National News Content

Men's And Women's NCAA March Madness Facilities, Separate And Unequal, Spark Uproar

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 9:15pm
On Thursday, Stanford University sports performance coach Ali Kershner posted a photo comparing the weight room set-up for the NCAA women's and men's basketball tournaments . While the set-up for the men's teams included a number of power racks with Olympic bars and weights, the women were provided with a set of dumbbells and yoga mats for the three weeks they will be in the tournament bubble. The post created another sort of March Madness. Players, advocates and fans quickly took to social media expressing their anger at what they described as the discrimination and disrespect the women's teams were facing. In support, WNBA player and last year's NCAA national player of the year Sabrina Ionescu tweeted, "Women's @NCAA bubble weight room vs Men's weight room... thought this was a joke. WTF is this?!? To all the women playing in the @marchmadness tournament, keep grinding!" NBA star Steph Curry also spoke up tweeting, "wow-come on now! @marchmadness @NCAA y'all trippin trippin." Another

CDC Likely To Extend Eviction Moratorium With Millions Of People Behind On Rent

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 6:41pm
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken a key step toward extending an order aimed at preventing evictions during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The CDC order is currently set to expire in less than 2 weeks. Housing advocates have warned for months that allowing this protection for renters to lapse would spark a tsunami of evictions, putting upward of 1 million people out of their homes. The CDC has now sent a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget for regulatory review. The CDC hasn't responded to a request for comment. And the listing on the OMB site doesn't indicate how long the CDC might extend the eviction order for. The move doesn't mean absolutely that the the agency will extend the order. But that now appears likely. "It means that CDC likely intends to extend and perhaps improve the CDC order on evictions," says Shamus Roller, the executive director of the National Housing Law Project. He says the order is preventing many evictions but that it has

Next Pandemic: Scientists Fear Another Coronavirus Could Jump From Animals To Humans

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 6:25pm
When the pandemic began last year, scientists went looking for the origins of the coronavirus. Right away, they made a huge discovery. It looked like the virus jumped from a bat into humans. Now, scientists are worried that another coronavirus will strike again, from either a bat or some other animal. So they've gone hunting for potential sources — and the news is a bit concerning. "Coronaviruses are under our feet in rodents. They are above our heads in bats. We live in a kind of coronavirus world," says virologist Edward Holmes at the University of Sydney. This past year, Holmes and his colleagues trapped several hundred bats in a tiny section of the Yunnan province in southern China — an area about the size of Los Angeles International Airport. They took samples of the bats' saliva, urine and feces. Then they looked for coronavirus genes inside the samples. What they found surprised him. "So in this very small area that we sampled, about 1,100 hectare, there's an amazing number of

New York Times: Current aide accuses Cuomo of sex harassment

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 6:02pm
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A woman who currently works in the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he looked down her shirt and made suggestive remarks to her and another aide, according to a newspaper report published Friday. Alyssa McGrath told The New York Times that Cuomo called her beautiful in Italian, referred to her and her female colleague as ``mingle mamas,'' asked why she wasn't wearing a wedding ring, and inquired about her divorce, McGrath said. McGrath is the first current aide to come forward publicly on the mounting allegations of sexual misconduct against Cuomo, who is the subject of an impeachment investigation by the New York Assembly, the state's lower legislative chamber, presumably over those accusations and questions about the governor's handling of data about COVID-19 nursing home deaths. McGrath told The New York Times that her female colleague was the same woman the governor is accused of groping in the Executive Mansion, an allegation that was revealed in a

U.S. health officials are relaxing social distancing recommendations for schools

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 5:54pm
(WXXI News & AP) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is updating its guidance for schools. On Friday, the CDC said it now recommends that with universal masking, students should maintain a distance of at least 3 feet in classroom settings The revised recommendations represent a turn away from the 6-foot standard that has sharply limited how many students some schools can accommodate But it’s immediate impact in New York state is not clear, since it’s up to the state health department that will further clarify what the guidelines will be for local school districts. Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza issued a joint statement Friday saying that the CDC guidelines are a welcome clarification of rules that would allow schools to further reopen safely. The two county officials sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker urging the state to adopt the new CDC guidelines. Bello and

Some white-collar work may not return to offices

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 5:25pm
Annie Walker has been helping people find employment for nearly forty years. She said that 2020 changed the trajectory of office work, depending on your industry. “The type of work that is available is changing,” said Walker. “And how work is being done is changing.” The latest numbers from the New York State Department of Labor say that about 14,000 more people are unemployed in Greater Rochester, since the pandemic. That’s an unemployment rate of 7%, up from 4.6% this time last year.

County and city partner with URMC for pop-up vaccination clinics in minority communities

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 5:14pm
Monroe County is partnering with University of Rochester Medical Center and the city of Rochester’s Department of Recreation and Human Services to provide additional vaccination hubs to underserved communities.

COVID-19 Outbreak Forces Idaho Legislature To Close Its Doors For Weeks

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 4:58pm
A COVID-19 outbreak in the Idaho Legislature has sidelined lawmakers for more than two weeks as they try to get infections under control. House lawmakers recessed Friday until April 6, with the Senate following suit shortly afterward. "It was not our plan to do this yet," said Senate Pro Tem Chuck Winder, a Boise Republican. "We wanted to work and try and have all of our business done by a week from today." Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke said the move was out of "an abundance of caution" and that it was only a pause to "break the cycle" of transmission. As of Friday morning, six House members and two senators had contracted the virus this year. Several other staff members have also tested positive for the coronavirus since January. Top Republicans have repeatedly declined to implement basic public health measures such as a mask mandate or the requirement that members physically distance themselves from others. Instead, they cut capacity in committee rooms and installed air

Florida Democrats Call For A New Election After GOP Charged With Manipulating Race

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 4:32pm
AILSA CHANG, HOST: The pandemic-bubble versions of the NCAA basketball tournament kick off this week. Men's teams are in Indianapolis, while women's teams are in San Antonio. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Players and coaches have been posting photos of their new tournament homes to social media, and for some, looking closely, it's become clear that the men's facilities are much nicer. CHANTEL JENNINGS: The women had six sets of barbells, 10 yoga mats - which I'd like to note is not even enough for a full team to do yoga together - and then one stationary bike. And I think it's important to remember that these are elite athletes. CHANG: What? That's Chantel Jennings. She covers women's basketball at The Athletic. She's keeping tabs on the differences between the tournaments. JENNINGS: The men sort of have this long buffet of food. And in the women's NCAA tournament manual, it was very explicit that there would be no buffets. It was boxed meals, 100%, all the way. There is no outdoor space for

Officials From The U.S. And China Have Met For The First Time Since Biden Took Office

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 4:32pm
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit AILSA CHANG, HOST: Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan have wrapped up a day and a half of meetings with Chinese officials in Anchorage, Ala. U.S.-China relations have been frosty for months, and the meetings got off to a pretty tense start yesterday, with the two sides trading barbs on a range of issues. NPR China correspondent John Roberts joins us now with more. Hey, John. JOHN RUWITCH, BYLINE: Hi there. CHANG: Hi. So, all right, you and I talked last night about how these meetings did start off pretty tensely. How did they end? RUWITCH: Well, things appear to have settled down behind closed doors. After the meeting, Secretary of State Blinken came out and said that China had a defensive reaction right when they raised these issues that they're at odds over - Xinjiang, Hong Kong, cybersecurity. And that was expected. But he said they were able to have very candid talks on what he called an expansive

Purdue Pharma Conducted Massive Probe Of The Sacklers, But The Findings Are Secret

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 4:19pm
Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin, conducted what may be the most extensive investigation yet of the Sackler family, exploring whether they committed crimes or financial improprieties, but the company has kept most of its findings secret. In a bankruptcy filing late Monday , the drugmaker acknowledged hiring attorneys, forensic accountants and other financial experts to probe members of the family who own the company and profited billions from opioid sales. According to the filing, the team searched for evidence of wrongdoing by the family, reporting to a special committee of Purdue's board between April 2019 and earlier this month. Yet in its filing, Purdue Pharma chose to reveal almost nothing of what investigators uncovered, a decision that infuriates opioid activists and some government officials. "They're still trying to cover up the facts," said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who has sued the company and it owners, in a statement . "Purdue's disclosure filing

Texas Officials Debate Over How To Prevent Another Crisis Like The Storm Blackouts

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 4:19pm
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit AILSA CHANG, HOST: It's been a month since the sweeping failure of the Texas energy grid. Blackouts left millions without power for days and at least 57 people dead. State officials vowed to get to the bottom of what happened, but that has proven to be a difficult process politically speaking. We wanted to get an update, so we're joined now by Mose Buchele of member station KUT in Austin. Welcome. MOSE BUCHELE, BYLINE: Hi. CHANG: Hi. So one of the biggest controversies since the whole failure of the power grid has been over the huge price spikes for electricity that happened during the blackout. Like, that pushed some companies into bankruptcy when they came up short on power and had to buy it from other companies at these inflated prices. So how has the state responded to all of that? BUCHELE: Well, there's been a big push to go back and retroactively lower those high wholesale electricity prices. The state Senate quickly voted to do that earlier

Biden And Harris Have Traveled To Atlanta To Meet With Asian American Leaders

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 4:19pm
AILSA CHANG, HOST: In Atlanta this afternoon, President Biden and Vice President Harris mourned the deaths of the eight people killed this week during a series of shootings in the area. Six of those who died were women of Asian descent. A 21-year-old white man is charged with their murders. The president and vice president met with members of the Asian American community and spoke to lawmakers about a sharp increase in crime against Asian Americans in the past year, ever since the pandemic began. We're joined now by Emil Moffatt of member station WABE in Atlanta. Welcome. EMIL MOFFATT, BYLINE: Hi, Elsa. CHANG: Hi. So I understand the president and vice president spent about - what? - two hours in a closed-door meeting, speaking with members of Georgia's Asian American community, elected officials, others. Do we have a sense of what they all talked about today? MOFFATT: Yeah, the president called those discussions heart-wrenching. The talks were originally scheduled to last an hour and,

4 Proud Boys Charged With Conspiracy Over Jan. 6 Capitol Riot

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 4:08pm
Four alleged leaders of the Proud Boys have been indicted in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol over allegedly conspiring, including in discussions on encrypted messaging apps, to obstruct the certification of President Biden's Electoral College victory. The indictment unsealed Friday charges the defendants — Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zach Rehl and Charles Donohoe — with six counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, obstruction of law enforcement, destruction of government property and conspiracy. According to the indictment, Nordean is the president of his local Proud Boy chapter in Washington state; Biggs is a Proud Boy member and organizer in Florida; Rehl is the president of a local chapter of the group in Philadelphia; and Donohoe is the president of his local Proud Boy chapter in North Carolina. Nordean and Biggs had previously been charged by complaint. The defendants are the latest with ties to the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, to

Dryden joins The Little with April reopenings

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 3:37pm
A second downtown Rochester film theater has announced a pandemic-cautious reopening for April. The Dryden Theatre opens its doors on April 2. It joins The Little Theatre, which earlier this week announced it will reopen on April 16. During the pandemic, both theaters have been presenting films online. The Dryden, which shut down in January 2020 -- at first because of construction, and then COVID-19 -- will reopen to the public with two classics: Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” on April 2, and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” on April 3. Both films are part of the Dryden’s “We Knew Jack: Remembering Jack Garner” series, honoring the late Democrat and Chronicle film critic. That series will include other films with a connection to Garner: “My Darling Clementine,” “The Heiress,” “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” and “Jackie Brown,” which starred Rochester native Robert Forster. The Dryden’s schedule will run Wednesday through Saturday and will include a series of Joseph

Cuomo not first NY governor to face impeachment inquiry 

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 3:27pm
When Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie began an impeachment investigation of Governor Andrew Cuomo over sexual harassment and other allegations earlier this month, he was the first speaker to do so in 108 years.

University of Rochester to hold hybrid commencement

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 3:26pm
The University of Rochester says it will be conducting “hybrid” commencement exercises this year, meaning eligible graduates, faculty and staff can participate in-person, but family and friends will have to watch the ceremonies online. A letter from UR President Sarah Manglesdorf to the university community said that while there is a “promising increase” in COVID-19 vaccinations locally and nationally, the virus remains a serious threat to public health. Manglesdorf said that the hybrid commencement will be held on the weekends of May 14-16 and 21-23. She said that the current policy at the university is to keep the campus closed through the end of the academic year. Manglesdorf did say that the approach is subject to change as the university continues to await guidance from New York state. Manglesdorf wrote that officials realize that limiting commencement to students, faculty and staff “is a significant disappointment” for students and their families, but she said that the welfare of

Biden Takes First Jab At Vaccine Diplomacy, Sharing Doses With Mexico, Canada

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 2:58pm
Under pressure to share AstraZeneca vaccine doses not yet being used to inoculate Americans, the Biden administration is finalizing plans to loan millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico and Canada. It's a first foray into vaccine diplomacy for the Biden administration, weeks after global competitors China and Russia began using vaccine doses to exert influence. The U.S. government has contracts to buy hundreds of millions more vaccine doses than there are people living here, but with most of those doses not yet delivered and Americans still struggling to get vaccination appointments, the Biden administration has so far focused on making sure Americans get vaccinated first. While AstraZeneca's vaccine has been approved for use in many other countries, including Mexico and Canada, it still hasn't been given emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. So, the White House announced it is working through the technicalities to loan 2.5 million doses to

Connections: How we can work together to support our Asian and Asian American neighbors

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 2:29pm
The Levine Center to End Hate is partnering with Monroe Community College to present a series of conversations exploring the history of racism and xenophobia aimed at Asian and Asian American communities in the U.S. The series, "Asian Matters: Standing with Rochester's Asian American Communities," comes after recent attacks on Asians and Asian Americans. Our guests discuss how we can work together to support our Asian and Asian American neighbors. Our guests: Karen Elam , director of the Levine Center to End Hate at the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester Natasha Chen Christensen , associate professor of sociology at Monroe Community College Pilapa Esara Carroll , associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at SUNY Brockport Christina Lee , coordinator for global education at Monroe Community College

County and city partner with URMC for pop-up vaccination clinics in minority communities

WXXI US News - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 2:29pm
Monroe County is partnering with University of Rochester Medical Center and the city of Rochester’s Department of Recreation and Human Services to provide additional vaccination hubs to underserved communities. They are called equity pods, designed to specifically target city residents who do not have access to larger vaccination sites. The county’s chief community engagement officer, Dr. Candace Lucas, said these portable clinics also offer a sense of security to those who are still skeptical about the vaccination process. “We work together to identify the best location for familiarity and trust,” said Lucas. “We work to make sure that it is staffed by people who are familiar and representative of the community that we are working with.” Lucas said the locations usually include neighborhood recreation centers, apartment complexes, or churches. She said once the pod locations are selected, recruitment often involves a grassroots approach. “We really are reaching people by going door-to
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