Apr 18, 2021

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News from all over | Updated hourly

Questions surface over Minnesota’s COVID-19 testing contract

By Joe Carlson
  • Minnesota public health officials talk with pride of the free statewide COVID-19 testing system they set up last year, but questions are mounting about the cost of the no-bid contract they negotiated and a key pricing amendment still in the works.
  • Minnesota's contract is with Vault Medical Services of New York, which runs community testing clinics and communicates the results of about 9,700 COVID-19 diagnostic tests daily to the state and its residents.
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As Chauvin verdict looms, military presence in Twin Cities unsettles some, reassures others

By Katie Galioto
  • Local law enforcement and the Guard suddenly ramped up their public presence last week after a police officer fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright, who was Black and unarmed, during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center.
  • Reese Farrell was walking near her home in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis on Wednesday night when more than a dozen armored National Guard vehicles rumbled down the block.
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At Minneapolis shelter where George Floyd worked, pain of Derek Chauvin trial runs deep

By Maya Rao
  • Frankie Powell still remembers how George Floyd would stop by the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center to joke and catch up with old friends.
  • The trial has prompted reflection among some staff and clients at the Harbor Light Center, Minnesota's largest homeless shelter, where Floyd worked as a security guard from 2017 to 2018 after arriving from Houston at the bus stop around the corner.
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Mangy coyote spotted walking through Denver’s Wash Park in daylight

By Pattrik Perez
A mangy coyote was spotted earlier this week walking through Wash Park during the day as people walked with their dogs and children nearby. Cassie Childers was walking her client’s dogs Wednesday afternoon when she heard a woman yelling about a coyote. “I’ve seen one, like, way off in the distance at dusk. I’ve never seen one just in broad daylight where it was approaching people, kids, dogs, inspecting everything,” she said. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, coyotes are common in urban areas like neighborhood parks, but they’re mostly active at night. Read the full story at […]Read more >Similar articles >
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What’s the line between reporting atrocities and feeding fascination with Black trauma?

By Myron Medcalf
  • "I think there is a delicate balance that when you're in this position, you can't do everything for everyone and you do what you can do," said Kilgo, whose dissertation at Baylor University was titled "Black, White, and Blue: Media and Audience Frames from Visual News Coverage of Police Use of Force and Unrest." "And, 'What are the limitations to that?' is something we do have to wrestle with.
  • "How awful does it have to be before people stop and they turn their heads and they say, 'I can't do this anymore?' " Kilgo said.
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A reminder about supplies and demands

By Dan Walters
  • That was the underlining issue last week when the state Senate’s Committee on Natural Resources and Water took up Senate Bill 467, which was aimed at shutting down much of California’s oil industry by banning fracking and other extraction processes.
  • We tend to forget that the goods and services we want or need involve complex supply chains that begin with basic resources, proceed to industrial processes and culminate in delivery on demand.
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Concord expands a TIF district to lure Market Basket; how does that work?

  • In this case, the TIF District involves turning the intersection of Whitney Road and Hoit Road, also known as State Route 4, into a roundabout as well as widening or improving associated roads, all to enable traffic to get to an expanded Concord Crossing development in Penacook.
  • It’s basically a way to store extra property tax payments from development lured by building infrastructure such as roads, water lines or parks, so it can be used to pay off the debt taken on to build that infrastructure plus associated costs.
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Michelle Wu, Annissa Essaibi-George talk Boston schools on the campaign trail this weekend

By Erin Tiernan
Boston schools came into focus as a campaign issue on Sunday as mayoral hopefuls continued to differentiate themselves on their strategies to reform policing amid a crowded candidate field. City Councilor-at large Michelle Wu, who is making a bid of the fifth-floor corner office defended her “pie in the sky” dreams for Boston schools at an event at the English High School on the heels of releasing her 50-page education plan last week. “We need a transformational change in Boston,” Wu said, highlighting the need for new buildings, early-childhood education and better wraparound services. City Councilor-at large and mayoral candidate Annissa […]Read more >Similar articles >
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How black artists are breaking country music’s color barrier

By Chuck Arnold
  • No doubt — black artists such as Guyton, Kane Brown, Jimmie Allen and Nashville veteran Darius Rucker are leading a diversity movement in the traditionally white country-music industry.
  • Look no further than the genre’s two biggest awards shows: After Rucker became only the second black artist to ever co-host the CMAs in November, Guyton will be the first African-American woman to co-host the Academy of Country Music Awards — with Keith Urban — on Sunday.
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Inside Kate Winslet’s Mare of Easttown Pennsylvania Accent

By Julie Miller
  • If Mare’s accent sounds strange, it’s likely because you aren’t as familiar with the Philadelphia area dialect as you are with more recognizable regional variations, like southern or Bronx.
  • After hearing this head-scratching dialect, Vanity Fair took its burning questions about Mare’s accent to Winslet, Winslet’s longtime dialect coach Susan Hegarty, and Mare of Easttown creator Brad Ingelsby (who was raised in southeastern Pennsylvania himself).
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The Real Vaccine Crisis Isn’t About J&J or AstraZeneca

By David Fickling
  • Counting only drugs that are already on the market, total manufacturing capacity this year should be sufficient to deliver 12 billion doses, according to a database compiled by the Duke Global Health Innovation Center.
  • In the 1990s and early 2000s, HIV was ravaging sub-Saharan Africa just as the newly formed World Trade Organization was hammering out global regulations on the treatment of intellectual property.
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Why Use Muscle? Big Data Can Collect Debt

By Andy Mukherjee
  • “The best way for a bank or a financial institution to lose a customer is to give the account to a collection agency,” says Sumeet Srivastava, the chief executive of a five-year-old startup that aims to boost collections without human contact.
  • Turning over a much smaller set of problem loans to collection agencies means good customers don’t get put off by strong-arm tactics.
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A look at the midnight ride of Paul Revere on April 18-19

By Kurt Snibbe
  • He said to his friend, — “If the British marchBy land or sea from the town to-night,Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-archOf the North-Church-tower, as a signal-light, —One if by land, and two if by sea;And I on the opposite shore will be,Ready to ride and spread the alarmThrough every Middlesex village and farm,For the country-folk to be up and to arm.”
  • The mission: On the evening of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere and William Dawes were dispatched by Joseph Warren to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock in Lexington (and many others along the route) that British forces were heading their way.
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With food trucks and music, Huntington Beach hosts celebration of diversity as antidote to hate

By Susan Christian Goulding
  • Huntington Beach city council member Barbara Delgleize, left, Oliver Chi and his son Ian and city councilman Mike Posey watch and listen to speakers as the city of Huntington Beach holds a community get together for unity Sunday, April 18, 2021 with food trucks and games in Central Park.
  • Hundreds of people gather as the city of Huntington Beach holds a community get together for unity Sunday, April 18, 2021 with food trucks and games in Central Park.
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In Dreams Begin Responsibilities: The Bountiful Life of Vartan Gregorian

By Richard Stengel
  • It’s not a secret that Vartan identified with Andrew Carnegie, the hardscrabble Scottish industrialist who loved reading and vowed if he ever became rich, he would start libraries for poor boys like himself.
  • Like Carnegie, Vartan understood that America was not a country based on a common religion, blood, or background, but an uncommon set of ideas—that all people were created equal, that no one was above the law, that here the people rule—and in many ways Vartan spent a lifetime teaching Americans about their own heritage and what it means to be an American.
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LETTERS: GOP no longer the party it once was

By BILL HOLEN, Letter to the Editor
Editor: I have spent over 47 years as a public servant working in federal and state governments. While working as a legislative staffer in the U.S. Senate in the 70s and 80s, I witnessed first-hand the benefits of working collaboratively with Senators of both parties to find the best legislative solutions that would ensure that the process of governance would benefit all Americans and provide a stable platform for our the economy and national security. During the last two decades, those laudable principles of compromise and collaboration have been supplanted by a political clown show. Republicans focus turned on political partisanship, […]Read more >Similar articles >

Dam failure dramatizes Minnesota mining dangers

By Steven H. Emerman
  • In 2018, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) permitted PolyMet to use the same cheap and unstable upstream construction method used at Piney Point to store its toxic tailings in its plans for a copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota.
  • The Piney Point tailings dam near-collapse and massive release of polluted wastewater should set off a red alert for anyone concerned about the future of clean water in northeastern Minnesota.
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Meena Harris discusses her book and the “A” word — ambition — at a Festival of Books panel

By Dorany Pineda
  • Published in January and illustrated by Marissa Valdez, “Ambitious Girl” is about a young Black girl discovering the challenges faced by women as they confront labels like “too loud” or “too assertive” — words meant to knock them down.
  • A mother of two daughters, ages 3 and 4, Harris wrote the book to teach children like them the value of “respecting and admiring women.”
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The Castros Still Run Cuba

  • Instead it has been ruled by a military dictatorship that concentrates its power within a cartel-like chain of command of hard-line Castro family members and loyalists and generals who fiercely shield their wealth and status—as well as each other.
  • Another key figure is Mr. Castro’s son, Col. Alejandro Castro Espín, a powerful member of the Cuban intelligence apparatus.
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Senate Democrats settling on 25% corporate tax rate

By Hans Nichols
  • Why it matters: While increasing the rate from 21% to 25% would raise about $600 billion over 15 years, it would leave President Biden well short of paying for his proposed $2.25 trillion, eight-year infrastructure package.
  • The universe of Democratic senators concerned about raising the corporate tax rate to 28% is broader than Sen. Joe Manchin, and the rate will likely land at 25%, parties close to the discussion tell Axios.
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The Fate of Alexei Navalny

  • The White House warned Sunday that there would be “consequences” if Mr. Navalny dies, and President Biden said Saturday that his treatment is “totally, totally unfair.”
  • Jimmy Lai and other Hong Kong democrats have been jailed at China’s insistence, while the Kremlin is slowly squeezing the life out of Alexei Navalny in prison.
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Medical bankruptces are still high, even with Obamacare. That’s why we need national, single-payer health care.

By Letters to the Editor
  • Regarding the disagreement between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) over whether to use a forthcoming spending package to strengthen the Affordable Care Act or expand Medicare eligibility and coverage, I’d like to highlight a relevant article.
  • We spend more on health care per capita than any other nation yet our quality of life is no better.
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Fear of ‘the other’ is nothing new

By Letters to the Editor
  • On July 9, 1938, the proceedings of the Evian Conference show that Peruvian delegate Francisco García Calderón Rey cited the limited immigration quotas of the United States as “an example of caution and wisdom” in defense “of their Nordic heritage and of the Anglo Saxon race against invasion by other peoples.”
  • At the Evian Conference of 1938 in France, a stillborn attempt by Western democracies to provide refuge for threatened Jews in Germany and Austria, all delegates criticized German actions but would not allow increased immigration to their own countries.
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Maureen Dowd: Biden ditches the generals, finally

  • But, despite the lessons the Soviets learned in 10 hard years there fighting ghostly warriors who disappeared into the mountains, U.S. officials and generals never absorbed this simple fact: Even the battles we won, we lost in a way.
  • At a joint news conference with Gates, our corrupt puppet Hamid Karzai needled his American sugar daddies, protesting that America was stuck because Afghanistan would not be able to get its own forces ready for 15 or 20 more years.
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Competitive high schools to see greatest numbers of students return Monday

By Nader Issa
  • A little less than half of Chicago Public Schools students are anticipated to return to classrooms Monday for the start of the fourth academic quarter, when for the first time in 11 months all 515 non-charter schools — including high schools — will be open for in-person learning.
  • About 26,000 high school students opted to return to in-person learning, and the district said Friday they are all still expected back.
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China’s third phase of genocide denial: Attacking those who speak the truth

By Fred Hiatt
  • We know this thanks to Radio Free Asia reporter Gulchehra Hoja and her colleagues, to a few dogged academics and to dozens of survivors and exiles who have bravely given testimony.
  • At first, when a few brave journalists at Radio Free Asia began alerting the world to the terrible events unfolding in western China, China’s Communist rulers denied that anything at all was taking place.
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Anoka County banks on bridge over railroad tracks to reduce congestion, improve safety on Foley Blvd.

By Tim Harlow
  • Another part includes moving the entrance to the park and ride slightly to the east and installing a new traffic signal, which should make it easier for buses and those who ride them to get in and out of the facility, said Metro Transit spokesman George Serumgard.
  • The county also will improve traffic signals at intersections at Coon Rapids Boulevard and East River Road.
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The Guardian view on the need for news: local facts are sacred too | Editorial

By Editorial
  • The BBC’s local democracy reporting service was set up to fill the gap created when British local and regional press owners closed titles and shed jobs (JPI Media, for example, which was sold for £10m in December, halved its staff in five years from 2007 to 2012, when it was still Johnston Press).
  • Last year, the Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan published a book, Ghosting the News, examining the decline of local reporting in the US, and arguing that the disappearance of trusted information sources is linked to the decline of democracy .
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Doug Ford must resign

By David Moscrop
  • As Ontario Premier Doug Ford sat down at a Friday afternoon news conference to announce his plans to extend the province’s covid-19 measures, social media feeds erupted with posts from around the province, from around the country, uniformly expressing outrage, frustration, shock and despondence.
  • Ford opened by blaming the federal government for not providing the province with sufficient vaccine supply, abdicating his responsibility for a pandemic that was never going to be solved immediately by vaccines.
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Fauci Says He Expects Decision Soon on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is in limbo in the U.S. after federal health advisers said last week they needed more evidence to decide if a handful of unusual blood clots were linked to the shot — and if so, how big the risk is.
  • Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plan to meet Friday to discuss the pause in Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, and the top U.S. infectious disease expert says he’d be “very surprised if we don’t have a resumption in some form by Friday.”
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Millie LaFontaine: Through the lens of a pandemic

  • It’s hard to complain about daffodils, but this year I see their early appearance for something else.
  • For instance, when our emboldened New Hampshire House is trying to pass legislation like HB 544, “relative to the propagation of divisive concepts,” I can’t help but see it as a thinly veiled attempt to paper over the tragic but very real history of racism and sexism in our nation.
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Bruins knock off Capitals, 6-3

By Steve Conroy
  • The old reliables showed up for this one as Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Brad Marchand each scored a pair of goals to lead the way.
  • The B’s took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission, though the Capitals had to feel good after halving a two-goal deficit with 9.9 seconds left in the period.
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Pelosi renews call for Congress to investigate the Capitol insurrection

By Katelyn Burns
  • The letter, sent to mark 100 days since the attempted revolt, indicated that Pelosi recently sent another proposal to Republican House leadership seeking to create a formal group in the vein of the 9/11 Commission.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) renewed her call for a congressional commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol insurrection in a “Dear Colleague” letter sent to her Democratic House colleagues Friday.
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I reunited with my ex during COVID — am I fooling myself to think it could work out long term this time?

By Wayne and Wanda
  • I won’t say you’re crazy, but you did construct and hunker yourself as deeply as possible into a Fantasy World of isolation, sex and shared meals … with your ex.
  • I don’t think you’re crazy, but I do think you’re wasting your time if you think this casual relationship that’s pretty much based on sex is going to magically bloom into a meaningful long-term commitment.
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Illinois’ COVID-19 vaccine total surpasses 8 million as Chicago set to expand eligibility to all adults Monday

By Madeline Kenney
  • More than 8 million COVID-19 vaccine shots have now gone into the arms of Illinoisans, state health officials announced Sunday, as Chicago prepares to expand eligibility to all adults, beginning Monday.
  • “I am encouraged by our increased vaccination rates, but we also continue to see a slow and persistent increase in COVID-19 case counts, especially among younger Chicagoans,” Chicago public health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a statement.
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D.C. is expanding in-person learning. But most the new seats will be in the city’s wealthiest schools.

By Perry Stein
  • City leaders said that once they reopened buildings, schools with open seats slowly saw students trickle into classrooms as the weeks went on and families saw what in-person learning looked like.
  • It was on principals to determine how many more families wanted to return this month, which staff members to bring back to the school building, and whether campuses would need to switch from six feet of social distancing to the newly recommended three feet to meet demand.
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India is dealing with a vaccine shortage during a new wave of Covid-19

By Katelyn Burns
  • India is the second most populous nation and the largest producer of Covid-19 vaccines worldwide, thanks to being home to the Serum Institute of India (SII) — a biotech and pharmaceuticals company responsible for 60 percent of the globe’s entire vaccine supply, according to a CNN report .
  • But recent US and European limits on the exportation of critical Covid-19 vaccine production materials have resulted in a severe vaccine shortage throughout the country.
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Ezra Klein: Another way of thinking about cancel culture

  • My former Times colleague Charlie Warzel, in his new newsletter, points to Twitter’s trending box as an example of how this works, and it’s a good one if you want to see the hidden hand of technology and corporate business models in what we keep calling a cultural problem.
  • It’s driven by economics, and the key actors are social media giants and employers who really could change the decisions they make in ways that would lead to a better speech climate for us all.
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Trump’s Biggest Propaganda Machine Doesn’t Believe Its Own Lies

By Charlotte Klein
  • While the rival conservative outlet Newsmax and even Fox News—both of which peddled similarly outlandish theories in the post-election period—have at times moved on to other GOP talking points, like culture wars or Biden’s so-called border crisis, OAN this month remains unwilling to recognize the transfer of power, repeatedly referring to former President Donald Trump as “President Trump” but to his successor as just “Joe Biden” or “Biden” in news articles, according to the Times .
  • That prospect has reportedly been embraced in corners of the OAN newsroom, with Golingan telling the Times, “A lot of people said, ‘This is insane, and maybe if they sue us, we’ll stop putting stories like this out.’” Just last month, OAN referred to Dominion’s “voting machines” as “notorious.”
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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot calls Twitter rumors ‘homophobic, racist and misogynistic’

By Gregory Pratt, John Byrne
Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Sunday blasted unsubstantiated social media chatter as “homophobic, racist and misogynistic rumors” and indicated she is not resigning. “I will continue to lead a group of the willing all across our city who are about doing the people’s work,” Lightfoot said through her political account. “The people of Chicago elected me mayor, and I will continue to serve today, tomorrow and into the future. Back to work.” […]Read more >Similar articles >
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‘Thunder Force’ ruined by bad writing

By Adam Forsgren
  • Someone needs to make sure writer/director Ben Falcone understands this before he’s allowed to direct another movie because his track record is pretty sad and his latest flick, “Thunder Force” doesn’t do much to right the ship.
  • Even in comedies that feature heavy improvisation, good writing helps to define the characters, set up relationships and create situations where laughs blossom plentifully.
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Not Every ‘Serious Crisis’ Is Alike

  • In a way that’s infuriatingly facile, pundits try time and again to compare Mr. Biden’s relief strategy to Mr. Obama’s stimulus plan when the two presidents faced political hurdles that were entirely distinct.
  • For reasons I don’t understand, pundits seem to be unable to appreciate, much less explain, how timing, substance, landscape and legislative politics all frame an administration’s freedom to respond.
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COVID vaccines may affect women differently

By Christina Caron
News that seven women developed a rare blood clotting disorder after receiving Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine has prompted new questions about whether vaccines affect women differently than men, and whether there are special considerations that women should take into account when getting vaccinated. […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Democrats must not pressure the CBO when they don’t like its numbers

By Editorial Board
  • Mother Jones’s Kara Voght reported last week that Senate Democratic staffers are talking about firing CBO Director Phillip Swagel, after the CBO released an analysis projecting that increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would result in 1.4 million job losses over a decade.
  • Republicans threatened the scorekeepers’ independence in 2015, when they commanded the JCT, which scores tax bills, and CBO, which scores other legislation, to use “dynamic” analysis when assessing major proposals.
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Fauci: Republican vaccine deniers are hurting efforts to lift Covid restrictions

By Richard Luscombe
  • Republicans who refuse the Covid-19 vaccination are actively “working against” efforts to lift the very coronavirus restrictions they insist are an infringement of their civil liberties, Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government’s leading infectious disease expert, said on Sunday.
  • Fauci’s comments come amid a resurgence of Covid-19 across the US, with an 8% rise in new cases in the last two weeks even as the number of those vaccinated continues to grow, to almost 265 million by Saturday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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3-Minute Civics: The limitations of symbols and symbolic gestures

  • Each year, the Senate symbolically honors Washington by reading his final words of advice to our nation while at the same time ignoring his message, as disunity, partisanship and strategic misinformation (A.K.A. lying) run rampant.
  • Like the pledge, I am in favor of the Senate reading Washington’s Farewell Address, but it shouldn’t just be an empty symbolic gesture in which the message of the document itself is ignored.
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Better Health and Wellness: Kansas families share infertility struggles, what they wish you knew

By Carly Willis
  • Childers now knows her triggers and what to avoid, including days like April Fools' Day or going out on Mother's Day. She recalls a particularly hurtful experience at a Wichita restaurant on Mother's Day years ago.
  • Shelbie and Jason have a relationship with Shiloh's genetic parents and planned to introduce her to them last year, but the COVID pandemic got in the way.
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State should help Californians through the pandemic, not cut lifelines

By Robert Gutierrez
  • With Californians now seeing light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, there still are many things the state government should do to help residents and businesses make it through – but cutting a lifeline that allows people to have food and other necessities delivered to their doorsteps definitely isn’t one of them.
  • By putting delivery companies out of business and making it more difficult for Californians to order from local restaurants, AB 286 would put an unnecessary damper on jobs and the economy.
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Documenting LGBTQ history: Windy City Times an ‘invaluable resource’ for Chicago

By Mari Devereaux
  • Baim said because most media outlets were not doing an adequate job of covering the LGBTQ community and its struggles, the responsibility fell on Windy City Times to offer persistent coverage of the gay rights battle, attending public meetings, protests and marches, and letting readers know where to go and who to call.
  • After more than 35 years of covering major events like the HIV/AIDS epidemic and writing about diverse communities, Chicago’s main LGBTQ publication is still going strong.
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Nicholas Kristof: Lessons from a weird Portland

By Nicholas Kristof
  • One wing of the Democratic Party, encompassing President Joe Biden but also policy wonks to his left like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, focuses on practical steps to improve people’s lives: vaccinations, broadband, highways, child allowances, day care.
  • Portlanders have reason to protest peacefully — the police arrest African Americans in the city at four times the rate of whites, one study found — but violence doesn’t serve any cause other than the election of Republicans.
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US to restart J&J vaccinations this week, Fauci predicts

  • WASHINGTON — The United States will likely move to resume Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine this coming week, possibly with restrictions or broader warnings after reports of some very rare blood clot cases, the government’s top infectious diseases expert said Sunday.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, in a series of news show interviews, said he expects a decision when advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meet Friday to discuss the pause in J&J’s single-dose vaccine.
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I’m Awash In Pandemic-Fueled Gratitude and Taking a Solitary Cross-Country Road Trip

By Susanna Schrobsdorff
  • And if those grandparents and teenagers sorting packages at work, those parents buying groceries, and young men driving home to their moms are all part of our family, our human family, then changing what’s not working becomes a labor of love, not fury.
  • With the waitlists for the nearby shelter and housing support backed up, the local Pandemic of Love chapter stepped in to rally the community and make sure Charmaine did not fall through the cracks any longer.
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The Oscars Have One Week To Get People Excited

By Jordan Hoffman
  • 23.6 million people watched the Oscars last year, which is a lot of people, but that number is down 44 percent from 2104.
  • In an earlier conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Soderbergh said that there will be a "very rigorous and specific aesthetic approach to the show" and that "each of those remotes have some direct sort of visual correlation to what we're doing or at least contribute to the movie-like feel of what we're doing in terms of where they will be."
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A physician gives a dose of hope

By Shirin Poustchi, MD, PharmD
  • COVID-19 was no longer something that happened to a distant, individual stranger but instead now found itself infecting entire families, neighbors, friends, and community members.
  • The privilege of this role during an unprecedented time in history means that I witness the toll this pandemic has taken on people from all walks of life.
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Area mosques welcome community for month of spiritual — and physical — reconnection

As the Monday sun dawdled down to its resting place below the horizon, a trickle and then a stream of more than 100 children and adults pooled around thebonfire at the base of the hill upon which standsthe Islamic Center of Greater Toledo. Some sat on tree stumps, others on plastic benches; still others on blankets spread on the soft grass. Excited chatter punctuated the mild evening air. […]Read more >Similar articles >
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No evidence that getting a COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility, OB-GYNs say

By Arezow Doost
  • "So that tells us that we can be passing some of this protection to our babies, for moms who are vaccinated during their pregnancy, which is really exciting," explained Dr. Madeline Kaye, an OB-GYN at Renaissance Women's Group in Pflugerville .
  • "We have now over 30,000 women that have enrolled between Pfizer and Moderna, and the safety seems to be completely what we expected, which is very low risk, no different than the non-vaccinated population in terms of pregnancy complications," Thoppil explained.
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Reasons to believe at the 51st Earth Day

By Larry Wilson
  • They recruited Dennis Hayes, the Stanford student body president, as Earth Day coordinator, and he chose late April to maximize collegiate and high school participation — it’s after spring break and before finals.
  • But it’s the definition of an oldtimer, Joe Biden, who has taken the American reins on lessening the pollution of the Earth and on stopping its heating beyond the point of human habitation at this crucial juncture.
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What Happens For Prince William and Prince Harry After Their Funeral Reunion?

By Katie Nicholl
  • After a long, lonely, and at times deeply difficult year marked by rifts, anger, and resentment, Prince William and Prince Harry were finally reunited at the funeral for their grandfather Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
  • As they walked solemnly behind their grandfather’s coffin on Saturday, in one of the most poignant and emotional processions in royal history, it was hard not to think back to the walk they made 24 years ago during the funeral for their mother, Princess Diana.
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Gov. Gavin Newsom calls COVID-19 herd immunity ‘illusory.’ Is he right?

By John Woolfolk
  • “You have a population, if you’re going to reach herd immunity, that must include all of our children as well, and yet we don’t have … authorization broadly for people below the age of 16.
  • “I fear it’s a little illusory, this notion of herd immunity,” Newsom said last week when asked if his administration had a projection for when California would reach that goal.
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Will a Safe-Camping Site in South Park Hill Create More Understanding?

By Conor McCormick-Cavanagh
  • "I actually believe that putting this project in Park Hill is good for the entire city of Denver, because it forces us to have a conversation that we’ve only been having in certain parts of town and identify this as a citywide issue that requires action on all of our parts," says Cole Chandler, director of the Colorado Village Collaborative, which already runs an existing safe-camping site at the Denver Community Church in Uptown.
  • Kinning says he feels that Chandler and others behind the safe-camping site move are trying to make a political statement by setting up a site in South Park Hill.
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More than a survivor, at 100, she’s still making art

By Andre Mouchard
  • In the early 1970s, decades after her mother noticed “I loved to draw as a girl, and was sort of good at it,” Engel took a painting class through Fullerton’s community arts program.
  • “I never considered it,” she said, flatly, when asked if she imagined celebrating this particular birthday, or even growing old, during World War II, when she was a young newlywed forced to live in a series of displaced-persons camps in Italy and Switzerland.
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Let’s not go back to the denial and delusion of the Thatcher years | John Harris

By John Harris
  • The basic story is laid out in The Writing on the Wall, a very readable account of national decline by the Labour MP turned TV journalist Phillip Whitehead, published in 1985.
  • Whereas the pain of 40 years ago was all about the end of a postwar settlement based around state planning, trade union power and large-scale economic interventionism, we may now have reached the demise of what replaced it: the small-state, free-market approach that was weakened by the crash of 2008, and surely rendered obsolete by the vast level of state intervention necessitated by coronavirus.
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Congressional panel splits on regulation of ‘orphaned’ oil and gas wells

By Jacob Fischler
  • The Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hearing was held Thursday to consider a bill introduced by Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, D-N.M., that would authorize $8 billion over 10 years to reclaim oil and gas wells that were abandoned by defunct companies and not properly cleaned up.
  • But while some congressional Republicans have backed federal spending to help plug orphan wells, GOP committee leaders took issue with provisions in Leger Fernandez’s bill requiring states to strengthen regulations, including raising bond rates, in order to receive federal grant funding.
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Colorado wants to lower health care costs. But not everyone agrees the state should get involved.

By Saja Hindi
  • The push-pull between costs and access to quality care is something lawmakers are also dealing with as they try to balance cheaper insurance and better coverage for Coloradans against negotiations with hospitals, insurers and others in the health industry over the details of the legislation, which in this year’s iteration is a two-pronged approach.
  • “If I get to a place where I think the compromise would still lower insurance prices and make sure that everybody, no matter where they live, has access to this lower cost and higher quality product, then I would be willing to entertain eliminating Phase Two,” said bill sponsor Rep. Dylan Roberts, an Avon Democrat.
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Brooklyn Center sees more subdued night of protests

  • Ryan Faircloth writes in the Star Tribune : “ Journalists covering protests in Brooklyn Center last week following the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright say they have been assaulted, pepper-sprayed and detained by law enforcement officers despite showing their credentials and a Friday court order barring officers from arresting or using force against members of the media .
  • MPR reports : “ Hundreds of people gathered outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Saturday for a seventh night of protests over the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.
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NYPD: Bridgeport man threw chemicals, Moltov cocktail at officers

By Saul Flores
  • A driver from Bridgeport who ran a red light Saturday morning threw a chemical liquid at a New York Police Department officer, drove away and then tossed a flaming Molotov cocktail as officers pursued him, authorities said.
  • Moroney said the man stopped the car, stepped out and threw a Molotov at the police vehicle that bounced off the windshield and shattered on the street.
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Utah demand for COVID-19 vaccine varies, with some rural residents ‘going bonkers’ for it while others hesitate

By Erin Alberty
  • It’s also likely that some residents sought their vaccines in Green River, Wyo., which is just a 45-minute drive from the county seat of Manila, said Liberty Best, spokeswoman for the TriCounty Health Department of eastern Utah.
  • But some rural counties are lagging far behind, according to state data obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune, with fewer than half of their seniors fully inoculated — even though they have been eligible for weeks, and Utahns age 70 and up have been eligible since mid-January.
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Getting to Know Rhonda Newman at the Wes Deist Aquatic Center

By Nate Eaton
  • The biggest thing that I do is make sure that all patrons have a safe and fun experience when they come to the Idaho Falls Aquatic Center.
  • Other jobs that I had were babysitter, hostess at JB’s, a grocery checker at Buttery’s and a cosmetologist at Sunnyside Beauty Salon, Hair Tech and Hair Care on Elm St. While working most of those places, I also worked at the Idaho Falls (Wes Deist Aquatic Center) since it opened in 1986.
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Letter: Support HB 177, protect NH parks

  • This was a grassroots effort to protect the town and state park from this uninvited, and unwanted landfill development project.
  • Casella Waste Systems first introduced itself to Dalton in April 2019, when it attempted a failed “lot-line adjustment” to sneakily cut out neighboring abutters, including NH state parks, in order to circumvent the notification process required during the permitting process.
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Letter: Democracy at the town level

  • The more towns that become organized the more local power and control for we the people, so that we can make elected officials accountable to us instead of the rich ruling elite.
  • By systemic design most people are uninvolved, uninformed and politically dysfunctional, and if we don’t change that soon then the status quo will allow the oligarchs to continue to control our government and get richer as they destroy our nation and planet.
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Virtual tour benefits residence house for young patients’ families

By Kim Ratcliff, Correspondent
  • In fact, they got to stay in their pajamas to film a virtual tour of the residence house on the Kaiser Hospital campus in Santa Clara, where families can stay for free while a loved one is in the hospital.
  • The services offered by the JW House have become even more vital during the pandemic, since most hospitals are allowing only one parent or guardian to stay with a child who is receiving medical treatment, and siblings aren’t allowed to visit.
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The Metaverse Is Coming. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang on the Fusion of Virtual and Physical Worlds

By Eben Shapiro
  • Jensen Huang, the CEO of Nvidia, the nation’s most valuable semiconductor company, with a stock price of $645 a share and a market cap of $400 billion, is out to create the metaverse, what Huang describes “ a virtual world that is a digital twin of ours.”
  • Huang joined TIME for a video conversation this week to talk about the chip shortage, the future of the car industry and his belief in the goodness of human nature.
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Canada’s Reasonable Vision of Gun Control

By Frank Wilkinson
  • And without completing an authorized training course in firearm safety like this one, and then waiting a minimum of 28 business days for your application to be processed, you won’t get a license.
  • Edwards, who has been teaching gun safety for seven years, works for Silvercore, Canada’s largest firearms training company.
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Biden’s Afghan Pullout Is Risky Politics and Geopolitics

By Henry Brands
  • Biden is arguing that Washington can keep a lid on the terrorist threat without a consistent, boots-on-the-ground military presence, implicitly rejecting the post-9/11 model of counterterrorism.
  • The president argues that, because the prospects of a lasting military success in Afghanistan seem so low, the strategic cost of keeping only a small force there indefinitely — amid a global pandemic, rising threats from China, and other challenges — is too high.
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Five great new mysteries and thrillers to look forward to this spring

By Richard Lipez
  • When rich, unmarried Connecticut tech entrepreneur Miles Cookson is diagnosed with incurable Huntington’s disease, he sets out to locate his nine widely scattered and mostly appealing 20-year-old children — all the result of sperm donation.
  • “I killed a little boy today” is the hair-raising first line of British psychologist Nancy Tucker’s first novel (she has also written two nonfiction books), and it’s a stunning debut.
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How much do San Jose agencies spend on homeless encampments?

By Marisa Kendall
  • Efforts to clear, prevent and manage San Jose’s homeless encampments cost the city and partner agencies almost $8.6 million in 2019, according to a new federal report that highlights the fiscal toll of different cities’ responses to their unhoused communities.
  • Closing and removing encampments was the biggest camp-related expense for San Jose agencies, costing nearly $4.9 million in the 2019 fiscal year.
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