Some travellers flying into Canada are refusing to stay in quarantine hotels and public health officials may not be tracking them for COVID-19 followup or for legal consequences.
Some travellers flying into Canada are refusing to stay in quarantine hotels and public health officials may not be tracking them for COVID-19 followup or for legal consequences.
For the first time since Arsenal's success 14 years ago, the winner of the Champions League will not come from France or Germany.
BLFS earnings call for the period ending March 31, 2021.
Country diary: your eyes do not deceive you – this is a black squirrel. Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire: There are about 25,000 of this melanistic form of the grey squirrel in the UK, and here they are local celebrities
For more than 40 years, Porter Place in East Gwillimbury has been York Region’s emergency shelter for men. But now that the building is nearing the end of its practical life, the Region is looking to lay the foundations of a purpose-built shelter in Aurora’s south end. The Region is eyeing 14452 Yonge Street, located on the west side of the road just south of the railway bridge, as a possible location for the shelter, one which would be built in conjunction with a new regional pumping station. Officials made their pitch to Aurora Council last week, stating that the facility, if realized to its full vision, will not only be a shelter for men in need but also a resource to help them get back on their feet. “With the current facility, there is limited opportunity for expansion and program enhancements,” said Monica Bryce, Acting General Manager of Social Services for the Region of York. “Transit is also limited at the current location and so to get to work or training, many choose to walk along Highway 11 towards Green Lane. Since early 2012, we have been shifting our model in the Region away from the traditional shelter model to a more holistic model that includes a wider range of programming to meet a wider variety of needs, including transitional housing. It is not just about emergency shelter; it is about helping people settle into housing. “Homelessness is a reality for only a very small portion of York Region residents and there is no single contributing factor to homelessness.” A “typical” Porter Place client is “a Canadian citizen, roughly middle age, who has experienced either a housing breakdown, an illness, job loss, or has been impacted by the rising housing costs in York Region,” she said. The majority of clients have a one-time stay and are able to connect with resources during their time there that can help ease their housing stability. The new Aurora facility would be designed on three key pillars: preventing homelessness before it starts, providing inclusive, client-centred programs to support recovery, and ending homelessness. “The intention is not to move Porter Place…a new facility will be intentionally-designed to help men find and keep housing, address the reason for their homelessness, find stability in their lives, and maintain that stability by continuing to provide support, even once they have left the emergency housing facility.” This approach, she added, is similar to that carried out by Belinda’s Place, the Newmarket-based shelter for women – and will be operated by a third party as well. “By finding an operator who can support the men who come to the new facility, we can have the same success as we have seen at Belinda’s Place. Safety and security are important features of the design and to make sure the physical space lets people feel secure both inside and outside the facility; we will engage a safety and security specialist to perform a comprehensive security assessment of both the physical location and surrounding community, and provide recommendations to promote safety for all. “It is our goal always not just to be a good neighbour but to be an excellent one and all the concerns from the community are always considered when we go into the planning of our services.” To that end, public engagement will be carried out over the next 12 months. “One of the key factors we bring to Housing York Region (HYR)’s model is we have a functional design,” said Josh Scholten, Director of Housing Development and Asset Strategy. “From a building perspective, we want to make sure it works for the folks who will live there and it also work for the community as well. That means something that is appropriate scale too, right-sized for the community.” The Region has been looking at options to replace Porter Place since 2018. $15 million has been set aside by the Region of York for the project. The property in question was purchased in 2019 to build the Henderson Pumping Station, but it became clear there was an option to co-locate both the station and the shelter on the same site. “We do have confidence we can fit it there,” said Mr. Scholten. “It is centrally located site with access to transit. It is sufficient to fit the facility here and, from a public perspective too, we have services at the site, which is a good use for public funds for purchasing the site.” Responding to the Region’s proposal, Councillor Wendy Gaertner said co-locating both facilities on the property might work, but said zoning issues needed to be worked through. Councillor Rachel Gilliland said it was also important to consider “connectivity” and ensure active transportation is part of the plan. “Hearing feedback from residents, I think this is a good opportunity for Aurora to play a role in helping to support those who need it and look forward to continuing this journey with you and seeing the outcome.” The Region hopes to have building approvals complete by the end of July 2022, the pumping station by the Spring of 2023, and the potential shelter by the end of 2024. For more information, visit York.ca/menshousing. Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
WASHINGTON (AP) — What insurrection? Flouting all evidence and their own first-hand experience, a small but growing number of Republican lawmakers are propagating a false portrayal of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, brazenly arguing that the rioters who used flagpoles as weapons, brutally beat police officers and chanted that they wanted to hang Vice President Mike Pence were somehow acting peacefully in their violent bid to overturn Joe Biden's election. One Republican at a hearing Wednesday called the rioters a “mob of misfits." Another compared them to tourists. And a third suggested the sweeping federal investigation into the riot — which has yielded more than 400 arrests and counting — amounts to a national campaign of harassment. It’s a turn of events that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, another target of the rioters, called “appalling” and “sick,” and it raises the possibility that the public's understanding of the worst domestic attack on Congress in 200 years — an attack that was captured extensively on video — could become distorted by the same kinds of disinformation that fueled former President Donald Trump's false claims of a stolen election. It was the lie about the election that motivated the rioters in the first place. “I don’t know of a normal day around here when people are threatening to hang the vice president of the United States or shoot the speaker, or injure so many police officers,” said Pelosi, who has pushed for a bipartisan commission to investigate the riots. The hearing Wednesday was supposed to be the latest dive by congressional investigators into the chaos of Jan. 6 — the missed warning signs, confusion and delays that allowed the rioters to terrorize the Capitol for an entire afternoon. But several Republicans used their rounds of questioning not to pepper the witnesses with questions, but to downplay the brutal assault on America's seat of democracy. “Let’s be honest with the American people — it was not an insurrection, and we cannot call it that and be truthful,” said Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Republican from Georgia serving his first term. Clyde said one video feed of the rioters looked like they were on a “normal tourist visit.” Those in the video, taken in Statuary Hall, were able to enter the building after rioters broke through glass, pummeled officers and busted through the doors as lawmakers were frantically evacuated. They were headed to the House chamber where they tried to beat down the doors with lawmakers still inside. Clyde wasn’t the only Republican making that argument. Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar portrayed a woman who was shot and killed by Capitol Police as she tried to break through a door next to the House chamber as a martyr. He said Ashli Babbitt was “executed” and noted she was an Air Force veteran who was wearing an American flag. The Department of Justice decided after an investigation not to charge the police officer who shot her. The Justice Department, Gosar said at one point, is “harassing peaceful patriots across the country” as federal prosecutors file charges against hundreds of people who stormed the Capitol and participated in the riot. The massive investigation, one of the largest in American history, remains ongoing with federal agents continuing to serve search warrants and attempting to locate dozens of other people still being sought for questioning. Georgia Rep. Jody Hice also painted the rioters as the victims, noting that they were four of the people who died, including Babbitt. The other three suffered medical emergencies while part of the crowd laying siege to the Capitol. “It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others,” Hice said. A fifth person, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, collapsed immediately after the insurrection and died the next day. Video shows two men spraying him and another officer with a chemical, but the Washington medical examiner said Sicknick suffered a stroke and died from natural causes. The men have been charged with assaulting the officers. Two other officers took their own lives in the days afterward, and dozens more were hurt — including one officer who had a heart attack and others who suffered traumatic brain injuries and permanent disabilities. The union that represents the Capitol Police said some of the officers may never return to work. The attempt to defend the insurrectionists came on the same day that House Republicans voted to oust Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney from their leadership team for repeatedly rebuking Trump for his false claims that the election was stolen. Cheney voted with Democrats to impeach Trump for telling his supporters hours before the Jan. 6 attack to “fight like hell” to overturn Biden’s win. Trump’s lies about widespread election fraud were rebuked by numerous courts, election officials across the country and his own attorney general. Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, who led the Democrats’ impeachment prosecution and sits on the Oversight Committee, said after the hearing that he believes that Republicans were “emboldened and emancipated” by Cheney’s ouster earlier in the day. “They have declared themselves to be on the side of Donald Trump and the ‘big lie,’ and the ‘big lie’ now has spread outwards to include denial of what happened on Jan. 6,” Raskin said. Timothy Naftali, a professor of history and public service at New York University, says it is “deeply cynical” to set aside the insurrection as if it didn’t happen. He compares it to political elites in Southern states after the Civil War who failed to examine its causes, which he says prevented racial reconciliation and healing and still affects the country to this day. “Political amnesia never helps,” Naftali said. “It’s a source of poison.” Given the extensive record of the attack, captured in video and photos seen the world over, defending the insurrectionists required some creative omissions. One point Clyde emphasized was that the rioters never made it to the House floor — even though they tried, only to be held back by police officers with guns drawn. Some lawmakers were taking cover in the gallery of the chamber as they tried to beat down the doors. “I can tell you the House floor was never breached and it was not an insurrection," Clyde said. "This is the truth.” The mob did break into the Senate minutes after senators had evacuated, some carrying zip ties and tactical equipment. They rifled through desks and hunted for lawmakers, yelling “where are they?” They walked into Pelosi’s office, stealing a laptop and calling out her name while some of her staff huddled quietly under furniture. Other Republicans — some quietly, some publicly — have made clear they don’t agree with their colleagues. “I was there,” said Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who was caught in security video being diverted away from the rioters by a police officer. “What happened was a violent effort to interfere with and prevent the constitutional order of installing a new president. And as such, it was an insurrection against the Constitution. It resulted in severe property damage, severe injuries and death.” Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley, another Democratic member of the Oversight panel, says the Republican denials are wishful thinking that reverberates with their most partisan voters. “These folks passionately want what they want to be true,” Quigley said after the hearing. “So it’s no longer I’ll believe it when I see it. It’s I’ll see it when I believe it.” ____ Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro, Michael Balsamo and Nomaan Merchant contributed to this report. Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
The softball regional quarterfinals will continue on Friday.
This is what it's all about.
The Oscar winner, 30, read the news that the pair had reunited for a getaway in Montana while appearing with her friend Heather McMahan on The Bitch Bible podcast
The Foxes are aiming to win the FA Cup for the first time in their first final appearance since 1969.
A graphic calling the East Coast fuel supply crunch “Biden’s Gas Crisis.” A tweet speculating that gas stations running dry was an “INSIDE JOB.” A meme depicting the president and vice president cheering about the “Green New Deal” in front of a snaking line at a fuel station. These and thousands of other social media posts along with conservative websites and commentators this week misleadingly painted President Joe Biden and his administration as catalysts of chaos — who not only mishandled the temporary shutdown of the nation’s largest fuel pipeline on Friday — but engineered it. In reality, a ransom-seeking cyberattack, not a Biden executive order or energy policy, triggered the shutdown that drove residents of states such as North Carolina to panic-buy so much gas that nearly 70% of service stations in the state remained without fuel on Thursday afternoon. Biden spoke about the hack Thursday as he sought to assuage fears around the supply crunch, reassuring the public that his administration had helped get the Colonial Pipeline back online Wednesday and that remaining outages at gas stations were a “temporary situation" that panic-buying would only exacerbate. Still, some of the most widely shared tweets discussing the gas crunch between Friday and Wednesday lobbed criticism toward the president, according to the media intelligence firm Zignal Labs. Posts surfaced by Zignal blamed the president for the outages, criticized his response and condemned him for canceling plans for the Keystone XL oil pipeline — though that project, which would have built a crude oil pipeline, would have had no impact on the current situation. Misleading narratives targeting Biden began picking up speed on Monday, the day North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper became the first of several governors to declare a state of emergency over the disruption. “Wouldn’t it be weird if the CYBER-ATTACK that shutdown the United States’ top fuel line was an INSIDE JOB to pretend Joe Biden isn’t responsible for the insane increase in gas price..” read a widely shared tweet by former Florida congressional candidate Chuck Callesto. “People can’t complain about gas prices if there’s no gas to buy,” read the caption of an image depicting a sinister Biden with his fingers interlaced, retweeted by U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Colorado. Other posts claimed the long gas lines across the Southeast U.S. were a harbinger of America's future under Democrats, casting Biden as a socialist in a strategy that Republicans have frequently turned to in recent years. “Gas shortages now, food shortages tomorrow?” tweeted Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren. “Wow ... starting to feel like socialism is on the way....” In another narrative, posts equated Biden to former President Jimmy Carter who saw his presidency crumble as a result of the 1979 fuel shortage. A statement from former President Donald Trump on Wednesday, amplified by conservative websites including Breitbart News, branded a laundry list of national and global challenges as Biden's fault. “Jimmy mishandled crisis after crisis, but Biden has CREATED crisis after crisis," Trump wrote. “First there was the Biden Border Crisis (that he refuses to call a Crisis), then the Biden Economic Crisis, then the Biden Israel Crisis, and now the Biden Gas Crisis.” Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity on Tuesday first broadcast the graphic of Biden smiling with the words “Biden’s Gas Crisis,” a term that later gained momentum on Facebook and Twitter. Recent world events have challenged the Biden administration in its economic goals. Over the past week, it has faced a disappointing monthly jobs report, worrisome signs of inflation and escalating violence in Israel with deaths that could foreshadow a war in the Middle East. All the while, Biden is still attempting to vaccinate the nation against the coronavirus, distribute hundreds of billions of dollars in economic aid and negotiate his own infrastructure and families plans that total a combined $4 trillion. Higher energy prices often have political fallout, complicating reelection campaigns for incumbents outside oil-producing regions. With gas prices already rising as COVID-19 restrictions loosen and Americans travel more, the pipeline's shutdown has created an even worse public relations problem for Biden. Fuel hoarding and lines at the pump have made it difficult to gain control of the narrative. The Biden administration's message that the problem was a supply crunch rather than a gas shortage, while accurate, didn't satisfy Americans who couldn't find gas to fill their cars, according to Doug Heye, a Republican strategist based in Washington. “You have Republican division over the House Republican Conference and you had a hearing yesterday where people were basically denying what happened on Jan. 6,” Heye said. “If you want to push a conservative message, the Biden administration just did you a favor.” Ali Swenson, The Associated Press
HOUSTON (AP) — Myles Straw scored on a wild pitch in the 11th inning to give the Houston Astros a 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night. After the Rangers loaded the bases with an intentional walk to Alex Bregman that brought up Chas McCormick, reliever Brett Martin (0-1) uncorked a 1-2 pitch that bounced away, and Straw raced home from third. Brooks Raley (1-2) stranded runners at the corners in the top of the inning to earn the win. José Altuve gave the Astros a 3-2 lead in the second with a three-run double down the left-field line. Willie Calhoun went deep on the first pitch from Houston starter Cristian Javier for his first career leadoff homer. Texas upped the lead to 2-0 on a sacrifice fly by Jose Trevino in the second. Joey Gallo tied it at 3 with an RBI groundout in the third. Javier allowed three runs and four hits with six strikeouts in seven innings. The right-hander retired 13 straight during one stretch. Rangers starter Mike Foltynewicz permitted three runs and eight hits with three strikeouts and three walks in five innings. Houston finished 2 for 18 with runners in scoring position, while the Rangers went 0 for 11. TRAINER’S ROOM Astros: 1B Yuli Gurriel was out of the lineup but feeling better, manager Dusty Baker said. Gurriel left Wednesday’s game due to illness. “He’s going through the health and safety protocols, but he’s been cleared to work out today and see how he feels,” Baker said, adding he did not think it was COVID-19 related and that Gurriel had received his vaccination shots. … RHP José Urquidy had an MRI after exiting Wednesday’s game in the fourth inning with posterior shoulder discomfort. … LHP Framber Valdez (left index finger fracture) will throw a bullpen Friday at Minute Maid Park before possibly heading out on a rehab assignment, Baker said. UP NEXT Rangers: LHP Wes Benjamin (0-1, 4.76 ERA) is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on Friday to make his first start of the season. Benjamin has appeared in three games for the Rangers out of the bullpen this season, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings before being optioned on April 17. Astros: RHP Zack Greinke (2-1, 4.23) will look to rebound after his third straight four-inning outing on Sunday against the Blue Jays. Greinke was tagged for four runs and nine hits by Toronto. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
"I think this is a very important step in the direction of trying to get back to some degree of normality," the doctor said.
NEW DELHI (AP) — The man in the WhatsApp video says he has seen it work himself: A few drops of lemon juice in the nose will cure COVID-19. “If you practice what I am about to say with faith, you will be free of corona in five seconds,” says the man, dressed in traditional religious clothing. "This one lemon will protect you from the virus like a vaccine.” False cures. Terrifying stories of vaccine side effects. Baseless claims that Muslims spread the virus. Fueled by anguish, desperation and distrust of the government, rumors and hoaxes are spreading by word of mouth and on social media in India, compounding the country's humanitarian crisis. “Widespread panic has led to a plethora of misinformation,” said Rahul Namboori, co-founder of Fact Crescendo, an independent fact-checking organization in India. While treatments such as lemon juice may sound innocuous, such claims can have deadly consequences if they lead people to skip vaccinations or ignore other guidelines. In January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that India had "saved humanity from a big disaster by containing corona effectively.” Life began to resume, and so did attendance at cricket matches, religious pilgrimages and political rallies for Modi's Hindu nationalist party. Four months later, cases and deaths have exploded, the country's vaccine rollout has faltered and public anger and mistrust have grown. “All of the propaganda, misinformation and conspiracy theories that I’ve seen in the past few weeks has been very, very political,” said Sumitra Badrinathan, a University of Pennsylvania political scientist who studies misinformation in India. “Some people are using it to criticize the government, while others are using it to support it." Distrust of Western vaccines and health care is also driving misinformation about sham treatments as well as claims about traditional remedies. Satyanarayan Prasad saw the video about lemon juice and believed it. The 51-year-old resident of the state of Uttar Pradesh distrusts modern medicine and has a theory as to why his country's health experts are urging vaccines. “If the government approves lemon drops as a remedy, the ... rupees that they have spent on vaccines will be wasted,” Prasad said. Vijay Sankeshwar, a prominent businessman and former politician, repeated the claim about lemon juice, saying two drops in the nostrils will increase oxygen levels in the body. While Vitamin C is essential to human health and immunity, there is no evidence that consuming lemons will fight off the coronavirus. The claim is spreading through the Indian diaspora, too. “They have this thing that if you drink lemon water every day that you’re not going to be affected by the virus,” said Emma Sachdev, a Clinton, New Jersey, resident whose extended family lives in India. Sachdev said several relatives have been infected, yet continue to flout social distancing rules, thinking a visit to the temple will keep them safe. India has also experienced the same types of misinformation about vaccines and vaccine side effects seen around the world. Last month, the popular Tamil actor Vivek died two days after receiving his COVID-19 vaccination. The hospital where he died said Vivek had advanced heart disease, but his death has been seized on by vaccine opponents as evidence that the government is hiding side effects. Much of the misinformation travels on WhatsApp, which has more than 400 million users in India. Unlike more open sites like Facebook or Twitter, WhatsApp — which is owned by Facebook — is an encrypted platform that allows users to exchange messages privately. The bad information online "may have come from an unsuspecting neighbor who is not trying to cause harm,” said Badrinathan, the University of Pennsylvania researcher. “New internet users may not even realize that the information is false. The whole concept of misinformation is new to them." Hoaxes spread online had deadly results in 2018, when at least 20 people were killed by mobs inflamed by posts about supposed gangs of child kidnappers. WhatsApp said in a statement that it works hard to limit misleading or dangerous content by working with public health bodies like the World Health Organization and fact-checking organizations. The platform has also added safeguards restricting the spread of chain messages and directing users to accurate online information. The service is also making it easier for users in India and other nations to use its service to find information about vaccinations. “False claims can discourage people from getting vaccines, seeking the doctor’s help, or taking the virus seriously,” Fact Crescendo's Namboori said. “The stakes have never been so high.” ___ Klepper reported from Providence, R.I. Associated Press writer Mallika Sen contributed to this report from Los Angeles. David Klepper And Neha Mehrotra, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings. “Today is a great day for America,” President Joe Biden said during a Rose Garden address heralding the new guidance, an event where he and his staff went without masks. Hours earlier in the Oval Office, where Biden was meeting with vaccinated Republican lawmakers, he led the group in removing their masks when the guidance was announced. “If you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask," he said, summarizing the new guidance and encouraging more Americans to roll up their sleeves. “Get vaccinated — or wear a mask until you do.” The guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but it will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools and other venues — even removing the need for social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated. “We have all longed for this moment — when we can get back to some sense of normalcy,” Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said at an earlier White House briefing. The CDC and the Biden administration have faced pressure to ease restrictions on fully vaccinated people — those who are two weeks past their last required COVID-19 vaccine dose — in part to highlight the benefits of getting the shot. The country’s aggressive vaccination campaign has paid off: U.S. virus cases are at their lowest rate since September, deaths are at their lowest point since last April and the test positivity rate is at the lowest point since the pandemic began. Walensky said the long-awaited change is thanks to the millions of people who have gotten vaccinated and is based on the latest science about how well those shots are working. “Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities — large or small — without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” Walensky said. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.” The new guidance is likely to open the door to confusion, since there is no surefire way for businesses or others to distinguish between those who are fully vaccinated and those who are not. “Millions of Americans are doing the right thing and getting vaccinated, but essential workers are still forced to play mask police for shoppers who are unvaccinated and refuse to follow local COVID safety measures," said Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. “Are they now supposed to become the vaccination police?" Walensky and Biden said people who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks indoors. “We’ve gotten this far — please protect yourself until you get to the finish line,” Biden said, noting that most Americans under 65 are not yet fully vaccinated. He said the government was not going to enforce the mask wearing guidance on those not yet fully vaccinated. “We're not going to go out and arrest people,” added Biden, who said he believes the American people want to take care of their neighbors. “If you haven’t been vaccinated, wear your mask for your own protection and the protection of the people who also have not been vaccinated yet." On Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is not changing the rules requiring masks on the House floor. “No,” Pelosi told CNN. “Are they all vaccinated?” Recent estimates have put the percentage of unvaccinated lawmakers in the House at 25%. That ambiguity over who is and isn't vaccinated led Lawrence Gostin, a public health law expert at Georgetown University, to declare the CDC guidance “confusing and contradictory.” "The public will not feel comfortable in a crowded indoor space if they are unsure if the maskless person standing next to them is or is not vaccinated," he said. The announcement came as many states and communities have already been lifting mask mandates amid improving virus numbers and as more Americans have been shedding face coverings after getting shots. Dan Witte, a 67-year-old musician from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, stopped wearing a mask after receiving the vaccine two months ago and recently rejoined his band playing gigs at crowded bars and weddings. He was encouraged by the CDC’s new guidance, but said it just confirmed his trust that the vaccines offered protection from spreading infections. “I went right from being hypervigilant for almost a year to being right in the crowd without a mask,” Witte said. To date more than 154 million Americans, nearly 47% of the population, have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 119 million are fully vaccinated. The rate of new vaccinations has slowed in recent weeks, but with the authorization Wednesday of the Pfizer shot for children ages 12 to 15, a new burst of doses is expected in the coming days. “All of us, let’s be patient, be patient with one another,” Biden said, acknowledging some Americans might be hesitant about removing their masks after more than a year of living in a pandemic that has killed more than 584,000 people in the U.S. and more than 3.3 million people worldwide. The CDC's announcement that Americans could begin to shed one of the most visible symbols of the pandemic stood in stark contrast to other nations, with much of the world still struggling to contain the virus amid global disparities in vaccinations. Just two weeks ago, the CDC recommended that fully vaccinated people continue to wear masks indoors in all settings and outdoors in large crowds. Walensky said that evidence from the U.S. and Israel shows the vaccines are as strongly protective in real world use as they were in earlier studies and that so far they continue to work even though some worrying mutated versions of the virus are spreading. The more people continue to get vaccinated, the faster infections will drop — and the harder it will be for the virus to mutate enough to escape vaccines, she stressed, urging everyone 12 and older who is not yet vaccinated to sign up. And while some people still get COVID-19 despite being vaccinated, Walensky said, that’s rare. She cited evidence that those infections tend to be milder, shorter and harder to spread to others. If people who are vaccinated do develop COVID-19 symptoms, they should immediately put their mask back on and get tested, she said. There are some caveats. Walensky encouraged people who have weak immune systems, such as from organ transplants or cancer treatment, to talk with their doctors before shedding their masks. That’s because of continued uncertainty about whether the vaccines can rev up a weakened immune system as well as they do normal, healthy ones. The new guidance had an immediate effect at the White House, which has taken a cautious approach to easing virus restrictions. Staffers were informed that masks are no longer required for people who are fully vaccinated. First lady Jill Biden, who was traveling in West Virginia, told reporters that “we feel naked” as she and her party removed their face coverings. Then she paused. “I didn’t mean it that way!” ___ AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard and AP Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report. Zeke Miller And Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
Japan's economy is set to grow much slower than previously hoped this quarter, hobbled by extended emergency measures put in place to halt a rise in coronavirus infections, a Reuters poll showed. It is likely to expand an annualised 1.7% this quarter, less than half the 4.7% projected last month, according to the poll of 33 economists conducted May 6-13. Nearly all of the economists polled believe the government will compile an extra budget to support the world's third-largest economy, with 60% expecting it to come before the end of the third quarter.
Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], May 14 (ANI): Odisha recorded a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases on Friday as the state reported 12,390 new cases in the last 24 hours, according to the state health bulletin.
SEATTLE (AP) — Cleveland's Zach Plesac lost his no-hit bid with no outs in the eighth inning when Seattle's J.P. Crawford lined a clean single to center Thursday night It was the Mariners' first hit in 16 innings at home. The club was no-hit by Baltimore's John Means in its previous home game May 5. Plesac wasn't overpowering, but he induced weak contact when Seattle put the ball in play. The 26-year-old right-hander had two strikeouts and three walks on 78 pitches entering the eighth. Only five of the 21 outs to that point had been made by outfielders, including Josh Naylor’s grab in foul territory while crashing into the stands on the first pitch of the game to Seattle's Jarred Kelenic. Plesac, the nephew of longtime big league pitcher Dan Plesac, was 2-3 with a 3.83 ERA entering Thursday. Before his no-hitter, Plesac may have been best known for a misstep last season, when he broke COVID-19 protocols and was disciplined by the Indians. Plesac and former teammate Mike Clevinger left the team’s hotel following a start by the right-hander in Chicago. The Indians ended up placing both pitchers on the restricted list and sending them to their alternate site. Cleveland has the longest no-hitter drought in the majors — its last one was Len Barker’s perfect game in 1981. There have been four no-hitters already this season, and Seattle and Cleveland have been involved in three of them. The Indians have been no-hit twice — by Chicago White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodón on April 14 and by Cincinnati lefty Wade Miley a week ago. Plesac started both of those games. Cleveland leads 4-0. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
City also won the League Cup for a fourth year in succession last month and will have a chance to add the Champions League crown in the final against Chelsea in two weeks.
NSW MP Gareth Ward’s exit inflames Coalition tensions and sparks byelection fearsLiberal and Nationals leaders strike different tones on MP who has stood aside while police investigate sex abuse allegations he has denied NSW MP Gareth Ward has stepped aside as a government minister and from the Liberal party over sexual violence allegations he has strenuously denied. He said in a statement he had not spoken to police. Photograph: Kate Geraghty/AAP
From tactfully disallowing Chinese firms to participate in BMC's global vaccine tender to exorbitant pricing of necessary equipment, India's battle against COVID-19 has often run into rough weather with China