National News Content

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Yard-Sale Bowl Revealed To Be Rare Chinese Artifact Worth Up To $500,000

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 1:18pm
In a tale the stuff of yard-sale legend, a small porcelain bowl sold at its $35 asking price has turned out to be a rare, 15th-century Chinese artifact worth up to half a million dollars. An unidentified Connecticut man bought the bowl from a yard sale near New Haven last year, and later emailed photos to Sotheby's seeking an evaluation, according to The Associated Press . Appraisers determined it dates back to the Ming dynasty of the early 1400's, and estimated its worth at between $300,000 and $500,000. The bowl, which Sotheby's calls "exceptional and rare," will be available to the highest bidder as part of the firm's Important Chinese Art auction in New York later this month. "It's always quite astounding to think that it kind of still happens, that these treasures can be discovered," said Angela McAteer, Sotheby's senior vice president and head of its Chinese Works of Art Department. "It's always really exciting for us as specialists when something we didn't even know existed here

Ronny Jackson 'Bullied' Subordinates And Broke Alcohol Rules, Pentagon Report Finds

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 12:54pm
Updated at 3 p.m. ET Rep. Ronny Jackson made sexual and denigrating statements about a female subordinate, smelled of alcohol while on duty and humiliated his staff during his long stint as a White House physician, according to a scathing new report from the Defense Department's inspector general. In one incident, the report states that when Jackson was on a presidential trip to Manila, Philippines, in 2014, he made inappropriate comments about a female medical subordinate's breasts and buttocks, got drunk with junior staff and banged on the female subordinate's door in the middle of the night, raising a commotion in the hotel. When the woman woke up and answered the door, Jackson told her, "I need you," according to the Pentagon report . After another staff member came into the hallway, the report adds, Jackson insisted they all go to his hotel room. Jackson, a 53-year-old retired Navy rear admiral, began his White House tenure during George W. Bush's administration, working as a

WATCH: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's briefing - March 3

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 12:50pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds a press briefing at approximately 1 p.m.

Coming up on Connections: Wednesday, March 3

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 12:46pm
First hour: Discussing the allegations of sexual harassment against Governor Andrew Cuomo Second hour: Governor Andrew Cuomo's press briefing

House Cancels Thursday Session After Police Warn Of Possible Attack On Congress

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 12:28pm
Updated at 5:47 p.m. ET The House of Representatives has canceled its Thursday session after the U.S. Capitol Police said it is aware of a threat by an identified militia group to breach the Capitol complex that day. The Senate plans to remain in session on Thursday to debate amendments to the COVID-19 relief bill. March 4 is a significant date for far-right conspiracy theorists who believe that former President Donald Trump will return to power on that day. Presidents were inaugurated on March 4 until 1933, after which the 20th Amendment to the Constitution moved the date to Jan. 20. The threat comes nearly two months after extremist Trump supporters broke into the Capitol, forcing lawmakers and the vice president to flee moments ahead of an angry mob. The insurrection resulted in the deaths of several people and the arrest of more than 250. In a statement issued Wednesday, the Capitol Police, which was heavily criticized for its handling of the Jan. 6 insurrection, said it had

Explosion Outside Dutch Coronavirus Testing Site, Police Say

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 12:16pm
Dutch police in a town north of Amsterdam are investigating an explosion outside of a coronavirus test center early Wednesday. Police say the explosion went off at about 6:55 a.m. outside of the center in Bovenkarspel, a town about 40 miles northeast of Amsterdam. There were no injuries from the blast. Investigators told local media that the explosion appeared intentional, as remnants of an exploded metal cylinder were found outside of the building. Police spokesman Menno Hartenberg told Reuters that it "must have been placed" there. "Something like that doesn't just happen by accident." Officers were alerted to the incident by a security guard, who called police saying he heard a loud bang. The area surrounding the test center was cordoned off while police investigated. Police said five windows were shattered, according to Deutsche Welle . This incident comes just two weeks ahead of national elections on March 17. It also happened the same day that pandemic lockdown rules in the

Germany Places Right-Wing Opposition Party Under Domestic Surveillance

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 11:46am
Germany's domestic intelligence agency has put the country's largest opposition party under surveillance as a potential threat to the country's constitution, according to public broadcaster ARD and other media outlets. The move affects dozens of lawmakers who are in the right-wing Alternative for Germany, or AfD, party. Members of the AfD say the investigation is politically motivated, aimed at weakening the party. In January , one party leader accused Chancellor Angela Merkel's government of "trying to stigmatize us and to really put us in the Nazi corner." The Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz , the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, is not commenting publicly on the investigation. But the designation of the AfD as a suspected case of anti-constitutional activity escalates the agency's ongoing inquiry, allowing it to start a number of surveillance operations, from cultivating informants and tapping phone calls to reading emails. In response to the news, AfD leaders

DOD Took Hours To Approve National Guard Request During Capitol Riot, Commander Says

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 11:34am
Updated at 3:01 p.m. ET It took more than three hours for former President Donald Trump's Defense Department to approve a request for the D.C. National Guard to intervene in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the commanding general of the outfit told senators on Wednesday. Maj. Gen. William Walker testified that he had National Guard troops at the ready and sitting idly for hours before he was finally given authorization to send them into the field. Walker said that the delay was caused at least in part over concerns of the optics of sending uniformed troops to the scene. His testimony to the Senate Homeland Security and Rules committees comes as Congress holds a series of hearings about security preparations for and the response to the violence at the Capitol this year. The timeline "At 1:49 p.m., I received a frantic call from then-chief of U.S. Capitol Police, Steven Sund, where he informed me that the security perimeter at the Capitol had been breached by hostile rioters,"

Rochester baseball legend Joe Altobelli has died

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 10:57am
A Rochester baseball legend has died. The Rochester Red Wings announced on Wednesday that Joe Altobelli, known as Rochester’s “Mr. Baseball” died from natural causes at the age of 88. Altobelli filled more roles for the organization than anyone else, serving as a player, coach, manager, general manager, assistant to the president and radio analyst. Altobelli was born in Detroit and had a 59-year professional baseball career right after high school. In 1966, while playing for the Red Wings, he moved his family to Rochester and he permanently made the area his home. Sports writer Scott Pitoniak knew Altobelli well. He says Rochester was special to Altobelli. “He just preferred to be here rather than someplace else, " said Pitoniak. "He always said it was because of the warmth of the people. ‘The winters are cold but the people are warm,’ as Joe would like to say.” In 1960, he led the International League in home runs (31) and RBI (105) while with the Montreal Royals. As a Red Wing, “Alto

Rechazan a cuidadores familiares en sitios de vacunación contra covid de California

Latest Updates From Kaiser Health News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 10:26am

En California, la confusión y la comunicación fallida han provocado que algunos padres elegibles y cuidadores familiares de personas con discapacidades sean rechazados en los sitios de vacunación de covid.

Oscar Madrigal es uno de esos cuidadores. Sus dos hijos están en el espectro del autismo y el menor requiere cuidados casi constantes.

Cuando se comenzó a vacunar, Madrigal pensó que padres como él iban a tener prioridad y no tener que esperar mucho. En enero, el Departamento de Servicios para el Desarrollo de California emitió una carta indicando que los familiares como él se consideraban trabajadores de salud y calificaban para recibir la vacuna inmediatamente.

A través de grupos de Facebook, los padres de niños con discapacidades compartieron la noticia con entusiasmo.

Madrigal se sintió aliviado. Como cuidador principal de su hijo menor, no sabía cómo se las arreglaría si su familia contrajera el coronavirus.

Pero pronto notó que el tono de los mensajes en las redes sociales cambió. Los padres comenzaron a postear que estaban siendo rechazados en los sitios de vacunación. Solo las familias que reciben servicios de algunos de los centros regionales de California, organizaciones sin fines de lucro que ayudan a personas con discapacidades, eran elegibles.

Para poder vacunarse, los cuidadores deben mostrar una carta de su centro regional que acredite que son cuidadores familiares de un niño con discapacidades. No era suficiente presentar el comunicado de enero.

“Mucha gente lo estaba fotocopiando. Francamente, muchas personas lo estaban usando de manera inapropiada para afirmar que de hecho eran los cuidadores de sus hijos”, dijo Barbara Ferrer, directora del Departamento de Salud Pública del condado de Los Ángeles.

Madrigal, cuyos hijos reciben servicios de un centro regional, obtuvo la documentación personalizada requerida y la llevó a un sitio de vacunación del condado. Y, aún así, fue rechazado.

“La empleada ni siquiera miró mi documentación. Simplemente dijo: ‘No tenemos forma de verificar esto'”, comentó.

El condado tiene cientos de sitios de vacunación y Madrigal descubrió que no se ha informado al personal sobre estas reglas.

“Creo que darles a las familias alguna esperanza y luego eliminar esas expectativas se convierte en algo muy, muy agotador para nosotros”, dijo.

Vacunarse en el “lejano oeste”

“La cultura del proceso de vacunación en este momento es el ‘Lejano Oeste’”, comentó Andy Imparato, director ejecutivo de Disability Rights California  y miembro del Consejo Asesor de Vacunación del estado.

Imparato ha escuchado historias como la de Madrigal en todas partes.

“Pasan cosas diferentes, según quién esté evaluando a las personas para vacunar y cuánta capacitación haya recibido la persona encargada de realizar la prueba. No es algo consistente”, indicó.

Esto se debe a que cada una de las docenas de departamentos de salud pública de las ciudades y condados tiene su propio enfoque para el proceso de vacunación.

Después de semanas de confusión, el Departamento de Salud Pública de California (CDPH) aclaró en su sitio web que los padres y cuidadores de personas con discapacidades deberían recibir la vacuna ya.

Pero el CDPH dejó la decisión de quién califica como cuidador familiar a cada centro regional. En una declaración enviada por correo electrónico, el CDPH dijo que los centros regionales pueden determinar quiénes son las “personas que tienen necesidades de atención médica especializada”.

Eso significa que algunos padres de niños con autismo pueden recibir una carta de su centro regional informándoles que califican para la vacuna, mientras que otros pueden ser rechazados.

Imparato teme que la confusión inicial haya causado daños, especialmente con los cuidadores que no hablan inglés y que ya han sido rechazados en un centro de vacunación.

“La persona responsable les ha dicho que no son elegibles, y que regresen a su casa para esperar hasta que sean elegibles. Y eso me entristece mucho, porque no es correcto”, indicó Imparato.

Padres con los medios y el conocimiento para navegar el sistema, como Oscar Madrigal, han seguido luchando. Después de escribir a sus representantes electos, sobre la confusión con su vacunación, Madrigal consiguió otra cita.

“Nuestras vidas importan”

Cindy Liu y su esposo querían vacunarse para ayudar a proteger a su hija, que tiene síndrome de Down. Está en la lista de condiciones que los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) han relacionado con enfermedades graves por covid-19.

El estado le paga a Liu para que cuide de su hija porque la condición de la niña es grave.

Liu llevó su documentación a su cita de vacunación en el Centro Comunitario para Adultos de Goebel en el condado de Ventura, el mismo lugar donde su esposo había recibido la vacuna unos días antes con los mismos documentos de su centro regional.

“Apenas miraron mis papeles”, dijo. “Vieron el membrete y dijeron: ‘Eso no te vuelve elegible'”.

Liu dijo que el personal la interrogó repetidamente e insinuó que su documentación podría haber sido falsificada, dejándola frustrada y desmoralizada.

“Solo danos el beneficio de la duda”, dijo. “Nuestras vidas importan. No somos náufragos”.

Liu finalmente recibió su primera vacuna después que los miembros del personal aceptaran un talón de pago emitido por el estado como prueba. Pero se pregunta si tendrá que pasar por todo de nuevo en unas pocas semanas cuando regrese para su segunda dosis.

Esta historia es parte de una alianza que incluye a KPCC, NPR y KHN.

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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At Least 18 Killed In Another Bloody Day For Myanmar

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 10:14am
Updated at 11:15 a.m. ET In a day of protests that was among the deadliest in Myanmar since last month's coup, at least 18 people were reportedly killed on Wednesday, a day after Southeast Asian foreign ministers issued a tepid call to end to the violence. The latest death toll was gleaned from various sources, with Reuters reporting 18, bring the total number of killed in a police crackdown on protesters to nearly 40 since the military seized power on Feb. 1, ousting the government of Aung San Suu Kyi. However, The Associated Press cited reports of as many as 33 people dead, and The Irrawaddy , a news website run by Myanmar exiles, said at least 28 were dead. On Sunday, the U.N.'s human rights office said it believed 18 people had been killed. At least three others had died previously in the weeks of unrest, as daily protests have been met by police firing tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds at unarmed demonstrators. The numbers of protesters have remained high despite the

From 'Jolene' To Vaccine: Dolly Parton Gets COVID-19 Shot She Helped Fund

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 10:05am
Country music legend Dolly Parton got a taste of her own medicine on Tuesday when she received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine whose research she helped fund. Parton, 75, documented the moment in a video posted to social media in which she encouraged eligible viewers to get the shot and broke into a modified rendition of "Jolene" to that effect. "Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, I'm begging of you please don't hesitate," she sang. "Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, 'cause once you're dead then that's a bit too late." Dr. Naji Abumrad of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center administered a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Parton, who was wearing a sweater with shoulder cutouts for the occasion. The two have a long-running friendship; they met in 2013 when Parton was admitted to the emergency room following a car accident and have since grown close. (His son, Radiolab co-host Jad Abumrad, was also behind the WNYC podcast Dolly Parton's America , which launched in 2019 . ) Last April

'Exit Counselors' Strain To Pull Americans Out Of A Web Of False Conspiracies

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 10:01am
Michelle Queen does not consider herself part of QAnon, but she does believe some of its most outlandish conspiracies – including that Satan-worshipping elites in a secret pedophile cabal are killing babies and drinking their blood. "When you are evil, you're evil," says Queen, 46, from Texas. "It goes deep." Queen also believes the big lie that the Democrats stole the election from former President Donald Trump, and that the people who broke into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 were actually undercover members of the left-wing Antifa, even though none of those who've been charged are affiliated with the far left movement. "That's who they said they arrested," Queen says. "They didn't tell you all the others. Y'know the news ain't gonna give you the whole thing." Queen is among an alarming number of Americans responding to a recent Ipsos poll, who mistook several false conspiracy theories for truth. While delusional conspiracy theories go way back, experts say right-wing disinformation, in

Progressives Show Patience With Biden, At Least Until Relief Bill Passes

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 9:59am
President Biden wasn't many progressives' first, second, third — or maybe even 20th — choice in the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary. But ever since winning the party's nomination last spring amid the onset of the global pandemic and economic downturn, Biden has vowed to govern as the most progressive president since Franklin Roosevelt. He's even made a large portrait of FDR the centerpiece of his Oval Office to underscore that goal. Many progressive lawmakers and activists say they're largely pleased with the early weeks of Biden's presidency, and the open doors, phone lines and zoom sessions they've been met with by the White House. "Understanding I'm grading on a curve – it's not Bernie Sanders' agenda, and it's not Medicare For All, and it's not going to be a wealth tax. It's not going to be anything like that right now," said Faiz Shakir, an advisor and onetime campaign manager to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. "But in the areas where we can get the 50 votes in the

Some States Drop CDC Guidelines And Vaccinate People By Age Group

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 8:10am
A number of states are breaking with federal guidelines and starting to vaccinate people by age group, drawing criticism from essential workers and people with underlying conditions who are getting bumped back in line. In Connecticut, officials say they're trying to balance equity with speeding up the pace of vaccinations. Under a new vaccination plan that began on March 1, educators are still prioritized but essential workers like grocers, security officers and janitors, who would have been next in line, now have to wait until their age group comes up. "I am very excited honestly," said Missy Giandurco, 41, who teaches eighth-grade special education. "It's been a very stressful year and the governor made the right choice by moving it forward a little faster." Someone who's not excited is DeShawn Brownell. His job as a security guard doesn't allow him to social distance. Under the previous plan he would have been in the next group to be vaccinated but he's 46-years-old and he'll have

Trump's Baseless 2020 Conspiracies Complicate Ohio Effort To Buy Voting Machines

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 7:00am
A conspiracy theory sown by former President Donald Trump and his allies to cast doubt on his loss last year has trickled down to county-level politics, impeding one Ohio county's ability to purchase new voting equipment ahead of local elections this year. The theory falsely claims voting machines made by a company called Dominion changed votes to swing the election in favor of now-President Biden. Multiple audits and recounts in states and counties that used the company's equipment confirmed that the machines accurately recorded the vote totals last November. But those audits and recounts haven't stopped Republican county officials in Stark County, Ohio, home to Canton, from slowing the procurement effort for new machines. Voters in the county twice voted for Barack Obama then twice — by double digits — for Trump. The controversy started in December, when the bipartisan Stark County Board of Elections voted unanimously to replace its aging voting machines with new ones from Dominion.

'It's Madness': American Factories Scramble To Secure Critical Supplies

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 5:45am
For Americans factories, business is good these days. Almost too good. Unexpectedly strong demand for furniture, appliances and other manufactured goods is providing a windfall to many of the country's industries. But as factory gears spin faster to meet the surging demand, a big headache is emerging: Supply chains are getting stretched more than ever, and critical components are proving a lot harder to procure. Take the word of Drew Greenblatt, the president of Marlin Steel in Baltimore. "The economy is snapping back in a big way," Greenblatt said. But as Greenblatt races to hire workers and expand his factory, frustration is starting to mount. Hinges that used to arrive from his supplier in a day or two now take three weeks. Steel he uses to make pail handles is back-ordered for months. "Last month, we would have shipped 25% more if we had not had these shortages," Greenblatt said. "We're banging our head against the wall because if we accept an order today for these pail handles, we

State Department Should Be More Diverse And Engaged Across U.S., Report Says

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 5:45am
When U.S. diplomat Maryum Saifee was based at the U.S. Consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, she oversaw a program that brought together tech entrepreneurs from Austin, Texas, and businesses in Pakistan's Punjab region. The goal: to expand investment and business opportunities in both countries. "We have mayors and governors already engaging with their overseas counterparts, and they've been doing this for years," Saifee says. "So in Pakistan, I got to see this firsthand in an action," she explains. "It's increasing investment dollars into Pakistan, but also expanding new markets and business for the folks in Texas. So it's a win-win in terms of the economy, but also the people to people." Saifee says this type of "subnational diplomacy" should be a priority at the State Department. She is one of the current State Department employees who contributed to a new report , "Transforming State," from the Truman Center, a think tank in Washington. The report focuses on how to make the department

News Brief: Vaccine Supply, Tanden Nomination, Texas Lifts Restrictions

WXXI US News - Wed, 03/03/2021 - 5:45am
Biden says U.S. will have enough vaccine for all adults by May. Neera Tanden withdraws her nomination to head the Office of Management and Budget. Gov. Abbott is ending Texas' COVID-19 restrictions.
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