National News Content

Derek Chauvin Trial: 14 Jurors Are Seated To Hear Case Of George Floyd Killing

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 3:47pm
A 14th juror was selected in former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial on Monday, one week before opening arguments are scheduled to begin on March 29. The court initially called for 12 jurors and at least two alternates; it could now add additional jurors to the panel in case anyone drops out. Chauvin, who is white, is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in last year's killing of George Floyd, who was Black. Video recordings showed that Floyd was held facedown on the asphalt — and that Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. The jury reflects a range of ethnicities, although slightly over half of the jurors have been described in court as white. "Among the 14 seated, there are three Black men, including two who are immigrants; one Black woman; two women who identify as multiracial; two white men; and six white women," Minnesota Public Radio reports. The trial is expected to last

Connections: How CurAte aims to help local restaurants during the pandemic

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 3:32pm
A new initiative aims to help local restaurant owners during the pandemic. CurAte delivers mystery dinners to customers throughout the Rochester area; the meals are made by local restaurants -- many of them minority-owned businesses. CurAte's founders say they want to help restaurants survive the pandemic, and by taking the customer work and deliveries off of their plates, restaurants can focus on making meals. This hour, we talk about CurAte, the restaurants they've worked with, and the state of the industry during the pandemic. Our guests: Chris Lindstrom , co-founder of CurAte Marlene Henry, owner of Peppa Pot Nataneal Beshah, owner of Zemeta Ethiopian Restaurant

Connections: Discussing BMI

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 3:26pm
Body Mass Index, or BMI, has been strongly criticized in recent years as a health metric. Now, many states are using BMI to decide whether adults should be eligible for a COVID vaccine. We examine the history of BMI and put it in context with the experts. Our guests: Steve Cook , M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Golisano Children's Hospital Holly Russell , M.D., medical director for clinical and community-based programs the Center for Community Health & Prevention at UR Medicine, and family medicine physician at Highland Family Medicine Jill Chodak , clinical dietitian with the Center for Community Health & Prevention at UR Medicine

Yemen: Saudi Arabia Proposes A Peace Deal, But Houthis Say It's Not Enough

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 2:50pm
Saudi Arabia has proposed a peace deal to end the nearly six-year war in Yemen, if the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels agree. The Saudi proposal calls for a nationwide ceasefire and reopening the airport in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. "The initiative aims to end the human suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people, and affirms the Kingdom's support for efforts to reach a comprehensive political resolution," the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The war has been a quagmire for the Saudis and they are apparently looking for a way out. In response to the initiative, the Houthis said it provided "nothing new," Reuters reports, as the proposal does not include a complete lift of the blockade on Sanaa's airport or the port city of Hodeidah. "We expected that Saudi Arabia would announce an end to the blockade of ports and airports and an initiative to allow in 14 ships that are held by the coalition," the Houthis' chief negotiator, Mohammed Abdulsalam, told Reuters. "Opening the airports

Business Report: Details on new paid leave law for COVID-19 vaccine

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 2:48pm
In the latest WXXI Business Report, an expert from Paychex goes over the new state law which requires employers to allow employees paid time off to get the COVID-19 vaccine. There's expansion happening at the Genesee Brewery -- and the reason is not beer, but instead the growing popularity of its Seagram's Escapes beverage. Plus, RIT is getting a $4.7 million state grant to expand Max Lowenthall Hall which houses the Saunders College of Business.

'Hiding In Plain Sight' Corrects The Record On Lady Bird Johnson

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 1:50pm
DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in today for Terry Gross. Our guest today, Julia Sweig, takes us inside the White House in the 1960s - a decade of civil rights marches, anti-war protests, assassinations, urban riots and an emerging women's movement. Sweig's subject is President Lyndon Johnson's wife, known to all as Lady Bird. Sweig has a new book based on 123 hours of tape-recorded diaries the first lady made documenting her five years in the White House. Lady Bird Johnson is typically remembered as a polite Southern woman and adoring wife whose sole accomplishment as first lady was a highway beautification campaign. But Sweig says the diaries show Lady Bird to be a far more formidable figure - a savvy, indispensable political adviser to the president, a supporter of women's rights, and the author of serious efforts to protect the environment and address urban poverty and blight. Julia Sweig is currently a senior research fellow at the LBJ School of Public

China Makes It A Crime To Question Military Casualties On The Internet

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 12:57pm
BEIJING — When China acknowledged this year that four of its soldiers had died fighting Indian forces on the two countries' disputed mountain border eight months prior, the irreverent blogger Little Spicy Pen Ball had questions. "If the four [Chinese] soldiers died trying to rescue their fellow soldiers, then there must have been those who were not successfully rescued," he wrote on Feb. 19 to his 2.5 million followers on Weibo, a Chinese social media site. "This means the fatalities could not have just been four." The day after, Qiu Ziming, the 38-year-old former newspaper journalist behind the blog, was detained and criminally charged. If convicted, he faces a sentence of up to three years. "Little Spicy Pen Ball maliciously slandered and degraded the heroes defending our country and the border," according to the annual work report published by the country's chief prosecutor office this month. A contrite Qiu, sitting behind bars, called his actions "an obliteration of conscience" in

Ya te has vacunado contra covid. ¿Y ahora qué?

Latest Updates From Kaiser Health News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 12:36pm

El esfuerzo de vacunación contra covid en este país ha sido un parto doloroso: problemas de registro, mala comunicación, datos incorrectos y un escaso suministro de vacunas; todo ello exacerbado por una asignación desigual, un supuesto favoritismo político y una indecorosa competencia por las vacunas.

Aun sí, ya se han administrado 129 millones de dosis, y 44 millones de personas, o el 12% de la población del país, han sido vacunadas por completo.

El despliegue de vacunación finalmente se ha intensificado, justo cuando finaliza la mortífera oleada invernal, lo que hace esperar que la pandemia pueda remitir este año.

Sin embargo, un comportamiento imprudente o una cepa mutante del virus, o ambas cosas, podrían desencadenar otra oleada. Y no estamos del todo seguros de hasta qué punto la vacunación evita que la gente vacunada infecte a personas no vacunadas, o durante cuánto tiempo protege contra covid.

Aunque el optimismo está justificado, todos nosotros —incluso los vacunados— debemos tener cuidado.

Los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) publicaron la semana del 15 de marzo nuevas directrices de salud pública, que anticipaban lo que se podría esperar, en un futuro no tan lejano, si se vacuna a un número suficiente de personas.

Lo que más llamaba la atención era que se permitía a personas vacunadas reunirse, bajo techo, con miembros no vacunados de otro hogar, sin máscaras, siempre que ninguno en ese hogar estuviera en riesgo de padecer una forma grave de covid.

Esto es una gran noticia si no has visto a tus hijos o nietos en persona durante un tiempo. Si ya estás vacunado, ahora parece seguro visitarlos en casa sin máscaras, independientemente de su estado de vacunación. Incluso puedes abrazarlos.

Siempre que no vivan demasiado lejos, claro: los CDC todavía desaprueban los viajes de larga distancia.

Si todos los miembros del grupo están vacunados, tanto mejor. En ese caso, organizar una cena en casa sin máscaras, por ejemplo, representa “probablemente un riesgo más bajo”, según la nueva guía.

Pero no hay que confundir esta nueva libertad con un exceso de relajación. Los expertos en salud pública y los CDC coinciden en que, incluso si estás vacunado, debes llevar una mascarilla y mantener la distancia cuando estés cerca de personas que no estén vacunadas, o si no conoces su estatus de covid.

El doctor Walter Orenstein, director asociado del Centro de Vacunas de Emory y profesor de enfermedades infecciosas de la Escuela de Medicina de la Universidad de Emory en Atlanta, reconoce que todavía tenemos una imagen incompleta de covid y de cómo funcionarán las vacunas en el mundo real. Los funcionarios deben establecer directrices basadas en los mejores datos disponibles en ese momento, dice. “Si, de hecho, se produce un marcado repunte de casos como resultado, tendrán que revisarlas”.

Muchas personas que ya se han vacunado desconfían de una libertad que llega demasiado rápido.

Andy Mosley, de 74 años, dice que no le convence del todo la nueva declaración de los CDC. “La información de que podíamos empezar a salir de nuevo y relacionarnos con los demás estaba aderezada con un montón de matices”, explica Mosley, residente de Temecula, California, que ha recibido dos inyecciones de la vacuna de Moderna. “Eso me indica que no están realmente seguros”.

Pero muchos otros, incluidos los políticos estatales y locales, son menos cautelosos.

Texas eliminó recientemente su mandato del uso de mascarillas. Florida ha permanecido en gran medida abierta durante gran parte de la pandemia. En California, 13 condados que representan casi la mitad de la población del estado han reabierto los gimnasios, los cines y el interior de los restaurantes, aunque a niveles reducidos. Entre ellos se encuentra el condado de Los Angeles, una de las regiones más afectadas en Estados Unidos durante la oleada invernal.

Michael Osterholm, director del Centro de Investigación y Políticas de Enfermedades Infecciosas de la Universidad de Minnesota, afirma que pronto podría producirse una nueva oleada de covid debido a una cepa de rápida propagación detectada por primera vez en el Reino Unido, y que se podría convertir en la cepa dominante en Estados Unidos a finales de marzo.

Las localidades que abrieron demasiado pronto “van a tener grandes problemas en el corto plazo”, asegura.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

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New York opens vaccine eligibility to everyone age 50 and up

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 12:29pm
New Yorkers above the age of 50 will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting Tuesday, regardless of underlying conditions and other factors, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday. New York state will also allow houses of worship to serve as vaccination distribution facilities, starting in April, in an effort to deliver the injection to underserved communities. Cuomo said that, while the state’s distribution network can handle the current supply of vaccines sent from the federal government, that infrastructure will have to ramp up in the coming weeks as more doses are received. “You will see a spike in the allocation. That spike in the allocation will then flip the challenge to the distribution side,” Cuomo said. “We are actively recruiting additional distribution mechanisms.” As part of a new campaign, Cuomo’s office is encouraging faith-based institutions to partner with medical providers to launch local vaccination clinics. More than 200 houses of worship have already signed

Biden Sends Top Officials To Mexico As Border Surge Continues

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 12:27pm
President Biden is sending some of his top officials to Mexico and Guatemala this week to discuss the growing numbers of U.S.-bound migrants from Central America, one of the biggest challenges facing the new administration. Roberta Jacobson, a former ambassador to Mexico during the Obama administration who now serves on Biden's National Security Council, and Juan Gonzalez, the NSC's senior director for the region, will travel to Mexico, a senior administration official told reporters. "President Biden made clear from Day 1 that he wants to change our immigration system," a senior administration official said. "The previous four years didn't just neglect the immigration system. The previous administration intentionally ... weakened the system into something that was unrecognizable." The Biden administration is under growing pressure to address the increasing number of migrants arriving at the border, including thousands of children who have been stopped and are being held in detention

Fire Sweeps Through Rohingya Refugee Camp In Southern Bangladesh

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 12:20pm
A massive fire broke out at a camp in Bangladesh housing Rohingya Muslim refugees from neighboring Myanmar on Monday, reportedly destroying hundreds of ramshackle dwellings. The fire in Cox's Bazar in southern Bangladesh spread rapidly, engulfing tents and poorly constructed homes and buildings, according to witnesses quoted by the Anadolu Agency , Turkey's state-run media. "Fire services, rescue and response teams and volunteers are at the scene to try to control the fire and prevent it spreading further," Louise Donovan, a spokesperson for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Cox's Bazar told Reuters, which quoted witnesses saying several people had also been killed in the fire. Bangladesh's senior refugee official told The Associated Press that firefighters had been dispatched to the camp, known as Balukhali. Muhammad Ayyub, a Rohingya representative, told Anadolu that a 19-year-old woman and two children, ages six and nine, had been killed and that several others were missing

Irondequoit waives library fines on items for children and teens

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 11:45am
The Irondequoit Public Library is closing the book on charging fines for overdue materials geared toward children and teenagers, becoming the first suburban library in Monroe County to follow a trend sweeping libraries nationwide. The reprieve, which is to begin Monday, is a two-year pilot program that the library expects to make permanent in time. The program would do away with late fees of 35 cents a day, but patrons would still be responsible for replacing items deemed lost. Library Director Greg Benoit explained that the new policy is intended to promote access to books and other services the library offers to young people who cannot afford to pay the penalties for late returns. “It’s actually very common for us to have a teenager come to the library . . . and then we find that when the go to check out items that they need for school or even for leisure reading that they have fines on their card from five, six, seven years ago that they are on the book to pay but are preventing

Supreme Court To Hear Appeal Of Boston Marathon Bomber's Vacated Death Sentences

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 10:42am
The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday that it will consider whether to reinstate the death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The 2013 bombing , which Tsarnaev carried out with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, killed three people and injured 264 others. The Chechen immigrant was convicted of all 30 charges brought against him in 2015, and a court imposed six death sentences and 11 concurrent life sentences. But last year, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston threw out the death penalty sentences after finding that the trial judge had failed to ensure proper questioning of prospective jurors, including whether their opinions had been influenced by the wall-to-wall press coverage of the bombing. The Trump administration then appealed to the Supreme Court, seeking to revive the capital sentences. And on Monday the justices, in a one-sentence order, agreed to consider reinstating Tsarnaev's death sentences. They will not hear arguments in the case until

Grounded For Spring Break, College Students Talk About Who Got The Shot, And How

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 9:38am
Hawaii, Florida, Seattle and the South of France are among the dream destinations for New York City undergraduates who have been forced to postpone the traditional college ritual of spring break for the second year in a row, because of the pandemic. "I'd be getting a house with 10 people, with a pool, and we'd be going crazy in Miami, right below downtown Miami," said Sile Ogundeyin, 22, a senior economics major at Columbia University, who was sitting on the steps of the library with his friends. "I was supposed to be in London for study abroad this semester, so I probably would've gone some place close to there for spring break — maybe in southern Europe," said New York University sophomore Aliyah Verdiner, 20, a business major from Brooklyn. "That would've been a lot of fun, but I guess not this year." Some students, however, have managed to be adventurous. Rumors on campus abound about students who exploited loopholes and got vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to party and travel

Philippines Calls On China To Remove Massive Fishing Fleet At Disputed Reef

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 9:23am
The Philippines is calling on Beijing to remove some 220 vessels moored at a reef in the South China Sea – the latest dispute between China and its maritime neighbors over claims of sovereignty in the strategic body of water. Philippine Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana said the fishing boats were observed anchored side by side on March 7 at the Whitsun Reef, also known as the Julian Felipe Reef – a shallow coral reef about 200 miles west of Palawan island. He said they were believed to be manned by Chinese maritime militia personnel. The Philippines, China and Vietnam all claim the reef as their own. "These are territories well within Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Continental Shelf (CS) where Filipinos have the sole right to resources under international law and the 2016 arbitral ruling," Lorenzana said in a statement . Beijing has refused to accept a tribunal's ruling that invalidated 90% of China's claims in the South China Sea. "We call on the Chinese to stop this

Coming up on Connections: Monday, March 22

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 8:44am
First hour: Discussing BMI Second hour: How CurAte aims to help local restaurants during the pandemic

China Puts 2nd Canadian On Trial For Espionage And Bars Spectators

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 6:27am
BEIJING - After more than two years in detention, former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig was put on trial in Beijing for espionage Monday in a case criticized by diplomats and international legal experts as an exercise in hostage diplomacy and for contravening international law. Michael Kovrig during a television interview in March 2018. The former Canadian diplomat was arrested in China for espionage later that year. AP Kovrig's trial ended without a verdict being announced. "This is completely unacceptable as is the lack of transparency in these court proceedings," said Jim Nickel, Canada's top diplomat in China. Nickel was among 28 diplomats from 26 countries who were barred from attending Kovrig's trial, despite repeated requests for access. A Beijing court spokesperson said Kovrig's trial would happen in a closed courtroom because the case touched upon "national secrets." Michael Spavor during a Skype interview in Yanji, China, in 2017. Spavor was arrested and charged with

Despite 'Ample Warning,' U.S. Was Unprepared For Latest Surge Of Migrant Children

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 6:22am
President Biden's administration is scrambling to deal with an increasingly difficult challenge on the Southwest border that's become one of the first big political firestorms of his nascent presidency. A growing number of migrants are arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, many to seek asylum, and the government wasn't prepared for a huge influx of children who are coming alone without their parents. "Right now, what we're seeing is just a volume that the federal government was unprepared to address despite ample warning that it was coming their way," said Jennifer Nagda, policy director at the nonprofit Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights. Over the weekend, the Biden administration announced a new shelter for migrant children in West Texas, part of the broader shelter system overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services that's designed to care for young new arrivals. And Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas capped a weeklong media blitz with appearances on

The Fight For D.C. Statehood Returns To Capitol Hill

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 6:22am
Copyright 2021 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5 . NOEL KING, HOST: Should Washington, D.C., be the 51st state? U.S. lawmakers are considering it again. More than 700,000 people live in D.C. That's more than Vermont or Wyoming with respect to both of those states. But D.C. residents don't have representatives who can vote on their behalf in the House and in the Senate. Here's Mikaela Lefrak from member station WAMU. MIKAELA LEFRAK, BYLINE: The U.S. House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing on H.R.51 today - the Washington, D.C., Admission Act. Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced the bill. She's D.C.'s delegate to Congress. ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON: The United States is the only capital where the people who live in that capital don't have the same rights that everyone else has. LEFRAK: Norton's job is essentially that of a U.S. representative, but she can't vote on final bills. If D.C. becomes a state, it would gain voting representatives and senators. Norton's been pushing for

Black Church Leaders In Georgia On The Importance Of 'Souls To The Polls'

WXXI US News - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 5:04am
Updated March 22, 2021 at 11:48 AM ET Georgia Republican lawmakers have backed off of a proposal that would have curtailed early voting on Sundays in the state. Sunday voting is especially important for congregants in Black churches, which regularly hold "souls to the polls" events after Sunday services. "We gather in our churches on Sunday morning, you have morning worship and then after the service you get on the church buses, church vans, get in cars and people go to vote," says Bishop Reginald T. Jackson of the Sixth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Jackson is the presiding prelate over more than 500 churches in Georgia. "It's a very effective way the Black church has of getting out our vote," he tells Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition . Georgia's Republican-led House passed HB 531 earlier this month. One of its provisions would have largely standardized voting across counties, limiting the ability of counties to offer more days to vote. Backers of the
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