The Transportation Department's inspector general referred the findings to the Justice Department in December of 2020. The DOJ declined to open its own investigation into the matter.
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A San Diego judge said Kellen Winslow II preyed on especially vulnerable women, including a homeless woman and an unconscious teen.
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The "For the People Act" would dramatically overhaul the U.S. voting system and seek to limit the amount of dark money in politics.
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Bill Magness was head of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which was widely blamed when people were left without electricity and heat for days in subfreezing temperatures.
(Image credit: Eric Gay/AP)
The bill, which would ban chokeholds and eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement, will now advance to the Senate.
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Ethan Nordean, 30, faces multiple federal charges related to the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6. Justice Department lawyers argued he helped plan the assault.
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Mashable – “The stats on the CDC’s vaccine data website are cause for both hope, and — for Black and brown communities — sadness-tinged outrage. The CDC added a vaccine stats section to its COVID data hub at the beginning of January. It includes counts of vaccine doses distributed to states, those administered to people in the states, and a color-coded map based on the percentage of vaccines administered per a state’s 100,000 residents. It also features numbers on the long term care facility vaccine partnership. Over the past two months, the CDC has made its data more granular. Visitors to the site can now see those numbers of doses distributed and administered for the general population versus the 18+ population. It also shows numbers for people who have had one shot versus two shots, since the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two shots, spaced out four and three weeks, respectively. Both shots are required for full vaccination. In the “vaccine trends” section, which users can reach by expanding the “vaccines” tab in the left hand sidebar, you can view the moving daily average of shots administered per day. It has been heartening to see vaccine numbers go up and up since the new year. Even with much more progress needed to reach herd immunity, those data points and percentages represent real people protecting themselves and their family members from COVID. As of this writing, over 80 million vaccine doses had been distributed to Americans. Unfortunately, the outlook is not as sunny if you dive deeper into some of the data. In the sidebar, you can also click on “vaccination demographics.” This allows you to see vaccine breakdowns by age, sex, and race. The CDC gives a big caveat: “these data are…not generalizable to the entire US population.” That’s because reporting from state to state is inconsistent, and because states are prioritizing different groups differently from each other…”
The New York Times – Wirecutter: “Since the start of the pandemic, N95 respirators and surgical masks have been reserved for frontline workers—and many still are. But in recent months, medical-style disposable designs have cropped up online and in a dizzying number of stores, and some people are trading in their cloth face masks for respirators or doubling them up with surgical masks. Here we recommend legitimate N95, KN95, and surgical masks widely available now through trusted retailers…” [ht/t Pete Weiss]
U.S. Catholic bishops say the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines did not use abortion-derived fetal cell lines, but that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is acceptable, if it's the only available option.
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With new cases teetering at about 60,000 to 70,000 per day, new hyper-transmissible variants and state rollbacks of coronavirus restrictions, the CDC chief urges Americans to remain vigilant.
(Image credit: Susan Walsh/AP)
Tech Republic – Most knowledge workers would welcome more digital tools to improve information handling and collaboration with their peers. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic sent them home in droves over a year ago, most knowledge workers report they still do not have the digital capabilities they need. According to a new study released Thursday by iManage – Making Knowledge Work, a knowledge work platform provider, just 23%of knowledge workers report their organizations are “ahead of the curve in digital capabilities to support knowledge work…With 68% of knowledge workers describing “the information contained in digital documents and files” as the most important thing to their business, decision-makers are even more likely to emphasize the importance of documented knowledge…”
Freedom House – “As a lethal pandemic, economic and physical insecurity, and violent conflict ravaged the world, democracy’s defenders sustained heavy new losses in their struggle against authoritarian foes, shifting the international balance in favor of tyranny.As a lethal pandemic, economic and physical insecurity, and violent conflict ravaged the world in 2020, democracy’s defenders sustained heavy new losses in their struggle against authoritarian foes, shifting the international balance in favor of tyranny. Incumbent leaders increasingly used force to crush opponents and settle scores, sometimes in the name of public health, while beleaguered activists—lacking effective international support—faced heavy jail sentences, torture, or murder in many settings. These withering blows marked the 15th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. The countries experiencing deterioration outnumbered those with improvements by the largest margin recorded since the negative trend began in 2006. The long democratic recession is deepening. The impact of the long-term democratic decline has become increasingly global in nature, broad enough to be felt by those living under the cruelest dictatorships, as well as by citizens of long-standing democracies. Nearly 75 percent of the world’s population lived in a country that faced deterioration last year. The ongoing decline has given rise to claims of democracy’s inherent inferiority. Proponents of this idea include official Chinese and Russian commentators seeking to strengthen their international influence while escaping accountability for abuses, as well as antidemocratic actors within democratic states who see an opportunity to consolidate power. They are both cheering the breakdown of democracy and exacerbating it, pitting themselves against the brave groups and individuals who have set out to reverse the damage…”
Earther: “Human fingerprints are all over the world’s freshwater. A new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature shows that while human-controlled freshwater sources make up a minimal portion of the world’s ponds, lakes, and rivers, they are responsible more than half of all changes to the Earth’s water system. The study used new satellite laser technology to take a closer look at freshwater sources across the world and monitor their water levels through different seasons. Using NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite, researchers monitored more than 227,000 bodies of freshwater–ranging in size from the Great Lakes to tiny ponds over period spanning roughly a year and a half. Researchers found that 57% of global seasonal water storage variability occurs in human-controlled reservoirs…”
The National Security Archive – “The January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol is now the subject of systematic National Security Archive Freedom of Information Act campaign. The First installment and The Second Installment of new Document Sourcebook features a Pentagon timeline, State Department dissent, Homeland Security warning, FBI alert, and first court indictment… The January 6 Sourcebook publication marks the continuation of a systematic campaign by the Archive, a champion of the Freedom of Information Act, to use the FOIA to open the documentary record of what the government knew and when, and what the government did and didn’t do and when, about the mob attack on the Capitol. Archive staff have already drafted more than 100 specific, targeted FOIA requests to multiple federal agencies.
…The video evidence and official testimony will likely continue to focus the spotlight on the Pentagon’s timeline and the unexplained two-hour gap between calls for help defending the Capitol to the belated decision to deploy National Guard troops. As former House Sergeant at Arms Paul D. Irving testified on February 23, 2021, “I have no personal knowledge of the information in DOD’s timeline, but I am aware that it reports the Secretary of the Army received a request from Mayor Bowser at 1:34 p.m., and that the National Guard received a request from Chief Sund at 1:49 p.m. Regardless of whether the National Guard was requested at 1:34 p.m. and 1:49 p.m. according to the DOD’s own timeline, or shortly after 2:00 p.m., it is clear that the National Guard was not quick to respond—as we 4 had planned—and it was several hours before they were onsite.”