Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, Chitown Kev, eeff, Magnifico, annetteboardman, Besame, Rise above the swamp, and jck. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) Man Oh Man, wader, Neon Vincent, palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (RIP), ek hornbook (RIP), ScottyUrb, Doctor RJ, BentLiberal, Oke (RIP) and jlms qkw.
OND is a regular community feature on Daily Kos since 2007, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary. Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00 AM Eastern Time.
Please feel free to share articles, stories, and tweets in the comments.
Biden plans to send COVID shots to Mexico, Canada
The U.S. is planning to send a combined 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico and Canada in its first export of shots, the White House said Thursday.
Press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration is in the process of finalizing efforts to distribute 2.5 million doses to Mexico and 1.5 million to Canada as a “loan.” The details are still being worked out.
“Our first priority remains vaccinating the U.S. population,” Psaki said at the daily briefing. But she added that “ensuring our neighbors can contain the virus is a mission critical step, is mission critical to ending the pandemic.”
AstraZeneca has not been approved in the USA
10th juror picked, lawyers clash over expert in Floyd trial
Attorneys at the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death moved closer to seating a jury Thursday, choosing a 10th juror just hours after clashing over how much the the panel should hear of Floyd’s own actions.
The latest juror, a white woman in her 50s, is a registered nurse. She was added after reassuring lawyers and the judge that she could refrain from using her own medical knowledge to add to evidence presented in court at Derek Chauvin’s trial.
Earlier, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell argued that a forensic psychiatrist should be allowed to testify how Floyd’s behavior as officers attempted to put him into the squad car was consistent with any reasonable person’s anxiety or panic during a traumatic event. Officers who confronted Floyd after he allegedly tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store pointed a gun at him, and he struggled and told them he had claustrophobia as they tried to force him into the car.
Divided House OKs Dems’ bill helping Dreamer immigrants
The House voted Thursday to unlatch a gateway to citizenship for young Dreamers and immigrants who have fled war or natural disasters abroad, giving Democrats a win in the year’s first vote on an issue that once again faces a steep uphill climb in Congress.
On a near party-line 228-197 vote, lawmakers approved one bill offering legal status to around 2 million Dreamers, brought to the U.S. illegally as children, and hundreds of thousands of other migrants from a dozen troubled countries.
Passage seemed imminent for a second measure creating similar protections for 1 million farm workers who have worked in the U.S. illegally; the government estimates they comprise half the nation’s agricultural laborers.
Students who got partial loan relief to see full discharge
Students who were defrauded by their colleges and received only partial relief from their federal loans could now see them fully canceled, the Biden administration announced Thursday, reversing a Trump administration policy.
The change could lead to $1 billion in loans being canceled for 72,000 borrowers, all of whom attended for-profit schools, the Education Department said.
“Borrowers deserve a simplified and fair path to relief when they have been harmed by their institution’s misconduct,” said Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “A close review of these claims and the associated evidence showed these borrowers have been harmed, and we will grant them a fresh start from their debt.”
US jobless claims rise to 770,000 with layoffs still high
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to 770,000, a sign that layoffs remain high even as much of the U.S. economy is steadily recovering from the coronavirus recession.
Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed that jobless claims climbed from 725,000 the week before. The numbers have dropped sharply since the depths of the recession last spring but still show that employers in some industries continue to lay off workers. Before the pandemic struck, applications for unemployment aid had never topped 700,000 in any one week.
The four-week average of claims, which smooths out weekly variations, dropped to 746,000, the lowest since late November.
A total of 4.1 million people are continuing to collect traditional state unemployment benefits, down 18,000 from the previous week. Including separate federal programs that are intended to help workers displaced by the health crisis, 18.2 million Americans were receiving some form of jobless aid in the week of Feb. 27, down by 1.9 million from the week before.
Repairs underway to save historic warship taking on water
Keeping the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park from going under during the pandemic has been hard enough without also having to worry about keeping one of its star attractions afloat.
After losing 87% of its revenue because of COVID-19 closures and cancellations during the past year, the park recently discovered the destroyer USS The Sullivans taking on water and listing at its dock in Buffalo's inner harbor.
The 78-year-old decommissioned vessel is named in honor of the five Sullivan brothers from Waterloo, Iowa, who were killed in action when the USS Juneau was sunk by the Japanese in the South Pacific during World War II.
‘Safe and effective’: EU drug regulator backs AstraZeneca vaccine
The European Union drug regulator has said the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is “safe and effective” after several mostly European countries suspended its use following reports of blood clots after the jab inoculation.
Speaking during a news briefing on Thursday, Emer Cooke, head of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said the AstraZeneca vaccine is “a safe and effective option to protect citizens against COVID-19”.
Cooke said the agency “cannot rule out definitively a link” between rare types of blood clots and the vaccine, and experts recommend raising awareness among doctors and recipients of possible risks.
Lebanon: Anger mounts over economic crisis as politicians dawdle
Pharmacies went on strike and petrol stations rationed scarce fuel on Thursday across Lebanon as public anger over an accelerating economic collapse intensified with little sign of an end to a high-level political standoff.
Politicians have since late 2019 failed to agree on a rescue plan to unlock foreign cash that Lebanon desperately needs.
“We are really looking at the abyss, seeing it very clearly, and I think it’s either now or never,” Mohanad Hage Ali of the Carnegie Middle East Center said, alluding to the protracted failure to form a viable new government able to launch reforms.
Is the world at a ‘tipping point’ to abolish the death penalty?
Business leaders from different sectors and spanning multiple continents are joining forces to call for an end to the death penalty, urging governments to commute death sentences, impose moratoria on executions and support ballot initiatives to end capital punishment for good.
The Business Leaders’ Declaration Against the Death Penalty, unveiled on Thursday by the Responsible Business Initiative for Justice during a South by Southwest Festival virtual event, is a call to action signed by 21 business titans.
Led by Virgin Group’s founder Richard Branson, the group has pledged to accelerate the work of anti-capital punishment advocates, activists and lawyers.
Other signatories include Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global; Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe; Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream; Mike Novogratz, founder and CEO of Galaxy Investment Partners; and Strive Masiyiwa, founder and executive chairman of Econet Group, among others.
More than beans: Nestle recycles cocoa fruit waste to replace sugar in chocolate
As confectionery groups scramble to reduce added sugar, chocolate sweetened with cocoa fruit pulp is about to hit supermarket shelves with food giant Nestle ready to launch its “Incoa” bar.
Using cocoa fruit pulp, which is normally discarded, to flavour products reduces sugar and cuts food waste while boosting the income of cocoa farmers who can “upcycle” their cocoa by selling both the pulp and the beans.
That ticks several boxes with health- and environmentally-conscious consumers.
“This is a big launch, we give it to all the customers who want it and don’t limit supplies,” Alexander von Maillot, Nestle’s global head of confectionery, told Reuters this week.
U.S. Senate confirms Becerra as top federal health official
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as secretary of Health and Human Services on Thursday, clearing the way for him to take the helm of the sprawling department as the United States battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
Becerra won confirmation to join President Joe Biden’s Cabinet on a party-line 50-49 vote.
Becerra, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 26 years and was a member of Democratic leadership, will oversee an expansion of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as “Obamacare.”
Republicans opposed his nomination, citing his lack of experience on health matters and his support for expanding the government’s role in providing healthcare and liberalizing immigration policies.
Biden restores climate change page to EPA website, reversing Trump
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency restored a page containing key climate change information to its public website on Thursday, four years after the Trump administration had removed it as part of a strategy to downplay global warming threats.
The move reflects the massive gulf between Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican ex-President Donald Trump on climate change that is likely to result in sweeping policy changes in the coming years to tamp down on planet-warming emissions from vehicles, power plants, and industry.
“Climate facts are back on EPA’s website where they should be,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement provided to Reuters. “Considering the urgency of this crisis, it’s critical that Americans have access to information and resources so that we can all play a role in protecting our environment, our health, and vulnerable communities.”
Yahoo Sports News
Boston Marathon icon Dick Hoyt, who pushed his son in wheelchair, dies at 80
Dick Hoyt, the man who famously pushed his son Rick in a custom racing wheelchair through 32 Boston Marathons and more than 1,000 total races, died Wednesday morning. He was 80.
Hoyt died peacefully in his sleep in Massachusetts, one of his three sons, Russ Hoyt, told the Associated Press. He had an ongoing heart condition that "just got the better of him," Russ said. He and brother, Rob, told the news to Rick.
Hoyt first pushed Rick, who is quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy, in a 1977 race and entered their first Boston Marathon in 1980 using a special racing wheelchair. They competed in a total of 32 Boston Marathon races as well as other competitions. Hoyt became famous for his commitment to including his son in the races however he could.
Trailer safety chain stops couple's pickup from plunging into Idaho gorge
When trucker Rod Drury pulled up to the wrecked camper on the Malad Gorge Bridge on I-84 near the Snake River in southern Idaho on Monday afternoon, he was sure it was the scene of a fatality. And it almost was. As he approached the wreck, he realized that over the edge of the bridge, still attached to the camper only by the trailer safety chain, was a Ford F-350 pickup, dangling nose down over the gorge.
Inside was the 67-year-old driver and his 64-year-old wife, from Garden City, Idaho, along with their two small dogs.
"I was like, I don’t even want to look over,” Drury said. An Idaho state trooper arrived as Drury did, and other first responders arrived quickly after. Together, they anchored more chains from the pickup to Drury's big rig.
the pictures for the above article are must see !
How the $30 million 'Super Scooper' CL-415EAF plane was built to fight wildfires
This $30 million Super Scooper is the only plane in the world that was designed specifically to fight wildfires. The CL-415Enhanced Aerial Firefighter performs a dangerous dive down to a body of water, scoops up 1,400 gallons of water in 12 seconds, and drops its load of water on raging forest fires. We went inside this massive aircraft to find out how it works, what it takes to fly it, and why it's considered the most efficient aerial-firefighting aircraft in the world.
the Super Scooper story is an 8 minute video that explains the plane
Good News Network
World’s First 3-D Printed School Poised to Be Built in Madagascar For Half the Price of Traditional
Maggie Grout’s nonprofit is called “Thinking Huts” and they are fundraising to break ground on a series of modular, honeycomb-shaped schools, powered by solar panels, which would be the world’s first 3D-printed schoolhouses.
Hundreds of millions of children don’t have schools to attend around the world, and Grout feels one of the best ways to solve the problem is by bringing down the construction costs of schoolhouses. The initial pilot Thinking Hut in Madagascar is expected to cost $20,000, and in a recent interview at the Smithsonian, Grout details how, as well as being half the cost of traditional construction methods, 3D-printed buildings become cheaper when the project is scaled.
In other words the first house may cost $20,000, but the more houses that are built, the cheaper they become.
Despite the pandemic, construction on the first hut is expected to begin in the summer on the university campus of Ecole de Management et d’Innovation Technologique in the city of Fianarantsoa, home to about 200,000 people on the south end of the island.
Check out this video