Some artists have had fewer places to sell their work during the pandemic.
- The Daily Beast
Sarah Meyssonnier/ReutersFederal authorities rolled into Shelby County, Tennessee, this week as the mismanagement disasters plaguing the local coronavirus vaccine rollout reached a boiling point.The county health department allowed more than 2,000 doses to spoil, two children were vaccinated against Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, and a volunteer allegedly made off with doses from one site. The Tennessee Health Department, the FBI, and the CDC are now investigating. The head of the Shelby health department, Alisa Haushalter, resigned Friday. Now residents are left questioning whether the doses they received were expired doses.“You begin to feel like you were safe to go out and do things, but now you don’t know if you’re covered or not. You don’t know if the shot you got is effective or not,” said Gayle Jones, 80, who was born and raised in Cordova, Tennessee. She received her second shot of the Pfizer vaccine Wednesday. “We’ve missed a whole year by staying at home. We finally felt like we could get out and maybe be OK.”Hundreds of people are echoing her statements on Facebook in comments on bulletins from the county health department.Ingrid Chilton, 68, vented her frustration below one post, “Let’s talk about the thousands of Memphians who don’t know whether they have been properly vaccinated since the thawing of the vaccines was not done in accordance with CDC guidelines!”Chilton and her 75-year-old husband flew from their home in Tiburon, California, to visit their son in downtown Memphis for two weeks in late February 2020. They have stayed for a year, living in the same two weeks’ worth of clothing. Saturday would be the day they reached full immunity, two weeks from their second Pfizer shots. She and her husband had begun discussing when they would return to Tiburon.“Today was the day I was supposed to be celebrating, like ‘We’re free!’ and instead we get this. I feel like we’re in limbo again,” she told The Daily Beast.The state began investigating the county health department last week after an announcement that the county had permitted 1,300 doses to expire in February. State investigators found that in actuality, 2,400 doses had gone bad this month and were trashed, with 840 wasted in one day, Feb. 15. Though the vaccines require ultra-cold storage to remain viable, some syringes felt warm to the investigator’s touch, the Tennessean reported.Adding to residents’ fears, some doses have gone missing. State Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said in a press conference Friday that 12 syringes had expired during a Feb. 23 vaccination event, but no one had returned them to the distributing pharmacy. The doses remain unaccounted for.“There does appear to be a lack of accountability and in some sense leadership, which has undoubtedly potentially harmed some folks and withheld vaccine from people who needed it,” Piercey said.Jones had hoped to feel safe attending the births of two great-grandchildren due soon. She thinks she will still go, albeit now with feelings of uncertainty and risk. Her daughter, her son, and two of her grandchildren have all had COVID-19. A granddaughter and a granddaughter-in-law are both pregnant and work in health care.“We’ll have to take it as it is. I don’t know if they’ll be able to prove if the vaccine we got was real and effective or not,” she said.Chilton will postpone her travel until the investigation into the vaccination effort concludes.“I don’t know if we’ll ever know accurately whether we’re protected or not,” she said.Memphis’ city health department has taken over vaccination efforts for the entire county.In addition to its procedural woes, the vaccination effort has suffered an alleged robbery. The state notified the FBI Thursday that a volunteer allegedly stole vaccine doses on Feb. 3, according to Piercey. The state health commissioner said the city had not been forthcoming with information on the disappearance of the doses, leading to a delay of nearly a month in reporting it. Shelby County Chief Administrative Officer Dwan Gilliom said Piercey was incorrect and that law enforcement had been made aware but that no arrests had been made.Two children were vaccinated in Shelby County on Feb. 3 as well, according to Piercey. Neither the Moderna nor Pfizer vaccine is approved for anyone under the age of 16, as the medicine has only been tested on adults.The mess has further eroded Jones’ already cratering trust in the local government, which has struggled with picking up garbage and supplying water to residents in recent weeks.“They just need to get their act together in the Memphis government. They’re totally unreliable,” said Jones. “We just had the water boil for 8 days because all the mains broke. It just has you thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, can’t you do anything?’”Chilton feels similarly.“I don’t think my feelings toward the county and state health department would be fit to print, frankly,” she said.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- The Independent
CPAC: Gaetz says media ‘biased’ over Ted Cruz’s Cancun trip and should have focused on ‘caravans’ of migrants instead
Outspoken GOP congressman complains ‘the left and the media’ were less concerned about ‘caravans going through Mexico’ than Texas senator visiting
- The Daily Beast
Eli Ade/AMCNegan better watch his back, because Maggie Greene is back in town. On Sunday night, The Walking Dead returned to close out its super-sized penultimate season with six more episodes—and kicked things off by giving Maggie a chance to explain what she and her son, Hershel, have been up to, and why it’s been so long since she touched base with Team Family. But the real question of this week has less to do with where Maggie’s been, and more to do with who the hell she’s managed to antagonize. It seems we’ve got a new villain on our hands, and they apparently have it out for her.It’s a rough week for Maggie: First, she comes face-to-face with Negan, who’s now at large in Alexandria after Carol sprung him from prison. Then, the onetime leader of Hilltop expressed her desire to return home there with her son and a group of survivors only to find out that the place has been reduced to a pile of rubble and bodies. And then, Maggie has to hear from Carol that Negan was actually with the Whisperers when they leveled Hilltop. “Alpha needed to die, and Negan was our best chance,” Carol explained. “We were gonna lose everything; Negan’s the reason we didn’t.”Maggie seems sympathetic, but she’s understandably not thrilled.But the group must press on—so Maggie, Daryl and Kelly head out for the settlement where Maggie’s been staying, along with her friends from the camp, Elijah and Cole. After a long day of walking (and murdering some walkers to take refuge in a storage container) Maggie reveals to Daryl that, like her old friends, she’s borne witness to a lot of tragedy over the past couple years.When Maggie first left Hilltop, she’d set out with a woman named Georgie, whose group helped nascent communities learn the farming and engineering skills required to make it in the apocalypse. “But it’d always go sideways,” she said. The group had been helping a community in Knoxville, Maggie continued, but when Georgie left to check out another community, things collapsed and she and Hershel ran. When Daryl asked what happened to the village Georgie had built, Maggie simply replied, “Not now.”“It’s actually good to say some of it out loud. Just can’t say all of it,” she said. “I almost came home after Knoxville; maybe I should have. Maybe I should have.” After the collapse, Maggie said, she brought Hershel to a place that used to belong to her grandmother on the coast—a place, she said, where she and Glenn had talked about visiting after her sister, Beth, died in Season 5. One night, she and Hershel stayed up late talking about his family. “He asked how his daddy died,” she said. “I knew he would; I knew it was coming. I told him that a bad man killed him. He wanted to know if that man got what he deserved. He wanted to know if that man was dead.”“The truth is I left home because I couldn’t have Negan taking up any more space in my head,” Maggie said. “And when I realized I didn’t want to bring Hershel back to that, the next morning we met a whole community of people who needed us as much as we needed them. And it felt like it was meant to be. But that’s over, too.”Daryl emphasized that things remain up in the air with regard to Negan—a thread that will certainly return later this season and, perhaps, beyond. Because the next morning, Maggie and the group arrive home—only to find it burned to the ground.Turns out, there’s a group called the Reapers hunting people down one by one in the woods now. We see several people Maggie had been staying with shot down before a man comes for Maggie—only to be surrounded by her group. But the man, dressed in military fatigues, refuses to answer any of Maggie’s questions. Instead, he tells her, “Pope marked you”—and then proceeds to blow himself up.There is no group called The Reapers in the Walking Dead comics; there isn’t even a group that seems particularly analogous, from what we’ve seen so far. It’s fascinating, given that we’re just on the verge of truly meeting the Commonwealth—another yet-unexplored community that appears to be the show’s endgame—that the show has now introduced another group to content with. They could be, as The Wrap posits, affiliated with the Civic Republic—villains of the spin-off World Beyond. But so far, it’s hard to guess at who these people are or what they really want.Lauren Cohan returned to Walking Dead during what would have originally been its season finale last year, after a brief trip to ABC for the now-defunct Whiskey Cavalier. Despite how long this series has floundered, both before and especially after her absence, Cohan’s presence feels like a refreshing return to form for the zombie drama—especially as it shuffles toward its final season. (She was always, and remains, one of the most emotive and compelling performers in the cast.) Nothing will ever fully atone for Glenn Rhee’s poorly executed, excruciatingly graphic death in Season 7. But it’s still somehow a little sentimental to see his son walk into Alexandria hand-in-hand with his mother. That said, however, in light of this week’s brief scare—which found Maggie racing through the woods looking for her son after finding the camp burned to the ground—I will say this: If Hershel dies, as so many children on this series have, we riot.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
It is the latest in the spate of mass kidnaps in Nigeria. On Saturday, 42 people, including 27 students, were freed by gunmen after 10 days.
Iran on Saturday condemned U.S. air strikes against Iran-backed militias in Syria, and denied responsibility for rocket attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq that prompted Friday's strikes. Washington said its strikes on positions of the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah paramilitary group along the Iraq border were in response to the rocket attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq.
- Associated Press
As many as 10 death row inmates in Oklahoma, more than one-fifth of the state’s prisoners condemned to die, could escape execution because of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling concerning criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country. The inmates have challenged their convictions in state court following the high court’s ruling last year, dubbed the McGirt decision, that determined a large swath of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation. The decision means that Oklahoma prosecutors lack the authority to pursue criminal charges in cases in which the defendants, or the victims, are tribal citizens.
- The Independent
Republicans cite ‘public health emergency’ for skipping Covid relief votes while speaking at maskless CPAC
Lawmakers due to attend conservative conference where crowds booed hosts for asking guests to wear masks
TikTokers tried to prove that snow in Texas was 'fake' as weather conspiracy theories ran wild online
From "fake snow" to Bill Gates, conspiracy theories about the Texas storm are spreading. Right-wing pundits and politicians aren't helping.
The Queen urged everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine, saying skeptics 'ought to think about other people rather than themselves'
The message from Queen Elizabeth II promoting the COVID-19 vaccine is reminiscent of her support of polio vaccination efforts more than 70 years ago.
- The Telegraph
Scottish Labour leadership hopefuls hit back against Tory claims of being soft on independence ahead of election result
Both Scottish Labour leadership hopefuls have hit back at the Tories for accusing them of being soft on independence as the party prepares to unveil its new leader on Saturday. During a speech announcing the Scottish Conservative Holyrood campaign message on Friday, party leader Douglas Ross accused both Anas Sarwar and Monica Lennon as being “fair weather” unionists and challenged them to rule out working with the SNP. Ms Lennon dismissed the comments as “desperate and attention-seeking nonsense”. “The Tories are experts in dividing our communities and forcing working class people into poverty,” she said. “People in Scotland are tired of the same old arguments from politicians who want to drag us back to 2014 rather than take responsibility for their own government records,” she added. Meanwhile, frontrunner Anas Sarwar accused the Scots Tory leader of engaging in “playground politics” at a time when “people are losing their lives and livelihoods.”
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday that Texas is looking at when it will be able to lift all statewide orders related to the coronavirus pandemic and that an announcement is forthcoming.
Chinese officials have signalled that Beijing plans sweeping electoral changes for Hong Kong, possibly as soon as next week, when China's parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC), opens in Beijing. WHAT IS BEIJING PLANNING? Xia Baolong, director of China's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, has said the electoral system in the global financial hub needs to be changed to allow only "patriots" to govern.
- The Telegraph
'It's not as nice as Cancun': Ted Cruz jokes about controversial holiday in CPAC culture wars speech
Ted Cruz railed against "cancel culture" and mocked criticism of his trip to Mexico while his home state of Texas endured freezing conditions and power blackouts as he addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday. The Texas senator was widely criticised last week for taking a family trip to Cancun, Mexico while millions in his state went without heat or water after severe winter weather crippled power supplies. He cut his trip short and apologised for the trip after facing a public backlash. As he addressed CPAC attendees in Orlando, Florida, Mr Cruz began by referencing the controversy, joking: "Orlando is awesome. It's not as nice as Cancun - but it's nice." The comments were met with laughter from the audience.
United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, in rare public comments on Saudi Arabia, said on Friday that people were unlawfully held in the kingdom and urged it to uphold freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly. Bachelet, addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council where Saudi Arabia has observer status, welcomed the release earlier this month of women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, adding: "although I regret that others continued to be unjustly detained". Hathloul campaigned for women's right to drive and to end Saudi Arabia's guardianship system that requires women to obtain permission of a male relative for certain decisions and travel.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler return to host the year's first major film and TV awards ceremony on Sunday.
President Joe Biden is still committed to raising the U.S. minimum wage to $15 after a key Senate referee ruled the provision could not be included in the COVID-19 relief bill, a top White House economic adviser said on Friday. White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, in an interview on MSNBC, said the administration was disappointed by the Senate parliamentarian's Thursday ruling and would consult with congressional leaders about the path forward.
- Yahoo News
Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley appeared at CPAC Friday and gave their most extensive public remarks since Jan. 6, when both were seen by critics as having helped incite a violent assault on the U.S. Capitol.
Poland will raise the upper age limit for people being given the AstraZeneca vaccine to 69, and will take COVID-19 patients from neighbouring Slovakia, a health ministry spokesman said on Friday. COVID-19 cases have been surging in central and eastern Europe, but in common with the rest of the European Union the region has faced problems with vaccine deliveries. "Today the health minister's vaccination team recommended extending (the age limit)...Within an hour there will be a announcement from the health minister," spokesman Wojciech Andrusiewicz told a news conference.
- Associated Press
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.
- The Independent
From ‘election integrity’ panels to outright falsehoods about a stolen election, how CPAC is relitigating the 2020 election as Republican lawmakers file legislation to restrict voting rights