Video showed the disturbing moment the 62-year-old woman and 2-year-old boy were hit by a car Monday afternoon.
- The Independent
President is reportedly lashing out at closest aides
- The Week
Texas veers away from national vaccination guidelines, will prioritize over 65 age group before essential workers
Texas does not plan on following a federal advisory panel's recommendation that essential workers and people over age 75 should be next in line to receive COVID-19 vaccines after health care workers and long-term care facility residents, the state's health and human services department announced Monday.Instead, people in Texas who are over 65, as well as adults of any age with certain medical conditions considered coronavirus co-morbidities will receive priority. The department's announcement says the decision was reached after a state-level expert panel decided the "most vulnerable populations" should be protected as soon as possible, though it will likely be a few weeks before the state is done with the initial phase of vaccinations.> Texas breaks with CDC ACIP recommendations for next phase of covid19 vaccine prioritization; puts people 65+ and those with medical conditions that put them at high risk next in line after front-line health care workers and residents of long term care facilities pic.twitter.com/o3nDRaQpeZ> > — Meg Tirrell (@megtirrell) December 21, 2020There has been debate about who should receive shots next, with some arguing data clearly identifies age as one of the most significant factors in disease severity. But others believe the federal recommendation is the right call, since essential workers are at greater risk of coming into contact with the virus and don't have the luxury of working from home.More stories from theweek.com Televangelist Pat Robertson says Biden won, won't be president long, urges 'erratic' Trump to retire Trump's eye-for-an-eye endgame Are the worst days of the Trump presidency still ahead?
- NBC News
City leaders said if they had turned down Asatru Folk Assembly, they would have faced an expensive legal battle.
- The Telegraph
At least 25 Indian farmers have died during protests against controversial legislation, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi attempted to diffuse growing tensions by making a surprise visit to a Sikh temple in New Delhi on Sunday. Fourteen deaths have been attributed to exposure to the cold, as approximately 500,000 farmers - most of whom are Sikh - continue to sleep in their tractors and blockade roads outside Delhi, despite temperatures dropping to 3°C at night. Ten death occurred in road accidents as farmers travelled to Delhi from the surrounding states of Punjab and Haryana, while an eminent Sikh priest from Haryana shot himself in protest at the new legislation. The farmers say they will continue to occupy the streets, causing ongoing disruption to food supplies in India’s capital, until the proposed farm bills are repealed. On Monday, the protesting farmers are undergoing a day-long hunger strike, while union leaders announced plans to occupy toll booths surrounding Delhi from December 25.
- Business Insider
Monday's statement marks the first time since 2012 the Navy has announced the presence of a guided-missile submarine in the Persian Gulf.
- The Independent
Trump news - live: President sued for breaking KKK act as Pelosi vows to pull him out of White House ‘by hair’
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- The Week
Former FDA head Dr. Scott Gottlieb believes the new variant of the coronavirus found in the United Kingdom is "already in the U.S." and a travel ban won't do anything to keep it from spreading in the country.The mutation is thought to be up to 70 percent more transmissible, and because of it, more than 40 countries have banned travel to and from the U.K. for at least 48 hours. The former Food and Drug Administration commissioner told CNBC's Shepard Smith on Monday that at this point, he does not believe a travel ban "is going to prevent this mutated strain from coming into the United States. We're going to have an epidemic that continues to build over the course of the next three or four weeks, we'll reach a peak, and then we'll start to see infection rates decline as we see vaccinations get rolled out."So far, there is no sign this is a deadlier strain, and Gottlieb told Smith "the question is, is this virus going to change the surface proteins in a way that can obviate either the vaccines or prior immunity, and there's no indication that it's doing that right now." However, Gottlieb cautioned that "over time, it will evolve in ways where it can probably obviate prior infection or vaccines to some degree, so we'll probably need to adapt our vaccines over time."As the virus continues to make its way around the world, Gottlieb said "we're going to start to see more of these variants, and that's why it's important to get the population vaccinated and snuff out these infections. The more infections you have, the more chances that these variants start to propagate."More stories from theweek.com Televangelist Pat Robertson says Biden won, won't be president long, urges 'erratic' Trump to retire Trump's eye-for-an-eye endgame Are the worst days of the Trump presidency still ahead?
- Associated Press
Deputies were called just before 1 a.m. Sunday to a rural home near the town of Cole Camp, the Benton County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. The child's mother, Mary Mast, 28, and her 2-year-old son also were badly beaten. Deputies on Monday arrested the family's neighbors, Ethan Mast, 35, and Kourtney Aumen, 21.
Sao Paulo state's Butantan Institute, which is organizing the late-stage trials of Sinovac's vaccine CoronaVac in Brazil, said on Monday that any reports on the efficacy of the shot before a Wednesday announcement were "mere speculation." Brazil is the first country to complete late-stage trials of CoronaVac, which is also being tested in Indonesia and Turkey, the Journal reported https://www.wsj.com/articles/sinovacs-covid-19-vaccine-shown-to-be-effective-in-brazil-trials-11608581330?mod=latest_headlines. The results from the Brazil trials put CoronaVac above the 50% threshold that international scientists deem necessary to protect people, the Journal report said.
- The Conversation
A new variant of SARS-CoV-2 is spreading rapidly in the United Kingdom, with over 1,400 cases since September. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, generally accumulates mutations slowly over time, but this new variant has accumulated many mutations quickly.If this new version of the virus is here to stay, as it appears to be, what does that mean? Will this new version of the virus replace the old one? Will it be easier to catch? And, most important, will the current vaccines still be effective? This interests me because I am an evolutionary microbiologist who studies the link between the transmission and evolution of infectious diseases. In particular, I spend a lot of time considering the effects of vaccines on pathogen evolution and the effects of pathogen evolution on the impact of vaccines. What is the new SARS-CoV-2 mutant that has emerged?The new version of SARS-CoV-2 – named the B.1.1.7 lineage – is spreading in the U.K. and possibly beyond. The differences between the old and new virus include 23 mutations in the virus’s genetic code that have altered four viral proteins. Eight of these 23 mutations affect the spike protein. This matters because the spike protein enables the virus to enter human cells, and it is a key target of our immune response, both in fighting off the virus during infection and in protecting us from disease following vaccination with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. If the changes to the spike protein help the virus enter human cells more easily, then the virus could be transmitted from person to person more readily.These mutations may also alter how well the host’s immune system combats the virus, potentially reducing the efficacy of the current vaccines. What is different about this new version of SARS-CoV-2?Samples of the new virus isolated from patients suggest that this variant has been increasing in relative frequency over the past three months. The increase in frequency is concerning, as it suggests – but does not prove – that the B.1.1.7 isolates of SARS-CoV-2 are more transmissible than the original virus. Some have estimated that the new virus may be up to 70% more transmissible than the old virus. While these estimates are consistent with the data, it is entirely too early to make a definitive conclusion.If this increase in transmissibility is confirmed, it might be due to of the mutations in the spike protein allows it to bind more tightly to the ACE2 receptor, which provides a gateway for the virus to enter human cells. But it might also be due to any of the other changes to the virus. Is it more dangerous? If so, why?If the new version, B.1.1.7, is indeed more transmissible than the old virus, it will be more dangerous in the sense that it will make more people sick. However, I am not aware of good evidence that there is any difference in severity of disease caused by the new version of this virus compared with the older one. That said, with so few known cases, it may still be too early to say. Will the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines still be effective against this new strain?Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work by training our immune systems to recognize a specific version of the viral spike protein. The version of the spike protein used by the vaccines was designed to match that of the old virus, not that of the B.1.1.7 virus. This means that the vaccines might become less effective than expected should this new virus spread widely. Vaccine-virus mismatch is an ongoing challenge for scientists charged with developing the seasonal flu vaccine. But even with a virus-vaccine mismatch, the flu vaccine reduces the likelihood, and the severity, of disease. The question is therefore not whether the vaccines will be effective, but rather how effective they will be. The severity of the mismatch matters, but the only way to determine its impact in this case is through scientific study, and to my knowledge, no data on that has yet been collected. In other words, it’s too early to say whether and how this new variant will influence the overall effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Should people still get the new mRNA vaccine?The appearance of this new B.1.1.7 makes it even more important that people get vaccinated as soon as possible. If this new version is more transmissible, or if the vaccine is less effective because of a virus-vaccine mismatch, more people will need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity and get this disease under control. Moreover, we now have proof that the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 can change drastically in a short time, and so it is critical that we get the virus under control to prevent it from evolving further and completely undermining vaccination efforts.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: David Kennedy, Penn State.Read more: * The top scientific breakthrough for 2020 was understanding SARS-CoV-2 and how it causes COVID-19 – and then developing multiple vaccines * A second pathway into cells for SARS-CoV-2: New understanding of the neuropilin-1 protein could speed vaccine researchDavid Kennedy 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.
- NBC News
President Donald Trump has already used the wartime production law to speed testing and production of medical equipment.
- Architectural Digest
Slip into something a little more comfortableOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- The Week
Trump administration officials subpoenaed in probe into alleged 'extensive and dangerous' political interference at CDC
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Director Robert Redfield have both been subpoenaed by a House subcommittee probing allegations of political interference at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on Monday subpoenaed Azar and Redfield for previously-requested documents, which committee chair Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said was "necessary because the Select Subcommittee's investigation has revealed that efforts to interfere with scientific work at CDC were far more extensive and dangerous than previously known," The Wall Street Journal reports.Earlier this month, Clyburn said that a CDC official, Dr. Charlotte Kent, alleged to investigators that Redfield ordered the deletion of an email showing a Trump administration appointee was trying to interfere with a scientific report amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Axios reports. And on Monday, Clyburn said that the subcommittee has obtained documents showing "Trump administration appointees attempted to alter or block at least 13 scientific reports related to" COVID-19 over a "period of four months."A spokesperson for HHS previously objected to the "subcommittee's characterization of the conversation with Dr. Kent," calling it "irresponsible," per the Journal. Clyburn said the subpoena requires Redfield and Azar to produce the requested documents by Dec. 30.More stories from theweek.com Televangelist Pat Robertson says Biden won, won't be president long, urges 'erratic' Trump to retire Trump's eye-for-an-eye endgame Are the worst days of the Trump presidency still ahead?
- The Independent
‘This crisis has made it clearer than ever why paid leave for every worker is so important to families,’ says senator Patty Murray
A white supremacist who has advocated for legalizing child porn was arrested and charged with kidnapping a 12-year-old girl he met online
Nathan Larson, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2018, has called Hitler a 'white supremacist hero' and admitted that he was a pedophile.
- The Week
Federal prosecutors for the Southern District of New York have been discussing with Justice Department officials in Washington whether to make a legal request for Rudy Giuliani's emails, two people with knowledge of the matter told NBC News.Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, is President Trump's personal lawyer. Under Justice Department policy, prosecutors must get approval from Washington before asking a judge to sign a search warrant for items that might be protected by attorney-client privilege; NBC News notes that it is not known if the approval was granted.In October 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported that SDNY prosecutors were investigating Giuliani and his business dealings in Ukraine, and as part of the probe, they examined Giuliani's bank records. That same month, two of Giuliani's associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested and charged with campaign finance fraud. Parnas and Fruman both helped Giuliani try to dig up dirt in Ukraine about President-elect Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.The Washington Post reported in February that prosecutors had started talking with witnesses in an attempt to gather more documents for the investigation, and two people familiar with the matter stressed to NBC News that the probe is ongoing, with one saying it is "very active."Giuliani's attorney, Robert Costello, told NBC News he has "no reason to believe there's any truth to the allegations that there is renewed interest in my client." Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that Trump has talked with advisers about granting Giuliani a preemptive pardon.More stories from theweek.com Televangelist Pat Robertson says Biden won, won't be president long, urges 'erratic' Trump to retire Trump's eye-for-an-eye endgame Are the worst days of the Trump presidency still ahead?
- Yahoo News Video
South Korea said on Tuesday it had scrambled fighter jets in response to an intrusion into South Korea's air defense identification zone by 19 Russian and Chinese military aircraft.
- The Telegraph
Hundreds of Russian and Rwandan troops have rushed into the Central African Republic (CAR) to stop an alleged coup attempt, according to the government. The troops have already started to fight rebel groups, the government said. On Saturday, CAR’s government accused the forces of former president Francois Bozize of an attempted putsch after three powerful rebel groups merged and started to advance on the capital Bangui. "Russia has sent several hundred soldiers and heavy weapons" in the framework of a bilateral cooperation agreement, a government spokesman said. He added: "The Rwandans have also sent several hundred men who are on the ground and have started fighting.” However, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov denied the claims on Monday. "We are not sending troops,” he said, according to the Interfax news agency. Reportedly, the rebels are being held back from the capital. On Sunday, the United Nation’s peacekeeping mission in CAR, Minusca, said the situation was “under control”. The news comes ahead of a presidential election on 27 December. Mr Bozize was recently barred from standing. Rwanda, which has at least 750 Rwandan soldiers and police officers serving in Minusca, said it had sent in more troops in response to the targeting of its peacekeepers by rebels. Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame said on Monday that Rwandan troops would not be bound by UN rules of engagement. No precise details were given on how many Rwandan troops arrived on Sunday. Separately, Russia began to expand into CAR in 2017, providing weapons, contractors and mercenaries to prop up the beleaguered government in Bangui. In exchange, Russian companies with links to the Kremlin have been awarded rights to mine and export diamonds from the country. Private security guards employed by Russian companies began to train local forces and protect President Faustin-Archange Touadera. It is thought this arrangement gives Moscow considerable influence over Mr Touadera. Moscow’s dive into CAR, one of the most fractured and war-torn nations on earth, took many observers aback and showed how Russia was trying to gain more influence and prestige in Africa. The move also alarmed France, CAR’s former colonial power, which has dominated the country for decades. Last week it emerged that France and Russia were fighting a disinformation war in CAR through online trolls. Trolls from two separate influence operations, including individuals, said to be linked to the French military, posed as locals using fake accounts. Moscow has not confirmed it has sent troops to battle the rebels but the Kremlin has voiced "serious concern" about events in CAR.
- NBC News
The passengers were on a flight bound for Atlanta when they opened the aircraft’s cabin door.
- The Independent
Anti-lockdown protesters that swarmed the Oregon state capitol were pushed out by police as bear spray and pepper balls flew between the two factions, according to reports and footage from the scene. About 300 members of the Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer and other groups arrived at the “Reopen Oregon” rally calling on governor Kate Brown to lift pandemic restrictions as lawmakers met in a special session to discuss stimulus and vaccination distribution measures. Protestors used bear spray against police while entering the building before they were pushed out by police using pepper spray, according to the Statesman Journal, whose photographer was shoved by protestors while capturing the event.