The Polar Plunge, which raises money for the Special Olympics, looks a little different in 2021. Due to the pandemic, organizers have encouraged participants to take a virtual plunge instead of traveling in a big group to Virginia Beach to brave the cold Atlantic Ocean. As part of the CBS 6 Gives program, Jon Burkett met with Jim Fitzgerald to learn more and donate to the effort.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday the latest problems surrounding Brexit and Northern Ireland could be solved with good will and common sense. The EU promised legal action on Wednesday after the British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, a move Brussels said violated terms of Britain's divorce deal. "I am sure that with a bit of good will and common sense that all these technical problems are eminently solvable," Johnson said in a pooled interview during a trip to north east England.
- Business Insider
Georgia governor says he'd back Trump in 2024, despite Trump calling for him to be jailed for refusing to overturn election results
Gov. Brian Kemp faced barbs as President Donald Trump sought to subvert the 2020 election but is now supportive should Trump run in 2024.
- USA TODAY
Democrats, who control Congress, are pushing for a $15 minimum per hour, which Republicans say is too steep. Iowa now matches the federal rate: $7.25.
Meghan Markle paid tribute to Princess Diana by wearing her bracelet during her interview with Oprah
The Duchess of Sussex wore three sparkly bangles while filming her Oprah interview, one of which belonged to Prince Harry's mother, Princess Diana.
While some celebrity interviews sparked immediate backlash, others resurfaced years later and were called out for being inappropriate.
- The Independent
‘I’m always up for a good fight,’ says Trump ally
- Reuters Videos
Australia is building the world's first platypus refugeLocation: Sydney, AustraliaThe facility will be built at Taronga's Western Plains Zoo by 2022and have the capacity to house 65 at a time(SOUNDBITE) (English) TARONGA CONSERVATION SOCIETY AUSTRALIA CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, CAMERON KERR, SAYING:"I think the other exciting thing about the platypus refuge is it'll give us a chance to really learn about what sort of environments they like, and what is most likely to encourage them to breed. Breeding of platypus in Australia is something that no one has cracked. We've all had a few successes, but the reality is we don't understand it enough and we need to do a lot of work on it."
- The New York Times
After weeks of waiting, Judy Franke’s vaccine breakthrough came when her phone rang at 8 p.m. one freezing February night. There were rumors of extra doses at the Minneapolis convention center. Franke, 73, had an hour to get there. No guarantees. “I called my daughter and she said, ‘I’m putting my boots on right now,’” said Franke, a retired teacher with a weakened immune system. “You need to go find the vaccine because the vaccine’s not going to find you.” The clamor for hard-to-get COVID-19 vaccines has created armies of anxious Americans who have resorted to hunting for leftovers on the fringes of the country’s patchwork vaccination system. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times They haunt pharmacies at the end of the day in search of an extra, expiring dose. They drive from clinic to clinic hoping that someone was a no-show to their appointment. They cold-call pharmacies like eager telemarketers: Any extras today? Maybe tomorrow? Some pharmacists have even given them a nickname: Vaccine lurkers. Even with inoculation rates accelerating and new vaccines entering the market, finding a shot remains out of reach for many, nearly three months into the country’s vaccination campaign. Websites crash. Appointments are scarce. Severe weather like last month’s winter storms can wreak havoc on shipments. Many Americans have been left feeling like they are on their own. “There are people who feel desperate, and this is what they end up doing,” said Dr. Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. “It’s ridiculous. It’s wholly unnecessary. There should be a way to do this that does not require us going down this path.” The leftover shots exist because the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have a limited life span once they are thawed and mixed. When no-shows or miscalculations leave pharmacies and clinics with extras, they have mere hours to use the vaccines or risk having to throw them away. And so, tens of thousands of people have banded together on social media groups under one mantra: Better in an arm than in the trash. They trade tips about which Walmarts have extra doses. They report on whether besieged pharmacies are even answering the phone. They speculate about whether a looming blizzard might keep enough people home to free up a slot. In Denver, suburban teachers stampeded a mass-vaccination site after they got an email saying they had an hour to claim 200 unused doses. In Massachusetts, hourslong lines wrapped around a DoubleTree Hotel after reports of extras ping-ponged across social media. “It’s like buying Bruce Springsteen tickets,” said Maura Caldwell, who started a Minneapolis Vaccine Hunter Facebook group to help people navigate the search for appointments. The group now has 20,000 members. “It’s not easy. You can’t just sign up.” Thousands of doses have already gone to waste because of power failures, paperwork mix-ups and a shifting jumble of state and local guidelines about what to do with leftovers. Earlier this year, health officials in California and New York state loosened their rules for who could be vaccinated when vaccines are about to expire. Other health workers have distributed leftovers on their own. In Oregon, a vaccination team stranded on a snowbound highway went from car to car offering doses that would go bad in six hours. A doctor in Houston received national attention after he was fired for racing to inoculate 10 people — including his wife — before his vial of extra doses expired. The pace of vaccinations has picked up to about 1.9 million doses per day, with more due as the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine rolls out. But health experts said the scavenger hunt for leftovers highlights the persistent disparities in America’s vaccination rollout, where access to lifesaving medicine can hinge on computer savvy, personal connections and a person’s ability to drop everything to snag an expiring dose. In Dallas, Kimberly White-Agent said she had struggled to find appointments for her brother and 83-year-old stepfather, even after city and federal officials opened a mass-vaccination site to serve their largely Black neighborhood. She resorted to putting them on wait lists and hoping an extra slot opened up. “It’s like a mirage,” she said. Some of the leftover chasers are not yet eligible to sign up for appointments. Others are old enough or sick enough to qualify, but said that overloaded vaccination websites and endless hold lines convinced them to abandon the official channels and search for themselves. Gunnar Esiason, 29, has cystic fibrosis and said he was not about to wait until his New Hampshire vaccine appointment rolled around on April 21. So he started showing up at Walgreens pharmacies and state-run vaccination sites — wherever there was a whiff of an extra vaccine, until he got a tip that a Dartmouth medical center had a few extras. “I knew I was going to a lot of ‘No’s,’” he said. “All I needed was one ‘Yes.’” In Minnesota, Franke signed up for eight different vaccine lists managed by doctors, Walgreens, Walmart, even a state lottery, but said nobody called. Then last month, she got a tip that the mass-vaccination site at the convention center might have some extras. There were about 20 other people already milling around in the lobby when Franke arrived, she said, and a health worker quickly emerged to inform them there were no leftovers. But many in the crowd stuck around, and after a half-hour, the vaccination team allowed people 65 and older, teachers and emergency responders to get their shots. Franke lined up and said she cried with relief on the car ride home to the suburbs. Ashok Shah, 77, a retired internal-medicine physician in Poughkeepsie, New York, tried to sign up. But failed again and again. Shah said he and his 79-year-old wife spent weeks languishing on their county’s official vaccination lists. He would search fruitlessly for online appointments in the middle of the night, and put himself on informal wait lists kept by nearby pharmacies. When it became clear there would be little progress, “We had to go looking,” he said. In early February, with 6 inches of fresh snow on the ground and a nearly impassable mound plowed into the base of his driveway, he said a Rite Aid called with the news that they had one spare dose. “I said, I’ll take it,” said Shah, who got his second dose Tuesday. “Come rain, come shine, come snow, I’ll be there.” But leftovers are getting harder and harder to find. More people are looking, and the extras are dwindling as pharmacies and public-health agencies get better at matching each day’s available vials with their list of appointments. Vaccine teams in Fairfax County, Virginia, fill up individual syringes from a shared supply of vaccines to make sure they are not cracking open new vials at the end of the day. Several cities have created special leftover lists to offer doses to police officers, teachers or older people. Columbus, Ohio, said its “no waste” list of 250 people is full. At Discount Drug Mart, a chain of 76 pharmacies in Ohio, the vaccination teams add up their doses against no-shows throughout the day, and start reaching out early to the 25 people who are on their rolling standby lists. Rarely, someone waiting in the parking lot at 9 p.m. or calling on a whim may land a vaccine. “It’s a priority to never waste a dose,” said Jason Briscoe, the company’s director of pharmacy operations. Often, the hunt just amounts to days of frustration. Sara Stoltz has spent days driving around Dallas trying to get a leftover dose for her 64-year-old mother. They get turned away from pharmacies whose wait lists are already full at 200 people deep. They stop at every Walmart they can, only to learn that nobody missed an appointment. “I keep hearing rumors,” Stoltz said, with no dose behind them. “It’s like one of those urban myths.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- The Independent
Republicans in 43 states have introduced more than 250 bills restricting voting rights, underscoring urgency in Congress to pass sweeping elections legislation, Alex Woodward reports
- The Independent
Analysis: US Capitol Police trying a measure of transparency for a change
Monique Coleman was 25 when she played high school student Taylor McKessie in the hit movie.
Senior U.S. officials have held a first direct meeting with officials from the Iran-aligned Houthi movement that controls Yemen's capital, two sources familiar with the matter said, as the new U.S. administration pushes to end a six-year war. The discussions, which have not been officially made public by either side, took place in the Omani capital Muscat on Feb. 26 between U.S. Yemen envoy Timothy Lenderking and the Houthis' chief negotiator Mohammed Abdusalam, the sources said.
- Reuters Videos
It will be the first private mission to go beyond Earth orbit and out to the moon. And you can go, maybe. Japanese billionaire Yusaka Maezawa is recruiting for an eight-person crew. The fashion entrepreneur has paid for the trip on a rocket being developed by Elon Musk's SpaceX. Maezawa originally said the crew would be composed of artists. Now he's opened it up to all: "I began to think that maybe every single person who is doing something creative could be called an artist. That was the conclusion that I came to. And that is why I wanted to reach out to a wider, more diverse audience, to give more people across the world the opportunity to join this journey. If you see yourself as an artist, then you're an artist."The weeklong mission is set for 2023, and Maezawa says it's on schedule. It will take the amateur astronauts on a trip around the moon. Elon Musk says that will put the voyagers into the history books: "We're going to go past the Moon, so it will actually end up being further... this mission we expect people will go further than any human has ever gone from planet Earth."But it will not be without risk. Two of Musk's Starship rockets have blown up in testing. If that doesn't put you off, the deadline for the first-stage of selection is March 14. Applicants will need to pass a medical and, eventually, an interview with Maezawa.The billionaire says he isn't doing any training yet, but is watching his alcohol intake and thinking deeply about the mission.
'Star Wars' actress Kelly Marie Tran left social media after racist and sexist trolls drove her to therapy
"If someone doesn't understand me or my experience, it shouldn't be my place to have to internalize their misogyny or racism," Tran said.
Turkey's top appeals court has launched an enquiry into the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) over alleged links to militants in a step that could ultimately lead to a ban on the third biggest party in parliament, officials said on Wednesday. The move coincided with President Tayyip Erdogan's pledge on Tuesday to strengthen freedom of expression and rights to a fair trial in an "action plan" that critics said did not address concern about an erosion of human rights in Turkey. The HDP has faced growing pressure after Ankara said last month Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants executed 13 prisoners, including Turkish military and police personnel, during an army operation to rescue them in Iraq's Gara region.
According to multiple reports, Hilaria and Alec Baldwin used a surrogate to welcome their sixth child.
- The Telegraph
Donald Trump may have left the Oval Office weeks ago, but fringe group QAnon has not given up. Followers claim that Mr Trump will reclaim the presidency on March 4, the date when presidents were inaugurated up until 1933. Washington DC is on high alert: online chatter from QAnon devotees has fueled alarm among security officials that further violence, just two months after the historic Jan 6 Capitol siege, could break out. Capitol Police have already said they had intelligence of a possible plot to re-storm the Capitol on Thursday, and the House of Representatives has cancelled their sessions that day. What is QAnon? Since its inception in Oct 2017, QAnon has grown from a single cryptic posting on an obscure message board to lay claim to being the world’s biggest conspiracy theory. It is based on a theory that plays on deep distrust of government, the media and the ‘deep state’. They believe Mr Trump is waging a war behind the scenes against elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles in high ranking roles.
- USA TODAY Opinion
Rep. Deb Haaland knows the struggles that Native communities face across the United States and Tribal lands because she's lived them herself.
Former President Donald Trump intensified his war with the Republican establishment on Thursday by attacking Karl Rove, a longtime Republican strategist who criticized Trump's first speech since leaving office for being long on grievances but short on vision. "He’s a pompous fool with bad advice and always has an agenda," Trump complained in a statement issued by his office in Palm Beach, Florida. Rove, the architect of Republican George W. Bush's presidential victories in 2000 and 2004, wrote in an opinion article in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that Trump's speech last Sunday to the Conservative Political Action Conference was wanting.
- Business Insider
Federal investigators are zeroing in on potential communications between lawmakers and Capitol mob in lead up to the insurrection
The report added that Democrats are pushing investigators to review security footage, to determine if lawmakers toured organizers ahead of the riot.