Firefighters battle flames at Grafton home on Spring Hill Drive; Plympton Police investigating Amazon packages ended up in the woods; Two puppies at shelter are in need of donations for lifesaving surgeries; Snow in forecast.
- The Independent
Lawmakers debate gradually raising federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025 as second-largest retailer says raising its wages ‘constitutes a significant competitive advantage’
Hungary cannot yet ease its partial coronavirus lockdown as a third wave of infections has boosted new cases and only a small section of the population has received a vaccine so far, the prime minister said. Hungary became the first European Union country on Wednesday to start inoculating people with the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, following a similar move with Russia's Sputnik V shot, which have not been granted regulatory approval in the EU. "This is an important day as we begin inoculations with the Chinese vaccines," Orban said in a video on his Facebook page.
- The Independent
Event being held in Orlando, Florida, will see former president deliver first public speech since leaving office
- Reuters Videos
Wall Street's main indexes ended sharply lower on Thursday, with the Nasdaq index posting its largest daily percentage fall in four months.Investors rushed out of high-flying technology stocks, such as Apple and Netflix, following a rise in U.S. bond yields - with the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield hitting a one-year high of more than 1.6%.Nicole Webb, financial advisor with Wealth Enhancement Group, directly links the sell-off in technology shares to higher yields. I really do think this is responsive to the uptick in yield. This has accelerated and it's accelerated quickly and I don't think Wall Street thinks there are mechanisms in place to stop it anytime soon and as a result its caused Wall Street to call into question whether or not the current valuations of companies make sense with interest rates at those levels."But as the rest of Wall Street tanked, so called 'meme stocks,' such as GameStop, soared. The video game retailer was up almost 70% at one point in a rally reminiscent of the stock trading frenzy in January, when retail investors sent its share price skyrocketing, hitting hedge funds with bets on its decline.After the bell food delivery company DoorDash reported an over three-fold rise in quarterly revenue in its first results as a public company but fell 10% after posting a net loss of $312 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31, bigger than last year's loss of $134 million.
- Reuters Videos
Brisbane has emerged as the frontrunner to host the 2032 Olympic Games.The Australian city was named as the preferred partner by the IOC president during a press conference in Switzerland on Wednesday.The designation means talks will begin between Brisbane and the organisers of the games, before a final vote sometime this year.Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk:"We are very excited by this development. It puts Queensland in the box seat and I know that every level of government is absolutely united in working together to make this happen."Budapest, Indonesia, China, and Doha, had all expressed interest in hosting the event.But Brisbane stood out, with its high number of existing venues, experience in organising major events and favourable weather.The Head of the Future Host Commission, Kristin Kloster Aasen, said Brisbane had a good legacy and venue plan.In 2019, the IOC overhauled its bidding rules to reduce costs and make the application process easier for cities.There are now no official candidate cities campaigning ahead of the IOC's vote.Should Brisbane go ahead as the host city, it will become the third Australian city to host the Summer Games after Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.
- The Daily Beast
Darrin Zammit Lupi via ReutersROME—The confession of a partially blind hitman in the heinous murder of Maltese muckraker journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has kicked off a slew of new arrests in the complicated case.On Tuesday, a Maltese judge accepted the startling guilty plea of Vincent Muscat, 57, who had originally pleaded not guilty along with brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio, for setting off the car bomb that killed Galizia on a country road near her home in Malta in October 2017. The brothers, who were also in the courtroom, maintain their not guilty pleas in the case. Muscat’s lawyers say the change in tactics is part of a guilty plea that should see their client out of jail by 2027.Malta Arrests in Daphne Caruana Galizia Murder Still Don’t Solve the CrimeMuscat, who is blind in one eye after being shot at close range in April 2014 in an attempted vendetta murder, was sentenced on Tuesday to 15 years in prison of which he has already served three years. He admitted to all six charges against him: the wilful homicide of Daphne Caruana Galizia, causing an explosion that led to the death of a person, illegal possession of explosives, conspiracy to carry out a crime, promotion of a group intending to carry out criminal acts, and participation in such a group. He was separately awarded a presidential pardon in the 2015 murder of lawyer Carmel Circop, in which he supplied crucial information after confessing to his peripheral involvement in that crime. That pardon does not affect the Galizia sentencing.Just moments after Muscat’s change of heart was read in court by his lawyer, police swooped in on a secret hideout of brothers Adrian and Robert Agius and accomplice Jamie Vella, arresting the trio for allegedly supplying the bomb that killed Galizia. Police say more arrests are expected. On Wednesday, local media in Malta reported that three more arrests were imminent, including those with ties to organized crime in Italy and Malta. Galizia’s many investigative targets revealed on her blog Running Commentary, which still receives thousands of hits a day according to her sons, included the country’s then prime minister Joseph Muscat (no relation to Vincent). His wife was tied to the corrupt Pilatius bank exposed in the Panama Papers. Since her murder, journalists collaborating on Galizia’s original investigations under The Daphne Project have uncovered further connections between the Maltese prime minister’s wife and the bank. Muscat resigned under pressure in 2019 over his associates’ alleged ties to the murder.The former prime minister’s associate, energy tycoon Yorgen Fenech, who secretly owned 17 Black, a company that was a frequent target of Galizia’s journalistic investigations, was arrested on his yacht en route to Italy in December 2019. He is charged with masterminding the murder and denies involvement. Preliminary hearings in his trial are expected to resume on March 18.Fenech’s arrest came after taxi driver Melvin Theuma confessed to being a middleman between Fenech and those accused of carrying out the killing. Vincent Muscat’s plea bargain reportedly includes testimony that corroborates the taxi driver‘s claims. Fenech has secured a presidential pardon and full protection in exchange for his testimony. The Daphne Project reporting consortium has learned that Galizia received a cache of thousands of emails and documents tied to a company owned by Fenech. Investigators believe that she may have been killed before she could expose the contents of the documents.The family of Galizia, who believe she was murdered for getting too close to the crimes of Malta’s political elite, issued a cautious statement after Muscat’s plea. “This development will begin the road for total justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia,” they said, adding that her assassination “destroyed her right to life and removed her right to enjoy her family and grandchildren who were born after her murder.”The lawyer for the Galizia family read the statement in court. “The macabre murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia was intentional and could have been avoided. The victim paid with her life and her family are paying for the loss of their loved one,” he said. “I said all this today because if Daphne's family had to respond to the plea bargain based on their emotions, their response would be obvious.”Maltese blogger Manuel Delia, who has written a book on the case, warns that Vincent Muscat’s confession does not solve the case. “Muscat is at the very bottom in the brutal pecking order of this mafia. He is not even a button man. He is a gofer that has seen things and remembered some of them and at a time when he came to face a possible life sentence he has used what he has seen and remembered to negotiate a reduced sentence for himself,” he said Tuesday. “Hearing his confession, his admission of guilt is a small step in the sad, long and so far otherwise fruitless search for justice.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. 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The World Health Organization's global vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX delivered its first COVID-19 shots on Wednesday, as the race to inoculate the world's poorest people and tame the pandemic accelerates. Almost a year after the WHO described the novel coronavirus as a global pandemic, a flight carrying 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India landed in Ghana's capital Accra. Local representatives of the WHO and the United Nations children's agency UNICEF described the vaccines' arrival as a "momentous" step.
- Associated Press
Pakistan and India pledged Thursday to halt cross-border firing in the disputed region of Kashmir, promising to adhere to a 2003 accord that has been largely ignored, officials from both sides said. If implemented, the move would be a major step in defusing tensions in the highly militarized Himalayan region, which is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both in its entirety, and opens the possibility of a broader detente between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
- Business Insider
The president will tour the state with Gov. Greg Abbott.
- Reuters Videos
The number of available COVID-19 vaccine doses is steadily rising around the world.But a shortage of physical space that meets standards for pharmaceutical manufacturing is a becoming a bottleneck.That's according to drugmakers, construction experts and officials involved in the U.S. vaccine program.The production of raw materials, vaccine formulation and vial filling requires special "clean rooms".They need features like air cleaners, sterile water and sterilizing steam.Moderna this week announced plans to expand vaccine manufacturing capacity.But said it will be a year before that can add to its production.With vaccines needed for billions of people, drugmakers have even had to turn to rivals for help in churning out doses.And the emergence of new variants is likely to increase the strain.Many are counting on the authorization of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine this week.Longer term, tackling COVID-19 may require annual shots to protect against new virus mutations, similar to the flu.Building new facilities and even expanding existing sites has typically taken years. During the pandemic, some projects have reportedly been completed in as little as 6-to-10 months.Emergent BioSolutions, which is making J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines for the US, says it cannot add any more equipment to facilities dedicated to those vaccines.Some firms are purchasing and repurposing existing plants to sidestep construction. Pfizer-partner BioNTech bought a German facility from Novartis in September.
- Business Insider
- Business Insider
- USA TODAY
A pilot at American Airlines radioed Sunday that an unidentified object flew over their jet during a flight while they were over New Mexico.
- The Week
In the race to get former President Donald Trump's tax records, New York prosecutors have won. While it was more of a marathon than a sprint, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office confirmed Thursday that it had received Trump's tax records a year and a half after first requesting them. Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance and his team will now be able to dig through what sources tell CNN are "millions of pages" of documents spanning January 2011 to August 2019. Vance got the documents, which include financial statements and engagement agreements, from Trump's accounting firm Mazars USA. The transfer happened within an hour of the Supreme Court ordering that Mazars hand over the documents on Monday, Vance's spokesperson told reporters. Forensic accountants and analysts are now prepared to root through the records to find potential fraud or wrongdoing by the former president. But because the records were handed over as part of a grand jury investigation, they're unlikely to ever be made public. Democrats in the House had meanwhile been trying to access Trump's tax returns from the time they gained a majority two years ago. Courts had ruled both for and against the Democrats' subpoenas, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ultimately decided in December not to rule in the case, essentially letting Trump run out the clock. It's unclear if Congress will try to pursue Trump's records again now that he's out of the White House. More stories from theweek.comDemocrats should take the Romney-Cotton proposal seriouslyThe MyPillow guy might be Trump's ultimate chumpThe GOP's apathy for governing is being exposed
- The Independent
The building was closed for two days out of an abundance of caution
Female track star on lawsuit to stop trans athletes from competing: ‘Biological males are taking our medals’
Less than 48 hours into his presidency, Joe Biden took steps towards protecting the rights of transgender athletes looking to participate as their identified gender in both high school and college sports. Wednesday, Alanna Smith, who filed the lawsuit with fellow athletes Selina Soule and Chelsea Mitchell, appeared on Fox News with her lawyer to denounce the actions of the current administration.
TikTokers are freaking out after learning that Imagine Dragons made demos for disastrous Spider-Man musical
Multiple viral TikToks circulated about Imagine Dragons working on the Spider-Man musical, with many commenting on the 2012 hit song "Radioactive."