It's too late for Georgia businesses to help rewrite their state's voting laws this year. But the Democratic Party of Georgia welcomed the statements,
A winter blast is moving through the eastern U.S. Thursday behind a storm system that brought flash flooding and storm damage to the South.
This storm is moving through the Northeast, with cold air mixing in and producing snow from Pennsylvania into New York and New England.
Locally, 3 inches to as much as half a foot of snow are possible Thursday morning and early afternoon from New York into New England.
Seeking to overcome vaccine hesitancy, the Biden administration is unveiling a coalition of community, religious and celebrity partners to promote COVID-19 shots.
The Department of Health and Human Services' “We Can Do This” campaign features television and social media ads, but it also relies on a community corps of public health, athletic, faith and other groups to spread the word about the safety and efficacy of the three approved vaccines. The campaign comes amid worries that reluctance to get vaccinated will delay the nation’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Vice President Kamala Harris and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy will meet with the more than 275 inaugural members of the community corps on Thursday to kick off the effort.
The focus on trusted validators stems from both internal and public surveys showing those skeptical of the vaccines are most likely to be swayed by local, community and medical encouragement to get vaccinated, rather than messages from politicians.
Courtney Rowe, the White House's COVID-19 director of strategic communications and engagement, briefed governors on the new initiative Tuesday, telling them that people “want to hear from those they know and trust.” She added that the initiative would be “empowering the leaders people want to hear from."
The coalition includes health groups like the American Medical Association and the National Council of Urban Indian Health, sports leagues like the NFL and MLB, rural groups, unions and Latino, Black, Asian-American Pacific Islander and Native American organizations as well as coalitions of faith, business and veterans leaders.
The Department of Health and Human Services was also launching its first national ad campaign promoting vaccinations, aimed at senior, Latino and Black Americans. And in partnership with Facebook, it was deploying social media profile frames so that ordinary Americans could share their intent to get vaccinations and their experience with the shots to their peers.
By the end of May, the U.S. will have enough supply of COVID-19 vaccine to cover all adults in the country, with President Joe Biden's administration now shifting its efforts to ensuring nearly
determined what caused Tiger Woods to crash his SUV last month in Southern California but declined Wednesday to release details, citing unspecified privacy concerns for the golf star.
Woods suffered serious injuries in the Feb. 23 crash when he struck a raised median around 7 a.m. in Rolling Hills Estates, just outside Los Angeles. The Genesis SUV he was driving crossed through two oncoming lanes and uprooted a tree on a downhill stretch that police said is known for wrecks. Woods is in Florida recovering from multiple surgeries.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva has been criticized for his comments about the crash, calling it “purely an accident” and saying there was no evidence of impairment. Woods told deputies he did not know how the crash occurred and didn’t remember driving.
He was unconscious when a witness first approached the mangled SUV. A sheriff's deputy said the athlete later appeared to be in shock but was conscious and able to answer basic questions.
Investigators did not seek a search warrant for Woods' blood samples, which could be screened for drugs and alcohol. In 2017, Woods checked himself into a clinic for help in dealing with prescription drug medication after a DUI charge in his home state of Florida.
Detectives, however, did obtain a search warrant for the data recorder of the 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV, known as a black box. Villanueva would not say Wednesday what data had been recovered from the black box.
“A cause has been determined, the investigation has concluded,” Villanueva said during a live social media event Wednesday.
Villanueva claimed investigators need permission from Woods — who previously named his yacht “Privacy” — to make public information about the crash.
“We have reached out to Tiger Woods and his personnel," Villanueva said. "There's some privacy issues on releasing information on the investigation so we're going to ask them if they waive the privacy and then we will be able to do a full release on all the information regarding the accident.”
Woods’ agent at Excel Sports, Mark Steinberg, did not respond to an email seeking comment on Wednesday.
“We have all the contents of the black box, we’ve got everything,” Villanueva said. “It’s completed, signed, sealed and delivered. However, we can’t release it without the permission of the people involved in the collision.”
Hours after the social media event, the sheriff's department posted a message on Twitter saying that the release of such reports falls under California's vehicle code.
“When we are able, we intend to release the information learned during the traffic collision investigation” that involved Woods, the tweet stated.
The section of state code cited by the sheriff's department does not govern the release of the information outside the so-called “accident reports.” It says those reports must be confidential but can be disclosed “to any person who may have a proper interest therein.”
Greg Risling, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County district attorney, said in an email Wednesday that no felony or misdemeanor complaints against Woods had been filed through the district attorney's office regarding the crash.
Villanueva's statement about privacy issues did not make sense to Joseph Giacalone, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a retired New York City Police Department sergeant, who has criticized the sheriff's response to the Woods incident from the start.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a department ever ask for permission like that,” he said. “What happens if his lawyers say ‘no, you can’t send it out now.’ And then where does that leave us?”
Giacalone said it's unlikely that deputies would have sought the permission of non-celebrity victims in similar crashes to release information.
If the sheriff's hesitancy stemmed from a potential medical episode behind the wheel, Giacalone said authorities could simply have simply said it was a medical emergency without giving additional details.
“I don’t think they would have asked any family member of us if they can come out with it,” he said.
Woods is from the Los Angeles area and was home to host his PGA tournament, the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, which ended two days before the crash. He was driving an SUV loaned to him by the tournament.Jeffery Yao, 27, of Winchester, was sent to a state mental health facility by Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman after a one-day, jury-waived trial.
Yao was evaluated by three experts — two for the defense — who each found that he lacked criminal responsibility because “he did not have either substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct or the ability to conform his conduct to the requirements of law," according to a statement from the office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.
Yao approached Deane Stryker, 22, from behind in the Winchester Public Library in February 2018 and stabbed her 20 times with a 10-inch (25-centimeter) hunting knife, prosecutors said. Stryker, who tried to flee the library with the knife lodged in her back, was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.
A 77-year-old man who came to Stryker’s aid was cut on the arm and required treatment at a hospital.
The experts determined that Yao at the time of the attack was suffering from acute symptoms of schizophrenia with paranoid delusions and was hearing voices, his attorney J.W. Carney Jr., said in a statement this week.
All three experts said Yao attacked Stryker because he thought one of the voices threatening him was hers, according to court documents.
Yao had a history of mental illness that dated to 2013 and required hospitalization eight times, according to records.
Stryker was a first-year student at the University of New England’s College of Osteopathic Medicine who hoped to become a doctor, the Portland, Maine-based school's president said shortly after the stabbing. She was an advocate for domestic violence and mental health awareness, served as an orientation leader and was part of a peer support organization.
Yao had faced a first-degree murder charge that would have sent him to prison for life if he was convicted.
Instead he was sent to the state's maximum security Bridgewater State Hospital, and could one day be released if he is determined to no longer be mentally ill and poses no danger to the community.
The verdict in the case was compelled by the findings of the medical experts, Ryan said in a statement.
“It does not alter our belief that Mr. Yao continues to pose a serious risk to the public and that his long-term civil commitment to Bridgewater State Hospital is required," she said.
It was a scene reminiscent of pre-pandemic Dubai: Art lovers dressed in designer clothes or alternative fashion, walking around in one of the city's many swanky locations. Bloggers, VIPs and influencers filming on their mobile phones. People mingling and laughing.
The only difference? They all wore masks.
After being canceled in March last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Art Dubai returned this week to the sunbaked desert metropolis it calls home, becoming one of the first in-person international art fairs of 2021. The show is part of the city-state's efforts to reopen to international trade and tourism that power its economy.
“Art Dubai was the first art fair to be canceled, just when the pandemic started" and now it's the first to be back live, said Pablo del Val, the show's artistic director.
“I think it’s been an emotional, fantastic moment," he added. “I think everyone was looking forward to stop looking to screens and having a physical relationship with a work of art.”
This year's installment is different, however. Typically held at the vast conference space of Madinat Jumeirah in the shadow of Dubai's iconic, sail-shaped Burj al-Arab hotel, the 2021 event instead came to Dubai International Financial Center. Temporary galleries sprung up around the center's Gate House, the landmark structure at the business hub.
Signs of the pandemic are still everywhere: Social-distancing signs and hand sanitizer dispensers stand visible in the tents housing the galleries. People attending the fair can book a specific time slot in advance to guarantee their entry. Those worried about being around a crowd can take a virtual tour of the fair from home.
Even some of the art is teleconferencing into the event. Art Dubai introduced a program allowing galleries unable to travel to Dubai to connect to visitors via video.
The fair features 50 contemporary and modern galleries from 31 countries, specializing in regions that are not main players on the international art scene. It also focuses on artists from the Middle East.
One of them is Rashed al-Shashai, a prominent figure of the contemporary Saudi art scene. He recently designed a piece entitled Concise Passage, 2020 in the kingdom's al-Ula historical district — a feature made of shipping crates divided by a pink-lighted walkway symbolizing a region that was once a key stop on an incense trade route linking Arabia to Asia.
“Taking part in this fair shows the determination of art to be part of bringing life back to normal, for people and humanity," al-Shashai said. "It helps people live in a better way, even when there are disasters and tragedies happening in the world.”
As Dubai went into a lockdown in early 2020, the city's big events shut down, along with its long-haul carrier Emirates. The autocratically ruled emirate moved aggressively to reopen in July to tourists. Coronavirus numbers however spiked to levels unseen following New Year's Eve. Other countries also blamed Dubai for outbreaks of coronavirus variants.
Since then, reported daily new infection numbers have dropped to over 2,000, from highs of nearly 4,000 at the worst of the winter. The United Arab Emirates is vaccinating at one of the quickest rates in the world, hoping to be ready for Dubai hosting its Expo 2020 world's fair in October, after the pandemic forced a delay of the event last year.
With airlines flying again, big events back on the calendar, and bars and restaurants open to residents and tourists — albeit masked when not eating or drinking — the UAE hopes to power through the rest of the pandemic.
“Corona changed life as a whole," al-Shashai said. “I found that people are just waiting for a chance to come back, and they will, and they will rebuild, and they will forget everything that happened, and it will all become tales to be told.”
The pandemic also featured in the art exhibited in the show. One piece, a giant outdoor display reading “NEWS: IT WON'T BE LIKE THIS FOREVER” drew many a selfie.
“I think that culture is something that should never be canceled and I think it doesn’t matter the times that you’re going through," del Val said. “I think it’s a way that we can really interrelate with each other and where our senses and our positiveness come back to life."
“I think that one of the magics that Art Dubai is managing this week is precisely that ... bringing people (into) a completely different state of mind,” he added.
"We are becoming humans again.”
Detective Benoit Blanc's next cases will be for Netflix. The streaming company said Wednesday it has reached a deal for two sequels to Rian Johnson's acclaimed 2019 whodunit, “Knives Out.”
Netflix declined to say how much it was paying for the films, which Johnson will direct with Daniel Craig returning as inspector Benoit Blanc. But Deadline, which first reported the deal, said the price would approach $450 million — making it one of Netflix's largest — and most sweater-clad — acquisitions.
It also lands Netflix something it has dearly sought: the kind of major film franchises that traditional studios have long depended on. Production on the second “Knives Out," written by Johnson and produced by him and Ram Bergman, is to begin this summer.
Netflix outbid several other streaming services to land “Knives Out,” something that was even possible because the 2019 film was produced by Media Rights Cable and distributed by Lionsgate on a single-picture deal. Made for $40 million, “Knives Out” grossed $311.4 million in worldwide ticket sales and landed Johnson an Academy Award nomination for best original screenplay.
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