Guardian: Biden vows to make 600m vaccine doses available by end of July by Sam Levin
Joe Biden laid out his plans for fighting the next stage of the coronavirus pandemic in a primetime town hall on Tuesday, pledging to make 600m doses of the Covid-19 vaccine available by the end of July, saying teachers should be moved “up the hierarchy” of the vaccine queue, and predicting most elementary schools would reopen by the end of his first 100 days in office.
Seeking to move beyond his predecessor’s impeachment trial and reassure the American people that more aid was on the way, Biden addressed a small crowd in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After landing on a slick, snow-covered tarmac in below-freezing weather, he took questions from a small audience of Democrats, Republicans and independents invited for a small, socially distant gathering at the historic Pabst Theater.
The event began with the CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who hosted the event, asking when ordinary Americans could expect to receive the vaccine, to which Biden replied: “By the end of July we will have 600m doses, enough to vaccinate every single American.”
CNN: Trump rips McConnell in lengthy statement after being acquitted in impeachment trial by Caroline Kelly and Brian Rokus
"Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again," Trump said in the statement. "He will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country. Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First. We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership."
Trump's call for compassionate leadership came in a petty statement full of ad hominem attacks, including a jab at McConnell's family, and after years of some of the most vitriolic political leadership in American history. The former President routinely insulted his critics and political opponents
, as well as members of the military
, his own health experts
and fellow Republicans
who he did not find sufficiently loyal.
Washington Post: The Texas grid got crushed because its operators didn’t see the need to prepare for cold weather by Will Englund
When it gets really cold, it can be hard to produce electricity, as customers in Texas and neighboring states are finding out. But it’s not impossible. Operators in Alaska, Canada, Maine, Norway and Siberia do it all the time.
What has sent Texas reeling is not an engineering problem, nor is it the frozen wind turbines blamed by prominent Republicans. It is a financial structure for power generation that offers no incentives to power plant operators to prepare for winter. In the name of deregulation and free markets, critics say, Texas has created an electric grid that puts an emphasis on cheap prices over reliable service.
It’s a “Wild West market design based only on short-run prices,” said Matt Breidert, a portfolio manager at a firm called TortoiseEcofin.
And yet the temporary train wreck of that market Monday and Tuesday has seen the wholesale price of electricity in Houston go from $22 a megawatt-hour to about
New York Times: Hillary Clinton Thinks a White House Gender Council Is a Crucial ‘First Step’ by Alisha Haridasani Gupta and Emma Goldburg
It seemed like a fairly innocuous request.
In 1997, when Hillary Clinton was the first lady, she organized a conference on child care to discuss its challenges, and to request increased federal funding for programs like Head Start or tax incentives for businesses. She asked the treasury secretary at the time, Robert Rubin, to start the panel.
He was puzzled by the invitation. “I think he was taken somewhat aback in being asked,” Mrs. Clinton recalled in a phone interview with The New York Times. “It was a little bit outside his comfort zone.”
In the end, Mr. Rubin agreed to speak on the panel. But the broader issue of convincing men that they should prioritize and care about so-called women’s issues never went away — not even for Mrs. Clinton.
Reuters: Myanmar military promises new election; Suu Kyi faces additional charge
(Reuters) - Myanmar’s military junta promised on Tuesday that there would be an election and it would hand over power as police filed an additional charge against toppled former leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
It also defended its Feb. 1 seizure of power, denying it was a coup even as protesters took to the streets again in support of Suu Kyi and other arrested leaders and China dismissed social media rumours that it had helped with the military’s action.
“Our objective is to hold an election and hand power to the winning party,” Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun, spokesman for the ruling council, told the junta’s first news conference since overthrowing Suu Kyi’s government.
The military has not given a date for a new election but has imposed a state of emergency for one year. Zaw Min Tun said the military would not hold power for long.
DW: Greece: Rare snowstorm leaves 3 dead
Three people were killed on Tuesday as Greece was hit by more snow than in the previous 10 years as the Medea cold front gripped the Mediterranean country.
Temperatures reached as low as -19 degrees Celsius (-2.2 F) and parts of the capital city, Athens, were left without electricity as fallen trees cut power supplies.
"The last time we saw so much snow in the center of Athens was in February 2008," meteorologist Costas Lagouvardos told AFP.
Greeks took to social media to post pictures and videos of the snow, a rare sight in the cities. Many ancient sites such as the Acropolis in Athens were also blanketed in snow.
France24: Biden plans to ‘recalibrate’ relations with Saudi Arabia and downgrade MbS
President Joe Biden plans to shift U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia and will conduct diplomacy through Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz rather than his powerful son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the White House said on Tuesday.
The announcement by White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki was an abrupt reversal in U.S. policy from Biden's Republican predecessor, President Donald Trump, whose son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner maintained steady contact with the crown prince.
"We've made clear from the beginning that we are going to recalibrate our relationship with Saudi Arabia," Psaki told reporters.
While her comments about the crown prince were likely to be seen as a snub, Psaki moved to clear the air on another controversy in the region, saying Biden would soon have his first phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The crown prince, widely referred to as MbS, is considered by many to be the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia and next in line to the throne held by the 85-year-old King Salman.
Don’t forget that Meteor Blades is hosting a Tuesday night owls thread tonight.
Everyone have a great evening!