Two North Carolina men accused in the shooting death of 9-year-old Z'Yon Person now face federal racketeering charges, specifically committing violent crimes to aid their gang operation, a federal prosecutor said.
- The State
The bill would allow 25% to 50% capacity at indoor and outdoor college and high school sporting events.
- Associated Press
The February storm is unforgiving, violently shaking the humanitarian rescuers’ vessel as they try to revive a faulty engine and save African migrants drifting in the Mediterranean Sea after fleeing Libya on unseaworthy boats. Not only must they brave 70 kph (43 mph) winds and 4-meter (13-foot) waves, but also win the race against the Libyan coast guard, which has been trained and equipped by Europe to keep migrants away from its shores. In recent days, the Libyans had already thwarted eight rescue attempts by the Open Arms, a Spanish NGO vessel, harassing and threatening its crew in the international waters of the central Mediterranean where 160 people have died so far this year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin approved legislation on Wednesday beefing up fines for offences committed during street protests after thousands were detained at unsanctioned rallies in support of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. The amended law also introduces fines of up to 20,000 roubles for protest organisers who violate funding regulations. Russian authorities have accused foreign countries of supporting the protests calling for Navalny's release.
- Associated Press
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are open to giving Tom Brady a contract extension. General manager Jason Licht reiterated Wednesday that the Super Bowl champions would like to keep the 43-year-old quarterback in uniform for as long as Brady wants to play. Licht declined to characterize any conversations the team’s had about that prospect.
- LA Times
After Tiger Woods' car crash Tuesday, celebs and sports figures such as Alex Rodriguez, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cher and Magic Johnson tweeted their well wishes.
- Reuters Videos
Hyundai Motor is set to replace the batteries in some 82,000 electric vehicles over risks they could catch fire. Combined with an earlier recall, the problem looks set to cost the automaker about $900 million. The latest move mainly applies to its best-selling EV, the Kona. It was first recalled in October for a software upgrade after a series of fires. But in January one of the upgraded cars then caught fire, prompting South Korean authorities to probe whether the first recall was adequate. The unit of LG Chem which makes the batteries said Hyundai had misapplied its suggestions regarding battery management. It said the batteries themselves were not the fire risk. There have been 15 cases of fires involving the Kona EV. Most were in South Korea, but there were two in Canada and one each in Finland and Austria. Hyundai Motor shares were down close to 4 percent in afternoon trade on Wednesday (February 24).
US regulators say Johnson and Johnson's single-shot vaccine is safe, and could be approved in days.
- Reuters Videos
Canada's lower house of parliament has voted in favor of labeling China's treatment of Uighur Muslims as genocide, in a symbolic move that may pile more pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government to take a harder line on the issue - and follow the U.S. government's similar accusations.Monday's (February 22) vote in the House of Commons passed 266 to zero, although Trudeau and his cabinet abstained. The House has a total of 338 members.The vote was non-binding, although it was backed by all opposition parties and some members of Trudeau's own Liberal Party.Trudeau has been reluctant to use the word genocide, and has suggested that he wants broader consensus among Western allies over the vast complexes that China has set up in Xinjiang province.China calls them "vocational training centers" to combat extremism, and has strictly denied allegations of human rights abuses within them.On Tuesday, China's foreign ministry called Canada's vote a smear that "disregards facts and common sense.Former U.S. President Donald Trump, on his last day of office, said China had committed "genocide and crimes against humanity" by repressing Uighur Muslims. The Biden administration is poised to uphold that position.
- The Independent
A captain in the US Capitol Police force who responded to the 6 January Capitol riot offered a harrowing first-hand account on Tuesday of her experience battling white supremacists and other pro-Trump elements. Rioters nearly broke her arm amid the chaos, Captain Carneysha Mendoza, a veteran of the US Army, told senators at the first official hearing on the 6 January security breach. “I received chemical burns to my face that still have not healed to this day,” Ms Mendoza said.
- FOX News Videos
Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce weighs in on the Senate confirmation process for Biden’s OMB director nominee.
People across Myanmar are taking to the streets after a military coup that saw its leaders detained.
- Reuters Videos
Home Depot had a blow-out year, but the world’s largest home improvement retailer warned Tuesday that it couldn’t predict if those good times will continue into 2021. Americans stuck at home had been snapping up tools, paint and building materials to spruce up their homes throughout the health crisis. But the rollout of vaccines and the hopes of a return to normalcy have led many to believe that sales growth in 2021 will fade. Home Depot’s chief financial officer said the company is – in his words - "not able to predict how consumer spending will evolve." He said if demand in the back half of last year were to continue, comparable sales will be flat to slightly positive in 2021. Home Depot’s decision to withhold guidance disappointed investors. Shares fell 6% in early trading Tuesday despite a 25% jump in same-store sales as well as net sales in the latest quarter. Those results, as well as profit, beat analyst estimates. For the year, Home Depot grew its bottom line by 14%.
The first COVID-19 vaccine doses distributed by the World Health Organization’s global sharing scheme COVAX arrived in Ghana, West Africa, on Wednesday.Why it matters: The shipments represent the "beginning of what should be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history," per a joint statement from the WHO and UNICEF hailing the arrival as a "momentous occasion."Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeThe global initiative to ensure that every country has access to COVID-19 vaccines has more than 180 nation participants.Driving the news: Some 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine are now in Ghana's capital Accra."After a year of disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 80,700 Ghanaians getting infected with the virus and over 580 lost lives, the path to recovery for the people of Ghana can finally begin," the WHO and UNICEF statement said.What to watch: The COVAX initiative plans to deliver nearly 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines this year.Go deeper: U.S. commits $4 billion to COVAX vaccine initiativeLike this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
A Chinese couple paid $155,000 in fees to have 7 children in violation of the country's 2-child policy
China ended its one-child policy in 2015, but it's still struggling with declining birth rates and an aging population.
- The Daily Beast
Mario Tama/GettyIf you’ve tried to get a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, you know how frustrating the process can be. People are spending hours obsessively refreshing websites, hoping an appointment will open up somewhere. They scan Facebook groups for tips and insider information. One writer compared it to Soviet-style queues for cabbage.The competition for slots will only worsen when the COVID-19 vaccination priority list opens to the broader public.It doesn’t have to be this way. Much of this misery comes from poorly designed vaccine sign-up websites, but the problem is more fundamental.As an expert in health care operations and vaccine supply chains, I have closely followed the difficulties in connecting COVID-19 vaccine doses with people. I believe the best solution to vaccine appointment scheduling lies in building a trustworthy one-stop preregistration system. The U.S. has now surpassed half a million deaths from COVID-19, and new fast-spreading variants of the coronavirus are adding to the urgency. As states scramble to speed up vaccinations and try to prevent their limited doses going to waste, a handful of them are testing this approach.The traditional vaccine sign-up model does not work when the demand for vaccines far exceeds supply.Under that model, the only way to get vaccinated is to reserve an appointment slot. Naturally, the fear of being left out drives people to attempt to sign up as soon as appointment slots become available. This leads to a rush of people endlessly refreshing the same websites for the few appointments available.Even if all states had one-stop appointment websites that did not crash under high volume, the limited vaccine supply would mean most appointment slots would quickly be taken. That could make it even harder for people who aren’t tech-savvy to get the vaccine.To fix the broken vaccine scheduling system, we need to break this cycle. 1299353966 Teacher Lily Gottlieb waits in a socially distanced standby line for people hoping to receive leftover COVID-19 vaccine doses in Encino, California. Mario Tama/Getty Most people have fairly realistic expectations about when they will be vaccinated. Their anxiety comes from the fear of being left out. To address this anxiety, the system must be designed to reassure people that they will receive vaccines within a reasonable time frame.In Israel, which leads the world in COVID-19 vaccination, citizens do not need to actively sign up for vaccine appointments. Rather, they are notified when they become eligible via text messages and can then make an appointment.States can echo this “push” system by creating a one-stop preregistration portal where everyone registers once and is notified to schedule appointments when their turn arrives. The preregistration step helps avoid waves of people trying to get appointments at the same time, which can crash computer systems, as Massachusetts experienced on Feb. 18.A good system will make it easy for people to check their position in the vaccine queue at any time, provide an estimated time to vaccination based on frequently updated supply information and then send notifications when their date is getting close. Underlying the system, vaccine doses can be allocated among eligible users on the registry using a lottery system.A well-designed preregistration system can also help avoid vaccine doses going to waste because of no-shows. With an active waitlist, vaccine planners can match supply with demand in an agile manner and offer appointments to people a few days in advance rather than scheduling appointments weeks out when the supply isn’t certain. Research in appointment scheduling has shown that no-shows are more likely under long lead times. People line up in the rain outside the Yankee Stadium for vaccinations reserved for residents of The Bronx. Timothy A. Clary/Getty West Virginia uses a statewide preregistration system and has so far been more successful at vaccinating its population than almost every other state. It controls the process from preregistration to appointment. To get the vaccine, almost all residents, with a few exceptions, are required to use the state system, with options to register either online or by phone.Minnesota just launched a similar system. “We still have a frustratingly limited vaccine supply from the federal government, but every Minnesotan should know their chance to get a vaccine will come. Today, we are connecting them directly to that process,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said in announcing the preregistration system on Feb. 18.More states should follow their lead as more of the general population becomes eligible for the vaccine in the coming months.In Massachusetts, where a vaccine sign-up website crashed shortly after launching, nearly every member of the state’s congressional delegation has urged Gov. Charlie Baker to launch a preregistration system. A few other states already have limited preregistration systems that could be expanded.Preregistration can still create confusion if the process isn’t coordinated and users don’t know what to expect.In Virginia, for example, counties created their own preregistration systems, but when the pharmacy chain CVS announced it was taking appointments, users didn’t know what to do. Most Virginia counties are now shifting to a statewide preregistration system. In Santa Cruz County, California, residents have struggled with a preregistration portal that doesn’t provide confirmation or an estimated time to vaccination.“Efficiency-equity trade-off” has become a buzzword in discussing COVID-19 vaccination. With limited vaccine supply, the traditional sign-up model has proven to be both inefficient and inequitable. Moving away from that model and establishing one-stop preregistration systems is one key to resolving the painful vaccine scheduling process.Tinglong Dai is an associate professor of operations management & business analytics, at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins University School of NursingRead 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.
- Business Insider
An ex-girlfriend tipped off the FBI about an alleged US Capitol rioter after he called her a 'moron'
Richard Michetti was arraigned Tuesday in Philadelphia over his alleged participation in the January 6 insurrection.
- The Independent
The Democratic operative criticised the Senator’s daughter for receiving a pay increase as a CEO
Jill Biden assures Kelly Clarkson things will get better after her divorce: 'If I hadn't gotten divorced, I never would have met Joe'
In a new interview on "The Kelly Clarkson Show," first lady Jill Biden offered the singer advice about healing after divorce and finding love again.
TikTokers are testing family and friends by playing PornHub's music, testing whether they recognize the sound
A TikTok audio called "hey lol" by user khaleel mashes up the PornHub intro music and "Redbone" by Childish Gambino, and it's become a prank.
- The Daily Beast