[guest post by Dana]
Another week down. Here are a few news items to talk about. Feel free to include anything you think might interest readers. Please make sure to include links.
First news item
Louisiana has stopped asking the federal government for its full allotment of COVID-19 vaccine. About three-quarters of Kansas counties have turned down new shipments of the vaccine at least once over the past month. And in Mississippi, officials asked the federal government to ship vials in smaller packages so they don’t go to waste…In Mississippi, small-town pharmacist Robin Jackson has been practically begging anyone in the community to show up and get shots after she received her first shipment of vaccine earlier this month and demand was weak, despite placing yard signs outside her storefront celebrating the shipment’s arrival. She was wasting more vaccine than she was giving out and started coaxing family members into the pharmacy for shots.
“Nobody was coming,” she said. “And I mean no one.”
Second news item
According to Israel’s Ministry of Health, a large majority of those eligible for the vaccine have received at least one dose — every age group from 20 upwards is at least 75% vaccinated with one shot — although there are still hundreds of thousands left to inoculate. But one of the country’s top coronavirus experts, Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science, said he believes that the vaccines have nearly eradicated Covid-19 from Israel.
“[H]erd immunity is not binary, but I do think that we reached a high level of immunity such that outbreaks are now highly unlikely (unless a variant that bypasses vaccines arrives),” Segal told CNN.
Third news item
UN Watch is calling on U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield and EU states to condemn the UN’s election of Iran to a 4-year term on its Commission on the Status of Women, the “principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”
The vote yesterday by the UN’s Economic and Social Council, reported first by UN Watch, sparked outrage among human rights activists. “Electing the Islamic Republic of Iran to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, the Geneva-based human rights group. “It’s absurd — and morally reprehensible. This is a black day for women’s rights, and for all human rights,” said Neuer.
Fourth news item
The coup de grâce of broken-brain Scott-slander, though, comes courtesy of Glenn Kessler, fact-checker for the Washington Post. “Tim Scott often talks about his grandfather and cotton. There’s more to that tale,” reads Kessler’s headline. Never mind that Scott has never hidden that his family owned a farm in South Carolina after being freed from slavery; or that it’s true that his grandfather dropped out of school at an early age to work on that farm; or that his mother inherited only five acres of land; or that Scott himself grew up in working-class poverty — Kessler is unimpressed by Scott’s rise, writing that “Scott tells a tidy story packaged for political consumption, but a close look shows how some of his family’s early and improbable success gets flattened and written out of his biography.” That Scott’s family owned some property in the Jim Crow South prior to Scott’s being born is enough to cause Kessler — a man born into wealth and privilege — to wonder aloud, in the pages of the Washington Post, if it’s all that impressive that a man born into a system designed to hold him back financially, educationally, and politically is serving in the United States Senate. In the words of Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox: Good luck!
Fifth news item
For decades, U.S. presidents have avoided calling the World War I-era mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turkish forces an act of genocide.
Now, U.S. lawmakers expect President Biden to make that declaration on Saturday as Armenians mark the anniversary of the atrocities. News reports indicate that while the move is likely, Biden has not made a final decision.
The possible declaration would be hailed by Armenian communities, lawmakers and human rights advocates who have lobbied for it. But it would also damage already strained ties with Turkey.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a statement Thursday in anticipation of Biden’s announcement, said Turkey “will continue to defend truths against the so-called Armenian genocide lie and those who support this slander with political motivations.”
Sixth news item
According to limited public polling as well as private polling, [Andrew] Yang has surged to the front of the mayoral pack, fueled by his name recognition and celebrity status, as well as his cheery demeanor and optimistic discussion of the city’s future. But in the past, he has struggled with issues of tone: His presidential campaign has been trailed by allegations of a “bro” culture; in one of his own books, he admits to having named his pectoral muscles, Lex and Rex.
Seventh news item
Meanwhile, Harris’ political instincts must be telling here that she has to be careful what kind of imagery ammunition she gives to Republicans. The last thing she wants is to get caught on camera against the backdrop of migrant kids stuffed into overcrowded glass holding pens. Watching from a distance means she hasn’t had to stare into the eyes of the more than 20,000 children and teenagers languishing in U.S. custody for longer than the 72 hours permitted by law. So far, she hasn’t investigated troubling allegations about the sexual assault of incarcerated youth—either by one another, or authorities supervising them. She hasn’t had to peer into the giant aquariums that warehouse hundreds of unaccompanied minors. Most of all, Harris hasn’t had to admit that the administration’s response to the crisis is improvised, nor has she offered real solutions to this recurring problem. It’s not just Harris who is failing this course. The whole Biden administration is clueless about immigration and the border—including the two Latinos also tasked with tackling the crisis, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
In interviews with a dozen Democrats and Republicans — including GOP strategists, Biden advisers and immigration advocates who work with the White House — a picture emerges not just of a Republican Party eager to leverage a policy point that worked well for Trump in his first run for office, but of a Biden White House that was ill-prepared for them to do that. Several Democrats and immigration activists who support Biden said they have grown frustrated that the White House has failed to respond to the attacks more forcefully and fully embrace pro-immigration policies.
Eighth news item
While doubling down during Thursday’s CNN Tonight handoff on their support for Officer Nicholas Reardon’s decision to shoot knife-wielding Ma’Khia Bryant, CNN hosts Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon blasted outlets like NBC who didn’t show the knife in Bryant’s hand while reporting on the shooting. The pair accused such outlets of “journalistic malpractice” because they weren’t being honest (an ironic notion given who was flinging it).
Their knock came as NewsBusters drove part of the Thursday news cycle with a report exposing NBC’s deception against their audience; editing out a key part of the 911 call and not showing the knife, before silently adding them in an update.
“And, we’ve got to be honest about these things. And if we’re not honest about these things, as journalists, then it is a dereliction of our duty as journalists. It’s journalistic malpractice not to do it,” Lemon opined to his friend.
Cuomo noted he had “heard some people were reporting on the incident without showing the knife.” He let his true feelings on the matter known by calling it “malpractice” and said such deceptive outlets were “looking for trouble, and that’s wrong.”
Video at link.
There is too much police brutality. There are too many police shootings. But it is wrong to try to force every police shooting into the same narrative. And it is very wrong to treat cops who stop murders the same as we treat cops who commit murders.
Still stuck on spring:
Have a great weekend!