A non-profit organization is discouraging drunk driving by offering to drive people and their cars home.
- USA TODAY
At least 13 people died after an SUV with 25 passengers collided with a semitruck full of gravel near the U.S.-Mexican border in California.
The COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech has an efficacy of 83.5% based on final results of Phase III trials, Turkish researchers said on Wednesday, a downward revision from a preliminary finding of 91.25%. The final efficacy rate was based on 41 infections, 32 of which had received a placebo, said Murat Akova, head of the Phase III trials conducted in Turkey. "Because there were no important side effects (in the trial)... let alone the fact that this vaccine is being used widely in our country and no side effect was reported, we can say comfortably that it is safe," said Serhat Unal, member of the government's advisory Science Council.
- The Daily Beast
GettyWhen Sen. Josh Hawley voiced his support late last year for giving millions of Americans $2,000 checks, he said he got a call from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ camp. What happened next was the formation of one of Capitol Hill’s stranger political odd couples, as the Trumpist Republican from Missouri and the Democratic Socialist from Vermont joined together to make a very public push for a shared priority.That partnership might have continued last week, with another Hawley announcement that put him in league with Sanders and other progressives: his support for requiring companies with revenues of $1 billion or more to pay their workers a $15 hourly minimum wage.But of course, something rather important happened since Hawley and Sanders first joined forces. The Missouri Republican was a lead endorser and amplifier of former President Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories that he unfairly lost the 2020 election—theories that fueled the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6. In a now-infamous photograph, Hawley was pictured raising his fist in solidarity with those gathered outside the Capitol that morning. When the Senate convened after the mob was cleared, Hawley was the only senator to speak in favor of objecting to the Electoral College certification.So when Hawley floated his minimum wage plan on Friday, no apparent public or private efforts to collaborate with progressives followed. There was no sequel to the fight for $2,000 checks. Hawley told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that he had not gotten a call from Sanders or any Democratic colleague about the proposal or spoken with any of them about it. Sanders, meanwhile, declined to say if he had even talked to Hawley, only saying in response to questions that Democrats had moved on from an effort to force companies to pay a $15 wage in their COVID bill. A source close to Sanders confirmed that the two men did not speak about the proposed amendment to require companies to pay a $15 minimum wage.Asked if Democrats wanted to work with him right now, Hawley said, “I don’t think they particularly want to work with anybody.”But that doesn’t appear to be so.Sen. Jon Ossoff—the Democrat from Georgia who won his race for Senate the same day Hawley encouraged the mob that attacked it—told The Daily Beast on Tuesday, “I’m not going to rule out working with any colleagues.” He said he’d be open to considering Hawley’s proposal, adding, “I’m encouraged that there is interest among Republican senators in taking action to increase wages.”Ever since Jan. 6, Democrats have contemplated how they could work again as normal with the over 150 congressional Republicans who voted to object to the 2020 election results and who spread conspiracies that President Joe Biden somehow did not win fairly. Relationships on typically chummy Capitol Hill have been strained, with flare-ups and personal attacks boiling over in committee hearings. Some Democratic lawmakers now keep lists of who they can work with and who they cannot, based on the votes that took place after the attack on Jan. 6.But Hawley’s case might be a unique test of the strained new atmosphere on Capitol Hill. To some Democrats, no other high-profile GOP lawmaker is more associated with the events of Jan. 6. Among many, particularly activists, Hawley is now firmly persona non grata—a contemptible figure who has fully earned himself a career as a pariah. “Josh Hawley has a lot to answer to,” said Joe Sanberg, a California businessman and advocate for raising the wage. “I don’t think he’s a relevant part of the conversation about the righteous fight for the minimum wage for 22 million people who earn less than $15 an hour.”But few, if any, occupy the space on the political spectrum that the freshman Republican has staked out—space that has situated Hawley to find, on occasion, common ground with progressives.In addition to the splashier $2,000 check campaign and the minimum wage proposal, Hawley has introduced legislation to require some colleges to pay off the debts of students who default on their loans and bills to rein in pharmaceutical prices. He has been an outspoken critic of Wall Street and corporate America, albeit from a conservative perspective, but in ways that found him occasionally hitting similar notes as some on the left.For many progressives who might be inclined to agree with some of Hawley’s proposals, wariness and skepticism about the ambitious senator’s populist overtures have prevailed. Many have noted that his brand of populism is animated by a nationalist, anti-immigration sentiment they find xenophobic or even racist; others simply don’t take his stances all too seriously.Show-Me State Tells Hawley to Show Himself Out, Poll Finds“I have always been immensely skeptical of it,” said Marshall Steinbaum, an economics professor at the University of Utah who focuses on inequality, labor, and antitrust issues. “It’s not a matter of making common cause with strange political bedfellows… I definitely take the view that having Hawley in some putative coalition discredits that coalition.”But other Democrats have welcomed the emergence of Republicans who could, potentially, help them advance the pro-worker economic policies they’ve been campaigning on for years. Clearly, Sanders previously believed that working with Hawley could help deliver direct relief to people hit hard by the pandemic. "We are working on bipartisan legislation," Sanders said in a speech from the Senate floor in December. "And Senator Hawley has done a very, very good job on this."Hawley, meanwhile, has been a vocal critic of the “radical left.” But when the partnership with Sanders emerged last year, he told reporters, “Hey, as I’ve said, I’ll work with anybody.”The senators’ efforts on stimulus checks prompted commentators to raise their eyebrows—at a “budding left-right populist alliance,” as The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent put it. Ultimately, the bill that passed on Dec. 26 fell far short of what the duo asked for, with direct checks of only $600, and a standalone floor vote on $2,000 checks they pushed for later was blocked by Senate GOP leadership. But that full amount will almost certainly come eventually, with the Democratic-controlled Congress slated to send out $1,400 direct payments as part of a new relief plan this month.The new round of relief was still an abstraction when Capitol Hill was ruptured on Jan. 6, the very day Democrats sealed the Senate majority. In the aftermath, seven Senate Democrats requested that the Senate Ethics Committee open an investigation to obtain a “complete account” of Hawley’s role, and that of Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX), in the events of the day. Arguing that they had “lent legitimacy to the mob’s cause and made future violence more likely,” the senators said the body to determine whether the Republicans violated the rules and therefore merited punishment—including expulsion. Sanders was not on the letter.In response, Hawley accused the Democrats of trying to “cancel” him and filed his own complaint to the Ethics panel about their letter.The Missouri senator proceeded to play virtually no role in the shaping of the COVID relief plan that developed after Biden took office. Most Senate Democrats have avoided declaring they will never work with him again, but no one is rushing to work with him.Hawley has nevertheless tried to get a piece of the ongoing stimulus action, especially on the minimum wage, which has become a key focus of the current relief plan. In addition to proposing a requirement for “billion-dollar” companies to pay a $15 hourly wage, Hawley rolled out what he called the “Blue-Collar Bonus,” a tax credit intended to give employees of smaller companies a way to reach the $15 threshold, at government expense. Critics responded that the structure of his plan would give companies huge loopholes to avoid paying a fair wage.It also explicitly excludes non-citizens and undocumented workers—a nonstarter for Democrats, and a sign to progressives like Sanberg that it’s impossible to take any good in Hawley’s proposals without also taking on the bad. “He has terrible judgment. He’s always trying to move to where he thinks political winds are—when you’re moving with political winds without any moral center, it takes you right into hurricanes,” he said.But Pete d’Alessandro, a former top Sanders political adviser in Iowa, said sometimes there isn’t a choice. “Are you not gonna work with every single senator who thinks we still need to look into the election?” he told The Daily Beast. “Because there’s more than Hawley on that. If you buy into what Congress is supposed to do, if you draw these buckets, there’s not gonna be a lot of people to work with, at some point.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.
A U.S. House of Representatives panel has reissued a subpoena seeking Donald Trump's tax and financial records, saying in a memo made public on Tuesday it needs the documents to address "conflicts of interest" by future presidents. In a court filing on Tuesday, House lawyers told a judge that the House Oversight Committee reissued a subpoena to Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA LLP, on Feb. 25.
- Associated Press
Kevin Stefanski's first season as an NFL head coach was sublime, almost storybook. Stefanski, who was voted AP Coach of the Year for the Browns' turnaround in 2020, met with reporters Tuesday on Zoom for the first time since a day after the team's 22-17 divisional-round playoff loss at Kansas City. As is his style, Stefanski offered no juicy news nuggets about the Browns' offseason plans.
- The Independent
John Brennan says ‘there are so few Republicans in Congress who value truth, honesty, and integrity’
For the first time ever, the celebrity dermatologist let a patient take a smoke break halfway through the procedure to calm down.
- Associated Press
An Israeli military court has sentenced a prominent Palestinian lawmaker to two years in prison in a plea bargain that convicted her of belonging to an outlawed group. Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has been held without charge since October 2019. Israel, along with the U.S. and other Western allies, considers the PFLP a terror group.
- The Week
President Biden delivered some exciting news Tuesday, promising the United States will have enough COVID-19 vaccine supply by the end of May for every American adult to get a shot. President Biden says there will be enough vaccine doses for 300 million adults by end of May, two months earlier than previous projections. https://t.co/ZZvBZrzDbr pic.twitter.com/HI7PKdyVn4 — NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) March 2, 2021 Just a few weeks ago, Biden had set the end of July as the target date for universal availability, but the timeline has been expedited, largely thanks to the addition of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the arsenal. Biden couldn't account for the third shot when he last addressed the situation because it hadn't been granted emergency approval by the Food and Drug Administration at the time. But that's where the caveats come in. Tuesday's announcement was primarily focused on an increase in supply, which is just one aspect of vaccine distribution. At least some of the hurdles that the U.S. currently faces in terms of actually getting people vaccinated could still be there in May. For example, Biden himself acknowledged that "it's not enough to have the vaccine supply, we need vaccinators — people to put the shots in people's arms," and, as Stat News points out, the president didn't highlight any new efforts to increase the number of vaccinators. That said, even though it's still unclear if every adult will actually be able to receive a vaccine by the end of May, the U.S. does appear to be consistently increasing its vaccination pace, so the supply increase may have come at the right time. More stories from theweek.comThe biggest jazz star you've never heard of7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceArizona GOP lawyer tells Supreme Court the party needs certain voting restrictions to compete with Democrats
- The Conversation
An unidentified doctor talks with a boy who holds a lollipop reward after participating in a measles vaccine research program in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, in 1963. NASA/PhotoQuest/Getty ImagesNearly 50 million people in the U.S. had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine by March 1, and millions of others have spent hours online trying to get an appointment. But soon, the demand could fall because of vaccine hesitancy. How is the government going to get people on board? From my research, I have found that an important part of a successful vaccine campaign is in the name. As a health communication scholar who studies the history of epidemics, I have been interested in the naming and public delivery of the COVID-19 government response. In many ways, this moment parallels crises of the past, as people in previous epidemics and pandemics also struggled to find ways to protect themselves against deadly disease. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaking about Zika in January 2016. Win McNamee/Getty Images Abandoning the ‘Operation Warp Speed’ name In the week leading up to the 2021 presidential inauguration, the Biden transition team announced that the White House’s national COVID-19 vaccine plan would no longer be called “Operation Warp Speed,” the name coined by Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump. On Jan. 21, 2021, the Biden administration released its 200-page COVID-19 plan, “The National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness.” The change in names not only broadened the focus to include additional safety measures to curb transmission during the distribution process. It also signified a profound shift in the administration’s approach and consideration of the pandemic itself. Dr. Anthony Fauci and other public health experts criticized the “Operation Warp Speed” name, arguing that it falsely conveyed a lack of scientific rigor and adherence to safety protocol in the vaccine approval process. In a May 15, 2020, press conference, Trump explained the campaign name, stating, “It’s called ‘Operation Warp Speed.’ That means big, and it means fast. A massive scientific, industrial and logistical endeavor unlike anything our country has seen since the Manhattan Project.” Fauci and others believed that the name “Operation Warp Speed” could have undermined public trust in any COVID-19 vaccine to be developed, feeding into theories and misconceptions of the anti-vaccine movement. It also marked a historical deviation in the identification of vaccine campaigns for the general public. The names we Americans use broadly today, inoculation and vaccination, emerged as the names for very specific immunization procedures against a specific disease, smallpox. Smallpox: A big controversy In the past, immunization terms stemmed from the induced immunological protection against smallpox. During the Boston smallpox epidemic of 1721, for example, Puritan minister Cotton Mather and Colonial physician Dr. Zabdiel Boylston introduced the practice of inoculation in hopes of protecting the town. Onesimus, an enslaved man who was in bondage to Mather, had told Mather of the practice and how he had been inoculated as a child in Africa. The practice involved intentionally infecting people with smallpox in hopes of reducing its severity. People fiercely discussed this controversial approach in public discourse, even spurring James Franklin, older brother of Benjamin, to create the New England Courant as an outlet to oppose its practice. Many articles in The Courant, Boston Gazette and the Boston News-Letter, along with pamphlets, argued for and against the practice of inoculation. This cemented the term in 18th-century vocabulary, along with its alternative name, “variolation.” This practice, and growing public familiarity with it, set the stage for acceptance of the first vaccine, which would change the course of disease. In 1798, English physician Dr. Edward Jenner proposed that inducing a mild cowpox infection could protect against smallpox – which he called a “vaccine,” from vaccinia, meaning cowpox. Millions of people already have been vaccinated. Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images Say its name Immunization campaigns for approved and established vaccines have often gone unnamed, simply listing the disease name, location and date, like the 1916 typhoid vaccine campaign in North Carolina’s Catawba County, northwest of Charlotte, North Carolina. Even sponsored vaccine programs have not necessarily taken on the name of the supporting corporation. In 1926, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. donated US$15,000 toward the eradication of diphtheria in New York. Despite this contribution, the campaign went unnamed. In the trial and development stage, vaccines were not typically named, even in the press. News articles referred to the “anti-disease” vaccine – that is, “anti-smallpox,” “anti-typhoid,” “anti-tetanus” – sometimes including the lead scientist’s last name, as with the Enders measles vaccine. For example, although polio vaccine trials in 1954 labeled the recruited child participants “polio pioneers,” the vaccine itself was called the “anti-polio” or Salk vaccine. Nicknaming vaccines can be a problem When vaccine campaigns have been named, catchy or abstract names can be problematic, especially in the experimental stages. The 1950s gamma globulin trials prompted confusion with the nickname “Operation Lollipop,” which referred to the “all-day sucker” given to children after the injection. Some people misunderstood, believing that scientists had delivered the actual polio virus in the candy to participants, prompting clarification that the name “had nothing to do with the experiment itself.” A Star Wars poster from 1977 encouraged immunization. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention More often, campaigns and slogans have been used in catch-up immunization drives after already widely distributed vaccines, as in the polio vaccine “Wellbee,” Utah’s 1967 “Muzzle Measles,” the 1977 Star Wars “Parents of Earth” message or the 1997 Dr. Seuss Immunization Awareness Campaign. These programs highlighted the importance of existing vaccines, rather than introducing new ones. As public health officials have noted, the title “Operation Warp Speed,” combined with the lack of a strategic COVID-19 response plan under the Trump administration, took away from the strict adherence to safety protocols that vaccine producers and the Food and Drug Administration have followed. In a Gallup Panel survey from Dec. 15, 2020, to Jan. 3, 2021, 65% of participants said they would get the vaccine, with divisions in age, race, education and party affiliation. The name “Operation Warp Speed” paired with coronavirus misinformation, much of it directly from Trump, likely contributed to the lack of trust in the vaccines before they were even developed. At least 75% to 80% of the population needs to become immunized – the number needed for herd immunity – to end of the pandemic, according to Fauci. Thus, I believe it will be important to develop a trustworthy campaign and a name that bolsters confidence. The Biden administration is not starting from scratch. I believe that the Biden administration’s adoption of a new direct name for its response plan is the first step toward pandemic recovery. Building confidence across various groups and communities will be critical for herd immunity to be achieved. The new campaign name, then, initiated what needs to be a straightforward, factual approach, integral to widespread COVID-19 immunization.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Katherine A. Foss, Middle Tennessee State University. Read more:How does the Johnson & Johnson vaccine compare to other coronavirus vaccines? 4 questions answeredCan vaccinated people still spread the coronavirus? Katherine A. Foss does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
India is ready to offer incentives to ensure Tesla Inc's cost of production would be less than in China if the carmaker commits to making its electric vehicles in the south Asian country, transport minister Nitin Gadkari told Reuters. Gadkari's pitch comes weeks after billionaire Elon Musk's Tesla registered a company in India in a step towards entering the country, possibly as soon as mid-2021.
- Associated Press
An Israeli-owned cargo ship that suffered a mysterious explosion last week has left Dubai’s port and was transiting the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday, satellite tracking data showed. The giant MV Helios Ray, a Bahamian-flagged roll-on, roll-off vehicle cargo ship, was sailing along the Omani coast toward the Arabian Sea, according to satellite-tracking data from website MarineTraffic.com, days after docking in Dubai for repairs.
- LA Times
When the 'Punky Brewster' star embarked on a new documentary, she found that confronting her past, including surviving sexual assault, was the only way forward.
- Yahoo News
President Biden said Tuesday that he had accepted a request from Neera Tanden to withdraw her nomination for a Cabient position, the first such defeat of his administration.
- The Week
Manhattan DA investigators are reportedly focusing on the Trump Organization's chief financial officer
Investigators with the Manhattan District Attorney's office are taking a closer look at Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, as they continue a probe into former President Donald Trump and his family business, people with knowledge of the matter told The New York Times. They are investigating potential financial fraud, and whether Trump and the Trump Organization manipulated property values in order to receive loans and reduce property taxes, the Times reports. Weisselberg, 73, has worked for the Trump Organization for decades, starting at the company when it was helmed by Fred Trump, the former president's father. Two people familiar with the matter said prosecutors have been asking witnesses about Weisselberg, and spoke with one person about Weisselberg's sons — Barry, the property manager of Trump Wollman Rink in Central Park, and Jack, who works at Ladder Capital, one of Trump's lenders. None of the Weisselbergs have been accused of wrongdoing, and there is no indication Barry and Jack are a focus of the probe, the Times says. The investigation began more than two years ago, with the district attorney looking into hush money payments made to two women who said they had affairs with Trump. Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, arranged the payments, and pleaded guilty to federal campaign finance charges. He testified before Congress that Weisselberg came up with a strategy to hide the fact that the Trump Organization was reimbursing Cohen for making payments to one of the women, pornographic actress Stormy Daniels. Trump has called the investigation "a witch hunt." More stories from theweek.comThe biggest jazz star you've never heard of7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceArizona GOP lawyer tells Supreme Court the party needs certain voting restrictions to compete with Democrats
The "Evermore" artist and "The Favourite" actor have kept their love lives out of the spotlight for four years.
Gunmen who kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls from a boarding school in northwest Nigeria last week beat them and threatened to shoot them during a forced march into captivity, victims said on Tuesday after they were set free. The pupils from Jangebe, a town in Zamfara state, were seized in a raid just after midnight on Friday. All 279 had now been released by the gunmen, Zamfara Governor Bello Matawalle said.
- Business Insider
10 hours in Cancún hurt Ted Cruz's job approval more than when he tried to flip the presidential election
New polling from Morning Consult shows Ted Cruz's job approval fell more after traveling to Mexico than when he objected to the election results.
- Business Insider
Rep. Adam Kinzinger tore into Sen. Josh Hawley for his 'smug' CPAC speech, saying 5 people died because of 'what you did'
"Like, there are five people dead, two that took their own life on top of that, as a result of what you did," Kinzinger said of Hawley.
From fun fashion moments to pets and "Schitt's Creek" references, here are interesting things you might not have seen during the award show.