We could watch this all day
We could watch this all day
The US poet says she was offered no apology after being racially profiled.
Scientists in Oregon have spotted a homegrown version of a fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus that first surfaced in Britain — but now it's combined with a mutation that may make the variant less susceptible to vaccines. The researchers have so far found just a single case of this formidable combination, but genetic analysis suggested that the variant had been acquired in the community and did not arise in the patient. “We didn’t import this from elsewhere in the world — it occurred spontaneously,” said Brian O’Roak, a geneticist at Oregon Health and Science University who led the work. He and his colleagues participate in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s effort to track variants, and they have deposited their results in databases shared by scientists. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times The variant originally identified in Britain, called B.1.1.7, has been spreading rapidly across the United States, and accounts for at least 2,500 cases in 46 states. This form of the virus is both more contagious and more deadly than the original version, and it is expected to account for most U.S. infections in a few weeks. The new version that surfaced in Oregon has the same backbone, but also a mutation — E484K, or “Eek” — seen in variants of the virus circulating in South Africa, Brazil and New York City. Lab studies and clinical trials in South Africa indicate that the Eek mutation renders the current vaccines less effective by blunting the body’s immune response. (The vaccines still work, but the findings are worrying enough that Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have begun testing new versions of their vaccines designed to defeat the variant found in South Africa.) The B.1.1.7 variant with Eek also has emerged in Britain, designated as a “variant of concern” by scientists. But the virus identified in Oregon seems to have evolved independently, O’Roak said. O’Roak and his colleagues found the variant among coronavirus samples collected by the Oregon State Public Health Lab across the state, including some from an outbreak in a health care setting. Of the 13 test results they analyzed, 10 turned out to be B.1.1.7 alone, and one the combination. Other experts said the discovery was not surprising, because the Eek mutation has arisen in forms of the virus all over the world. But the mutation’s occurrence in B.1.1.7 is worth watching, they said. In Britain, this version of the variant accounts for a small number of cases. But by the time the combination evolved there, B.1.1.7 had already spread through the country. “We’re at the point where B.1.1.7 is just being introduced” into the United States, said Stacia Wyman, an expert in computational genomics at the University of California, Berkeley. “As it evolves, and as it slowly becomes the dominant thing, it could accumulate more mutations.” Viral mutations may enhance or weaken one another. For example, the variants identified in South Africa and Brazil contain many of the same mutations, including Eek. But the Brazilian version has a mutation, K417N, that is not present in the version from South Africa. In a study published Thursday in Nature, researchers compared antibody responses to all three variants of concern — the ones identified in Britain, South Africa and Brazil. Consistent with other studies, they found that the variant that pummeled South Africa is most resistant to antibodies produced by the immune system. But the variant circulating in Brazil was not as resistant, even though it carried the Eek mutation. “If you have the second mutation, you don’t see as bad an effect,” said Michael Diamond, a viral immunologist at Washington University in St. Louis, who led the study. It’s too early to say whether the variant in Oregon will behave like the ones in South Africa or Brazil. But the idea that other mutations could weaken Eek’s effect is “excellent news,” Wyman said. Overall, she said, the Oregon finding reinforces the need for people to continue to take precautions, including wearing a mask, until a substantial portion of the population is immunized. “People need to not freak out but to continue to be vigilant,” she said. “We can’t let down our guard yet while there’s still these more transmissible variants circulating.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
There are still a few eligible bachelors left! From Delish
The Canadian pot stock rose amid a Reddit-fueled rally and positive earnings results from Tilray, which will merge with Aphria next quarter.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is allowing child-migrant detention facilities to operate at 100 percent capacity, despite the threat of coronavirus spread, multiple outlets reported on Friday. The agency recommended in an internal memo that the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement open its facilities at the U.S.–Mexico border to full capacity. According to the memo, the HHS facilities are better-equipped to prevent coronavirus spread than U.S. Border Patrol holding centers, so it is preferable that migrant children be housed by HHS. “Additional shelter capacity will minimize the likelihood that children remain in Border Patrol stations longer than necessary, where they are also exposed to COVID-19 transmission risks as well as child welfare concerns associated with such settings,” the memo states. HSS “facilities should plan for and expect to have COVID-19 cases.” There are currently 7,700 unaccompanied migrant children in HHS facilities, according to CNN, while the department has 13,650 beds available. The Biden administration is expecting to see a record number of migrant children cross the border in the coming weeks, and the administration has projected it will need roughly 20,000 beds to contend with the influx, Axios reported on Tuesday. The expansion in available space at shelters comes as the Biden administration grapples with a major surge in illegal immigration at the Southern border. The surge can be attributed in part to the effects of two November hurricanes in Central America, as well as ongoing upheaval from the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, some migrants have cited what they perceive as the Biden administration’s looser immigration policies in making their decision to cross the border.
Mar. 6—Efforts continue to get full state reimbursement for public defenders and Gov. Mike DeWine has included 96% payback for the first year of the proposed budget, but the coronavirus makes figuring Butler County's savings difficult. The Butler County Public Defender's office budgeted $2.1 million for this year and 87% state reimbursement or $1.88 million. DeWine plugged 96% reimbursement in ...
Mar. 6—A Middletown man was shot Wednesday night during an apparent domestic situation, according to police and court records. The shooting happened about 7:15 p.m. at a residence in the 6800 block of Spring Garden Drive. The victim, William Coleman, who was shot in the chest, was taken to an area hospital for treatment. He is expected to recover. Jonnette Newsom, 28, was taken into custody ...
Mar. 6—Officials are planning to resume the search for the body of 6-year-old James Hutchinson of Middletown on Sunday after the situation on the Ohio River has improved. Hutchinson's mother and her boyfriend told police they disposed of his body in the river last weekend after she ran over and killed him while trying to abandon him in a Preble County Park. They told police they drove to the ...
Mar. 6—The losses from last spring's many canceled high school senior activities due to the coronavirus still sting, local members of the Class of 2020 said. And they have advice for this year's senior class as they approach their final spring: Don't take anything for granted. Almost a year ago, schools in Ohio and across the nation began to see government-ordered shutdowns as America ...
In this video from Motley Fool Live, recorded on Feb. 22, Fool.com contributors Brian Orelli and Keith Speights discuss the recent downturn in Editas Medicine's (NASDAQ: EDIT) stock price and the biotech's change in management. Brian Orelli: Teresa asks if we could talk about the recent news on management changes, and then somebody else said should Editas be put in the penalty box as of late, the performance has been terrible, ticker there is EDIT. Keith Speights: Their CEO change was unexpected, at least to me.
Mar. 6—If Amtrak is able to expand passenger service across Ohio and Indiana — and there are many ifs involved — that could create new development and jobs in Hamilton, Oxford and Middletown, a longtime promoter of expanded Ohio rail service says. One place that could be helped is Hamilton's impoverished Second Ward neighborhood, where members of All Aboard Ohio have identified one potential ...
A child was critically injured after being struck by a fire truck on Staten Island.
Winfrey’s interview with Harry and Meghan will cover ‘wide-ranging’ topics
Two-hour special will air on Sunday 7 March
Servo Motor Market is Segmented by Type (Less than 2KW, 2KW-5KW, More than 5KW), by Application (Machine Tools, Packaging Applications, Textile, Electronics Equipment, Industrial Robots), by Regions & Key players Regional Growth: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2019–2026. This report is published on Valuates Reports in the Manufacturing Category.
ESPN's Todd McShay has projected Zaven Collins to the Browns in 3 straight mocks
WASHINGTON — A member of the far-right nationalist Proud Boys was in communication with a person associated with the White House in the days just before the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation. Location, cellular and call record data revealed a call tying a Proud Boys member to the Trump White House, the official said. The FBI has not determined what they discussed, and the official would not reveal the names of either party. The connection revealed by the communications data comes as the FBI intensifies its investigation of contacts among far-right extremists, Trump White House associates and conservative members of Congress in the days before the attack. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times The same data has revealed no evidence of communications between the rioters and members of Congress during the deadly attack, the official said. That undercuts Democratic allegations that some Republican lawmakers were active participants that day. Separately, Enrique Tarrio, a leader of the far-right nationalist Proud Boys, told The New York Times on Friday that he called Roger Stone, a close associate of former President Donald Trump’s, while at a protest in front of the home of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. During the protest, which occurred in the days before the Capitol assault, he put Stone on speaker phone to address the gathering. A law enforcement official said that it was not Tarrio’s communication with Stone that was being scrutinized, and that the call made in front of Rubio’s home was a different matter. That two members of the group were in communication with people associated with the White House underscores the access that violent extremist groups like the Proud Boys had to the White House and to people close to the former president. Stone denied “any involvement or knowledge of the attack on the Capitol” in a statement last month to the Times. Tarrio was arrested in Washington on Jan. 4 on charges of destruction of property for his role in the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner that had been torn from a historic Black church during a protest in Washington in December. He was asked to leave the city, and was not present when the Capitol was attacked. His case is pending. The Justice Department has charged more than a dozen members of the Proud Boys with crimes related to the attack, including conspiracy to obstruct the final certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory and to attack law enforcement officers. In court papers, federal prosecutors have said groups of Proud Boys also coordinated travel to Washington and shared lodging near the city, with the intent of disrupting Congress and advancing Trump’s efforts to unlawfully maintain his grip on the presidency. The communication between the person associated with the White House and the member of the Proud Boys was discovered in part through data that the FBI obtained from technology and telecommunications companies immediately after the assault. Court documents show FBI warrants for a list of all the phones associated with the cell towers serving the Capitol, and that it received information from the major cellphone carriers on the numbers called by everyone on the Capitol’s cell towers during the riot, three officials familiar with the investigation said. The FBI also obtained a “geofence” warrant for all the Android devices that Google recorded within the building during the assault, the officials said. A geofence warrant legally gives law enforcement a list of mobile devices that are able to be identified in a particular geographic area. Jill Sanborn, the head of counterterrorism at the FBI, testified before a Senate panel Wednesday that all the data the FBI had gathered in its investigation into the riot was obtained legally through subpoenas and search warrants. Although investigators have found no contact between the rioters and members of Congress during the attack, those records have shown evidence in the days leading up to Jan. 6 of communications between far-right extremists and lawmakers who were planning to appear at the rally featuring Trump that occurred just before the assault, according to one of the officials. The Justice Department is examining those communications, but it has not opened investigations into any members, the official said. A department spokesperson declined to comment. The FBI did, however, say Thursday that it had arrested a former State Department aide on charges related to the attack, including unlawful entry, violent and disorderly conduct, obstructing Congress and law enforcement, and assaulting an officer with a dangerous weapon. The former midlevel aide, Federico Klein, who was seen in videos assaulting officers with a stolen riot shield, was the first member of the Trump administration to face criminal charges in connection with the storming of the Capitol. His lawyer declined to comment Friday. Right-wing extremists, including members of the Oath Keepers, a militia group that mainly comprises former law enforcement and military personnel, have been working as security guards for Republicans and for Trump’s allies, such as Stone. Stone, who was pardoned by Trump after refusing to cooperate with the investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian intelligence, has known Tarrio for some time and used Oath Keepers as bodyguards before and on the day of the assault on the Capitol. The Justice Department is looking into communications between Stone and far-right extremists to determine whether he played any role in plans by extremists to disrupt the certification on Jan. 6, according to two people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to speak about the investigation. Should investigators find messages showing that Stone had any connection to such plans, they would have a factual basis to open a full criminal investigation into him, the people said. Stone said last month that he was “provided voluntary security by the Oath Keepers,” but noted that their security work did not constitute evidence that he was involved in, or informed about, plans to attack Congress. He reiterated an earlier statement that anyone involved in the attack should be prosecuted. The Justice Department has charged more than 300 people with crimes stemming from the Jan. 6 assault. It has used evidence gathered in its broad search for assailants — including information from cellular providers and technology companies — to help piece together evidence of more sophisticated crimes, like conspiracy. It is also looking at possible charges of seditious conspiracy, according to two people familiar with the investigation. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
Google will start rolling out the Fit app's camera-based heart and respiratory rate trackers on Monday, March 8th.
Democrats spent much of the 2020 presidential primary debating the best way to expand public health insurance. They sparred over whether to enroll everyone in public coverage — the preferred policy of Sen. Bernie Sanders — or to give everyone a choice to do so, the public option plan that President Joe Biden supports. The candidates repeatedly proposed a future in which private insurers play a diminished role in the U.S. health system — or no role at all. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times But the first major legislation of the Biden administration, if it passes in the Senate, moves in the opposite direction: It proposes spending billions to expand private health insurance coverage to millions more Americans. The American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that the House passed last week, would increase government subsidies to health insurers for covering recently laid-off workers and those who purchase their own coverage. The new subsidies do not preclude future legislation that could make public plans more available. Some congressional aides say they are already laying groundwork for the inclusion of a public option plan in a legislative package expected later this year. And the stimulus package does introduce an incentive for states to expand public coverage through Medicaid, though it is unclear whether any states will take it up. The decision to start with subsidizing private insurance shows how it can often be the path of least resistance when legislators want to expand coverage. The changes can slot neatly into a preexisting system and tend to garner support from the health care sector (which benefits). “The politics of expanding public coverage in a way that would shift people to public insurance gets tricky really fast,” said Karyn Schwartz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “There are very concrete losers: the providers who would see their payments go down.” Private health plans cover 176 million Americans, outnumbering the combined enrollment of Medicare and Medicaid. The stimulus plan would probably increase private insurance sign-ups by a few million people with the new subsidies it provides to those buying their plans. The American Rescue Plan spends $34 billion expanding the Affordable Care Act subsidies for two years. The changes would make upper-middle-income Americans newly eligible for financial help to buy plans on the Obamacare marketplaces and would increase the subsidies already going to lower-income enrollees. The stimulus package also subsidizes private health insurance premiums for newly unemployed workers. They typically have the opportunity to purchase their former employers’ health benefits through a federal program called COBRA, which can often be prohibitively expensive because the employer is no longer paying a share of the worker’s premium. The legislation that the House passed would cover 85% of COBRA premiums through September. The Senate plans to bump up the amount to 100%, meaning the government would pay the full cost of premiums. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the more generous Senate version will cost $35 billion. There is not yet an estimate of how many people would gain coverage under the Senate plan, but the Congressional Budget Office did estimate that the original House version would reach 2.2 million former workers. These policies have moved forward easily and with little opposition. The health care industry has generally supported the changes because private health plans typically pay higher prices to doctors and hospitals. Democrats who support expanding public coverage generally describe these changes as low-hanging fruit — the changes they could accomplish quickly to expand coverage. But some progressives have questioned the decision to route patients into private health plans, which will cost the government more because of the high prices they pay for care. “I don’t think this was the most efficient way to do this,” said Pramila Jayapal, a Democratic congresswoman from Washington state, who is the lead sponsor of the House’s Medicare for All bill. She proposed legislation that would have allowed unemployed Americans to transition to Medicare rather than staying on their former employers’ plans. This did not move forward. Nor has a plan from Sens. Tim Kaine and Michael Bennet to create a version of Medicare, which they call “Medicare X,” available to all Americans. In recent years, Democrats have increasingly embraced the idea of a large expansion of public health benefits. The public option would give all Americans the option to sign up for a Medicare-like plan, and a Medicare for All program would move everyone to a government health plan. Polling shows public support for each idea also going up, with the public option tending to rank more favorably than Medicare for All. Those types of public coverage expansions tend to be politically divisive in Washington. They often draw fierce opposition from the health care industry for the same reason supporters like the policy: They would be disruptive and significantly reduce fees paid to hospitals and doctors. A Kaiser Family Foundation report this week estimated that total health spending for those with private insurance would decline by $350 billion in a year if those private plans paid claims at Medicare rates. “You can’t take $350 billion from a system and expect it to look exactly the same,” said Schwartz, an author of the report. “Every time I drive past a hospital, I see a big construction project. You’d probably see less of that.” In coming years, Democrats will probably confront more decisions about how to expand coverage. The new Affordable Care Act subsidies expire at the end of 2022, setting up a figurative cliff in which premiums would go back up if Congress did not act. Democrats could use the moment to make those changes permanent, further solidifying the role of private health insurance. If enrollees find themselves satisfied with their increasingly subsidized plans — if they perceive the coverage as more affordable because the government pays a bigger share of the tab — the urgency to expand public coverage may lessen. “Sometimes the path of least resistance is self-reinforcing,” said Jacob Hacker, a political scientist at Yale who helped develop the public option plan supported by Biden. But legislators could find themselves balking at the price tag. Making the subsidy permanent would most likely cost hundreds of billions. That could push the party to think about the cheaper but more politically challenging route of expanding public plans. Which way the party goes could depend on whether Democrats continue to hold a majority in both chambers of Congress and if the caucus can unite around expanding public coverage in the same way it has around increased spending on private plans. “It’s revealing that they’re sunsetting the expansion of subsidies and not dealing with the longer-term challenge of, how do you finance this?” Hacker said. “Their plan to bolster the ACA is the path of least resistance, but it’s a path that only takes you so far.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
Mar. 6—Members of Generation Z are now the primary victims of scams, something that's been linked to consumer habit shifts since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Adults age 18 to 24 reported the highest median losses ($150) and the highest likelihood of loss (56.6%) to BBB Scam TrackerSM in 2020, according to the Better Business Bureau. The younger age group started rising in the ranks of ...