A proposed law on Long Island would ban hate symbols from public buildings; CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reports.
- The Independent
NAACP accuses Trump of disenfranchising Black voters and trying to ‘destroy democracy’
Kyal Sin, known as Angel, was one of 38 people killed in anti-coup protests on Wednesday.
Northern Irish loyalist paramilitary groups have told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson they are temporarily withdrawing support for the 1998 peace agreement due to concerns over the Brexit deal. While the groups pledged "peaceful and democratic" opposition to the deal, such a stark warning increases the pressure on Johnson, his Irish counterpart Micheál Martin and the European Union over Brexit. Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace deal, known as the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement, ended three decades of violence between mostly Catholic nationalists fighting for a united Ireland and mostly Protestant unionists, or loyalists, who want Northern Ireland to stay part of the United Kingdom.
Buckingham Palace is investigating claims that the duchess bullied royal staff ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah.
- The Independent
‘I’m always up for a good fight,’ says Trump ally
- 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
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.
"Letting us create what we know is going to save our community." Ceyenne Doroshow founded Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society, or G.L.I.T.S., in 2015 to help trans and sex-worker communities with issues like housing and health care. In response, Doroshow and her team at G.L.I.T.S. began fundraising; they bailed LGBTQIA+ inmates out of COVID-ravaged jails and housed them in safe Airbnb rentals; secured rent money for the Black trans community; and ultimately bought a $2 million 12-unit residential building that would be a free safe place for Black trans folks to live.
- Yahoo News Video
A hunter from Colorado Springs, Colo., has been permanently banned from hunting in 48 states, including Colorado, after he pleaded guilty to several poaching charges across the state.
- Yahoo News
The U.N. official who investigated the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi sharply criticized President Biden’s response to the killing, saying his administration’s failure to sanction Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent a “dangerous” message to world leaders.
- The State
Welcome to your weekly South Carolina politics briefing, a newsletter curated by The State’s politics and government team.
- Associated Press
Iran has agreed to sit down with international technical experts investigating the discovery of uranium particles at three former undeclared sites in the country, the head of the U.N. atomic watchdog said Thursday, after months of frustration at Tehran's lack of a credible explanation. The agreement came as three of the remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran — France, Germany and Britain — backed off the idea of a resolution criticizing Iran for its decision to start limiting access by International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to current facilities. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi told reporters in Vienna it was not up to him to say whether Iran's move to hold talks with his technical experts was linked to the decision of the so-called E3 group, but suggested it was difficult to separate the political side of Iran's nuclear program from the technical side.
- USA TODAY
Biden's OMB pick Neera Tanden withdrew from consideration, and other nominees still await confirmation. Here's the latest on Biden's Cabinet picks.
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.
Skip Bayless is reportedly staying at Fox Sports for a reported $8 million per year after ESPN pursued him with offers in the same salary range.
- Associated Press
The Senate is beginning debate on a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, after Democrats made eleventh-hour changes aimed at ensuring they could pull President Joe Biden’s top legislative priority through the precariously divided chamber. Democrats were hoping for Senate approval of the package before next week, in time for the House to sign off and get the measure to Biden quickly. After the Senate voted by the slimmest of margins Thursday to begin the debate, Democrats were encountering opposition from Republicans arguing that the measure’s massive price tag ignored promising signs that the pandemic and wounded economy were turning around.