Biden tests positive for COVID-19, has ‘very mild symptoms’
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden says he’s “doing great” after testing positive for COVID-19. The White House said Thursday that Biden, 79, had “very mild symptoms,” including a stuffy nose, fatigue and a cough. He takes Paxlovid, an antiviral drug designed to reduce the severity of the disease. Biden is fully vaccinated and has received two boosters. When a fully immunized person becomes infected, the risk of serious illness or death is low. The White House says Biden is self-isolating at the White House but carrying out his duties by phone and Zoom. He canceled a planned visit to Pennsylvania on Thursday and tweeted, “I’m doing great. Thank you for your concern.
Ex-cop Lane gets 2.5 years for murdering Floyd, federal charge
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A judge has sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane to 2½ years in prison on a federal civil rights charge for his role in the killing of George Floyd. U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson sentenced Lane on Thursday for his conviction for depriving Floyd of medical care as he lay dying under Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee in May 2020. The sentence was well short of what were sought prosecutors and Floyd’s family, and angered Floyd’s family members. . The murder of Floyd, who was black, launched a national reckoning on race. Lane, who is white, did not speak at the hearing. Magnuson says Lane, who faces sentencing in September on state charges in Floyd’s murder, will remain free on bail until he is due on Oct. 4.
Italy’s parliament dissolved, paving the way for snap elections
ROME (AP) — Italy’s president said he dissolved parliament after Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s coalition collapsed. No date has been set for a new election, but President Sergio Mattarella has said it must be held within 70 days under Italy’s constitution. Mattarella said he decided on a snap election because the lack of support for Draghi also indicated there was no possibility of forming another government that could carry a majority of lawmakers. The political crisis came as Italians struggled with high inflation. Parliament’s five-year term would have expired in March 2023.
What to watch as the January 6 panel returns to prime time
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Jan. 6 House committee returns to prime time for its eighth hearing. It could be the last time this summer lawmakers present evidence of the U.S. Capitol insurrection and President Donald Trump’s efforts to reverse his 2020 election defeat. Thursday night’s hearing is expected to focus on what Trump was doing at the White House as the violence unfolded. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican congressman and committee member, says he expects the hearing to be “a big eye opener for people.” This will be the panel’s second prime-time hearing. The first one was watched by over 20 million people.
New York reports the first case of polio in the United States in nearly a decade
NEW YORK (AP) — New York health officials are reporting the first US case of polio in nearly a decade. Officials said the Rockland County resident is an unvaccinated adult, but did not detail the person’s condition. State health officials have scheduled polio vaccination clinics in Rockland County as part of the response. Polio was once one of the country’s most feared diseases, with annual outbreaks causing thousands of cases of paralysis, many of them in children.
HIMARS and howitzers: West helps Ukraine with key weapons
Western arms supplies have been crucial to Ukraine’s efforts to repel Russian attacks in the nearly five-month-long war. Ukrainian officials praise the billions of dollars worth of Western weapons systems they have already received, but say the number is too small to turn the tide of the war. Ukraine’s first lady was in Washington on Wednesday to appeal to the US Congress for air defense systems. The small number of US-made multiple rocket launchers has given Ukraine a long-sought capability to hit Russian targets from a standoff with precision. And supplies of heavy artillery systems, armored vehicles and other Western weapons have been essential to replenish Kyiv’s equipment losses.
House OKs bill to protect contraception from the Supreme Court
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats have pushed through the House legislation that would enshrine the right to use contraceptives in law. It is the latest response of the campaign season from Democrats to concerns that a conservative Supreme Court that has struck down federal abortion rights could go further. House passage sends the measure to the Senate, where it looks likely to die. The push illustrates how Democrats are clinging to their own version of culture war battles to appeal to female, progressive and minority voters. Democrats portray the court and Republicans as extremists bent on wiping out rights taken for granted for years.
The Vatican says these are gifts; Indigenous groups want them back
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The return of indigenous and colonial-era artifacts is one of many agenda items awaiting Pope Francis during his trip to Canada, which begins Sunday. The main purpose of the visit is to allow the Pope to apologize in person, on Canadian soil, for the abuses that Indigenous peoples and their ancestors suffered at the hands of Catholic missionaries in notorious residential schools. But Indigenous groups in Canada who visited the Anima Mundi ethnological collection at the Vatican Museums this spring say they saw items there they want to recover. It’s a debate facing museums across Europe about what to do with their colonial and indigenous collections.
Amid threats, security increases at meetings of officials
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Threats against election officials in the United States have reached such a level that those attending a conference this week in Wisconsin were only given the agenda after arriving, warned of not wear their badge in public. and were transported to an unknown location for a trivial evening. It’s not just gatherings of election officials. Threats and the potential for violence have led to heightened security at gatherings of public officials this summer. That includes the National Governors Association meeting in Maine, where security was the highest in the state in decades.
Prosecution: Chicago police abused ShotSpotter in murder case
CHICAGO (AP) — A federal lawsuit filed Thursday alleges Chicago police abused “unreliable” gunshot detection technology to investigate a grandfather on the city’s south side and charge him with killing a neighbour. The lawsuit filed by the MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern University School of Law seeks damages from the city on behalf of Michael Williams, 65, who says he still suffers from a hand tremor that developed while he was locked up in prison for almost a year. The Associated Press reported last year that a judge dismissed his case at the request of prosecutors, who said they did not have enough evidence.
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