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.
Scientists at Johnson & Johnson on Friday refuted an assertion in a major medical journal that the adenovirus-based 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.
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.
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 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.
A Spanish court has jailed a volunteer firefighter for three and a half years and ordered him to pay 158,000 euros ($189,200) in damages for starting a blaze that burned through nearly 150 hectares of forest in the northern Cantabria region. Cantabria's provincial court found Luis Trueba, former volunteer fire brigade chief in the village of Ramales de la Victoria, used gasoline to deliberately start the forest fire in February 2019 in what it said was an apparent, and failed, attempt to show off his skills in putting out the blaze.
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.
France has urged all its citizens in Pakistan to leave the country temporarily amid violent anti-French protests across the country. The country's embassy in Pakistan warned of "serious threats to French interests in Pakistan", saying protests were increasing nationwide. The protests were sparked months ago after France defended the right to show cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
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.
For many, life in New Zealand's capital Wellington is largely back to normal. In the distinctive "Beehive" parliament building, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her government have garnered lavish global praise for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic where many other leaders failed. But across town, staff at the Wellington City Mission are struggling to cope with soaring homelessness and inequality as the pandemic - and the government's response - inflames what was already among the world's least affordable housing markets.
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 billionaire media mogul Jimmy Lai is one of the most prominent supporters of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement. Mr Lai was 12 years old when he fled his village in mainland China, arriving in Hong Kong as a stowaway on a fishing boat. Like a number of the city's famed tycoons, he went from a menial role, toiling in a Hong Kong sweatshop, to founding a multi-million dollar empire.
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 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.
President Biden welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the White House on Friday, his first face-to-face meeting with a foreign leader and a clear signal to China about the shared commitment to strategic cooperation among the United States, Japan and other allies in Asia. "Our cooperation is vital in my view — and I think in both our views — to meeting the challenges that face our nations and ensuring the region remains free and open and prosperous," Biden said to Suga as reporters briefly were allowed in the room where the leaders met across a long table flanked by top advisors.
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.
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Calling for the end of a two-decade war that saw 775,000 American troops serve and 2,300 killed, President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced all U.S. forces will withdraw from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that triggered the conflict. "It is time to end America's longest war," Biden said in a speech from the White House Treaty Room, where former President George W. Bush announced the first airstrikes in Afghanistan in 2001. "It is time for American troops to come home."
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.
Ted Cruz was among six Republicans who voted against a bill on Wednesday that would strengthen federal efforts to end rampant anti-Asian hate crimes in America. An overwhelming majority of senators voted to advance the legislation directing the Justice Department to "facilitate the expedited review" of hate crimes against Asian communities. But six Republicans — Texas senator Mr Cruz, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Josh Hawley from Missouri, Rand Paul from Kentucky, Tommy Tuberville from Alabama, and Roger Marshall from Kansas — voted against it.
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.
Mike Tindall has paid tribute to his grandfather-in-law, the Duke of Edinburgh, calling him a "devoted family man who we will forever miss but always love." The former England centre who married the Queen and Prince Philip's granddaughter, Zara Phillips paid a personal tribute on Instagram, sharing a photo of his eldest daughter Mia enjoying a picnic at a log cabin with the Duke. "It's been a very sad week but it has given us time to reflect on great memories and stories both personal and shared," Mr Tindall said.
The White House, meanwhile, defended claims it was "passing the buck" on gun violence to Congress amid a new mass shooting at a FedEx centre in Indianapolis, and "chilling" footage of the death of 13-year-old boy Adam Toledo. In a statement condemning an "epidemic" of gun violence, Biden called on Congress to pass gun control legislation to stem the tide of killings that have "become too normal and happens every day somewhere in our nation". Last night and into the morning in Indianapolis, yet again families had to wait to hear word about the fate of their loved ones,” he said.
Akhilesh Mishra started getting a fever and a cough last Thursday but he initially thought it was just the flu. Akhilesh began to worry the next day, when his father Yogendra developed similar symptoms. The two men decided to get Covid RT-PCR tests done and tried to book a slot online but the next available appointment was three days later.
“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.”