The town’s residents had become alarmed in 2015 when a type of PFAS compound called perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, was found in the drinking water. This chemical, which was used by industry for decades to make Teflon coatings and other stain- and water-resistant products, has been linked by scientists to serious diseases.
Because Jacobs became pregnant with Oliver after the PFOA alert, he is the only family member never to drink the town’s water. Neither did Jacobs when she was pregnant or breastfeeding him. She knew some of her chemicals would pass to Oliver in her womb but because the village’s water was being filtered in early 2016, Jacobs thought that he would be mostly protected but to her horror, he was not.
When she got the testing results last winter her own previously high levels of PFOA had plummeted to practically zero but those of baby Oliver, whom she had been breastfeeding for 24 months, had soared to resemble a factory worker’s. His levels –222,000 parts per trillion (ppt) – were 100 times the national average.
With one lap left in Sunday’s Daytona 500, Bubba Wallace made his move. Pinned behind 15 cars arranged in a neat row on the top groove of Daytona’s 2.5-mile oval, Wallace charged into the bottom lane behind Kevin Harvick in hope of running down race leader Joey Logano. Just when Wallace appeared to be gathering steam – disaster. Brad Keselowski, jostled by an extra-hard shove from Michael McDowell, rocketed him into Logano’s left-side rear bumper, triggering a multicar pile-up. Wallace might have snuck through if Logano’s windmilling Ford hadn’t hit his Toyota flush on the nose. In the end Wallace finished a fiery 17th while McDowell stole the checkered flag under caution. Needless to say, you can expect Michael Jordan to take this personally.
Besides maybe Harry and Meghan, you would be hard pressed to name another couple people are rooting harder for than Jordan and Wallace – Nascar’s new racing royalty. Wallace is the supremely gifted Nascar driver who happens to be an anti-racism trailblazer. And Jordan is a lifelong racing fan who finally has some skin in the game after decades of fence sitting. Last September they would make their relationship official, forming a single-car operation called 23XI Racing (pronounced twenty-three eleven). Wallace signed on as a free agent, Jordan as a co-owner alongside the veteran Cup driver and longtime Jordan Brand ambassador Denny Hamlin. Together, Jordan and Wallace give Nascar folk not one but two black friends to point to the next time the sport’s grim track record of intolerance is challenged.
Australians have proven highly capable of adapting international conspiracy theories like QAnon to the local context. And the problem is not going away
In his navy suit and blue tie, Malcolm George looked every bit the part as he launched his Liberal party-endorsed campaign for a seat in the Western Australian parliament back in 2016.
A now defunct candidate website lists his priorities for the Baldivis electorate on Perth’s suburban fringe as “a stronger local police presence”, “local job opportunities” and “increased recreational facilities for young families”.
Four years later, the anodyne political cliches are gone. Instead, George’s online life ranges from misinformation and conspiracy theory to posts about the Essendon football club.
(Reuters) - A rare deep freeze in Texas that raised demand for power forced the U.S. state’s electric grid operator on Monday to impose rotating blackouts that left nearly 3 million customers without electricity.
The PowerOutage.us website, which tracks power outages, said 2,802,978 Texas customers were experiencing outages at 12:18 p.m. CST (1818 GMT).
President Joe Biden declared an emergency on Monday, unlocking federal assistance to Texas, where temperatures on Monday ranged from 28 to minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 2 to minus 22 Celsius).
Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport said it would remain closed until 1 p.m. CST (1900 GMT) while the city’s Hobby Airport will cease operations until at least Tuesday due to the inclement weather.
(Reuters) - The attorney who represented the family of George Floyd over his death at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer issued a statement on Monday following media reports that Los Angeles Police Department members had circulated an image of Floyd with the phrase, “You take my breath away.”
Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man whose May 25 arrest was captured on video, pleaded for his life and said he could not breathe as Derek Chauvin, a white officer, knelt on his neck. His death sparked protests against police brutality in the United States and abroad and renewed debate about racism.
The department issued a statement over the weekend acknowledging it was investigating an employee complaint about an image allegedly authored by a department employee, but said it had yet to find any postings.
The image of Floyd with the caption “You take my breath away” in a “valentine format” was circulated among department members, chief Michel Moore confirmed to the Los Angeles Times on Saturday.
When schools, restaurants, bars, and offices around the country shut down last spring in the midst of the worsening Covid-19 pandemic, Jennifer Washburn’s day care center in western Kentucky stayed open.
Washburn and her staff of 25 partnered in March with a local hospital to provide care for the children of doctors, nurses, and other staff. With school buildings closed, that meant not just caring for babies and toddlers but also helping older children with their virtual school.
Kentucky schools reopened in August but shut down in the fall — and, again, Washburn’s center was there to help kids log in to their online classes and supervise them during the school day while their parents worked. “We’ve been open and caring for children since the beginning,” Washburn told Vox.
But now teachers in Kentucky are getting vaccinated, and child care providers like Washburn and her staff are out of luck. The state is one of at least five that haven’t prioritized child care workers alongside K-12 teachers in the vaccine rollout, despite a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to do so.
President Joe Biden has been in office for nearly a month. He hit the ground running on his legislative agenda, pushing for Congress to pass a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. And now he's preparing to introduce his $2 trillion infrastructure plan, which promises to include funding for broadband deployment to help close the digital divide.
Biden generally kept mum on the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, which ended Saturday with an acquittal on the charge of inciting an insurrection. Instead, Biden stayed focused his biggest and most immediate challenge: the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden's top priority has been the vaccination of Americans against the deadly virus, which has claimed the lives of more than 485,000 Americans. He has set a goal of administering at least 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office. With current vaccines requiring two shots, that would mean fully vaccinating 50 million Americans.
The pandemic has pushed technology issues, including net neutrality, rural broadband and online privacy, to the sideline. But the violent insurrection at the Capitol -- fueled, in part, by disinformation spread on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter -- has many lawmakers looking at ways to rein in the tech giants.
The company will launch electric models of its entire Jaguar and Land Rover line-up by 2030, it added.
The firm said it would keep all three of its three British plants open as part of its new strategy.
But it has dropped plans to build an electric version of its XJ saloon at the Castle Bromwich plant, meaning the site will eventually stop making cars.
Chief executive Thierry Bolloré said the plant would focus instead on "non-production" activities in the long term, without giving details.
The company plans to spend about £2.5bn a year on new technology for its cars.
Controversial social-media app Parler has come back online after more than a month without service.
The Twitter-like app was a favourite among supporters of former US President Donald Trump and right-wing conservatives.
It was banned from Google and Apple's app stores and Amazon's web-hosting service, after an armed mob broke into the US Capitol building on 6 January.
But now, the self-styled free-speech platform says it is "here to stay".
The app was not available for all users immediately, however.
And users reported their posts from the previous version had vanished from their profiles.
Separatist parties in Spain's semi-autonomous Catalonia region will boost their majority in the local parliament, near-complete results suggest.
With more than 99% of votes counted, the three parties are on course to get 74 seats in the 135-strong assembly, up from 70 in the outgoing parliament.
That would allow them to govern, despite splits on major issues.
Meanwhile, the unionist Socialist Party also looks likely to win a large share of the vote.
Turnout in Sunday's election was just over 53%, the lowest in modern times.
The backdrop of this election was far removed from the last one, just over three years ago, says BBC World Service Europe regional editor Danny Aeberhard.
The United States has attempted to de-escalate a diplomatic dispute with NATO ally Turkey, which had earlier summoned the US ambassador about a statement on the killing of 13 kidnapped Turks in Iraq.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had lashed out at the State Department’s initial hesitance to blame the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for the deaths, calling the initial US statement “a farce”.
Turkey said on Sunday fighters from the outlawed PKK executed the 13 captives, including Turkish military and police personnel. The PKK blamed Turkish air raids for the 13 deaths.
The US initially said it condemned the killings if it was confirmed that responsibility lay with the PKK.
Kinshasa, DRC – At least 60 people have died and hundreds are missing after a boat capsized in the Congo River in western Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to a government official.
Steve Mbikayi, minister for humanitarian action, told Al Jazeera on Monday 700 people were on board the vessel that sunk near the village of Longola Ekoti, in Mai-Ndombe province, the previous night.
“So far the rescue team has recovered 60 lifeless bodies and 300 survivors. There are still several missing after this shipwreck,” Mbikayi said.
Security forces in Myanmar deployed extra troops and armored vehicles around the country on Monday after cutting off access to the nation's internet.
The military has continuously ramped up its efforts to quell nationwide demonstrations, as protesters demanding the release of former de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi refuse to step down.
Meanwhile, the detention of San Suu Kyi has been extended until Wednesday, as opposed to Monday, as previously thought, her lawyer said.
Extra troops were seen in key locations of Yangon, the nation's commercial hub and biggest city, including armored personnel carriers near the central bank. Demonstrators still took to the streets on Monday despite the military presence.
An Atlantic depression left many parts of Germany with icy roads and weather warnings on Monday. Forecasters say this particularly cold winter period is almost over.
The Kachelmann weather service recorded this season's lowest temperature in the village of Kühnhaide, on the German-Czech border, Sunday night.
The record low of minus 28.9 degrees Celsius (-20 F) is unofficial, as it was not picked up by the German Meteorological Service (DWD), whose network does not cover the village.
The Kachelmann weather service announced the temperature on Twitter, reporting: "The cold depression last night, again in the east with some -20s. In Marienberg-Kühnhaide in the Erz mountains, it was at least -29 degrees, the coldest night this winter."
At a time when millions of Americans are unemployed, businessman Bill Martin has a head-scratching problem: He's got plenty of jobs but few people willing to take them.
"I keep hearing about all the unemployed people," Martin says. "I certainly can't find any of those folks."
Martin helps run M.A. Industries, a plastics manufacturing company in Peachtree City, Ga. The company makes products used in the medical industry — specifically, in things like coronavirus tests and vaccine manufacturing and development.
But as he struggles to keep up with demand, Martin is finding it almost impossible to find new workers.
America's top infectious disease official Dr. Anthony Fauci received a prestigious $1 million Israeli prize Monday, along with six other researchers who shared two additional $1 million prizes for their contributions to health and medicine.
The Dan David Prize, affiliated with Tel Aviv University, said it honored Fauci for his career in public health and "speaking truth to power" during the politicized COVID-19 crisis.
Fauci "is the consummate model of leadership and impact in public health," the awards committee said in a statement.
The award sets aside 10% of the prize money for academic scholarships in each winner's field. Fauci gets to determine the nature of the scholarships.
Fauci became a household name in the U.S. after appearing in televised presidential briefings on the coronavirus. He was a trusted authority for the public on preventive measures against COVID-19, even as former President Donald Trump downplayed the virus and blocked Fauci from appearing on several television programs. Trump called Fauci part of a group of "idiots" and suggested he might fire him after the presidential election, which Trump lost.
Like many Trump supporters, conservative donor Fred Eshelman awoke the day after the presidential election with the suspicion that something wasn’t right. His candidate’s apparent lead in key battleground states had evaporated overnight.
The next day, the North Carolina financier and his advisers reached out to a small conservative nonprofit group in Texas that was seeking to expose voter fraud. After a 20-minute talk with the group’s president, their first-ever conversation, Eshelman was sold.
“I’m in for 2,” he told the president of True the Vote, according to court documents and interviews with Eshelman and others.
“$200,000?” one of his advisers on the call asked.
“$2 million,” Eshelman responded.
Over the next 12 days, Eshelman came to regret his donation and to doubt conspiracy theories of rampant illegal voting, according to court records and interviews.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A cold snap knocked out power for 4.7 million users in northern Mexico early on Monday, triggering a scramble by authorities to restore service and bring in extra fuel, with parts of the neighboring United States also hit hard.
Frozen pipelines and a squeeze on natural gas deliveries from Texas roiled several northern states, though by midday, service had been restored to 58% of the affected supply, Mexican national electricity grid operator CENACE said.
The outage hit about 6,950 megawatts of load, CENACE said, urging people in the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo Leon, Sinaloa, Sonora and Tamaulipas to curb power usage.