Israel’s defense minister on Thursday called for an immediate halt in plans to ship surplus coronavirus vaccines to a group of allied nations, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of acting without oversight or transparency. In a letter to the prime minister, Benny Gantz said the decision to share vaccines was taken without “discussions in the relevant forums.” “We are talking about a significant diplomatic and security decision, and in accordance with that, it needs to be approved according to procedures established by law,” Gantz said.
The Perseverance rover wasted no time snapping photos on Mars. NASA scientists stitched together 142 of them to create a high-definition panorama.
The first big real-world study of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be independently reviewed shows the shot is highly effective at preventing COVID-19, in a potentially landmark moment for countries desperate to end lockdowns and reopen economies. Up until now, most data on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines has come under controlled conditions in clinical trials, leaving an element of uncertainty over how results would translate into the real world with its unpredictable variables. The research in Israel - two months into one of the world's fastest rollouts, providing a rich source of data - showed two doses of the Pfizer shot cut symptomatic COVID-19 cases by 94% across all age groups, and severe illnesses by nearly as much.
There is promising new data today on Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine. If approved, it would add a third option to the vaccine rollout in the United States.
The Northern Ireland Protocol must be abolished rather than tweaked, the European Research Group will urge the Government on Thursday. The hardline Tory Brexiteers will publish a report, seen by The Telegraph, urging Boris Johnson to overhaul the problematic protocol rather than work with the EU to amend it. It comes amid a growing outcry over bureaucracy and checks, required under the protocol, hampering the inward flow of some goods to Northern Ireland from Great Britain. The protocol was established to smooth trade friction arising from Northern Ireland remaining inside the UK internal market while continuing to apply some EU rules. The Brexiteer MPs propose replacing it with a “mutual enforcement” arrangement, via which both the UK and EU would agree voluntarily to enforce each other’s rules. This would see the UK apply EU customs regulations in Northern Ireland, undertaking checks “at source” in warehouses and factories instead of checks taking place at a border. The ERG’s 38-page report comes after Michael Gove and Maros Sefcovic, the EU Commission vice-president, on Wednesday night issued a joint statement declaring both the UK and EU’s “full commitment” to “the proper implementation of the protocol”. The pair’s statement acknowledged that “joint action” was needed to make it work, but their declaration of support for it disappointed Tory Eurosceptics and Unionists. A UK Government source was also downbeat on the prospect of a breakthrough over the issues surrounding the protocol, conceding “there was no real progress” made in the meeting between Mr Gove and Mr Sefcovic. The source added that there “seems to be a lack of understanding on the EU side” of the situation on the ground in Northern Ireland and how the protocol is impacting people’s everyday lives there. It appeared Mr Sefcovic has “not been given any political room for manoeuvre” by hardliners in the Commission and member states, the source added, saying the bloc appeared to have forgotten its aborted move to trigger Article 16 of the protocol last month. The ERG, which boasts more than 50 MP supporters, called in senior Brexiteer lawyers Martin Howe QC, Barnabas Reynolds and James Webber to help draft its report. Their publication, entitled “Re-uniting the Kingdom: How and why to replace the Northern Ireland Protocol”, argues the mechanism has “had a profound and negative effect” on the UK’s internal market, as well as the constitutional position of Northern Ireland. It sees the ERG formally join the growing chorus of opposition to the protocol, which has been led by the Democratic Unionist Party and other Unionists who insist it is unworkable. This week DUP leader Arlene Foster, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, and senior party DUP MPs announced they were backing legal action against it. She has said a “long-term solution rather than sticking plasters” is needed, adding: “Whether it is the flow of parcels, supermarket goods, chilled meats or medicines, from GB to NI, the United Kingdom single market has been ruptured.” Mark Francois, chairman of the ERG, told The Telegraph: “As this report makes crystal clear, from the viewpoint of the ERG, the NI protocol has to go. We’ve recommended an alternative called mutual enforcement which gives both sides what they need without infringing the sovereignty of either party.” He added: “We very much hope that just as the EU swore blind they would never abandon the backstop and then did so, they may yet abandon their adherence to the protocol as well.” Eurosceptic Tories were buoyed last week by Downing Street’s promotion of Lord Frost to the Cabinet to lead on the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU, believing he will take a tougher approach to Brussels than Mr Gove, who holds the brief until the end of this month.
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The actress said she was "in a state of shock" when Jim Parsons said he wanted to leave the series, which ended the popular CBS sitcom.
A federal judge on Tuesday indefinitely banned the Biden administration from enforcing a 100-day pause on deportations of most illegal immigrants in response to a lawsuit from Texas, which argued that the moratorium violated federal law and could saddle the state with additional costs. U.S. district judge Drew Tipton issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday, dealing a blow to President Biden’s efforts to follow through on his campaign promise to pause most deportations. The pause would not have applied to those who have engaged in terrorism or espionage or who pose a danger to national security. It would also have excluded those who were not present in the U.S. before November 1, 2020, those who agreed to waive the right to remain, and those whom the ICE director individually determined need to be removed by law. Tipton first ruled on January 26 that the pause violated federal law on administrative procedure and that the U.S. failed to show why a deportation pause was justified. He issued a temporary two-week restraining order, which was set to expire Tuesday. Texas attorney general Ken Paxton argued that Biden’s January 20 memorandum violated federal law and an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security that Texas be consulted before reducing immigration enforcement or pausing deportations. As part of the agreement, DHS must give Texas 180 days notice of any proposed change on any matter that would reduce enforcement or increase the number of “removable or inadmissible aliens” in the United States. However, the ruling does not require deportations to resume at their previous pace and immigration agencies have broad discretion in enforcing removals and processing cases. In the wake of the first ruling, authorities deported hundreds of people to Central America and 15 people to Jamaica. The administration has also continued deportations that began under the Trump administration due to a public-health law in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The report is widely expected to implicate Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
China says its Tianwen-1 spacecraft has entered a temporary parking orbit around Mars in anticipation of landing a rover on the red planet in the coming months. The China National Space Administration said the spacecraft executed a maneuver to adjust its orbit early Wednesday morning Beijing time and will remain in the new orbit for about the next three months before attempting to land. During that time, it will be mapping the surface of Mars and using its cameras and other sensors to collect further data, particularly about its prospective landing site.
Devices in more than 150 countries are infected - but researchers still do not know why.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., has been the most outspoken Republican critic of former President Trump over the past few months because he believes that in the modern political age, open confrontation is the primary way political parties are steered in one direction or another.
Fisher has said being with Cohen is like "winning the lottery" ... even if she has to deal with his many shenanigans.
"I'm not exactly sure...but perhaps someday," Kevin Feige said of the possibility that Netflix or ABC characters would enter the MCU.
Former Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa told a Japanese court Wednesday he believed the compensation for his predecessor Carlos Ghosn was too low “by international standards,” and so he supported Ghosn’s retirement packages to prevent him from leaving. “Mr. Ghosn had outstanding abilities and achievements,” Saikawa said, testifying in Tokyo District Court in the criminal trial of Greg Kelly, a former senior executive at Nissan Motor Co.
When “WandaVision” wraps its initial run next month on the Disney+ streaming service, Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda will make her next appearance in the big-screen “Doctor Strange” sequel. It’s storytelling that determines how and when characters from the Marvel Comics universe hopscotch between TV and movies, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige said Wednesday. “All of the crossover between series, between films, will always vary based on the story,” Feige said.
The mock 'Munsters' theme song 'Agatha All Along' accompanied the big plot reveal in last week's 'WandaVision' episode and has become a sensation of its own.
Jill Biden offers comforting advice to Kelly Clarkson, telling the singer and talk-show host who is going through a divorce that things happen for the best and that life will eventually “look better.” The first lady — a divorcee herself — also reveals what she looks forward to when COVID-19 clears up and explains why women should take time for themselves every day, as she does. Clarkson recently brought her show to the White House for a socially distant conversation with Biden in the East Room.
A preliminary study from Israel suggests people vaccinated against COVID-19 have lower viral loads, which are linked to less spread of the virus.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s concerned Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to establish a commission to probe the assault on the U.S. Capitol would be overly “partisan.”