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Journalists Detained For Covering Democracy Demonstrations In Myanmar Face Prison

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 6:48pm
At least eight journalists in Myanmar have been detained by authorities while covering protests against a coup that took place last month. Six of those journalists, including 32-year-old Associated Press reporter Thein Zaw, have been charged with violating a public order law. The Myanmar military seized control of the country one month ago, detaining Aung San Suu Kyi and members of the National League for Democracy. Protesters have since taken to the streets, but have been met with violence and bloodshed from military forces. Zaw and a handful of other journalists were arrested Saturday morning in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, the AP reported. The charges fall under a law against anyone who "causes fear among the public, knowingly spreads false news, or agitates directly or indirectly for a criminal offense against a government employee." If found guilty, the journalists could be imprisoned for up to three years. Crowds gather in Yangon, Myanmar, Tuesday to protest the military coup.

Supreme Court Seems Ready To Uphold Restrictive Voting Laws

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 6:36pm
The U.S. Supreme Court seemed ready on Tuesday to uphold Arizona's restrictive voting laws, setting the stage for what happens in the coming months and years, as Republican-dominated state legislatures seek to make voting more difficult. Since the November election, and President Trump's false claims that the balloting was rigged, Republican-run state legislatures have raced to pass new laws that would curb the modern-day expansion of the right to vote. Many of these laws likely will be challenged in court, and on Tuesday the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could set the parameters for which of those restrictive laws survive, and which don't. The Voting Rights Act, first passed in 1965, makes it illegal for states to enact laws that result in voting discrimination based on race. Eight years ago, the conservative court, by a 5-to-4 vote, gutted one of the two major parts of the law. Now, it is the other major section that is in the conservative court's crosshairs. Tuesday's

Utah Considers State Park Named For Utahraptor Dinosaur

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 6:25pm
Utah lawmakers are considering creating a new state park in celebration of a spectacular find of dinosaur bones. The proposal for Utahraptor State Park, approved by the state House last week and now moving through the Utah Senate, would create a park near the spot where a geology student found a bone sticking out of the sun-bleached ground in 2001. Researchers who returned to the site near Arches National Park determined that the fossilized bone belonged to a meat-eating dinosaur. The dig began, and what was soon unearthed was a big claw not unlike these associated with the velociraptors from the Jurassic Park movies. Except the real one was bigger. The Utahraptor claw, compared with a velociraptor claw. Jim Kirkland State paleontologist Jim Kirkland says researchers "got pretty excited." They had found not one, but several Utahraptors. Previous finds in 1975 and 1991 had provided some information about the dinosaur, but this was the biggest discovery yet. The only hitch was that the

Rochester City School District can’t hire cooks soon enough

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 6:18pm
Rochester City School District spokesperson Marisol Lopez said Tuesday that the district is making every effort to find qualified people to fill food manager roles. “Twenty-one of our certified food managers have retired or taken positions elsewhere,” said Lopez. “We’re trying and we’re having a hard time with it.” The lack of certified L-1 and L-2 food managers is one of the reasons why students will not receive hot lunches this school year. The district has served frozen meals shipped in from a Long Island vendor, Tasty Foods, until this week, when they received sandwiches “that didn’t meet their standard.” The sandwich meat was discolored and many students, staff and parents were concerned that it was moldy. Lopez said it was not moldy, and the discoloration happened during the curing process. She said the district has decided to make sandwiches in-house instead. “As soon as the district became aware of the issue, the food in question was immediately pulled from distribution to

Biden's Financial Watchdogs Would Be Tougher Cops On The Beat

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 6:04pm
The Trump administration was all about loosening rules for businesses. But Gary Gensler, President Biden's nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, has a very different mantra. "When there are clear rules of the road and a cop on the beat to enforce them—our economy grows and our nation prospers," Gensler told members of the Senate Banking Committee. The need for a tough cop on the beat during the pandemic is clear to Rohit Chopra - Biden's pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "The financial lives of millions of Americans are in ruin," Chopra said at the hearing. He said experts anticipate, "an avalanche of loan defaults and auto repossessions." Chopra said he's also worried about unfair treatment of people with student loans and a potential wave for home foreclosures. Millions of homeowners have been skipping mortgage payments due to financial hardship. Congress has passed rules providing many borrowers with legal breathing room through what's known as

Connections: Discussing how farmers and CSAs have been impacted by the pandemic

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 6:01pm
How has the pandemic affected small farms? According to many local farmers and their customers, the past year has highlighted the importance of sourcing local food. The annual “CSA Day” expanded to “CSA Week.” It wrapped up last week. CSA stands for Community-Supported Agriculture. This hour, we discuss how local farms have adapted to COVID-19 restrictions and challenges, and how CSAs have been impacted by the pandemic. Our guests: Ruth Blackwell, owner of Mud Creek Farm Eric Houppert, owner of Deep Root Farm Zac Holtz, CSA member

Connections: Rochester as a climate refuge city

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 5:57pm
Here's something that would surprise many Americans: Rochester is one of the most reliable places to live if you want to avoid extreme weather. No hurricanes. No wildfires. No drought. Fresh water. Yes, snow, but manageable. As parts of the country deal with extreme weather and the effects of climate change, cities like Rochester and Buffalo are poised to become what Buffalo mayor Byron W. Brown called “climate refuges.” This hour, we talk with climate experts about Rochester as a destination for climate migrants. Our guests: Karen Berger , associate professor of instruction, earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochester Brady Fergusson, director of public engagement for the Climate Solutions Accelerator of the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region , and member of Rochester's chapter of Citizens' Climate Lobby

A Newspaper Casino? Toronto Star Company Is Getting Into The Online Gaming Business

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 5:49pm
Can gambling profits support the newspaper business? The company that owns the Toronto Star is betting on it. Torstar Corporation announced Tuesday that it would launch an online casino brand later this year, pending approval by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. "As an Ontario-based media business and trusted brand for more than 128 years, we believe Torstar will provide a unique and responsible gaming brand that creates new jobs, offers growth for the Ontario economy and generates new tax revenue to help support important programs in our province," Torstar Chief Corporate Development Officer Corey Goodman said in a statement . The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is currently the only approved operator of online gambling in the province, but Ontario's government has pledged to open the market to other outfits, the Star notes . Paul Rivett, the chair and co-owner of Torstar, cited two reasons for the media company's unusual new business venture. The first, he said, is

Legislature agrees to strip Cuomo of emergency pandemic powers

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 5:32pm
New York state legislative leaders have announced agreement on a bill to curb Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emergency powers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measure comes as Cuomo is embroiled in two scandals: One over his nursing home policies during the health crisis, and another over accusations that he sexually harassed former staffers. Nearly one year ago, as the first cases of COVID-19 were discovered in New York, the State Legislature granted Cuomo extraordinary powers that go beyond the scope of what a governor already holds under state law in times of emergency. They have included the power to shut down and open up businesses and schools, and determine who gets vaccines. But after a report by the state’s attorney general found the governor and his aides undercounted the number of nursing home deaths from the disease, and withheld those numbers for months, Democrats in the Senate and Assembly felt the management of the pandemic needed more oversight. In statements, Assembly Speaker

Biden's Picks For Financial Regulators Appear Before Senate In Double Hearing

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 4:30pm
Biden's picks for the watchdogs protecting Americans from financial wrongdoing will face the Senate Banking Committee. If confirmed, they will be much tougher on Wall Street than their predecessors.

Why Some Powerful Men, Like Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Haven't Learned The Lessons Of #MeToo

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 4:30pm
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Neera Tanden has withdrawn her name as President Biden's nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget. Her nomination has been controversial, mostly because of disparaging comments she's made in the past about Republican lawmakers. White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez is with us now for more. Hi, Franco. FRANCO ORDOÑEZ, BYLINE: Hi, Ari. SHAPIRO: What did the White House and Tanden say this evening? ORDOÑEZ: Well, the White House released a letter from Neera Tanden sent to President Biden saying, quote, "now seems clear that there is no path forward to gain confirmation." She basically said she didn't want a process - she didn't want the process to distract from Biden's priorities. And in a statement, Biden responded that he looks forward to having her serve in some capacity in his administration. But it's clear tonight that that won't be in the role that they had hoped for. You know, this is a big loss for Biden in Congress, and it's a sign just - one of

Texas And Mississippi To Lift COVID-19 Mask Mandates And Business Capacity Limits

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 4:28pm
Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he is lifting the state's mask mandate and increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100%. Abbott, a Republican, said the mandates are no longer needed due to advancements of vaccines and therapeutics to protect against COVID-19. His new executive order goes into effect on Wednesday, March 10, and it rescinds most of the governor's earlier executive orders related to the coronavirus. "With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus," Abbott said in address to the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce. "We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent. Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed." Abbott says the

Prosecutors: Proud Boys Gave Leader 'War Powers,' Planned Ahead For Capitol Riot

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 4:00pm
A document filed in federal court on Monday sheds new light on the Proud Boys' tactical preparation for and movements during the Jan. 6 insurrection. It alleges that a Washington-based member of the far-right group was internally nominated to have "war powers" and assume "ultimate leadership" of the group's activities that day. Thirty-year-old Ethan Nordean allegedly helped coordinate members' storming of the Capitol in an effort to interrupt the Electoral College certification of President Biden's victory. In the 24-page filing, U.S. prosecutors say Nordean, who they say calls himself the "sergeant of arms" of the Seattle Proud Boys, was "personally active" in planning the group's activities on Jan. 6 and used social media to recruit members, raise money and gather military-style equipment in the weeks leading up to it. On the day of the attack, they say the "defendant — dressed all in black, wearing a tactical vest — led the Proud Boys through the use of encrypted communications and

YMCA works to get more city residents signed up for vaccines

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 3:58pm
A mass vaccination site sponsored by the state and federal governments for COVID-19 opens Wednesday on St. Paul Street in the parking lot of the former Kodak Hawkeye location (1345 St. Paul St.) The hope is that many people who have not yet been able to get a vaccine appointment, and who are in the most impacted communities, can get their inoculation. City officials said on Monday , that more than 11,000 people have registered to be inoculated at the St. Paul Street site, but there were 17,000 slots still open. As of Wednesday, registration will be open to all New Yorkers who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. To assist with what can often be a confusing and frustrating process, the YMCA of Greater Rochester is offering help at a couple of its locations, at its Center for Equity at 53 Lewis Street and at the Maplewood YMCA at 25 Driving Park Avenue. Jessica Kingsley is executive director of the YMCA Center for Equity at Lewis Street and she said the two facilities will help people

Antifa Didn't Storm The Capitol. Just Ask The Rioters.

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 3:02pm
Nearly as soon as the tear gas settled on the U.S. Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, the conspiracy theory began to pick up steam. "Earlier today, the Capitol was under siege by people who can only be described as antithetical to the MAGA movement," Laura Ingraham told her viewers on Fox News that night. "They were likely not all Trump supporters, and there are some reports that antifa sympathizers may have been sprinkled throughout the crowd." Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson echoed similar sentiments on Fox that night, and in the day following the attack, Rep. Matt Gaetz , R-Fla., Rep. Paul Gosar , R.-Ariz., and Rep. Mo Brooks , R-Ala., all repeated the conspiracy theory as well. The morning after the riot, so did Rush Limbaugh . In those 24 hours, the lie that the rioters were actually antifa was mentioned more than 400,000 times online. It peaked on the anonymous imageboard site 4chan around 1 p.m. on Jan. 6, according to the Social Media Analysis Toolkit, which is around the same time

Biden's Commerce Secretary, Gina Raimondo, Confirmed By Senate

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 2:58pm
Updated at 2:58 p.m. ET The Senate confirmed Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo on Tuesday as the next secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department. With a 84-15 confirmation vote that was delayed by a procedural move in February by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas , Raimondo is set to lead one of the federal government's most eclectic departments, which includes the Census Bureau, close to two months after President Biden announced the Democratic governor's nomination . As secretary, Raimondo is set to take on a portfolio of agencies that also includes the Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Raimondo, the first woman to lead Rhode Island, is cutting short her second term as governor of the country's smallest state to join the Biden administration. During the confirmation process, Raimondo emphasized the need for the department to address how the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the economy and

Prude case raises questions on reforming state criminal justice system

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 2:19pm
After it was announced by New York Attorney General Letitia James that the grand jury would not prosecute the officers involved in Daniel Prude's death , Duwaine Bascoe spent the next day processing what happened. “The more you know, the angrier you become because you see the pattern over and over again,” said Bascoe. Bascoe, an attorney and member of Rochester Black Bar Association, said he had mixed feelings after hearing the decision. “As a black man, I expected this outcome,” said Bascoe. "As an attorney, I guess I was optimistic.” Right after the announcement, James called for reform in the criminal justice system, saying “the current laws on deadly force have created a system that failed Prude.” According to her report, James called on emergency room doctor Dr. Gary Vilke to provide evidence of Prude's possible excited delirium state to the grand jury. Vilke has made a career as a go-to excited delirium expert in court proceedings involving police officers. Bascoe said he can’t

New daily cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County drop to 99

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 2:15pm
Monroe County reported 99 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. According to Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health, Dr. Michael Mendoza, the last time the county was below 100 for daily new cases was November 3. Mendoza tweeted that, “Let’s continue the progress – wear your masks, maintain physical distancing as much as possible, and get your vaccine as soon as it is available.” In the data released on Tuesday there were no new deaths. The 7-day rolling average of new cases is 139 new cases per day. The 7-day rolling average positivity rate for Monroe County is 1.7% 187 people in the Finger Lakes Region are hospitalized, 58 of them are in ICU. The percentage of total hospital beds available in the Finger Lakes region on a 7-day rolling average is 40%. The percentage of ICU Beds available in the Finger Lakes region on a 7-day rolling average is 34%. Here is the age breakdown of the latest COVID-19 cases in Monroe County:

At Least 13 People Dead After Crowded SUV Collides With Truck In California

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 2:09pm
Updated at 5:54 p.m. ET At least 13 people died in a vehicle crash in Imperial County, Calif., on Tuesday, when a crowded Ford Expedition SUV collided with a gravel truck. Local hospital officials initially said 15 people died from the crash, but the California Highway Patrol later lowered the figure. The terrible collision took place Tuesday morning north of the city of Holtville, according to the Imperial County Fire Department. Emergency teams responded to the collision at the intersection where Norrish Rd. crosses a larger thoroughfare, California State Route 115. "At this point, it's unknown whether or not the Expedition stopped at the stop sign," California Highway Patrol Chief Omar Watson said, "but it did enter the intersection in front of the big rig." "There were 25 occupants in the Ford Expedition, including the driver," Watson said. "Unfortunately, 12 of the occupants, including the driver, succumbed to their injuries on-scene." He added that an additional person who was in