Chicago Sun-Times: Pritzker not expanding COVID-19 vaccine mandate, but warns of ‘significantly greater mitigations’ if hospitals fill up by Rachel Hinton
Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday stopped short of expanding his limited vaccine mandate to all state workers, but the governor warned of “significantly greater mitigations” and a move back to earlier precautionary phases if the surge in COVID-19 patients overwhelms hospitals and intensive care units.
“We’re consistently looking at the menu of options that we may need to impose in order to bring down the numbers,” Pritzker said at an unrelated news conference. “I will remind you that if we are not able to bring these numbers down, if hospitals continue to fill, if the hospital beds and ICUs get full like they are in Kentucky — that’s just next door to Illinois — if that happens, we’re going to have to impose significantly greater mitigations.”
That includes “things that we don’t want to go back to” such as a return to phases with more restrictions in place.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Hospitalized with COVID-19, Sen. Andre Jacque is breathing with a ventilator by Molly Beck and Patrick Marley
MADISON - A Wisconsin lawmaker who has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for at least a week is now breathing through a ventilator.
Republican Sen. Andre Jacque of De Pere was intubated Monday, according to two people with knowledge of his condition.
The treatment typically requires patients to be sedated to allow them to breathe using a ventilator. It is typically considered a last-resort treatment but many patients recover, including a 73-year-old high-ranking Roman Catholic cardinal last week.
Jacque, 40, has been hospitalized with COVID-19-induced pneumonia for at least a week after contracting COVID-19 earlier this month. Since then, two of his colleagues have asked the public for prayers.
In recent months, Jacque has been one of most outspoken lawmakers against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and has authored legislation that would bar government officials or business owners from requiring Wisconsinites be vaccinated against COVID-19 or show proof of vaccination to access services.
Arizona Republic: Phoenix asks Tucson police to criminally investigate Phoenix police for protest gang case by Chelsea Curtis
Phoenix city officials on Monday said the Tucson Police Department would conduct a criminal investigation into the Phoenix Police Department's handling of gang-related charges against a group of protesters last year.
However, Tucson police were still considering the request, Tucson City Manager's Office spokesperson Andy Squire told The Arizona Republic in an email late Monday afternoon.
The announcement comes more than a week after Ballard Spahr — a national law firmed hired by the City of Phoenix to investigate the matter independently — released its findings and recommendation for the state Attorney General's Office to review possible criminal charges against some of the officers involved.
While City Manager Ed Zuercher asked the Attorney General's Office to conduct further investigation, the office ultimately declined. Its spokesperson Katie Conner told The Arizona Republic on Aug. 12, "We do not believe we have jurisdiction."
Texas Tribune: Texas' biggest county saw a sixfold jump in vaccine rates after offering $100 for first doses by Karen Brooks Harper
A week after public health officials in Texas’ most populous county started handing out $100 cash cards to locals getting their first COVID-19 shot, the number of daily vaccinations has shot up to six times its previous rate, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said Tuesday.
“We had an inkling that something was going right when I started my announcement [about the incentive] at noon, and by the time I was done, 30 minutes later, there was a line of cars waiting to receive the vaccine,” Hidalgo said. “We haven’t seen those lines for months.”
To accommodate and encourage the increased demand, the county will be opening an additional mass vaccination site and expanding its mobile vaccine program, Hidalgo said.
ALBANY, N.Y. — Kathleen C. Hochul became the first woman to ascend to New York’s highest office on Tuesday, vowing to usher in an era of civility and consensus in government, following the decade-long reign of her disgraced predecessor, Andrew M. Cuomo.
In her first address as the state’s 57th governor, Ms. Hochul spoke broadly of confronting New York’s most pressing needs. She portrayed herself as an executive leader who has been grounded by her upbringing in Buffalo, and influenced by her interactions with New Yorkers affected by a weakened economy, the opioid crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’ve been in the trenches with local health leaders and officials battling the pandemic day after day after day,” Ms. Hochul, a former congresswoman, said in an 11-minute speech. “Your priorities are my priorities, and right now, that means fighting the Delta variant.”
The new governor was sworn in at the State Capitol at 10 a.m., a ceremonial event that followed an official swearing-in at a private ceremony just after midnight. Her ascension capped a whirlwind chain of events that followed a series of sexual harassment allegations that culminated with Mr. Cuomo’s resignation.
Washington Post: In latest bow to Trump, GOP lawmakers in Pennsylvania plan to launch hearings on 2020 vote by Elise Viebeck
Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania plan to formally launch hearings as part of an investigation into the 2020 vote in the state, the latest GOP-backed effort to revisit an election that former president Donald Trump has falsely claimed was fraudulent.
State Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R) said this week that lawmakers are pursuing a “full forensic investigation” of the election that will aim to examine ballots and voter rolls.
Corman said the hearings could begin as soon as this week. A spokesman declined to offer specifics but said they would take place in “the very near future.”
CNN: Moving target on eviction ban is 'whiplash' for landlords by Anna Bahney
Since the beginning of the pandemic, property owner Matthew Haines said he has lost a quarter of a million dollars in rental income from tenants who did not pay him rent.
"I've never woken up having panic attacks before this year," said Haines, 53, who owns and manages 253 rental units in the Dallas area through his firm Tangent Group. "All of this is because we can't control and run our business."
He worries about providing for his family, keeping his employees and whether he should sell the buildings and single-family homes he owns, which have been his livelihood for 27 years, he said.
Like many property owners with tenants who haven't paid rent during all or part of the pandemic, Haines was looking forward to the end of the federal eviction moratorium that was put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But after it expired at the end of July, the CDC issued a new eviction moratorium focused on areas experiencing an elevated spread of coronavirus, which covers about 90% of renters, including the area where Haines' properties are located.
DW: Afghanistan: UN receives reports of Taliban summary executions
The United Nations' top human rights official, Michelle Bachelet, on Tuesday said her office had received credible reports of grave human rights abuses by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Though the ultraconservative Islamists have sought to present themselves as more moderate since taking control of the country, evidence gathered by the UN suggests otherwise.
Bachelet said there were reports of summary executions from areas under Taliban control — against both civilians and Afghan soldiers.
She also said there was evidence that the Taliban were restricting women's rights — such as their right to freely move around — blocking girls from attending school, and recruiting child soldiers.
Bachelet urged the UN Human Rights Council to set up a mechanism to closely monitor Taliban actions now that the ultraconservative Islamists have taken power in Afghanistan.
Guardian: Charlie Watts: the calm, brilliant eye of the Rolling Stones’ rock’n’roll storm by Alexis Petridis
By any standards, Charlie Watts was an unlikely candidate for rock stardom.
He was quiet, drily funny and unfailingly modest, characteristics theoretically better suited to his initial profession as a graphic designer than the scream-rent world of 60s pop. Furthermore, by his own admission, he didn’t particularly care for rock’n’roll (“I didn’t know anything about it … I used to hate Elvis Presley. Miles Davis – that’s what I considered someone,” he told an interviewer in 1993) and had initially had to have the rhythm and blues so beloved of his bandmates explained to him: “I didn’t know what it was. I thought it meant Charlie Parker, played slow”.
At first, at least, the other Rolling Stones wondered if Watts was even capable of playing the music they wanted to play, rather than his beloved jazz. “Charlie swings very nicely, but can’t rock,” wrote a frustrated Keith Richards in a 1963 diary entry. “Fabulous guy, though.”
As it turned out, Richards couldn’t have been more wrong. Nothing if not a quick student, Watts not only learned to rock, but came to be hailed as one of the greatest drummers in rock history – sometimes the greatest of all – although he certainly occupied a unique place within that particular pantheon.
Everyone have a good night!