Colin Powell, Boosters, Russia: Your Monday Night Briefing


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Have a good evening. Here is the last Monday at the end of the day.

1. Colin Powell, Decorated General and Chief National Security Officer, died today of complications from the coronavirus.

Powell, 84, had been vaccinated and was being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. A spokeswoman said her immune system was compromised by multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer.

Powell served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state, and was the country’s first black national security adviser. He was also the architect of the Persian Gulf War in 1991. By the time he retired from the military in 1993, he was America’s most popular public figure.

But his 2003 speech at the UN, which allowed the United States to go to war in Iraq, has become a source of lifelong regret.

We have reactions from all over the world.

Judge Samuel Alito Jr., who oversees the responsible federal appeals court for Texas, asked officials to file their response to the Justice Department’s request by noon Thursday. The court could rule in the following days.

The contested law, in force since early September, effectively bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.

In addition, the Supreme Court indicated in two unsigned decisions that it was in favor of maintaining the protections afforded to police officers accused of having used excessive force. The doctrine of qualified immunity can protect police misconduct from lawsuits for damages.

A federally funded “mix and match” study presented last week found that recipients of the single-dose injection of Johnson & Johnson who received a Moderna booster saw their antibody levels increase 76-fold in 15 days, compared to only four times after an additional dose. by J. & J. Experts, however, stressed that the new data was based on small groups of volunteers and short-term results.

This move could provide flexibility for physicians and other vaccinators and reduce the appeal of J. & J. vaccine. The government would not recommend one injection over another, and it might note that it is best to use the same vaccine as a booster when possible.

4. Many counties in the northern United States are experiences an increase in coronavirus cases as the cold weather arrives and people move inside.

The top five states in per capita new daily cases are led by Alaska, according to a New York Times database. The next four are Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Idaho. The five states with the fastest growing number of cases are Vermont, Colorado, New Hampshire, Michigan and Minnesota.

A New York Times review of public health services in all 50 states indicates they are less well equipped to deal with a pandemic now than they were in early 2020.

5. Russia has severed diplomatic relations with NATO.

Moscow’s decision to end its diplomatic mission will put an end to a long post-Cold War experiment aimed at building trust between the military. NATO’s response was muted.

The immediate impetus for the Russian movement was a spy scandal. Earlier this month, NATO ordered eight Russian diplomats to leave Belgium by November 1, claiming they were undeclared intelligence agents. The alliance also reduced the size of the Russian representative office for the third time since 2015.

The split comes as President Biden seeks to strengthen the Atlantic alliance after former President Donald Trump denigrated its members as profiteers from US military spending and threatened to pull out.

6. Lawmakers wonder if Amazon has misled or lied to Congress.

Last year, Jeff Bezos and other executives told the House Judiciary Committee that the company did not review data from unique sellers on its site when planning its own products. They also said that Amazon did not deliberately give its products an edge in search results.

Today, after two news articles disputed the claims, a bipartisan group of lawmakers pressured Amazon’s chief executive to respond.

“At best, this report confirms that Amazon officials misled the committee,” the group of five lawmakers said. “At worst, it shows that they may have lied to Congress in possible violation of federal criminal law.”

An Amazon spokesperson denied that misleading statements were made.

7. National increase in organizing efforts hits Starbucks.

None of the more than 9,000 company-owned Starbucks locations in the United States are unionized. Supporters of a campaign in three Buffalo-area stores filed for a union election in August – and since then, they say, management’s decisions have had a chilling effect.

The company brought in a corporate executive, out-of-state “support managers” and additional workers. A recent visit to one of the stores revealed at least nine baristas behind the counter but only a handful of customers. Starbucks says extra staffing is standard company practice.

Starbucks is also seeking to persuade the National Labor Relations Board to demand that workers at 20 Buffalo-area stores participate in union elections, rather than allowing stores to vote individually. The council is expected to set an election date in the coming weeks.

8. A holy grail of American folk art.

Art enthusiast John Foster was driving through St. Louis in 2019 when he spotted something unusual on a house porch: a 10-inch stone sculpture of a pair of seated women.

When he knocked on the door to ask for a closer look, it became apparent that it wasn’t just a concrete lawn ornament. Behind the green moss, it was clear that this was the work of William Edmondson, the first black artist to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, in 1937.

One of the sculpture’s owners, Sally Bliss, had inherited the piece from her first husband’s parents – one of whom was linked to a founder of MoMA – but she had not realized where it came from.

Bliss and her husband sold the piece for an undisclosed price to KAWS, artist and board member of the American Folk Art Museum. Now restored, the sculpture will be exhibited at the museum in January.

9. A “reign of error” for a typo by the Supreme Court.

An opinion in a 1928 property rights case stated, in part, that “all lawful use is constitutionally protected property.” But its author wanted to say “correctly,Not “property”, changing the meaning significantly.

The slip opinion – preliminary and subject to review – has been quietly changed, but much of the legal community has not noticed. The wrong version has appeared in at least 14 court decisions (as recently as last year), 11 appeal briefs and one Supreme Court argument, according to a law professor who discovered the error.

10. And finally, how a nuclear bomb could save the Earth.

An atomic explosion is not the preferred solution for planetary defense, but 3D models help scientists prepare for a call from a wandering asteroid.

Using high-fidelity simulations, scientists reported in a recent study that an asteroid as long as 330 feet could be annihilated by a one-megaton nuclear device if the asteroid is attacked at least two months before the impact.

Although the orbits of almost all asteroids two-thirds of a mile or longer have been accurately mapped, NASA estimates that there are 17,000 near-Earth asteroids 460 feet or larger that have yet to be found.

Have a rock night.

Angela Jimenez photos compiled for this briefing.

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