Don't expect the Buccaneers wide receiver to have a big Week 9.
Don't expect the Buccaneers wide receiver to have a big Week 9.
Dustin Johnson's injury comes just one week before the PGA Championship.
The future of the Golden Globes is in doubt as Hollywood revolts against the telecast's voting body.
"This is a grove of Atlantic Cedars... victims of saltwater inundation from rising seas due to climate change," said Lin, designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. "They're called, 'Ghost Forests,' so I wanted to bring a ghost forest to raise awareness about this phenomenon," she added, noting that more than 50% of Atlantic Cedars on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard have been lost.
SG Blocks, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGBX) ("SG Blocks" or the "Company"), a leading designer, innovator and fabricator of container-based structures, will host a conference call on Monday, May 17, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time to share its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021. Financial results will be issued in a press release prior to the call.
An unremarkable patent focusing on a minor engine part has revealed that Toyota is at least considering a twin-turbo V8. While the filing is most likely just a large company protecting its intellectual property, it could also be a small glimmer of hope that Toyota, a storied company that's made some glaring missteps with enthusiasts in recent years, can leave the ICE party with a bang for the ages. However, the second figure shows a dual turbo setup nestled in the valley of a V8.
Sherweb, an award-winning global Microsoft cloud solutions provider, announced today that CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, has named 4 of its leaders to its 2021 list of Women of the Channel.
More spinned against than spinning? Leader and deputy patch up differences after 48 hours of bitter briefing and counter-briefing.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth will present Prime Minister Boris Johnson's post-pandemic agenda on Tuesday in a speech written by the government that will set out the new laws that ministers intend to pass in the coming year. The grand 'State Opening of Parliament', a heavily choreographed and costumed ceremony led by the 95-year-old monarch, will this year involve face masks, social distancing, and fewer guests. The speech will set out Johnson's policymaking priorities as he plans Britain's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and seeks to fulfil the promises he made to voters in 2019 on creating new opportunities for left-behind regions and communities.
The cancer drug Gleevec, which ushered a new era in cancer care focusing on a tumor's characteristics not its location, marks its 20th anniversary.
A Hearing Panel of the Central Regional Council of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada ("MFDA") has issued its Reasons for Decision dated May 10, 2021 ("Reasons for Decision"), in connection with a settlement hearing held by electronic hearing on March 9, 2021, in the matter of Bertha Effie Ravn ("Respondent").
"Beauty doesn't have a definition and can come in all shapes and sizes," the "No Sweat" singer says
U.S. stocks fell on Monday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped back from a record high, as worries about accelerating inflation dragged on shares and hobbled the dollar, which struggled at a 10-week low. U.S. equities' losses deepened as the breakeven rates for U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, or TIPS, scaled multi-year highs, underscoring rising inflation expectations.
MONTGOMERY, Ala.—Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Monday that Alabama will be the latest U.S. state to halt pandemic-related unemployment boosts, including the additional $300 benefit from the federal government. Ivey cites an increase in job postings and complaints from businesses that they are unable to hire workers. She says she believes the increased unemployment assistance intended to bring emergency relief during the pandemic is now contributing to a labour shortage. That view is echoed by conservative groups but disputed by some advocates for low-income families. “As Alabama’s economy continues its recovery, we are hearing from more and more business owners and employers that it is increasingly difficult to find workers to fill available jobs, even though job openings are abundant,” Ivey said in a statement. Ivey says Alabama will end its participation in all federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation programs effective June 19. That includes the additional $300 weekly payment to recipients of unemployment compensation and benefits to gig and part-time workers who would not usually qualify. ___ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — In coastal Senegal, beginning of the fishing season renews hope for industry ravaged by COVID-19 — While wealthier nations stockpile vaccines, some of the poorest countries have yet to receive any, even for medical staff — Joyful reunions among vaccinated parents and children marked this year’s Mother’s Day — Concert advocating vaccine equity pulls in $302 million, exceeding its goal Follow more of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles County expects to reach so-called community immunity by mid-to-late July, officials said Monday. According to Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, the county expects to administer 400,000 shots weekly. The county has administered nearly 8.5 million doses as of May 7 and needs to put an additional 1.5 million first doses in arms to hit the goal of 80% of county residents vaccinated. The county reported four deaths on Monday and there is a lag in weekend reporting, Ferrer said. The county has had just over 24,000 pandemic-related deaths in total. The county also reported 179 new cases on Monday. ___ LOS ANGELES -- The superintendent of the giant Los Angeles Unified School District said Monday there are disparities in the return of students to classrooms in the nation’s second-largest district. Elementary schools have higher in-person enrolment in more affluent communities than in low-income communities while the opposite is true in high schools, Superintendent Austin Beutner said in his weekly video briefing to the school community. Beutner cited the example of West Los Angeles, where median household incomes exceed $115,000 and nearly 70% of elementary school students have returned to campus for in-person learning. In the city of Bell, however, where incomes are about $44,000, fewer than 20% of students are at schools. At the high school level, COVID-19 safety protocols keep most instruction on-line, even for those who attend in person. In the city of Huntington Park, where the median income is about $44,000, 12% of high school students have returned to in-person learning. In the Woodland Hills area of Los Angeles, where the median is nearly $100,000, only 5% have returned. Beutner stressed the extensive safety measures put in place on campuses, the district’s massive COVID-19 testing program and commitment to make vaccinations available. ___ IRVINE, Calif. -- Prosecutors say a Southern California man has pleaded not guilty to charges he obtained $5 million in federal coronavirus-relief loans for phoney businesses and then used the money for lavish vacations and to buy a Ferrari, a Bentley and a Lamborghini. Mustafa Qadiri was arrested last week on suspicion of scheming to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program. The 38-year-old will stand trial in June on multiple charges including bank fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. Prosecutors say his loan applications included altered bank records, fake tax returns and false information about employees. He was released on $100,000 bond. Qadiri’s attorney, Bilal A. Essayli, declined further comment Monday. ___ SEATTLE -- Washington state’s Department of Health says preliminary data shows more people died of drug overdoses in 2020 than any other year in at least the last decade. Authorities say the effects of the coronavirus pandemic likely led to a drug use surge. The Seattle Times reports fatal drug overdoses increased by more than 30% last year compared to 2019. That’s an increase more than twice as large as any other year over the last decade. Officials are still analyzing the preliminary data and causes of death in specific cases and expect the number of overdose deaths to grow even higher. ___ SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Millions of Californians would get tax rebates of up to $1,100 under a proposal unveiled by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom as part of a broader pandemic recovery plan made possible by an eye-popping $75 billion budget surplus. Individuals and households making between $30,000 and $75,000 annually would get a $600 payment under Newsom’s plan announced Monday. All households making up to $75,000 with at least one child, including immigrants who file taxes, would get an extra $500 payment. The payments are part of what Newsom is calling a $100 billion plan to drive the state’s economic recovery. It also comes as Newsom faces a recall election. The massive budget surplus is largely due to taxes paid by rich Californians who generally did well during the pandemic, and marks a major turnaround after officials last year said they feared a deficit of more than $50 billion. The payments will total an estimated $8.1 billion, said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the state Department of Finance. The proposal also includes $5.2 billion to pay back rent and $2 billion for overdue utility bills for people who fell behind during the pandemic. ___ PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland’s mass vaccination site will close on June 19 after giving hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 inoculations. The All4Oregon site has been running since Jan. 20 at the Oregon Convention Center. The site began offering walk-in appointments last week but organizers say a drop in volume makes it clear that demand for a mass vaccination site is waning as shots become more widely available elsewhere. All4Oregon will offer stop offering first doses of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine on May 27 and will offer second doses only in June. As of Friday, the site had administered 465,000 shots. ___ NEW ORLEANS -- Organizers of a New Orleans vaccination event on Thursday will offer a free jab in the arm — and a free pound of boiled crawfish. The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reports that the vaccine promotion is being arranged by local business incubator Propeller, City Councilman Jay Banks, the city health department and longtime local seafood dealer Cajun Seafood. It’s one of numerous vaccination events held day to day in New Orleans, where as of late April roughly 43% of city residents had received at least one vaccine dose. ___ MADRID — Spain’s top coronavirus expert has delivered a stern warning to people who are acting as if the pandemic had ended just because the government has relaxed measures amid an accelerating rollout of vaccines. Fernando Simón said Monday that he was unable to predict how the contagion rate in Spain will evolve in coming days following scenes of revelers partying in mass over the past weekend, in many cases without social distancing or masks. The street celebrations followed the end of a state of emergency, a blanket national rule that allowed authorities take strict measures such as travel bans, curfews and curbs on social gatherings, which collide with fundamental freedoms. Spain’s rate of contagion fell to 188 new cases in two weeks per 100,000 residents from 198 on Friday and, way down from a peak of nearly 900 at the end of January. The country accumulates over 3.5 million confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic and over 78,000 deaths. Simón said that he expected that new infections would hit harder people under 60 years ago, an age group that barring those in essential jobs is not being vaccinated yet. The expert said that the impact in older people could be lower among the elderly. Nearly one third of Spain’s 47 million residents has received at least one coronavirus vaccine shot and 6 million people, most of them above 70, are fully vaccinated. ___ LONDON -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that he has given the go-ahead for people in England to hug someone outside of their household bubble from next week as part of the latest easing of lockdown restrictions. Johnson told a news briefing that he was able to sanction that much-needed contact from May 17 because new coronavirus infections have fallen sharply. However, he stressed that people should exercise common sense given that social contact is the main way the virus is transmitted. The U.K. is now recording around 2,000 new coronavirus cases a day, compared with a daily peak of nearly 70,000 in January. Daily deaths have also plummeted with only four recorded on Monday. Other easing measures included the reopening of pubs and restaurants indoors as well as cinemas and hotels, and allowing two households to meet up inside a home. Johnson said this “unlocking amounts to a very considerable step on the road back to normality” and that he is confident of further easing on June 21. ___ PRAGUE — The Czech Republic is further easing coronavirus restrictions, opening bars and restaurants for outdoor dining amid falling numbers of coronavirus infections. Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlicek says the establishments will reopen on May 17 for people who have a negative coronavirus test, have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19. Only up to four people who are not relatives will be allowed to sit at one table. Also next week on Monday, the elementary schools in the seven of the country’s 14 regions, including Prague will be able to abandon a rotating principle, with in-school attendance one week and distance learning the next. At the same time, up to 700 people will be allowed to attend outdoor concerts and other outdoor cultural events. People will have to present a negative coronavirus test, be vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19. All will have to wear a respirator. Monday’s announcement comes on the day when all stores and shopping malls are reopening and most services return to business. ___ MILAN — The head of San Marino’s health authority says that new coronavirus cases in the tiny republic have nearly hit zero since the vaccine campaign was launched last month with the Russian-developed Sputnik V. Alessandra Bruschi said on Monday that officials are “very satisfied with the preliminary data that show a high level of effectiveness.” She said the state hospital has just one COVID-19 patient, who is in a regular ward and not intensive care. National statistics show just 25 active cases among the 34,500 citizens. San Marino has vaccinated 75% of its citizens with at least one dose, and is planning soon to begin offering jabs to tourists. It is also negotiating with Italy to vaccinate Italians who work in the republic, which is located along the border between the regions of Emilia Romagna and Marche, near the Adriatic Coast. ___ GENEVA — The head of the World Health Organization said the agency is seeing “a plateau” in the number of global coronavirus cases with recent declines in the Americas and Europe, the two worst affected regions. At a press briefing on Monday, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “any decline is welcome” but warned “we have been here before,” advising countries not to loosen their public health restrictions too quickly. He noted that developing countries have still only received about 7% of the hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccines administered to date. My message to leaders is to use every tool at your disposal to drive transmission down,” Tedros said, adding that even countries with downward epidemic trends should prepare for the possibility that new variants could undo the progress made in vaccination. “My message to individuals is that every contact you have with someone outside your household is a risk,” he said. Tedros said how quickly the pandemic ends depends on how quickly the global population gets immunized and how consistently everyone follows public health guidance. ___ BERLIN — Germany’s top security official has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to his office. Interior Ministry spokesman Steve Alter told the dpa news agency Monday that Minister Horst Seehofer had tested positive for COVID-19 and is in quarantine at home. Alter says the 71-year-old minister is exhibiting no symptoms. The Interior Ministry could not be immediately reached for further comment. Seehofer had previously told reporters he received his first shot of the coronavirus vaccine on April 14. He received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. ___ TOKYO — Japan’s government said Monday that it has agreed to purchase an antibody cocktail to be produced and marketed for COVID-19 treatment by a Japanese drug maker Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. which has a licensing deal with Roche. Chugai Pharmaceutical concluded the agreement with Roche in December for the production and marketing in Japan of the antibody cocktail for the virus treatment. Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters Monday that the government concluded the agreement with Chugai over the purchase of enough doses through March 2022 once the drug, now at final stages of clinical testing in Japan, is approved by the health ministry. The antibody cocktail developed by Roche and a U.S. drug maker Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. was approved for emergency use in the United States for the treatment of high-risk, non-hospitalized patients with mild cases. Clinical testing started in Japan in March and if approved, it will be a new effective addition to Japan’s COVID-19 treatment, Kato said. A cocktail of two virus neutralizing antibodies casirivimab and imdevimab are synthetically manufactured copies of antibodies that the body produces after an infection. It was given to U.S. President Donald Trump when he contracted the disease in October. ___ ANCHORAGE -- Officials in Anchorage have reported that the city sewer system is clogging up because people are flushing wipes and other items. It’s problem that’s been made worse by the pandemic because people spend more time at home. Alaska’s News Source reported that Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility spokesperson Sandy Baker said up to 6,000 pounds of wipes have entered the sewer system in Anchorage daily since the pandemic started. The wipes can block pipes and cause sewage to back up into residents’ homes. Baker said part of the problem is that many brands of wipes claim to be flushable, but are not because they don’t break down. ___ The Associated Press
The possible ouster of Liz Cheney, the third most powerful House Republican, highlights a growing right in the GOP.
A 78-year-old woman graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, on May 8 after pursuing her Liberal Studies bachelor’s degree for six years, according to the university.Vivian Cunningham took courses decades ago through a tuition reimbursement program when she was employed at the Alabama Power Company, but never had the time to earn a bachelor’s degree until she retired.A Samford University press release said Cunningham, a single mother of two children, worked at an Atlanta dress shop, and then returned to Birmingham to work as a night-shift custodian at the Alabama Power Company for the next 13 years. Cunningham then worked her way up to a daytime job in Alabama Power’s mail room.Throughout the years, Cunningham acquired course credits at various colleges and universities in Birmingham. Cunningham earned an Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies from Virginia College and then furthered her education at Samford University, according to the press release.Samford University provided this footage of Cunningham attending her commencement ceremony at Seibert Stadium in Homewood on May 8.“I might go for the master’s degree,” Cunningham said in the press release. “I don’t want to stop. I love to read, I love to sew, I love to watch movies. I don’t want to just sit because I’m retired. I want the knowledge.” Credit: Samford University via Storyful
COVID-19 vaccines finally are headed for more kids as U.S. regulators on Monday expanded use of Pfizer's shot to those as young as 12, sparking a race to protect middle and high school students before they head back to class in the fall. Shots could begin as soon as a federal vaccine advisory committee issues recommendations for using the two-dose vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds, expected Wednesday. Vaccinating children of all ages will be critical to a return to normalcy. Most COVID-19 vaccines rolling out worldwide have been authorized for adults. Pfizer’s vaccine is being used in multiple countries for teens as young as 16, and Canada recently became the first to expand use to 12 and up. Parents, school administrators and public health officials elsewhere are anxiously awaiting the shot to become available to more kids. “This is a watershed moment in our ability to fight back the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Bill Gruber, a Pfizer senior vice-president who’s also a pediatrician, told The Associated Press. The Food and Drug Administration declared the Pfizer vaccine is safe and offers strong protection for younger teens based on testing of more than 2,000 U.S. volunteers ages 12 to 15. The study found no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents compared to 18 among kids given dummy shots. More intriguing, researchers found the kids developed higher levels of virus-fighting antibodies than earlier studies measured in young adults. The younger teens received the same vaccine dosage as adults and had the same side effects, mostly sore arms and flu-like fever, chills or aches that signal a revved-up immune system, especially after the second dose. Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech recently requested similar authorization in the European Union, with other countries to follow. The latest news is welcome for U.S. families struggling to decide what activities are safe to resume when only the youngest family members remain unvaccinated. “I can’t feel totally comfortable because my boys aren’t vaccinated,” said Carrie Vittitoe, a substitute teacher and freelance writer in Louisville, Kentucky, who is fully vaccinated as are her husband and 17-year-old daughter. The FDA decision means her 13-year-old son soon could be eligible, leaving only her 11-year-old son who would be unvaccinated. The family hasn’t yet resumed going to church, and summer vacation will be a road trip so they don’t have to get on a plane. “We can’t really go back to normal because two-fifths of our family don’t have protection,” Vittitoe said. Pfizer isn’t the only company seeking to lower the age limit for its vaccine. Moderna recently said preliminary results from its study in 12- to 17-year-olds show strong protection and no serious side effects. Another U.S. company, Novavax, has a COVID-19 vaccine in late-stage development and just began a study in 12- to 17-year-olds as well. Next up is testing whether the vaccine works for even younger children. Both Pfizer and Moderna have begun U.S. studies in children ages 6 months to 11 years. Those studies explore whether babies, preschoolers and elementary-age kids will need different doses than teens and adults. Gruber said Pfizer expects its first results sometime in the fall. Outside of the U.S., AstraZeneca is studying its vaccine among 6- to 17-year-olds in Britain. And in China, Sinovac recently announced it has submitted preliminary data to Chinese regulators showing its vaccine is safe in children as young as 3. Children are far less likely than adults to get seriously ill from COVID-19 yet they still have been hard-hit by the pandemic. They represent nearly 14% of the nation’s coronavirus cases. At least 296 have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. alone and more than 15,000 have been hospitalized, according to a tally by the American Academy of Pediatrics. That’s not counting the toll of family members becoming ill or dying -- or the disruption to school, sports and other activities so crucial to children’s overall well-being. “Children right now are struggling,” Gruber said. Plus, “we need as many people in the country who have the potential to transmit the virus to be protected.” Experts say children must get the shots if the country is to vaccinate the 70% to 85% of the population necessary to reach what’s called herd immunity. In the meantime, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says unvaccinated people -- including children -- should continue taking precautions such as wearing masks indoors and keeping their distance from other unvaccinated people outside of their households. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Lauran Neergaard And Candice Choi, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — A cyberattack on a critical U.S. pipeline is sending ripple effects across the economy, highlighting cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the nation's aging energy infrastructure. The Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel used along the Eastern seaboard, shut down Friday after a ransomware attack by gang of criminal hackers that calls itself DarkSide. Depending on how long the shutdown lasts, the incident could impact millions of consumers. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE COLONIAL PIPELINE? Colonial Pipeline, the owner, halted all pipeline operations over the weekend, forcing what the company called a precautionary shutdown. U.S. officials said Monday that the “ransomware” malware used in the attack didn’t spread to the critical systems that control the pipeline’s operation. But the mere fact that it could have done so alarmed outside security experts. WILL THERE BE GASOLINE SHORTAGES? It depends on how long the shutdown lasts. Colonial said it's likely to restore service on the majority of its pipeline by Friday. There’s no imminent shortfall, and thus no need to panic buy gasoline, said Richard Joswick, head of global oil analytics at S&P Global Platts. If the pipeline is restored by Friday, there won’t be much of an issue. “If it does drag on for two weeks, it’s a problem,” Joswick added. “You’d wind up with price spikes and probably some service stations getting low on supply. And panic buying just makes it worse.” SO WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH GASOLINE PRICES? It’s getting more pricey to fill up at the pump. The average gasoline price jumped six cents to $2.96 over the past week, and it’s expected to continue climbing because of the pipeline closure, according to AAA. Mississippi, Tennessee and the East coast from Georgia to Delaware are the most likely to experience limited fuel availability and higher prices, and if the national average rises by three more cents, these would be the highest prices since November 2014, according to AAA. WHAT’S RANSOMWARE AGAIN? Ransomware scrambles data that can only be decoded with a software key after the victim pays off the criminal perpetrators. An epidemic of ransomware attacks has gotten so bad that Biden administration officials recently deemed then a national security threat. Hospitals, schools, police departments and state and local governments are regularly hit. Ransomware attacks are difficult to stop in part because they’re usually launched by criminal syndicates that enjoy safe harbour abroad, mostly in former Soviet states. WHO IS BEHIND THE ATTACK AND WHAT MOTIVATES THEM? The hackers are Russian speakers from DarkSide, one of dozens of ransomware gangs that specialize in double extortion, in which the criminals steal an organization’s data before encrypting it. They then threaten to dump that data online if the victim doesn’t pay up, creating a second disincentive to trying to recover without paying. Ransomware gangs say they are motivated only by profit. Colonial has not said how much ransom DarkSide demanded or whether it has paid. So far this year, ransomware gangs’ demands have reached as high as $50 million. U.S. officials say there’s is no evidence the Kremlin directly benefits from ransomware though Russian security services tolerate and sometimes even employ these cybercriminals. It’s not clear whether DarkSide has such Russian affiliations. President Joe Biden said Monday in answer to reporters' questions that there is no evidence so far that the Russian government is involved but there is evidence that DarkSide is Russia-based. WHAT MAKES THIS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER RECENT HACKS? Two big recent hacking campaigns — Solar Winds and the compromise of Microsoft Exchange — are viewed by U.S. officials as state-backed espionage. In the former, elite Russian hackers infiltrated U.S. government and corporate networks for months until their discovery in December. In the latter hack, first detected in late January, the U.S. blamed Chinese cyberspies. Biden has already announced sanctions against Russia for the SolarWinds hack and U.S. election interference, although many experts don’t believe them adequate to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin. Biden said he planned to raise the issue of Russia’s providing safe haven for cybercriminals when he meets with Putin, reportedly next month. DarkSide posted a statement on its dark website on Monday seeking to blame the Colonial attack on affiliates who rented out its ransomware, which is how such business operate. DarkSide claims it is apolitical and does not attack hospitals, nursing homes, schools or government agencies. WHY WASN’T COLONIAL ABLE TO PREVENT OR CONTAIN THE ATTACK? Neither Colonial nor federal officials have explained how the attackers breached the company’s network and went undetected. Cybersecurity experts believe that Colonial may not have employed state-of-the-art defences, in which software agents actively monitor networks for anomalies and are programmed to detect known threats such as DarkSide’s infiltration tools. WHAT DOES COLONIAL NEED TO RESTORE ITS NETWORK AND HOW LONG WILL THAT TAKE? That depends on how extensively Colonial was infected, whether it paid the ransom and, if it did, when it got the software decryption key. The decryption process could take several days at least, experts say. Colonial has not responded to questions on these issues, although it said only its IT network was affected. DO PIPELINES FACE A GREATER RISK OF RANSOMWARE ATTACKS? They're not necessarily at greater risk, but they do pose unique challenges. The Colonial Pipeline structure is a vast piece of critical infrastructure that provides fuel supply to states along the East Coast. Such a large network is bound to have different control systems along its path where it connects with distributors or customers. “Every single time you connect something, you run the risk that you’re going to infect something,” said Kevin Book, managing director at Clearview Energy Partners. That variability can also make it harder for hackers to know where to find vulnerabilities, he said. Over time, as pipelines expand, companies can end up with a mix of technology — some parts built within the company and others brought in from outside, said Peter McNally, global sector lead at Third Bridge. Many large energy companies have been under pressure from investors to limit reinvestment in such assets, which can be decades old, he added. That can be a problem when dealing with modern criminals. WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HALT RANSOMWARE ATTACKS? Previous attempts to put ransomware operators out of business by attacking their online infrastructure have amounted to internet whack-a-mole. The U.S. Cyber Command, Microsoft and cross-Atlantic police efforts with European partners have only been able to put a temporary dent in the problem. Last month, a public-private task force including Microsoft, Amazon the FBI and the Secret Service gave the White House an 81-page urgent action plan that said considerable progress could be possible in a year if a concerted effort is mounted with U.S. allies, who are also under withering attack. Some experts advocate banning ransom payments. The FBI discourages payment, but the task force said a ban would be a mistake as long as many potential targets remain “woefully unprepared,” apt to go bankrupt if they can’t pay. Neuberger said Monday that sometimes companies have no real choice but to pay a ransom. The task force said ransomware actors need to be named and shamed and the governments that harbour them punished. It calls for mandatory disclosure of ransom payments and the creation of a federal “response fund” to provide financial assistance to victims in hopes that, in many cases, it will prevent them from paying ransoms. Frank Bajak And Cathy Bussewitz, The Associated Press
The Food and Drug Administration has authorised Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15. Now that the FDA has granted the vaccine emergency use authorisation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet later this week to recommend how it is used in that age group. Parents will then be allowed to get their children vaccinated as soon as the CDC signs off on that recommendation.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — With rubble from an asteroid tucked inside, a NASA spacecraft fired its engines and began the long journey back to Earth on Monday, leaving the ancient space rock in its rearview mirror. The trip home for the robotic prospector, Osiris-Rex, will take two years. Osiris-Rex reached asteroid Bennu in 2018 and spent two years flying near and around it, before collecting rubble from the surface last fall. The University of Arizona’s Dante Lauretta, the principal scientist, estimates the spacecraft holds between a half pound and 1 pound (200 grams and 400 grams) of mostly bite-size chunks. Either way, it easily exceeds the target of at least 2 ounces (60 grams). It will be the biggest cosmic haul for the U.S. since the Apollo moon rocks. While NASA has returned comet dust and solar wind samples, this is the first time it's gone after pieces of an asteroid. Japan has accomplished it twice, but in tiny amounts. Scientists described Monday's departure from Bennu's neighbourhood as bittersweet. “I’ve been working on getting a sample back from an asteroid since my daughter was in diapers and now she’s graduating from high school, so it's been a long journey,” said NASA project scientist Jason Dworkin. Added Lauretta: “We have gotten used to being at Bennu and seeing new and exciting images and data coming back to us here on Earth." Osiris-Rex was already nearly 200 miles (300 kilometres) from the solar-orbiting Bennu when it fired its main engines Monday afternoon for a fast, clean get-away. Colorado-based flight controllers for spacecraft builder Lockheed Martin applauded when confirmation arrived of the spacecraft's departure: “We're bringing the samples home!” Scientists hope to uncover some of the solar system’s secrets from the samples vacuumed last October from Bennu’s dark, rough, carbon-rich surface. The asteroid is an estimated 1,600 feet (490 metres) wide and 4.5 billion years old. Bennu — considered a broken chunk from a bigger asteroid — is believed to hold the preserved building blocks of the solar system. The returning pieces could shed light on how the planets formed and how life arose on Earth. They also could improve Earth’s odds against any incoming rocks. Although the asteroid is 178 million miles (287 million kilometres) away, Osiris-Rex will put another 1.4 billion miles (2.3 billion kilometres) on its odometer to catch up with Earth. The SUV-size spacecraft will circle the sun twice before delivering its small sample capsule to Utah's desert floor on Sept. 24, 2023, to end the more than $800 million mission. It launched from Cape Canaveral in 2016. The precious samples will be housed at a new lab under construction at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, already home to hundreds of pounds of lunar material collected by the 12 Apollo moonwalkers from 1969 to 1972. Scientists initially thought the spacecraft stored 2 pounds (1 kilogram) of asteroid rubble, but more recently revised their estimate downward. They won't know for certain how much is on board until the capsule is opened after touchdown. “Every bit of sample is valuable,” Dworkin said. “We have to be patient.” NASA has lots more asteroid projects planned. Set to launch in October, a spacecraft named Lucy will fly past swarms of asteroids out near Jupiter, while a spacecraft known as Dart will blast off in November in an attempt to redirect an asteroid as part of a planetary protection test. Then in 2022, the Psyche spacecraft will take off for an odd, metallic asteroid bearing the same name. None of these missions, however, involve sample return. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press
“In that era of drugs and gang violence, to see 21 years old was a blessing... because a lot of us wasn't making it to that number,” says the rap icon, who's working on an autobiographical series about those "indefinitely dark" times.