As COVID-19 escalated in 2020, packing plant shutdowns led to temporary meat shortages and price volatility. A new boxed beef index aims to bridge the gap between producer and consumer. The move could help the long-term success of the beef industry.
- Business Insider
Canadians are flocking to US border cities to take advantage of a travel loophole - and it's creating lucrative opportunities on both sides of the closed border
Lucrative niche industries including flying helicopters over the border and international car rides are booming in cities like Buffalo, New York.
- Associated Press
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Sunday declared an “enduring and ironclad” American commitment to Israel, reinforcing support at a tense time in Israeli politics and amid questions about the Biden administration's efforts to revive nuclear negotiations with Israel's archenemy, Iran. Austin's first talks in Israel since he became Pentagon chief in January come as the United States seeks to leverage Middle East diplomatic progress made by the Trump administration, which brokered a deal normalizing relations between Israel and several Arab states.
- The Telegraph
They are the two great-grandchildren that Prince Philip never got to meet. Born just 40 days apart, Princess Eugenie and her cousin Zara Tindall paid special tribute to their grandfather before his death by naming their newborn sons after him. Eugenie’s firstborn, August Philip Hawke Brooksbank, born on February 9, and Zara’s third child, Lucas Philip Tindall, born on March 21, will forever bear the hallmark of their royal heritage. For the Queen, as she faces life as a widow at nearly 95, the babies will bring welcome joy at a time of great sorrow. Having not been able to see much of her elder grandchildren when they were growing up because she spent so much time overseas when the likes of William and Harry were young, the sovereign now relishes family time. Over recent years, she has grown especially close to her youngest grandchildren, the Earl and Countess of Wessexes’ children, Lady Louise Windsor, and James, Viscount Severn, who are regular visitors to Windsor Castle, living just 10 miles away at Bagshot Park. Royal aides used to speak of stepping over tricycles and roller skates as the youngsters would spend precious weekends with “Granny and Grandpa”. The arrival of no less than 10 great-grandchildren over the past decade has delighted the Queen – not least when many are already showing signs of sharing her passion for dogs and horses. Her eldest grandchild Peter Phillips’s daughters, Savannah, 10, and Isla, eight, are already keen amateur riders, along with his sister Zara Tindall’s eldest daughter, Mia, seven.
- Associated Press
In a rare admission of the weakness of Chinese coronavirus vaccines, the country's top disease control official says their effectiveness is low and the government is considering mixing them to get a boost. Chinese vaccines “don’t have very high protection rates,” said the director of the China Centers for Disease Control, Gao Fu, at a conference Saturday in the southwestern city of Chengdu. Beijing has distributed hundreds of millions of doses abroad while trying to promote doubt about the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine made using the previously experimental messenger RNA, or mRNA, process.
'I hate this home now:' California couple finally changes the locks on their dream house after previous owner refused to leave for over a year
Myles and Tracie Albert bought their home with cash in January 2020. But the seller used a legal loophole during the pandemic to remain in the house.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The infant died, police say.
- Business Insider
The party of big business has taken to policing corporate America's speech now, and that's not going to change anytime soon.
- The Telegraph
Bristling tensions with Prince Harry remain, but Royal family will wear the mask of unity at Duke’s funeral
The subtle briefings were designed to give Prince Harry the softest possible landing on his arrival back in the UK ahead of his beloved grandfather’s funeral on Saturday. From sources suggesting he was “united in grief” with the rest of the Royal family following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, to the couple’s unofficial spokesman Omid Scobie insisting – should anyone be in doubt – that “Harry was incredibly close to Philip”, the Sussex spin machine was in evidence as the displaced Prince prepared for his first transatlantic flight in 13 months. Members of the Royal family also sought to calm serves ahead of what is feared could be a difficult reunion for the House of Windsor, with a palace source suggesting that the Prince of Wales was particularly looking forward to seeing his youngest son. “It’s been more than a year,” they pointed out.
- Raleigh News and Observer
The prize for the win is more than $2 million.
- Associated Press
The Ukrainian military said that a soldier was killed and another seriously wounded in artillery fire from Russia-backed separatist rebels Sunday, as hostilities rise sharply in the country’s east. As of the reported attack, Ukraine says 27 soldiers have been killed in the east this year, more than half the number who died in all of 2020. Attacks have intensified in recent weeks and Russia has built up troops along the Ukraine border.
Florida cops who responded to a noise complaint at house party 'cowered away' after finding out their boss was a guest
Police officers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were responding to a noise complaint at a party when they were told their boss was a guest.
- Business Insider
For Boehner, a jovial, backslapping politician who is known to publicly cry, McConnell's steely and to-the-point demeanor is quite a contrast.
The French government on Sunday condemned the defacing of an Islamic cultural centre in western France with Islamaphobic slogans, and said an attack on Muslims was an attack on the Republic. The tags, daubed on the side a building used as a prayer room in the city of Rennes, were found shortly before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins in France on Tuesday. Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin said it was a disgusting attack against the fundamental freedom to believe in a religion and that Muslims deserved the same protection as any other religious group in France.
- Business Insider
Ingenuity was supposed to spin its blades at full speed on Friday, but a "watchdog" timer that identifies issues abruptly cut the test short.
- Business Insider
NASA's Mars helicopter is set to make spaceflight history on Wednesday. But "there's a lot of things that could go wrong," one Ingenuity engineer said.
- Business Insider
With tightening supply, an upcoming Coinbase IPO, and a tweet from crypto's most famous billionaire advocate, Bitcoin is flirting with all time highs.
- The New York Times
WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers are passing voting restrictions to pacify right-wing activists still gripped by former President Donald Trump’s lie that a largely favorable election was rigged against them. GOP leaders are lashing out in Trumpian fashion at businesses, baseball and the news media to appeal to many of the same conservatives and voters. And debates over the size and scope of government have been overshadowed by the sort of culture war clashes that the tabloid king relished. This is the party Trump has remade. As GOP leaders and donors gather for a party retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, this weekend, with a side trip to Mar-a-Lago for a reception with Trump on Saturday night, the former president’s pervasive influence in Republican circles has revealed a party thoroughly animated by a defeated incumbent — a bizarre turn of events in U.S. politics. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times Barred from Twitter, quietly disdained by many Republican officials and reduced to receiving supplicants in his tropical exile in Florida, Trump has found ways to exert an almost gravitational hold on a leaderless party just three months after the assault on the Capitol that his critics hoped would marginalize the man and taint his legacy. His preference for engaging in red-meat political fights rather than governing and policymaking have left party leaders in a state of confusion over what they stand for, even when it comes to business, which was once the business of Republicanism. Yet his single term has made it vividly clear what the far-right stands against — and how it intends to go about waging its fights. Having quite literally abandoned their traditional party platform last year to accommodate Trump, Republicans have organized themselves around opposition to the perceived excesses of the left and borrowed his scorched-earth tactics as they do battle. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, excoriated businesses this week for siding with Democrats on GOP-backed voting restrictions, only to backpedal after seeming to suggest he wanted corporations out of politics entirely. They are doing relatively little to present counterarguments to President Joe Biden on the coronavirus response, his expansive social welfare proposals or, with the important exception of immigration, most any policy issue. Instead, Republicans are attempting to shift the debate to issues that are more inspiring and unifying within their coalition and could help them tar Democrats. So Republicans have embraced fights over seemingly small-bore issues to make a larger argument: By emphasizing the withdrawal from publication of a handful of racially insensitive Dr. Seuss books; the rights of transgender people; and the willingness of large institutions or corporations like MLB and Coca-Cola to side with Democrats on voting rights, the right is attempting to portray a nation in the grip of elites obsessed with identity politics. It is a strikingly different approach from the last time Democrats had full control of government, in 2009 and 2010, when conservatives harnessed the Great Recession to stoke anger about President Barack Obama and federal spending on their way to sweeping midterm gains. But Biden, a white political veteran, is not much of a foil for the party’s far-right base and is unlikely to grow more polarizing with the country at large. “2010 had the veneer of philosophical and ideological coherence, but we don’t even bother paying lip service to that now,” said Liam Donovan, a Republican lobbyist. “Trump made grievances that were the aperitif into the entree.” While this approach may not be the political equivalent of a well-balanced meal — a plan for long-term recovery — that does not mean it is a poor strategy for success in the 2022 elections that will determine control of the House and Senate. Even Democrats see the risk that Republican messaging on cultural issues will resonate with a large segment of voters. Dan Pfeiffer — a former aide to Obama who suffered through what his boss called the 2010 “shellacking” — warned members of his party this week that they should not simply roll their eyes when Republicans lament “cancel culture.” “Republicans are raising these cultural topics to unite their party and divide ours,” he wrote in an essay. “Therefore, we must aggressively move the conversation back to the economic issues that unite our party and divide theirs.” Longtime Republicans do not much deny that. “Democrats have done the one thing I never thought could happen this quickly: They’ve caused Republicans to take their eyes off what divides us and made us set our eyes on the true opposition,” crowed Ralph Reed, a Republican strategist. That may be on overly rosy assessment given that Trump is still hungry for payback against his intraparty critics, with a series of contentious primaries on deck and Democrats poised to reap the benefits of an economic recovery. But there is no doubt that Republicans are rallying around a style of post-Trump politics that makes that prefix superfluous. In particular, they are eager to highlight immigration at a moment when there is a surge of undocumented migrants at the border. Besides being Trump’s signature issue, it also has the strongest cultural resonance with their heavily white base. An NPR/Marist survey last month found that while 64% of independent voters approved of Biden’s handling of the pandemic, only 27% supported his approach to immigration. At a private lunch last month on the same day House Democrats pushed through Biden’s stimulus bill, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., with the ear of McConnell, confidently predicted that the influx at the border would be the party’s ticket back to the majority. “I think this is a central issue in the campaign in 2022 — in part because it’s not clear to me that Joe Biden is strong enough and has the political willpower to do what is necessary and get the border under control,” Cotton said in a subsequent interview. It is not just conservatives who are focusing on the border. Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y. and a moderate who represents an upstate district that went heavily for Biden, warned that immigration flare-ups would be “hung around” Biden’s neck if he was not careful. “It’s not a good issue for people in the suburbs; it’s not a good issue for moderate Republicans; it’s not a good issue for moderate Democrats; it’s certainly not a good issue for independents,” he said. With much to gain from blaming the issue on Democrats, Republicans have all but abandoned a comprehensive immigration agreement, despite the pleadings of the business lobby. But that is hardly the only issue on which Republicans are growing uncomfortable with industry, although they are being selective in their choices. McConnell, for instance, continues to hold up the 2017 tax cuts, which slashed the corporate rate, as the crown jewel of the party’s legislative accomplishments in the Trump years, and he is highly unlikely to join a union picket line anytime soon. But he plainly sees a political upside in confronting MLB and the corporate titans, like Delta and Coca-Cola, that have denounced Georgia’s voting bill — an intervention that itself would have been unlikely in a pre-Trump era. “Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order,” he warned this week, later adding that he had no problem with businesses continuing to fund candidates. Others in the party have gone even further, threatening the antitrust exemption professional baseball enjoys — a distinctly Trumpian retribution tactic. Recent party polling indicates that, more than any issue, Republican voters crave candidates who “won’t back down in a fight with the Democrats,” a finding that showed up in a survey by GOP firm Echelon Insights earlier this year. People who have gravitated to the right “feel the way of life that they have known is changing rapidly,” Kristen Soltis Anderson, the Republican pollster who conducted the survey, said in an interview with Ezra Klein. Republicans have sought to stoke those fears, wielding liberal positions on issues like policing or transgender rights as culture war bludgeons, even if it means dispensing with some conservative values. In Arkansas this week, a drive by conservative legislators to make it illegal for transgender children to receive gender-affirming medication or surgery drew a veto from Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican. He argued that the bill would “set new standard of legislative interference with physicians and parents” and that it failed to make exceptions for children who had already begun hormone treatments. Still, he was overridden by his party’s lawmakers, and Trump assailed him as a “lightweight RINO.” Yet it is the willingness to engage in brass-knuckle political combat that is most important in the party right now. “It has become the overarching virtue Republicans look for in their leaders,” said Reed, the GOP strategist. He said that in an earlier, less tribal era, the party would have backed off the divisive Georgia bill limiting voting access. “After business and the media circled the wagons, we would have called the Legislature back in, done some fixes and moved on,” he said. “Now we just dig in.” The shifting culture of the GOP is on clear display in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis is emerging as presidential timber, almost entirely because he has weaponized news coverage critical of his handling of the coronavirus. DeSantis’ actual response to the crisis is not what delights conservatives; rather, it is how he bristles at skeptical coverage, just as Trump did when he was excoriating the “fake news.” The most recent example came this week when “60 Minutes” aired a segment that suggested DeSantis had improperly made Publix grocery stores, which are ubiquitous in Florida, distributors of the coronavirus vaccine after the company contributed $100,000 to him. DeSantis did not cooperate with CBS for the piece. But with the sympathy of other Republicans, he cried foul about the segment after it ran and was rewarded with a coveted prime-time interview on Fox News to expound on his grievance. “This is the beating heart of the Republican Party right now; the media has replaced Democrats as the opposition,” said Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist in Kentucky. “The platform is, whatever the media is against today, I’m for, and whatever they’re for, I’m against.” That has made for an odd alchemy in the capital, where a number of business-oriented Republicans increasingly find themselves politically homeless. Notable among them is the Chamber of Commerce, which angered GOP lawmakers by cozying up to Democrats but is now aghast at Biden’s proposed corporate tax hike. “It’s a weird time,” said Tony Fratto, a former Bush administration official who supported Biden but represents business clients who are uneasy with a tax increase. “I don’t know where to go, but a lot of people don’t feel comfortable with where the parties are right now.” Except, perhaps, for one recently retired Florida man. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- The Week
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appears to have been the primary target in former President Donald Trump's improvised, insult-laden speech Saturday night at a Republican National Committee gathering at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, The Washington Post and Politico report. In a familiar turn of events, Trump, who doesn't get the opportunity to vent his frustrations on Twitter these days, reportedly boasted about tossing his "boring" prepared remarks before tearing into McConnell for several minutes. At one point Trump called him a "dumb son of a b----" for not fighting the Electoral College certification on Jan. 6. "If that were [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) instead of this dumb son of a b---- Mitch McConnell they would never allow it to happen," Trump said, per the Post. "They would have fought it." He also reportedly deemed his former ally a "stone cold loser" and complained that McConnell never thanked him for hiring his wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, whom he also reportedly mocked for resigning in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. McConnell wasn't alone, however. Trump went after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, as well. "Have you ever seen anybody that is so full of crap?" Trump reportedly asked the crowd. Former Vice President Mike Pence was seemingly spared the name calling, but Trump did reportedly reiterate the fact that he's disappointed Pence didn't have the "courage" to block the election certification. Beyond the personal attacks, Trump reportedly continued to push false claims that he won the 2020 election, which he described, once again, as "rigged," and he did not appear to express any regret about his role in the Capitol riot, though he did reportedly brag about the size of the crowd at his speech that took place just before the event. Read more at The Washington Post and Politico. More stories from theweek.com7 brutally funny cartoons about Mitch McConnell's corporate hypocrisyYou should start a keyhole gardenThe Latino vote
- The Telegraph
The Duke of York had not spoken in public since he stood down in November 2019 following a disastrous Newsnight interview about his relationship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. But after attending a remembrance service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor on Sunday, the Queen’s second son, 61, gave his first interview since he stepped back from royal duties, describing his mother as “an incredibly stoic person”. Speaking of the “terrible loss” the family was suffering, he said: “I feel very sorry and supportive of my mother who is feeling it, I think, probably more than everybody else. “The Queen, as you would expect, is an incredibly stoic person. And she described his passing as a miracle. “And she's contemplating, I think is the way that I would put it. She described it as having left a huge void in her life, but we, the family, the ones that are closer, are rallying around to make sure that we're there to support her.”
Scientists discovered the technology that fuels COVID-19 vaccines 25 years ago. Now they want to use it to prevent other life-threatening illnesses.