Host William Lou recaps the Toronto Raptors' 106-105 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
- Three stars: Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry
- Gerald Henderson award: Damion Lee
Host William Lou recaps the Toronto Raptors' 106-105 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
- Three stars: Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry
- Gerald Henderson award: Damion Lee
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Wednesday paused or put under review a wide swath of Trump-era foreign policies as America’s new top diplomat took the helm of the State Department. The administration placed at least temporarily holds on several big-ticket arms sales to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, while newly installed Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he is looking urgently at a terrorism designation against Yemen’s Houthi rebels that his predecessor enacted shortly before leaving office. On his first full day on the job, Blinken said the administration has initiated a comprehensive review of the U.S. relationship with Russia and is examining details of a U.S.-Taliban peace deal signed nearly a year ago. He said the administration had, however, asked Trump's special envoy for Afghanistan, former ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad, to remain on the job for continuity's sake. Speaking to reporters just hours after his ceremonial but coronavirus-limited entrance into the State Department's main lobby, Blinken also said the administration is willing to return to commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which former President Donald Trump withdrew from, but only if Iran returns to full compliance with the accord. In his remarks to a demoralized diplomatic corps that was often denigrated or ignored over the past four years, Blinken vowed to rebuild the ranks of the foreign service and rely on its expertise as the Biden administration tries to restore U.S. global standing. He said the world is watching how America pursues foreign policy after Trump's "America First” doctrine that alienated many U.S. allies. Blinken spoke Wednesday to the foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Australia, the Philippines and Thailand, as well as to NATO's secretary general, following calls late Tuesday to his counterparts in Canada, Mexico, Japan and South Korea. Appearing in the press briefing room, which had been rarely used during the Trump administration, Blinken pledged to respect and be accessible to journalists and to restore the State Department's daily press briefings beginning next week. On policy matters, Blinken said he was particularly concerned by the “foreign terrorist organization” designation for the Iran-backed Houthis that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced just 10 days before the end of the Trump administration. Many fear that move, which comes with strict U.S. sanctions, will unnecessarily exacerbate what is already one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. Of all the steps that Trump and Pompeo took in their waning days “that's the priority in my book,” Blinken said of the designation. “We're taking a very urgent and a very close look at that.” The Treasury Department has already moved to suspend some of the sanctions affiliated with the designation, but aid groups say that mass famine could result if they are not all lifted. The pause in the arms sales to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which were announced just days after the Nov. 6 election that Trump lost to now-President Joe Biden, is also related to Yemen. Critics fear the two Arab nations may use advanced U.S. weaponry to continue the Saudi-led war in Yemen with a significant risk of civilian casualties. The department billed the temporary suspension, which includes a halt to a $23 billion transfer of stealth F-35 fighters to the UAE, as "a routine administrative action" for a new administration. Blinken said the sales are under review to determine if they meet U.S. national security objectives. On Afghanistan, Blinken said the Biden administration wanted to take a detailed look at the February 2020 peace deal negotiated between the Trump administration and the Taliban to try to extricate U.S. troops from the country after nearly 20 years of war. “We need to understand exactly what is in the agreement” before deciding how to proceed, he said. Khalilzad, the chief U.S. negotiator, has been asked to remain on the job so he can “continue the vital work he is performing.” On Iran, Blinken repeated comments Biden has made previously and that he himself made to lawmakers at his confirmation hearing just last week. Blinken said the administration is prepared to ease sanctions that the Trump administration re-imposed on Iran as long as Iran returns to full compliance with the 2015 deal. At that point, Blinken said the administration would look to strengthen and lengthen the terms of the accord. But, he said, “we're a long way from that point." Biden has vowed to reverse Trump's approach, which had alienated many traditional U.S. allies who perceived it as a hardline unilateral approach that left no room for negotiation. Blinken said that after four years, the United States would again engage with allies on a reciprocal, rather than a purely transactional, basis. “The world is watching us intently right now,” Blinken said. “They want to know if we can heal our nation. They want to see whether we will lead with the power of our example and if we will put a premium on diplomacy with our allies and partners to meet the great challenges of our time — like the pandemic, climate change, the economic crisis, threats to democracies, fights for racial justice and the danger to our security and global stability posed by our rivals and adversaries.” Blinken, a 58-year-old longtime Biden confidant, was confirmed to be the 71st secretary of state by the Senate on Tuesday in a 78-22 vote. The position is the most senior Cabinet post, with the secretary fourth in the line of presidential succession. A former deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration, Blinken pledged that U.S. global leadership is back and that the State Department will be “central” to that.. Blinken inherited a deeply demoralized and depleted career workforce at the State Department. Neither of his two immediate predecessors under Trump, Rex Tillerson or Pompeo, offered strong resistance to repeated attempts to gut the agency. Those were thwarted only by congressional intervention. Blinken said he would promote and protect the foreign service, which had been sidelined during the Trump era, and that after four years of atrophy the State Department will once again play a leading role in America’s relations with the world. Matthew Lee, The Associated Press
A dramatic match in Bergamo saw five different goalscorers, a red card and a missed penalty as Atalanta came out on top in a rematch of the 2019 final, won 2-0 by Lazio.
Messi tapped in Antoine Griezmann's pass to equalise before turning creator, sending Jordi Alba through, with Frenkie de Jong at the back post to seal a 2-1 victory.
Three teenage boys were arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of murder and arson stemming from a house fire last year that killed a family of five Senegalese immigrants, including two small children, police said. Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said the three juveniles were being held for investigation on nearly two dozen charges, including five counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder and eight counts of first-degree arson. The Aug. 5, 2020, fire deaths shook members of Denver's ethnic Senegalese community who feared the family whose house burned may have been targeted because they were Muslim immigrants from the West African nation.
"We are not serving the community well to be recommending that content right now," said the Facebook CEO.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Extreme Networks' Q2 fiscal year 2021 financial results conference call. Thank you, operator, and welcome to the Extreme Networks' second fiscal quarter 2021 earnings conference call. With me today are Extreme Networks' president and CEO, Ed Meyercord; and CFO, Remi Thomas.
TOKYO — Asian shares skidded on Thursday as a reality check set in about longtime economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic, giving Wall Street its worst day since October. Benchmarks in Japan, South Korea, Australia and China declined Thursday. The region is looking ahead to earnings season for a read on how companies are faring amid COVID-19 infections, which have been relatively low in some nations such as New Zealand, compared to other global regions. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell nearly 1.1% in morning trading to 28,321.89. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped 1.9% to 6,651.90. South Korea's Kospi sank 0.8% to 3,097.38. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.1% to 28,975.69, while the Shanghai Composite shed 0.8% to 3,544.59. The slow majority held by Democrats in the Senate has raised doubts over how soon the economy will get an infusion of fresh support after President Joe Biden proposed a $1.9 trillion COVID-relief package. The plan might also be scaled back. “Investors will likely focus on the pace of vaccinations around the globe while also keeping an eye on the progress of President Biden’s fiscal rescue plan that may be facing some roadblocks in the U.S. Senate,” Prakash Sakpal and Nicholas Mapa, senior economists at ING, said in a report. Vaccine rollouts have not progressed in Asia as quickly as they have in the West, and worries are growing about a tug-of-war for the products from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. Aside from China, which has its own vaccine, innoculations have not started on a mass scale in Asia, although approvals have either been granted or are on their way in most places, including Australia and Japan. Outbreaks persist and have grown in some places such as Japan, where a third wave is claiming more lives at a much faster pace than last year, at more than 5,000 so far. Daily deaths had been mostly in single-digit figures until recently, but are now surpassing 100 people a day. Adding to caution, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday it would keep its low interest rate policies in place, but it also released a sobering assessment of the gradual recovery ahead. On Wall Street, a sell-off in technology companies sent shares tumbling in a reversal from the market's recent moves to record highs. The S&P 500 fell 2.6% to 3,750.77. The Dow lost 2%, to 30,303.17. The Nasdaq slid 2.6%, to 13,270.60. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 1.9%, to 2,108.70. Facebook, Netflix and Google's parent company Alphabet led the pullback, which started early in the day as investors sized up the latest batch of company earnings reports. The market's skid accelerated toward the end of the day. Traders were also focused on the eye-popping surge in GameStop, a money-losing video game seller that has become the focus of a battle between small investors bidding it higher and big hedge funds betting it will fall. Some analysts said the selling was at least partly a reaction to the outsized moves in GameStop, AMC Entertainment and select other previously beaten-down stocks that have notched massive gains in recent days after gaining favour with an online community of individual investors. The volatile trading caught the attention of officials in the highest levels of government. The White House said the Biden administration, including the Treasury Department, are monitoring the situation. The Securities and Exchange Commission said it was keeping an eye on the stock and options markets. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was asked about the GameStop trading frenzy at a news conference but declined to comment about it. The surge in volatility was reflected in the VIX, a measure of fear in the U.S. stock market, which surged more than 60% to its highest level since October 30. Treasury yields moved lower, another sign of caution in the market. Investors are also focusing on company earnings. More than 100 companies in the S&P 500 are scheduled to tell investors this week how they fared during the last three months of 2020. As a whole, analysts expect S&P 500 companies to say their fourth-quarter profit fell 5% from a year earlier. That’s a milder drop than the 9.4% they were forecasting earlier this month, according to FactSet. Boeing dropped 4% after the aircraft manufacturer posted its largest annual loss in the company's history, mostly due to the grounding of Boeing's 737-MAX fleet. Markets had been meandering near record highs since last week as investors weighed solid corporate earnings results against renewed worries that troubles with COVID-19 vaccine rollouts and the spread of new variants of coronavirus might delay a recovery from the pandemic. “The real economy isn't reflective of what's happening in financial markets and there really is a disconnect there,” said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management. In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude lost 14 cents to $52.71 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It picked up 24 cents to $52.85 per barrel overnight. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 20 cents to $55.61 a barrel. In currency trading, the U.S. dollar edged up to 104.26 Japanese yen from 104.12 yen. The euro cost $1.2104, inching down from $1.2112. ___ AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise, Ken Sweet and Alex Veiga contributed. Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press
SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday its operating profit for last quarter rose by more than 26% as it capped off a robust business year where its dual strength in parts and finished products allowed it to thrive amid the pandemic. But the South Korean tech giant expected its profit to weaken in the current quarter with a weak dollar and costs associated with expanded production lines likely affecting its bread-and-butter computer memory chip business. Samsung has also dealt with legal issues surrounding its vice chairman and de facto chief, Lee Jae-yong, who last week was sentenced by the Seoul High Court to two and a half years in prison for his involvement in a 2016 corruption scandal that spurred massive protests and ousted South Korea’s then-president. “For 2021, the company expects a recovery in overall global demand but uncertainties persist over the possibility of recurring COVID-19 waves,” Samsung said in an emailed statement. Samsung’s operating profit of 9.05 trillion won ($8.13 billion) for the October-December quarter represented a 26.35% increase from the same period a year before, while its revenue rose by 2.78% to 61.55 trillion won ($55.28 billion). The company’s operating profit for the full year of 2020 was at 35.99 trillion won ($32.32 billion), rising by more than 29% from 2019, according to a regulatory filing. Samsung saw its semiconductor business rebounded sharply last year after a sluggish 2019, driven by robust demand for PCs and servers as virus outbreaks forced millions of people to stay and work at home. The Trump administration’s sanctions against China’s Huawei Technologies have meanwhile hindered one of Samsung’s biggest rivals in smartphones, smartphone chips and telecommunications equipment. Samsung said it continued to see a strong overall demand for its memory chips in the fourth quarter as major clients launched new smartphone models and cloud computing companies increased their investment in data centres. PC demand remained strong, driven by Chromebooks, gaming notebooks and the release of new graphics cards and gaming consoles, the company said. The Associated Press
WarnerMedia announced the timetable for HBO Max's cheaper subscription tier during the company's Q4 2020 earnings call on Wednesday.
That's a brave stance during peak dry skin season.
SpendEdge has announced the release of their Ammonium Sulfate Market Report. This market is expected to grow by USD 0.95 billion as we reach 2024.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Travelers returning to New Zealand will face stricter rules at quarantine hotels as health authorities investigate how up to three people got infected with the coronavirus while isolating at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel. The people were released before testing positive and were potentially contagious, but so far testing has shown no evidence the virus has spread in the community. New Zealand has managed to stamp out community transmission of the virus. COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said Thursday that as an interim measure, travellers would need to stay in their hotel rooms for the final days of their 14-day mandatory quarantine, and would also face stricter controls around leaving their rooms at other times. Health authorities believe the three people at the hotel caught the virus from another returning traveller, who had the South African variant. ____ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: The Biden administration is projecting as many as 90,000 Americans will die from the coronavirus in the next four weeks. The 27-nation EU is coming under criticism for the slow rollout of its vaccination campaign. AstraZeneca and EU to meet in Brussels to talk over vaccine production delays. U.S. boosting vaccine deliveries amid complaints of shortages. IOC, Tokyo Olympics to unveil rule book for beating pandemic. — Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: BEIJING — China saw a slight drop in cases of domestic transmission, although clusters remain stubbornly persistent in the country’s frigid northeast. Also Thursday, a team of investigators from the World Health Organization began emerging from two weeks of quarantine to conduct field visits as part of a world-wide investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus that was first detected in the central Chinese industrial centre on late 2019. The National Health Commission said Thursday that 41 new cases of domestic transmission had been reported over the previous 24 hours, down from 55 on Wednesday 69 the day before. A total of 1,820 people were in treatment for COVID-19 and another 988 being observed in observation after testing positive but displaying no symptoms of the virus. China has reported a total of 4,636 COVID-19 deaths from among 89,326. ___ BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia will ban flights from Brazil effective Friday over concerns of a variant of the coronavirus that is circulating in that country. Colombia President Ivan Duque on Wednesday announced the 30-day measure. No flights will take off from Colombia to Brazil either. In addition, anyone who arrived from Brazil to Colombia between Jan. 18 and Wednesday will have to quarantine for 14 days. The Brazil P.1 variant was first identified in four travellers who were tested at an airport outside Tokyo. It contains a set of mutations that may affect its ability to be recognized by antibodies, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The emergence of variants is linked to ongoing surges since infections give viruses the chance to mutate and spread. It’s another reason experts stress the importance of mask wearing and social distancing. Colombia has recorded more than 2 million cases and over 52,100 deaths of COVID-19. ___ MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama health officials said Wednesday that the more highly transmissible COVID-19 variant seen in the United Kingdom has been found in the state. The Alabama Department of Public Health said the variant is thought to be more contagious. It is the first time the variant has been identified in the state, although it has been detected in at least 24 other states, including Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina. The variant was first detected in the United Kingdom in late 2020. Health officials said the variant was found in two children and one adult in Alabama. Two cases are in Montgomery County and one is in Jefferson. This variant is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19, but state health officials said it “has not definitively been linked to worse outcomes of the disease.” ___ SANTA FE, N.M. -- Health officials in New Mexico said Wednesday that schools may have to make do with aggressive virus testing and limited vaccinations for elderly teachers, if they want to begin reopening soon. New Mexico Health Secretary Tracie Collins said that schools can find some safety assurances by adding rapid-result tests that look for COVID-19 proteins, called antigens. “Regarding schools reopening, you know we’re going to prioritize teachers getting a vaccine who are 75 and older,” Collins told a panel of state legislators Wednesday. “As far as the testing piece, we do have options for rapid antigen testing that we can combine. ... We’ve got some things we can do to reopen these schools with a little more security behind us.” She and Human Services Secretary David Scrase say the vaccine bottleneck is at the federal level in the supply chain, as local hospitals clamour for doses to inject at mass inoculation clinics. “All schools can still open but if you’re in what we’re calling a red county, you would be tested much more often than you would in a yellow or green,” Scrase said, referring to colour codes for infection rates. New Mexico’s governor announced this week that all schools have the option to reopen classroom teaching on Feb. 8. The vast majority of students are confined to online learning currently. ___ TORONTO — Canadian Prime Minister says the President of the European Commission has reassured him any vaccine export controls the EU enacts won’t impact shipments of Canada’s doses from Europe. Trudeau says he spoke to EU President Ursula von der Leyen who he says told him transparency measures taken by the EU will not affect Canada’s Pfizer and Moderna vaccine deliveries from Europe. The EU has threatened to impose export controls on vaccines produced within its borders, and warned pharmaceutical companies that have developed coronavirus vaccines with EU aid that it must get its shots on schedule. All of Canada’s Pfizer and Moderna vaccines come from Europe. Canada isn’t getting any deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine made in Europe this week, shipments are set to resume next week. ___ OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma State Department of Health will receive an approximately 16% increase in coronavirus vaccine per week during the next three weeks, deputy state health commissioner Keith Reed said Tuesday. The announcement comes on the same day the health department reported a new one-day record of 65 deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. The increase in vaccines is in line with President Joe Biden’s announcement that the U.S. is ramping up deliveries of the vaccine to provide enough doses for 300 million Americans by the end of the summer or early fall. Oklahoma expects to receive just more than 103,000 doses per week from the federal government, an increase from just under 85,000 last week, Reed said. “This allows us to take a look at what’s going to happen the next three weeks, it helps us to understand how much vaccine supply we have that we can support bringing on some other pandemic providers,” such as local pharmacies, to provide vaccinations, Reed said. The record increase of 65 deaths is three more than the previous one-day record reported on Jan. 6, according to health department records. The health department also reported 2,686 new virus cases Wednesday for totals of 3,388 deaths and 379,110 cases since the pandemic began. ___ RALEIGH, N.C. --- Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday extended a trio of executive orders allowing for curbside alcohol sales, a halt to evictions and a requirement for people to remain at home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. North Carolina’s modified stay-at-home directive that was set to expire on Friday will now remain in place until Feb. 28, while the eviction moratorium and allowance for the sale of “to-go” or delivery of mixed beverages remains in place through March 31. The Democratic governor’s extensions come as prominent state Republicans expressed their frustrations over a new coronavirus vaccine distribution strategy from Cooper’s administration that critics argue has prioritized speed over equity. During a news conference, Cooper reiterated his desire to distribute the doses received by President Joe Biden’s administration quickly and equitably. “The top priority in our state is getting vaccines to people as quickly and as equitably as possible,” Cooper said. “As of today, North Carolina has administered 99.8% of all the first doses that we have received from the federal government.” Top Republican lawmakers on Wednesday signalled more scrutiny of the vaccine rollout. Senate leader Phil Berger told reporters it makes no sense why state officials couldn’t distribute doses to ensure vaccine appointments occur as scheduled. Instead, Berger said, some older residents whose appointments were cancelled may have to wait a month longer to obtain a shot. ___ ANN Arbour, Mich. -- The University of Michigan and the Washtenaw County Health Department asked students Wednesday to avoid leaving their residences to slow the spread of COVID-19 and a more contagious variant. There have been 175 COVID-19 cases in the student population since the new semester started on Jan. 19 and 14 of those cases have been a variant, according to a news release from the Washtenaw County Health Department. The stay-in-place recommendation is effective immediately and will run through Feb. 7. The university and county health department are asking students to limit leaving their residence to going to classes, getting food, work and other necessary in-person activities. The health department said in the news release that if the case counts continues to rise, stricter measures will have to be applied. The recommendation came just days after the state health department recommended the university pause all athletics after several individuals linked to athletics tested positive for COVID-19 and the university complied. ___ MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin will become one of only 10 states without statewide mask mandates if the Assembly votes as scheduled Thursday to overturn Gov. Tony Evers’ order, but masks will still be required in some of its largest cities thanks to local ordinances. More than two dozen public health organizations, as well as state and local health officials, have urged the Republican-controlled Legislature to reconsider the scheduled vote. Wearing masks is one of the pillars of recommendations from health experts worldwide to slow the spread of the coronavirus, along with physically distancing and avoiding crowds. The move comes as Wisconsin lags in distribution of coronavirus vaccines, health officials warn about the spread of contagious new variants and total deaths due to COVID-19 near 6,000. Republican lawmakers contend that Evers exceeded his authority by issuing multiple health emergencies, and mask orders, rather than coming to the Legislature for approval every 60 days. TORONTO — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the President of the European Commission has reassured him any vaccine export controls the EU enacts won’t impact shipments of Canada’s doses from Europe. Trudeau says he spoke to EU President Ursula von der Leyen who he says told him transparency measures taken by the EU will not affect Canada’s Pfizer and Moderna vaccine deliveries from Europe. The EU has threatened to impose export controls on vaccines produced within its borders, and warned pharmaceutical companies that have developed coronavirus vaccines with EU aid that it must get its shots on schedule. All of Canada’s Pfizer and Moderna vaccines come from Europe. Canada isn’t getting any deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine made in Europe this week, shipments are set to resume next week. ___ O’FALLON, Mo. — Republican Gov. Mike Parson's spokeswoman said Wednesday that the state plans to divert thousands of unused doses of coronavirus vaccine from CVS and Walgreens pharmacies to other state-enrolled vaccinators in Missouri to help the slower-than-expected vaccination process. Spokeswoman Kelli Jones said the administration has requested the return of 25,000 doses from CVS and Walgreens, which would then be re-routed to county health departments, medical hospitals and clinics and hundreds of other state-approved vaccinators. CVS and Walgreens were tasked with providing vaccinations at long-term care facilities under a Trump administration plan unveiled in December. Jones said Missouri’s new plan won’t affect shots for workers and residents at those facilities that have been ravaged by COVID-19. ___ WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is projecting as many as 90,000 Americans will die from the coronavirus in the next four weeks. That warning came Wednesday as the administration held its first televised science briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic. In the briefing, experts outlined efforts to improve the delivery and injection of vaccines. The administration is examining additional ways of speeding vaccine production, a day after President Joe Biden announced the U.S. plans to have delivered enough doses for 300 million Americans by the end of summer. Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says there’s concern about virus variants. But he says vaccines provide a “cushion” of effectiveness, adding the government was working with pharmaceutical companies on potential “booster” shots for the new variants. The Biden administration is asking citizens to recommit to social distancing measures and mask-wearing, pointing to scientific models that suggest those practices could save 50,000 lives over the coming months. ___ LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has indicated that the coronavirus lockdown in England will remain in place until at least March 8. In a statement to lawmakers, Johnson also confirmed new restrictions for travellers arriving in England from countries deemed to be high-risk. He says the U.K. remains in a “perilous situation” with more than 37,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, nearly double the number during the previous peak in April. While dashing any hopes that students would return to classrooms after a mid-February school break, Johnson says the March 8 aspiration is based on progress on the vaccination front. On Tuesday, the U.K. became the fifth country to record more than 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths. ___ JOHANNESBURG — South Africa is preparing to roll out its first vaccines to the country’s frontline health care workers. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says a delivery of 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to arrive at Johannesburg’s international airport on Monday. There are plans for shots to be given to doctors and nurses starting in mid-February. Mkhize says South Africa intends to vaccinate 67% of its 60 million people in 2021, starting with the most vulnerable health care workers. South Africa has 1.4 million confirmed cases and 41,797 deaths, representing about 40% of the cases reported by all of Africa’s 54 countries. ___ OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma has reported a new one-day record of 65 deaths from COVID-19. The previous one-day record of 62 was reported Jan. 6, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The department also reported 2,686 new cases Wednesday for totals of 3,388 confirmed deaths and 379,110 cases since the start of the pandemic. ___ NEW ORLEANS — Coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings are easing a bit in New Orleans, but bars in the city will stay closed through the Mardi Gras season. City officials say a ban on public events will be eased Friday. Indoor gatherings of up to 10 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people will be allowed. Capacity limits on restaurants -- and bars that provide restaurant food service -- will go from 25% to 50%. Also, New Orleans education officials said students in kindergarten through eighth grade will begin returning to class on Monday. Most high school students will continue online learning until later in February. The easing of restrictions comes as local authorities report that the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests has dropped below 5%. Statewide hospitalization numbers also have been falling in recent weeks. The Associated Press
The Industrial Hemp Market will grow by $ 3.35 bn during 2020-2024
E.J. Liddell scored 22 points, including the tiebreaking free throws with 59.7 seconds left, and No. 13 Ohio State held off Penn State 83-79 on Wednesday night. The Buckeyes (13-4, 7-4 Big Ten) squandered a 12-point first-half lead but rallied from a seven-point deficit in the second for their second consecutive victory and fourth in five games. Liddell hit four clutch free throws in the final minute, sealing it with two from the line with a second to play.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) crews today began assessing damage, making repairs and restoring electric service to residential and business customers after one of the strongest winter storms in years hit California.
The Houston Hope Line is a free service for Houstonians to combat stress and isolation that comes from coping with COVID-19 and life events.
Precious Achiuwa (Miami Heat) with an alley oop vs the Denver Nuggets, 01/27/2021
Australia suspended a 'travel bubble' for 72 hours after New Zealand confirmed its first case in months on Monday. Since then, two more coronavirus cases of the South African variant of COVID-19 were confirmed. Health authorities on Thursday conducted further tests and began contact tracing efforts after two more cases of the South African variant of COVID-19 were confirmed in the country's largest city Auckland. Both cases were returned travellers in hotel quarantine who were released after returning negative tests following their 14-day isolation.
The 16-year-old boy in Singapore planned to knife Muslims at mosques and livestream the attack.
“Cloris was insanely talented. She could make you laugh or cry at the drop of a hat. Always such a pleasure to have on set. Every time I hear a horse whinny I will forever think of Cloris’ unforgettable Frau Blücher. She is irreplaceable, and will be greatly missed.” — Mel Brooks, who directed Leachman in films including “Young Frankenstein.” via Twitter. “Nothing I could say would top the enormity of my love for you. Until we meet again darling.” — Ed Asner, Leachman’s co-star on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” via Twitter. “Cloris Leachman was queen of the Amazons and a queen of industry, breaking barriers and inspiring women in film and TV for decades. She was a sweet TV mom and a riot to work with. I will miss you, along with the smiles and laughter you brought everywhere you went, Cloris.” — Lynda Carter, star of TV's “Wonder Woman,” via Twitter. “Cloris Leachman could do ANYTHING & was always game. Also, when on ‘Facts of Life,’ she was the 1st person I saw INSIST on a healthy craft service table. Hence her long life of vitality. Thank you for the laughs.” — Dana Delany via Twitter. “Salute to Cloris Leachman, who brought comedy’s mysteries to the big and small screen.” — Steve Martin, via Twitter. "So sad over the loss of the brilliant Cloris Leachman.... So hilarious, so cool a person and such a gifted actress. My deepest sympathies to her family, friends and loved ones. Which includes all of us who treasured her amazingness." — Bob Saget via Instagram. "God I loved her." — John Stamos via Twitter. “As a guest star on The Muppet Show, Cloris Leachman kept the show going despite an invasion of pigs and in The Muppet Movie she opened the door to our standard rich and famous contract. A legend and a great friend. Cloris, we will never forget you.” — The Muppets via Twitter. “Heartbroken to hear about the passing of my #WeddingRinger Co-Star, the legend #clorisleachman whose career has given us some of the most iconic performances in the history of comedy on the small screen (Mary Tyler More Show) and the big screen (Young Frankenstein). #RIP Legend.” — Josh Gad on Twitter. “Cloris Leachman had a razor sharp wit that I’ll always admire. Rest peacefully, love.” — Jackée Harry, via Twitter. “Such a gifted & bold actress. From her brilliant & tender performance in The Last Picture Show, while playing high strung Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show I became a lifelong fan.” — Marg Helgenberger via Twitter. “Cloris Leachman was a comedy legend. From a groundbreaking role on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ to the films of Mel Brooks and her Oscar-winning turn in Peter Bogdanovich’s ‘The Last Picture Show,’ she never lost her ability to shock, delight and surprise us.” — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences via Twitter. “I became a fan of yours the first time I saw you on tv. And then years later I was lucky enough to work with you and I fell in love with who you are as a person. I will never forget our talks and the time we shared. I love you.” —Maureen McCormick via Twitter. “The 1st time I met #ClorisLeachman was at a fundraiser. Without even saying hello, she came over to our table & started clearing our plates while we were mid bite. She took them & stacked them on a neighbouring table. She did this until everything was gone, then walked away. RIP.” — Jesse Tyler Ferguson on Twitter. The Associated Press