The president is seeking to exclude undocumented immigrants from census calculations used to apportion House seats, electoral votes and federal funds.
A thousand people took to the streets of the Armenian capital Yerevan on Sunday demanding the authorities take action to find soldiers missing in recent fighting with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Follow the latest developments as the president suffers another setback
Bishop Reginald Jackson stepped to the microphone at a drive-in rally outside a church in southwest Atlanta as his voice carried over a loudspeaker and the radio to people gathered in, around and on top of cars that filled the parking lot. As Georgia becomes the nation’s political hotspot this winter before twin runoff elections Jan. 5 that will determine control of the Senate, faith-based organizing is heating up. Conservative Christians are rallying behind Republican Sens.
"I urge every Coloradan to practice caution, limit public interactions, wear a mask in public, stay six feet away from others, and wash your hands regularly," Polis said.
Hundreds of protesters marched on a barracks of Thailand's royal guards unit on Sunday hoisting inflatable rubber ducks high above their heads, a whimsical show of force by a pro-democracy movement calling for curbs to the power of the monarchy.
The case had earlier this week let to a stay for Pennsylvania act on further certification efforts.
But scientists say not to worry.
As a low pressure system slowly comes together across the South, it is dumping heavy rain from eastern Texas through Louisiana this morning. As the low intensifies today it will bring the risk for severe weather along with it across southern portions of the Gulf Coast states and into the eastern Carolinas where a couple of tornadoes and a few locally damaging wind gusts are the main threats. The low picked up by the jet stream Sunday night into early Monday and is expected to race to the north along the I-95 corridor where wind gusts will generally be from 30 to 40 mph.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled unanimously to reject a Republican lawsuit, led by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), that argued the Keystone State's law permitting universal mail-in voting was unconstitutional.The high court said the "petitioners advocated the extraordinary proposition that the court disenfranchise all 6.9 million Pennsylvanians who voted in the general election," but "failed to allege that even a single mail-in ballot was fraudulently cast or counted." The justices also criticized the petitioners for filing the lawsuit more than a year after the bill was passed by Pennsylvania's GOP legislature. "The want of due diligence demonstrated in this matter is unmistakable," the justices wrote.The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice meaning the plaintiffs are barred from bringing another action on the same claim.The decision was yet another blow for the Trump campaign and its allies seeking to overturn election results — there have now been 26 pro-Trump legal challenges tossed out in key swing states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia. Read more at NBC News and The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com 5 witheringly funny cartoons about Trump's sort-of concession Is Mnuchin trying to sabotage the economy? Vanderbilt's Fuller becomes 1st woman to play in Power 5 football game after 2nd half kickoff
Britain’s foreign minister said Sunday there is only about a week left for the U.K. and the European Union to strike a post-Brexit trade deal, with fishing rights the major obstacle to an agreement. As talks continued between the two sides in London, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said “I think we are into the last week or so of substantive negotiations.” The U.K. left the EU early this year, but remained part of the 27-nation bloc’s economic embrace during an 11-month transition as the two sides tried to negotiate a new free-trade deal to take effect Jan. 1.
Coronavirus measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing haven’t just helped stop the spread of Covid-19, they’ve also slashed cases of cold weather illnesses by up to 50 per cent, according to new data from Germany. Instances of flu, bronchitis and pneumonia have all significantly decreased in north-eastern Germany, which includes Berlin, according to a study by health insurer AOK Nordost. From September until mid-November, the number of people taking sick days off work due to the flu was halved compared to previous years. Absence due to acute bronchitis fell by more than half, the study found, while sick days as a result of pneumonia and gastrointestinal infections dropped by a third. The authors said this was likely due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions. “The corona protective measures including masks, washing hands and keeping your distance did not prevent the second Covid-19 wave,” said the report. “The rules, however, have at least severely contained the spread of flu and other infectious diseases in the autumn.” The authors also speculated that an increase in flu vaccinations may have also contributed to the decline in infections. The study, which was released on Sunday, took into account more than 63,000 sick leave requests throughout autumn in the north-eastern German states of Berlin, Brandenberg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The three states are home to just over 7.5 million people. That period includes two weeks of Germany’s ‘lockdown light’, which began in November. This month saw harsher coronavirus measures introduced nationwide – including closing bars, restaurants and cafes, along with strict curbs on meeting in groups, travelling and leisure activities. The authors found a more significant decrease in sick leave in the larger, more rural states than in Berlin. In Brandenberg, sick days decreased by around 15 percentage points and in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania by 12. They fell by only 8 percentage points in the German capital, which the authors attributed to continuing public transport usage. “Even under the contact restrictions, more people meet in Berlin than in the greater states - for example in the U-Bahn, S-Bahn and buses,” the report said. “More contact means more opportunities for infectious diseases to spread.”
Dave Prowse, the British actor who played Darth Vader in the original “Star Wars” trilogy has died at the age of 85, according to his agent. “It's with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and [millions] of fans around the world, to announce that our client DAVE PROWSE M.B.E. has passed away at the age of 85,” Bowington Management said in a tweet early Sunday morning. It's with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and million of fans around the world, to announce that our client DAVE PROWSE M.B.E. has passed away at the age of 85.
Despite support for legalization in the House, the Senate is expected to keep holding up federal marijuana change next year.
Pfizer and Moderna may soon begin emergency distribution of coronavirus vaccines created with genetic technology. Here's everything you need to know:How do these vaccines work? Up to now, vaccines have introduced the immune system to a benign version of a virus or bacteria, priming it to recognize and fight the real pathogen if and when it strikes. Vaccines for measles, polio, the flu, and other infectious diseases use parts of or entire viruses that have been weakened or inactivated. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are based on a novel approach. They rely on a snippet of genetic material called messenger RNA, or mRNA, that is encased in a tiny, protective bubble of fat. Messenger RNA, sometimes called "the software of life," is usually made by DNA to carry instructions to other parts of the cell to make proteins. The vaccine makers constructed this specific form of RNA using the genetic sequence for the coronavirus, which was decoded back in January. That's how they were able to create a viable vaccine with a speed that shattered the previous record of about four years. Moderna went from obtaining the genetic sequence to inoculating the first test subject in just 63 days.What does messenger RNA do? When the coronavirus attacks, it hijacks the machinery of our body's cells and instructs them to crank out more virus, generating a cascading assault. The vaccines take advantage of this process by injecting mRNA into muscle cells in the upper arm, which are instructed to manufacture just a piece of the coronavirus — the outside spike proteins, which the virus uses to latch onto cells. On their own, the spike proteins are harmless, but they trigger the immune system and train it to quickly react to — and beat back — the actual coronavirus. "It's 21st-century science," said William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.How well do these vaccines work? Phenomenally well, so far. The benchmark for FDA approval is an efficacy rate of 50 percent, roughly the average of what flu vaccines achieve. Early results for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines show about 95 percent efficacy, including for those over 65 — a game-changing result. "It makes it now clear that vaccines will be our way out of this pandemic," says Kanta Subbarao, an infectious-disease expert at the University of Melbourne. The numbers were revealed in an "interim analysis" of late-stage studies that are still underway. In the studies, Moderna and Pfizer both injected tens of thousands of volunteers with either the vaccine or a placebo — then waited to see who got COVID through their real-world activities. In Pfizer's study, out of 170 who fell ill, only eight had received the vaccine; Moderna's numbers were similar. Moderna said vaccinated patients who did get COVID had mild cases, and both vaccines produced both neutralizing antibodies and T-cells — the one-two punch of the immune system. Based on those results, the FDA is expected to give the two vaccines emergency-use authorization.Are there any drawbacks? The downside of messenger RNA is its fragility, which leads to significant practical hurdles. To keep from degrading, Pfizer's vaccine must be stored at minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit, roughly the winter temperature of the South Pole. "That's a tremendous logistical issue," said Gregory Poland, a vaccine researcher at the Mayo Clinic. Pfizer has devised suitcase-size shipping boxes that can keep vials sufficiently cold for up to 10 days using dry ice. But the temperature requirement is likely to limit that vaccine's distribution to urban hubs. Moderna's vaccine, however, can be stored in normal medical refrigerators. Both vaccines require two inoculations several weeks apart. Persuading hundreds of millions of Americans to return at the right interval adds another complication to an already daunting undertaking.What about safety? So far, the only side effects that have been reported by some recipients are fatigue, fever, joint pain, headaches, and soreness in the injection site lasting a day or two. Close monitoring of the study subjects will continue, but adverse vaccine effects typically surface early. Still, when tens of millions of people get the vaccines, "you can never rule out that there won't be someone out there who might respond in an abnormal way," said Robin Shattock, an immunology expert at Imperial College London.When can I get one? Both companies have manufactured tens of millions of doses and are ready to hit the ground running when approval is granted. Still, mass inoculation will take at least four to six months. It's "the largest, most complex vaccination program ever attempted," said Kelly Moore of the Immunization Action Coalition. Health-care workers will be first in line, and are likely to exhaust the 45 million doses (enough for 22.5 million people) that will be available in December and perhaps January. After that, priority is likely to be given to the elderly, essential workers such as police officers and firefighters, and those with underlying medical conditions. For the general population, experts say, we're looking at spring or early summer.The enormous promise of mRNA The excitement over mRNA vaccines' early success extends well beyond what it means for the coronavirus pandemic. The trial data offer the first solid evidence for a technology whose potential has excited researchers for years, and hold out great promise for the fight against other diseases. Experts say genetic technology could improve vaccines for the flu and other infectious diseases. It has the potential to create a new category of medicines, opening the door to treatments for heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. Moderna is currently testing the viability of an mRNA-based cancer therapy that's customized for each patient based on the mutations found in their tumor cells, and BioNTech, Pfizer's German partner, is working on vaccines to treat breast, skin, and pancreatic cancer. With a platform now in place, the mRNA coronavirus vaccines also offer a model for creating vaccines for future pandemics at previously unimaginable speed — weeks or months instead of years. "'Historic' isn't even the right word," says Larry Corey, a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle. "It's just an amazing accomplishment of science."This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.More stories from theweek.com 5 witheringly funny cartoons about Trump's sort-of concession Is Mnuchin trying to sabotage the economy? Vanderbilt's Fuller becomes 1st woman to play in Power 5 football game after 2nd half kickoff
Opposition protesters in Belarus took to the streets of capital Minsk Sunday in the latest of three months of demonstrations against the re-election of strongman president Alexander Lukashenko.
The assault should cause "heavy human casualties" the newspaper urges.
As many as 87 million public and private sector workers could lose access to the federally mandated benefit at the end of the year.
Last-ditch Brexit trade talks continued in London on Sunday with fishing rights remaining an "outstanding major bone of contention," according to British foreign minister Dominic Raab.
Pope Francis, joined by the church’s newest cardinals in Mass on Sunday, warned against mediocrity as well as seeking out “godfathers” to promote one's own career. Eleven of the 13 new cardinals sat near the central altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, where Francis on Saturday had bestowed upon them the red hats symbolizing they are now so-called princes of the church. Two of the new cardinals couldn’t make it to Rome because of pandemic travel complications.