A new poll shows about a quarter of people in the U.S. plan to avoid a COVID-19 vaccine if possible. The Monmouth University poll is based on calls to more than 800 adults last month.
Preliminary data from a study conducted at the University of Oxford indicates that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca PLC is effective against the P1, or Brazilian, variant, a source with knowledge of the study told Reuters on Friday. The data indicates that the vaccine will not need to be modified in order to protect against the variant, which is believed to have originated in the Amazonian city of Manaus, said the source, who requested anonymity as the results have not yet been made public. The source did not provide the exact efficacy of the vaccine against the variant.
- The Daily Beast
Rosa Woods - Pool/Getty ImagesMeghan Markle has said she was not allowed to make her own choices when she was a member of the royal family.The comments were made in a new preview clip from Oprah Winfrey’s eagerly-awaited interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, which dropped Friday morning on CBS This Morning.In the new clip, Meghan said that she had not been “allowed” to give an interview before.In the clip, Oprah told Meghan that she recalled calling her before her wedding and asking for an interview.Meghan said: “I recall that conversation very well. I wasn’t even allowed to have that conversation with you personally. Right? There had to be people from the [communications team] sitting there…”Oprah then said: “You turned me down nicely…What is right about this time?”Meghan replied: “Well, so many things. That we are on the other side of a lot of life experience that’s happened. And also that we have the ability to make our own choices in way that I couldn’t have said yes to you then. That wasn’t my choice to make. So, as an adult who lived a really independent life, to then go into this construct, that is, um, different, than I think what people imagine it to be, it’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say, ‘Yes, I am ready to talk.’ To say it for yourself…. To be able to just make a choice on your own, to be able to speak for yourself.”Meghan’s new comments appear to reiterate a frequent complaint of hers that she was denied her voice and agency when she was a member of the royal family.The new clip came as tensions between Meghan and Harry and Buckingham Palace boiled over into all-out war, with reports in the British media suggesting multiple witnesses were ready to come forward and give evidence to a hastily-announced inquiry into alleged bullying by Meghan of her staff at Buckingham Palace.Meghan’s friends responded to the bullying claims by launching a social media fightback against Buckingham Palace today calling her a “warm, kind, caring person.”In a previous clip Meghan accused the palace of “perpetuating falsehoods” about them.An emotional Meghan said: “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get 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.
- The Daily Beast
The View/ABCThe second the phrase “Neanderthal thinking” came out of President Joe Biden’s mouth in reference to Republican governors who were prematurely reopening their states, it was inevitable. Conservatives had found their new “basket of deplorables” and would start self-identifying as cavemen to own the libs.On Friday, Joy Behar opened The View by asking if this whole “scandal” could be considered a “win to just get Republicans to admit that evolution exists?”Over the next several minutes, Sunny Hostin dismissed the “pearl clutching” by Republicans after years of defending Donald Trump; and Sara Haines laughed off the whole thing, explaining the difference between calling someone a “Neanderthal” and saying, as Biden did, that they are engaging in “Neanderthal thinking.”BIDEN CALLS LIFTING MANDATES “NEANDERTHAL THINKING”: Republicans criticized Pres. Biden’s comments when asked about Texas and Mississippi rolling back COVID-19 restrictions and ending mask mandates—@JoyVBehar, @MeghanMcCain, @sunny, and @sarahaines react. https://t.co/ICQvk7E8VT pic.twitter.com/vQ6Q3SorCd— The View (@TheView) March 5, 2021 Then it was Meghan McCain’s turn. “Isn’t this manufactured outrage or is this a real problem?” Behar asked her.“I actually don’t think this is manufactured,” McCain replied, without skipping a beat, accusing Biden of some sort of hypocrisy because he has said he wants to restore the “soul of the nation.” She too linked the president’s words to Hillary Clinton’s “deplorable” comments during the 2016 election, which Trump supporters reclaimed as a bizarre badge of honor.“You can laugh and say ‘Oh, it’s a joke,’ whatever, but Republicans across the country already feel like people on the left think they’re dumb rednecks,” she continued, “they’re just stupid deplorables in baskets, nobody cares about their trucks and their flags. That’s what Republicans think the media thinks of them.”In the end, she said, “All it does is it’s going to help Republicans be more tribal and think that we’re just deplorable Neanderthals, the left has no place for us, so there’s no unity whatsoever.”Then, in an apparent attempt to make things even worse, McCain drew a parallels between Trump calling MS-13 gang members “animals,” which “the media jumped all over for weeks” and Biden’s “Neanderthal thinking” comment. “I have no problem calling vicious gang members ‘animals,’” she said. “But if it’s not OK to call gang members ‘animals,’ but it’s OK to call Republicans who are in the middle of the country ‘Neanderthals’ it just seems like a lot of hypocrisy.”Meghan McCain: Replace Dr. Fauci With Someone Who ‘Understands Science’Read more at The Daily Beast.Get 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.
- The Week
Federico Klein, a former State Department aide who worked on former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, was arrested Thursday on charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the FBI announced Thursday night. This is the first known instance of a Trump appointee facing prosecution in connection with the attack, Politico reports. An FBI Washington Field Office spokeswoman told Politico that Klein, 42, was taken into custody in Virginia, but did not release any information on the charges against him. Federal Election Commission records show Klein worked as a tech analyst for the 2016 Trump campaign, Politico says, and after the election he was hired at the State Department. A federal directory from last summer lists Klein as a special assistant in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, making him a "Schedule C" political appointee, Politico reports. On Jan. 6, a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President Biden's victory. Klein's mother, Cecilia, told Politico on Thursday night that he told her he was in Washington, D.C., on the day of the riot, and "as far as I know, he was on the Mall." She is a retired economist and trade official, and told Politico because of their different views, she rarely spoke about Trump or politics with her son. "Fred's politics burn a little hot," she said. "But I've never known him to violate the law." More stories from theweek.comWhy the Dr. Seuss 'cancellation' is chillingWhat Republicans talk about when they talk about the 'working class'7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearance
- The Independent
White House scoffs at idea Trump deserves credit for vaccines, saying half a million Americans died under his watch
Vaccinations have jumped from 900k to 2m a day under Biden administration
Season five of "The Masked Singer" will premiere on March 10 - here's who you will see competing for the crown.
I flew business class for 9 hours, and it made me wish I saved my money and bought an economy ticket
The writer reviewed how safe she felt, which perks she got, and the food she had during an international British Airways flight from Texas to London.
- Business Insider
Rudy Giuliani, who helped lead Trump's bogus election-fraud conspiracy theory, is being mocked after warning of the dangers of misinformation
After spending months pushing Trump's election fraud conspiracy theory, Giuliani unexpectedly warned of the dangers of misinformation.
- The Telegraph
Rishi Sunak leaves door open to future stealth tax raid as National Insurance pledge left out of Budget
Rishi Sunak has left the door open to another stealth tax raid after a Conservative manifesto commitment to raise the national insurance contributions (NICS) threshold to £12,500 was left out of the Budget. On Wednesday the Chancellor confirmed that personal allowances on income tax, pensions, inheritance tax and capital gains tax would be frozen until 2026, netting the Treasury an additional £21bn as more people are dragged into higher tax rates over time. However, in the Budget Red Book, he has also kept open the option to change a number of NICs thresholds at future budgets, handing the Exchequer the ability to raise billions of pounds in additional revenues if required. In 2019, Boris Johnson told voters that his “ultimate ambition” was to raise the level at which people begin paying both national insurance and income tax to £12,500 - a move which would save taxpayers £500. Last year’s budget also confirmed that the national insurance primary threshold - over which employees’ earnings are taxed at 12 per cent - would rise to £9,500. It described this as “the first step in meeting the government’s ambition to increase these thresholds to £12,500.” Mr Sunak confirmed yesterday that the threshold would increase again to £9,568 from April, along with the upper rate, which will increase to £50,270 and then stay frozen until 2026, in line the personal income allowance. But the future level of the primary threshold has not been set, with the document stating only that it would with “all other NICs thresholds... be considered and set at future fiscal events”. The 102-page Red Book does not appear to mention the Government’s ambition to raise the threshold to £12,500 once. Approached for comment, a Treasury spokesman said raising the NICs threshold to £12,500 was still the Government’s “ultimate ambition”. However, they acknowledged that there was no timeline for doing this. The omission suggests that Mr Sunak has kept open the possibility of temporarily freezing the lower NICs thresholds, should he need to boost tax receipts again in future. This would see more people dragged into tax as wages rise, and is known as "fiscal drag." Mr Sunak has already chosen to freeze other personal allowances due to the limited revenue raising options available to him because of the manifesto pledge not to increase income tax, VAT or NICs during this Parliament
- Associated Press
Justice Amy Coney Barrett delivered her first Supreme Court majority opinion Thursday, ruling against an environmental group that had sought access to government records. President Donald Trump's third nominee wrote for a 7-2 court that certain draft documents do not have to be disclosed under the federal Freedom of Information Act. The case was the first one Barrett heard after joining the court in late October, and it took four months for the 11-page opinion to be released.
- Associated Press
Former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is being asked to rule on an ethics complaint filed against the International Olympic Committee by a human-rights group representing Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China. Ban is the chairman of the IOC’s ethics commission. The World Uyghur Congress says an initial ethics complaint filed with the IOC to move the 2022 Winter Olympics from Beijing was largely ignored and may not have reached Ban.
- Business Insider
Biden changed his plan for the strike on Iran-backed militias at the last minute to avoid killing a woman and children
Intelligence came in that a woman and children were in the strike area as F-15E Strike Eagles were in the air and on their way.
A small detail you may have missed in the 'WandaVision' finale may be a clue about a potential 'Spider-Man 3' and 'Doctor Strange 2' villain
Some fans were disappointed that Mephisto didn't show up in the "WandaVision" finale, but the theories about the villain aren't stopping.
- Business Insider
Republicans are attacking Democrats by framing Biden's 'Neanderthal' comment like one of Trump's racist remarks
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that Biden "should apologize for his insensitive comments and seek training on unconscious bias."
- Associated Press
The women’s professional tennis tour is considering whether to make changes to its “frozen” ranking system adopted because of the coronavirus pandemic. WTA CEO Steve Simon said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press the tour is “currently reviewing if any further adjustments to the rankings process will be made.” As things stand, the WTA is allowing players to count the points from their top 16 tournament results since March 2019.
- Associated Press
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger won wide praise last fall for firmly rejecting then-President Donald Trump’s false claims of voter fraud. Both men say they support Georgia Republicans' efforts to enact an ID requirement for absentee voting that would do away with the state's signature matching system, which Trump heavily attacked. While the bills being pushed in Georgia and several other states have the backing of a GOP base that embraces Trump, they also could stir up Democratic backlash, not to mention make it harder for GOP voters to cast ballots.
Elections for Hong Kong's legislature will likely be deferred for a second year to September 2022 as Beijing plans a major overhaul of the city's electoral system, a severe blow to remaining hopes of democracy in the global financial hub. The delay, which the South China Morning Post and other local media reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources, would be in line with a new effort by Beijing to ensure "patriots" are in charge of all public institutions in the former British colony. The National People's Congress, China's rubber-stamp parliament, will pass the changes at its annual session which opened on Friday and will last a week.
Devin Booker says he's learned from having WNBA 'Greatest of All Time' Diana Taurasi, Mercury stars 'right in your backyard'
"Having the greatest of all time in Diana right in your backyard, I obviously took advantage of that opportunity and went to many games," Booker said.
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle's wedding-dress embroiderer says she hasn't heard from the royal family since revealing she's on the brink of homelessness
"It just makes me feel like I don't exist," Chloe Savage, who worked on Kate Middleton's and Meghan Markle's wedding dresses, told Insider.
- The Daily Beast
WPA Pool/Getty ImagesMeghan Markle is expected to discuss racism in the U.K. in her sit-down with Oprah Winfrey that airs on Sunday.In a depressing illustration of the problem, which Prince Harry has previously described as “structural” in Britain, a prominent British journalist and frequent critic of Meghan Markle is under fire after launching an extraordinary and racist attack on her, in which he appeared to suggest the fact that he thinks she is “attractive” meant she could not be a victim of racism.Andrew Pierce, a senior editor at the Daily Mail who is a regular guest on British TV and radio shows, was hosting a talk radio show Wednesday when a caller suggested that Meghan had never been “fully accepted because of her skin color.”Pierce, who is white, responded, “Oh God, that one again! Do you look at her… and see a Black woman? Because I don’t. I see a very attractive, a very attractive woman. It’s never occurred to me. I never look at her and think, ‘Gosh she’s Black!’ in the way you look at Oprah Winfrey, you would be in no doubt. When they sit down and do that interview, you will see a Black woman called Oprah Winfrey and you will see a woman who describes [herself] as a woman of color. Her mother is Black, she’s from a mixed-race family of course. But I just don’t think people look at Meghan and think, ‘Oh I hate her, because of her skin color.’ I don’t see it. I don’t buy it.”Just a reminder of who Andrew Pierce is... (sound on) pic.twitter.com/wUKq6deFAY— Royal Suitor (@royal_suitor) March 3, 2021 In his statement, Pierce utilizes colorism—the concept that because Markle is of a fairer complexion she cannot be a victim of racism. Instead, he compares her to Oprah Winfrey, implying that the media mogul’s darker skin color is not seen as being attractive because her features are overwhelmingly Black.This has been the case for a number of famous women. Michelle Obama constantly endured negative feedback about her looks before her husband even officially took his place in the White House. By highlighting Markle’s lighter skin, not only is Pierce diminishing her experiences but also perpetuating misunderstandings about racism.Pierce, a frequent critic of Markle, had earlier in the day been a guest on British TV show Good Morning Britain. The segment in which he appeared was criticized for featuring five white men talking about Meghan. Pierce attacked Meghan as hypocritical on the show over allegations she bullied staff at Buckingham Palace and also attacked her later in the day on Twitter for wearing jewelry gifted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.#Meghan wore diamonds from Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia 3 weeks says @thetimes after he ordered murder of #JamalKhashoggi it's not just appalling timing, why is she taking diamonds from Saudi which treats women as 3rd class citizens. So much for her worldwide equality campaign— Andrew Pierce (@toryboypierce) March 3, 2021 The shocking comments by Pierce that appeared to question Meghan’s race based on her appearance echo a revealing article written for Elle magazine in 2015 by Markle in which she said her race made it difficult for her to break through in Hollywood: “I wasn’t Black enough for the Black roles and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.”She added: “Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating.“While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”On Martin Luther King Day 2016, Markle published a moving piece of writing on her now-shuttered blog The Tig that explored the overt and covert racism she and her family have experienced throughout their lives.Pierce’s remarks have generated outraged commentary on social media.This is what Meghan had to deal with. Listen to how Andrew Pierce defines the attractiveness and diversity of a black woman. Heartbreaking. @Oprah @GayleKing @meenaharris @RobinRoberts @MichelleObama @WhoopiGoldberg https://t.co/pDKD4tN6vH— Pam Ranberg (@PamRanberg) March 3, 2021 Nervousness at the palace about what Meghan might reveal in her interview with Oprah intensified today after a new promo clip of Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey was released. It shows Meghan accuse the British royal family of “perpetuating falsehoods” about her and her husband. Winfrey asks, “How do you feel about the palace hearing you speak your truth today?” Markle responds, “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us. And if that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already.”Royals often use the term “The Firm” to refer to the monarchy.The Daily Beast has approached Associated Newspapers, Pierce’s employers, seeking comment. —Brooke Howard contributed to this reportRead more at The Daily Beast.Get 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.