Kizzmekia Corbett, an African American woman, is praised as key scientist behind COVID-19 vaccine...
Source: ABC NEWS
Laura Romero, Sony Salzman, and Kaitlyn Folmer
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and a constant presence on TV during the coronavirus pandemic, was asked a blunt question during a forum hosted last week by the National Urban League: "Can you talk about the input of African American scientists in the vaccine process?"
Fauci did not hesitate when giving his answer.
"The very vaccine that's one of the two that has absolutely exquisite levels -- 94 to 95% efficacy against clinical disease and almost 100% efficacy against serious disease that are shown to be clearly safe -- that vaccine was actually developed in my institute's vaccine research center by a team of scientists led by Dr. Barney Graham and his close colleague, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, or Kizzy Corbett," Fauci told the forum. "Kizzy is an African American scientist who is right at the forefront of the development of the vaccine."
Corbett is an expert on the front lines of the global race for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, and someone who will go down in history as one of the key players in developing the science that could end the pandemic.
She is one of the National Institutes of Health's leading scientists behind the government's search for a vaccine. Corbett is part of a team at NIH that worked with Moderna, the pharmaceutical company that developed one of the two mRNA vaccines that has shown to be more than 90% effective.
Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/kizzmekia-corbett-african-american-woman-praised-key-scientist/story
Source: By Cassandra Pollock, The Texas Tribune
HOUSTON, Texas -- Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced on Wednesday that the city has canceled its contract with the GOP convention, which was scheduled at the George R. Brown Convention Center on July 16.
Turner said the contract cancellation will mean that the convention cannot be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center or any other facility in Houston, but may continue virtually.
During a virtual City Council meeting Wednesday, Turner said he asked the city's legal department to work with the Houston First Corporation, which operates the George R. Brown Convention Center, to review the contract with the state party.
"Where there are provisions that would allow us to cancel this convention - we will exercise those provisions," Turner said. "And the plan is to exercise those provisions to cancel this agreement, this contract, today - to not go forward with this convention."
The news comes days after Mayor Turner threatened to cancel the convention if it violated COVID-19 rules.
Read more: https://abc13.com/politics/houston-mayor-cancels-in-person-gop-convention/6307042/
Source: New York Times
June 26, 2020, 5:25 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON The Supreme Court said on Friday that it would not require Texas to let all eligible voters vote by mail.
The Texas Democratic Party and several voters had urged the court to reinstate a federal trial judges injunction requiring state officials to allow all voters, and not just those who are 65 or older, to submit their ballots by mail. They relied on the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18 and said the right to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of age.
The courts brief order gave no reasons, which is typical when the justices rule on emergency applications, and there were no noted dissents. Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a statement saying that the question in the case raised weighty but seemingly novel questions regarding the 26th Amendment.
But she said the court was right not to address those questions in the context of an emergency application. I hope, she wrote, that the court of appeals will consider the merits of the legal issues in this case well in advance of the November election.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/us/supreme-court-texas-vote-by-mail.html
Speaking to reporters at the World Economic Forums annual gathering in Switzerland, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was asked about calls from climate change activists such as Greta Thunberg for investors to pull their money out of fossil fuel stocks.
Mnuchin jokingly pretended to be unfamiliar with Thunberg, who even while still a teenager has become a leading global proponent of addressing the warming planet. Last year, she was Time magazines Person of the Year.
Is she the chief economist or who is she? Im confused, Mnuchin said of Thunberg. He questioned her credentials to offer solutions: After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us.
The Washington Post contacted someone who did study economics in college and asked him to explain it to us. Gernot Wagner is a climate economist at New York University who has a joint A.B. in economics and environmental science and public policy from Harvard University, a masters degree in economics from Stanford University, a masters in political economy and government from Harvard, and a PhD in political economy and government from Harvard.
According to Wagner, Thunberg doesnt need to go much further than Economics 101 to make her case.
Source: CNN Business
By Oliver Darcy, CNN Business
Updated 9:02 PM ET, Mon September 16, 2019
New York (CNN Business)The New York Times was reeling on Monday after its Opinion section fumbled a high-profile story about an allegation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, drawing widespread criticism and condemnation of the newspaper.
It was the latest in a series of high-profile blunders that has caused embarrassment to James Bennet since he was appointed in 2016 as the editor overseeing The Times' Opinion section.
Bennet's tenure has been marked with several mishaps that have generated controversy, drawn criticism, and spurred at least one lawsuit.
A spokesperson for The Times declined to make Bennet available for an interview for this story, but defended the Opinion section by pointing to its talented writers and the good work they have produced.
Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/16/media/new-york-times-kavanaugh/index.html
By Paul Kiel and Hannah Fresques, ProPublica, April 1, 2019
Humphreys County, Mississippi, seems like an odd place for the IRS to go hunting for tax cheats. Its a rural county in the Mississippi Delta known for its catfish farms, and more than a third of its mostly African American residents are below the poverty line. But according to a new study, it is the most heavily audited county in America.
In a baffling twist of logic, the intense IRS focus on Humphreys County is actually because so many of its taxpayers are poor. More than half of the countys taxpayers claim the earned income tax credit, a program designed to help boost low-income workers out of poverty. As we reported last year, the IRS audits EITC recipients at higher rates than all but the richest Americans, a response to pressure from congressional Republicans to root out incorrect payments of the credit.
The study estimates that Humphreys, with a median annual household income of just $26,000, is audited at a rate 51 percent higher than Loudoun County, Virginia, which boasts a median income of $130,000, the highest in the country.
Read more: https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/eitc-audit
Nature | Maryn McKenna
In the next month or so, orange trees across Florida will erupt in white blossoms, signalling the start of another citrus season. But this year, something different will be blowing in the winds. Farmers are preparing to spray their trees with hundreds of thousands of kilograms of two common antibiotics to combat citrus greening, a bacterial disease that has been killing Florida citrus trees for more than a decade.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of allowing growers to use streptomycin and oxytetracycline as routine treatments, spraying trees several times per year, beginning with the first flush of leaves this spring. Growers in the state could end up using as much as 440,000 kilograms of the drugs. Although the compounds, which are both used in human medicine, have been sprayed on other crops in the past and applied in limited amounts to citrus groves, the scale of this application has researchers and public-health advocates alarmed.
They are doing a huge experiment with limited monitoring, says Steven Roach, a senior analyst in Iowa City at Keep Antibiotics Working, a coalition of research and advocacy groups that has formally objected to the plan with the EPA.
MARCH 14, 2019
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A push to launch a high-level study of potentially risky technological fixes to curb climate change was abandoned on Thursday at a U.N. environmental conference in Nairobi, as countries including the United States raised objections.
From our perspective, thats a huge disappointment, said Franz Xaver Perrez, environmental ambassador for Switzerland, which had proposed the U.N. assessment with the backing of 11 other governments.
Some of these technologies could have huge impacts at a global scale - and if things have that dimension, there may also be a need for multilateral controls, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a telephone interview from Kenya.
Geoengineering technologies, which are gaining prominence as international efforts to curb climate-changing emissions fall short, aim to pull carbon out of the atmosphere or block some of the suns warmth to cool the Earth.
They could help fend off some of the worst impacts of runaway climate change, including worsening storms and heatwaves, backers say.
Source: MOTHERBOARD | By Kim Zetter | Mar 14 2019
For years security professionals and election integrity activists have been pushing voting machine vendors to build more secure and verifiable election systems, so voters and candidates can be assured election outcomes havent been manipulated.
Now they might finally get this thanks to a new $10 million contract the Defense Departments Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched to design and build a secure voting system that it hopes will be impervious to hacking.
The first-of-its-kind system will be designed by an Oregon-based firm called Galois, a longtime government contractor with experience in designing secure and verifiable systems. The system will use fully open source voting software, instead of the closed, proprietary software currently used in the vast majority of voting machines, which no one outside of voting machine testing labs can examine. More importantly, it will be built on secure open source hardware, made from special secure designs and techniques developed over the last year as part of a special program at DARPA. The voting system will also be designed to create fully verifiable and transparent results so that voters dont have to blindly trust that the machines and election officials delivered correct results.
Read more: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/yw84q7/darpa-is-building-a-dollar10-million-open-source-secure-voting-system
by Sophie Novack
Mon, Dec 10, 2018
at 6:19 am CST
The Houston immunologist talks about growing up in small-town Texas, creationism in public schools and what it means to talk about a cure.