Dozens of states filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Google on Thursday, alleging that the search giant has an illegal monopoly over the online search market that hurts consumers and advertisers. Geoff Petrulis reports.
- NBC News
- The Telegraph
- National Review
Eleven years ago, Dan Senor and Saul Singer dubbed Israel the “Start Up Nation” for its disproportionately large number of technology start-ups and NASDAQ stock listings. Make way for the Vaccination Nation. Israel leads the world in COVID-19 vaccinations. It has already vaccinated nearly a quarter of its population, including 75 percent of the population most at risk, people over age 60. It has administered 24.5 doses per 100 persons, nearly double the next-best country (the United Arab Emirates) and about 8 times as many people per capita as in the U.S. and the U.K. Israel’s per capita vaccination rate is 24 times that of the normally efficient Germans and 50 times better than the world average. Only three other countries in the world — the U.S., China, and the U.K. — have administered more vaccines. Why is Israel doing so much better than anyone else? Israel’s small size simplifies logistics. But there are other factors. First, unlike American states, which have administered only about a third of the doses they have received, Israeli made sure it was ready to use its supply. Officials set up large vaccination centers and mobile units in advance. They reached out to minority groups, such as the ultra-Orthodox and Arab citizens, ahead of the roll-out to encourage vaccine uptake. Israel started vaccinations in mid-December and by the end of the month was vaccinating more than 150,000 people a day. Second, Israel secured a large supply from Pfizer by promising to provide comprehensive safety and effectiveness data. Israel has a nationwide, computerized health database that can provide anonymized outcomes for all citizens, letting Pfizer use the country of nearly nine million as a real-time laboratory. In return, Pfizer has pledged to provide enough doses to vaccinate every Israeli over 16 by the end of March. In addition, Israel was the first country outside of North America to approve the Moderna vaccine and has purchased six million doses. Israel also paid premium prices — a wise investment in ending the economic devastation occasioned by pandemic lockdowns. Needless to say, Israel is good at planning for and executing during emergencies. Senor and Singer identified universal army service as promoting Israelis’ resourcefulness and willingness to take the initiative to improve existing systems. Pfizer packages its vaccine in trays of 1,000 doses, which, because of the need for ultra-cold storage, must be all be used within a short period of time once they have been defrosted. The large number of doses limits vaccinations to centers that can line up large numbers of recipients. Israel figured out how to repackage the trays into smaller lots of doses to improve flexibility for delivering doses to a broader range of providers and less populated locations. Israelis are also willing to buck established authority. The Pfizer multi-dose vaccine vials were authorized to hold five doses. This led many American vaccinators to discard vaccine remaining after administering five doses, even if it was adequate to provide one or two extra doses, for fear of running afoul of FDA instructions (the FDA eventually clarified that it is acceptable to use every obtainable full dose). Israelis, in contrast, were willing from the start to use windfall sixth and seventh doses. American vaccinators have been reluctant to give remaining doses to people outside of government-mandated priority order — New York’s Governor Cuomo promised hefty fines for vaccinating out of order — leading to doses’ being discarded at the end of the day. Israeli providers vaccinated end-of-day walk-ins outside of the guidelines to avoid wasting valuable doses. Finally, Israelis’ willingness to pull together and treat the pandemic as if it were a war and the government’s successful roll-out have changed Israelis’ initial reluctance into eagerness to be vaccinated. Prime Minister Netanyahu set an example by being the first Israeli to be vaccinated. The prophet Isaiah said Israel would function as “a light unto the nations,” providing spiritual and moral guidance to the world. Modern-day Israel, the Start-Up Nation, can provide technological and practical guidance as well.
- NBC News
In a freewheeling and at times combative interview with NBC News, Jenna Ryan said she has no regrets about participating in the Capitol incursion.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that a convoy of trucks carrying emergency oxygen supplies for Brazil's northern Amazonas state, where a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has hit hard, has departed and is set to arrive at the border by Monday morning. Reading from a message sent by Justo Noguera, governor of Venezuela's southern Bolivar state, Maduro said during a state television appearance that the six trucks would arrive at the Santa Elena de Uairen border crossing by morning, where they would be handed over to Brazilian health authorities. From there, the trucks - carrying some 136,000 liters of oxygen, enough to fill 14,000 individual canisters - would take 14 hours to arrive in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas, whose hospital system is collapsing due to the pandemic.
- Associated Press
Israeli military aircraft struck targets in the Gaza Strip early on Monday in response to two rockets fired from the Palestinian territory, the military said. In a statement, the military said fighter jets hit Hamas military targets, including sites for digging underground tunnels, some of which stretch into Israel. There were also no reports of damage or injury from the rockets launched.
- NBC News
- The Week
Israel has vaccinated at least 25 percent of its population against the coronavirus so far, which leads the world and makes it "the country to watch for herd effects from" the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, says infectious disease expert David Fishman. Recently, the case rate in Israel appears to have declined sharply, and while there could be a few reasons for that, it's possible the vaccination effort is beginning to play a role.> Israel's reproduction number appears to have declined rather sharply in recent days, with around 25% of the country vaccinated, and some additional percentage having at least partial immunity via prior infection. pic.twitter.com/sVyCYYd9dj> > — David Fisman (@DFisman) January 17, 2021One study from Clalit that was published last week reports that 14 days after receiving the first Pfizer-BioNTech shot, infection rates among 200,000 Israelis older than 60 fell 33 percent among those vaccinated compared to 200,000 from the same demographic who hadn't received a jab.At first glance, Fishman writes, that might seem disappointing since clinical trials suggested the vaccine was more than 90 percent effective. But he actually believes the 33 percent figure is "auspicious." Because vaccinated and non-vaccinated people are mingling, there could be "herd effects of immunization." In other words, when inoculated people interact with people who haven't had their shot, the latter individual may still be protected because the other person is. On a larger scale, that would drive down the number of infections among non-vaccinated people, thus shrinking the gap between the two groups' infection rates.> Estimated vaccine efficacy is a function of relative risk of infection in the vaccinated...when there is indirect protection via herd effects, we expect efficacy estimates to decrease because the risk among unvaccinated individuals declines.> > — David Fisman (@DFisman) January 17, 2021More data needs to come in, and Fishman thinks "we'll know more" this week, but he's cautiously optimistic about how things are going.More stories from theweek.com Statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico only needs 50 votes 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious
- Yahoo News Video
The spokesman for Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert has quit less than two weeks after she was sworn into office, saying he felt like he need to due to the insurrection at the nation's Capitol.
U.S. President Donald Trump at this point is opting not to issue a pardon for himself as he prepares an expansive list of more than 100 pardons and commutations for release on Tuesday, a source familiar with the effort said. White House advisers have said Trump has privately debated with advisers whether to take the extraordinary step of issuing a pardon for himself but some administration officials have cautioned Trump against a self-pardon because it would make him look guilty. Trump was impeached by the Democratic-led House of Representatives last week on charges of inciting the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by pro-Trump protesters.
- Associated Press
Brazil’s health regulator on Sunday approved the urgent use of coronavirus vaccines made by Sinovac and AstraZeneca, enabling Latin America’s largest nation to begin an immunization program that’s been subject to delay and political disputes. Brazil currently has 6 million doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine ready to distribute in the next few days and is awaiting the arrival of 2 million doses of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca and partner Oxford University.
- The Independent
The man said he got lost driving around Washington DC
- The Week
Shortly after police detained Russian opposition leader and Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny upon his return to Moscow from Germany, where he was recovering from a poisoning allegedly carried out by Russia's FSB spy agency, President-elect Joe Biden's incoming National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan called for the anti-corruption activist's immediate release.Sullivan said the Kremlin's actions were a "violation of human rights" and "an affront to the Russian people who want their voices heard."The forceful statement quickly drew attention from members of the U.S. media, who compared it to the Trump administration's generally more lax approach to Moscow.> The Biden team, taking a different approach to Russia than Trump did: https://t.co/EMkPT3Ln7T> > -- Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) January 17, 2021Sullivan also beat the current White House to the punch -- there's been no word on the Navalny situation from President Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, or National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien as of yet. > Biden's incoming national security advisor comments on @navalny's detention in Moscow today, saying the Russian opposition leader should be immediately released. The urgency of this statement tells you something about how the Biden admin will be. The Trump admin is still mum. https://t.co/tIsS3sl9yq> > -- Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) January 17, 2021More stories from theweek.com Statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico only needs 50 votes 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious
Britain's vaccine rollout is limited by a "lumpy" manufacturing process affecting supplies of both Pfizer and AstraZeneca, but is on track to hit its targets, Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Monday. The United Kingdom, which has the world's fifth worst official death toll from COVID-19, is racing to be among the first major countries to vaccinate its population - seen as the best way to exit the pandemic and get the economy going again. Britain has inoculated 3,857,266 people with a first dose and 449,736 with a second dose.
- Miami Herald
A man who did prison time for aggravated stalking and has convictions for domestic violence and violating a restraining order has an 18-year-old girl he has kidnapped at gunpoint, Pembroke Pines police said.
- Associated Press
The driver of a New York City bus that plunged off a bridge blamed the dramatic crash on mechanical failure, saying Saturday that the tandem vehicle “just took off” as he slowed into a turn. Everton Beccan, 55, disputed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's assertion a day earlier that he had refused to submit to a drug and alcohol test at the hospital.
- The Telegraph
Joe Biden aims to hit the ground running with a blizzard of executive orders on his first day in office. Mr Biden plans to rejoin the Paris climate accord, end Donald Trump’s travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries and order masks to be worn in federal buildings. The orders will represent the opening salvo of a flurry of activity over the first 10 days of the Biden administration, aimed at rolling back many of the policies introduced by Donald Trump. Mr Biden intends to introduce legislation for a $1.9 trillion relief package and immigration reform. His ambitious programme was outlined in a memorandum circulated on Saturday by Ron Klain, the incoming White House chief of staff. "During the campaign, President-elect Biden pledged to take immediate action to start addressing these crises and build back better," Mr Klain wrote. "As president, he will keep those promises and sign dozens of executive orders, presidential memoranda, and directives to Cabinet agencies in fulfilment of the promises he made." The 78-year-old incoming president will assume office with the country reeling from the coronavirus pandemic which has already claimed more than 395,000 lives and devastated the economy with 7.3 million people looking for work. A wave of lockdowns as the pandemic surged in recent months has seen millions more struggling as their working hours have been cut.