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Nation and world news at a glance – West Hawaii Today

Friday, Dec. 03, 2021 | Today’s Paper | 76.424°

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Emphasizing Tests, Biden Vows to Fight Omicron With ‘Science and Speed’
Emphasizing Tests, Biden Vows to Fight Omicron With ‘Science and Speed’
President Joe Biden laid out a new pandemic strategy Thursday that includes hundreds of vaccination sites aimed at families, boosters for all adults, new testing requirements for international travelers and free at-home tests that will be covered by private insurers or available at community health centers. Biden has been unable to overcome resistance to the shots in red states and rural areas. His new strategy shifts away from a near-singular focus on vaccination and places a fresh emphasis on testing. Biden’s remarks at the National Institutes of Health came as new cases of the omicron variant were reported in the United States.

Germany shuts unvaccinated people out of much of public life
Germany on Thursday announced tough new restrictions to exclude unvaccinated people from much of public life, seeking to break a soaring fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic and blunt the worrisome new omicron variant. The new rules, which stopped short of enforcing a complete lockdown on the unvaccinated, followed an agreement hammered out between Chancellor Angela Merkel, her successor, Olaf Scholz, and state governors. Under the new rules, those wishing to go to bars and restaurants, or shop anywhere but in stores carrying basic necessities — such as pharmacies or grocery stores — have to present proof of vaccination or documentation of recovery from a recent coronavirus infection.
Review finds no answers to mystery of Havana syndrome
The CIA and government scientists have been working to find a cause of the chronic ailments reported by intelligence officers and diplomats — but the health incidents, known as the Havana syndrome, remain as mysterious now as they were a year ago. Intelligence officials have not found any hard evidence that points to a cause. There are no intelligence intercepts implicating an adversarial spy service. No one has detected microwaves, other readings of energy pulses or any other weapons that could be to blame. Some officials say they remain convinced Russia is involved. CIA Director William Burns last month said if Russia was found to be responsible, there would be consequences.
Major news outlets side with bannon on one part of legal fight
A coalition of the nation’s largest media companies and news organizations has filed a legal brief in support of Steve Bannon, a onetime adviser to Donald Trump, asking a federal court not to bar him from publicly releasing documents related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. As part of a contempt of Congress case against him, the government is seeking to prevent Bannon from releasing thousands of pages of documents he has access to. The coalition — which includes ABC, CBS, CNN, Dow Jones, NBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post — on Tuesday filed the brief arguing that the government’s proposed order would violate the First Amendment.
Fentanyl in bottle kills toddler, and father is charged
One night in June, according to court papers, 22-month-old Charles Rosa-Velloso’s father prepared a bottle of formula and gave it to him in the apartment where they were living at a homeless shelter in New York City’s Lower East Side. The next morning, Charles was found face down in bed and covered in vomit. He was soon pronounced dead. The formula was contaminated with fentanyl, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday. The boy’s body contained enough of the drug to kill an adult. His father, Anthony Rosa, 51, was arraigned Wednesday on charges of second-degree manslaughter, which carries a sentence of up to 15 years.
Mexico to allow US ‘Remain in Mexico’ asylum policy to resume
Mexico has agreed to allow the United States to restart a contentious Trump-era asylum program that requires certain migrants to wait in Mexico while their cases are pending, complicating the Biden administration’s efforts to roll back the former president’s restrictive immigration policies. The Biden administration, which announced the agreement Thursday, has tried to end the Remain in Mexico program, which American officials and advocacy groups have assailed as dangerous and inhumane. But it has been forced to restart it under a court order, and doing so requires the cooperation of the Mexican government, which had been reluctant to do so without commitments to address humanitarian concerns.
Capitol riot committee has interviewed 250 people so far
The House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection has interviewed about 250 people so far, its chairman said Thursday, a staggering pace over just five months as lawmakers work to compile the most comprehensive account yet of the violent attack and plan to hold public hearings next year. Members and staff have conducted the interviews in private, and most witnesses have appeared voluntarily. The committee has subpoenaed more than 40 people, and lawmakers say that only two have defied outright their demands, so far. The investigation began in late July. sLawmakers are moving to finish before the 2022 elections.

Lawyers allied with Trump ordered to pay $175K in sanctions
Nine lawyers allied with former President Donald Trump were ordered Thursday to pay Detroit and Michigan a total of $175,000 in sanctions for abusing the court system with a sham lawsuit challenging the 2020 election results. The money, which must be paid within 30 days, will cover the legal costs of defending against the suit, which were more than $153,000 for the city and nearly $22,000 for the state. U.S. District Judge Linda Parker, who agreed to impose sanctions in August in a scathing opinion, rejected most of the attorneys’ objections to Detroit’s proposed award, but she did reduce it by about $29,000. Those sanctioned include Sidney Powell, L. Lin Wood and seven other lawyers who were part of the lawsuit filed on behalf of six Republican voters after Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote victory over Trump.

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