iran's nuclear deal with major powers now that U.S. President Joe Biden is in office. Iran has recently accelerated its violations of the 2015 deal in an apparent bid to raise pressure on Biden, as each side insists the other must move first.
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Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas says immigration was "gutted" by the Trump administration. After 27 days in office, Mayorkas told reporters: "It takes time to build out of the depths of cruelty," (March 1)
A newly declassified US intel report said the Saudi crown prince approved Jamal Khashoggi's killing. Joe Biden announced new sanctions over the murder but has declined to punish the crown prince. A US official told The Washington Post it's because Biden wanted to heal the US-Saudi relationship.
Days after far-right rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol, Montana state Rep. Braxton Mitchell introduced a resolution aimed at the opposite end of the political spectrum: “antifa,” the loosely affiliated left-wing anti-fascist movement. The bill is the latest attempt to push penalties on the left even as national-security experts plead with lawmakers to watch for new attacks from the far right. After Mitchell, a freshman lawmaker, introduced it in a contentious Montana House meeting on Feb. 16, most of the bill's Republican co-sponsors yanked their names from the measure.
A Texas lawmaker broke down as she confronted officials from the state's energy supplier, Ercot, over dozens of deaths during a power blackout and a winter storm last week. It came as Ercot officials appeared before Texas's legislature on Thursday to answer questions as part of a hearing into the firm's role in the crisis. That was when, as reported by MSNBC, a lawmaker broke down in tears as she confronted the officials from Ercot over the deaths, which are thought to be in the dozens – and include an 11-year-old boy, Cristian Pineda, who died of hypothermia.
A week into his presidency, Joe Biden made the confident prediction that any American who wanted a Covid shot would be able to get one by spring. The mixed messages risk sowing confusion across the country as the nation enters the second year of the pandemic, testing the administration's ability to overcome still-significant pockets of vaccine skepticism and make good on its pledge of large-scale immunization within Biden's first 100 days in office. “On this score, I think the communication has been very uneven,” said Ezekiel Emanuel, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania who advised the Biden transition.
US Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, said Monday he will "never" change his mind on the filibuster. The filibuster means that 60 votes are needed to pass most legislation in the Senate. "Jesus Christ, what don't you understand about 'never'?" Manchin said.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court provided the most recent signal that it's rethinking the doctrine of qualified immunity — a rule the Court created in 1982 to shield government workers from constitutional accountability. The case, McCoy v. Alamu, was filed by a Texas prisoner named Prince McCoy. Four years ago, a prison guard pepper-sprayed McCoy for no reason.
As state electors, Congress, over 60 unsuccessful lawsuits, Trump administration officials like former attorney William Barr, and even many (but certainly not all) state-level Republican officials have confirmed, Joe Biden won the election fair and square. The ex-president also blamed a litany of factors for his loss, from dead voters being counted to new mail-in ballot expansions during the pandemic. The Democrats used the China virus as an excuse to change all of the election rules, without the approval of their state legislators, making it therefore illegal.
YouTube has suspended Rudy Giuliani for two weeks, meaning he can't upload new videos. YouTube said Giuliani broke its rules on election integrity and promoted nicotine. Rudy Giuliani is in danger of losing his YouTube channel.
“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.”