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Video: ‘Deadly Force’: Minneapolis cop describes Chauvin’s actions

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‘Deadly Force’: Minneapolis police officer describes Chauvin’s actions

Lt. Richard Zimmerman, who responded at the scene of George Floyd’s arrest after being taken in an ambulance, told the court that Derek Chauvin did not follow police protocol.

“In all the years that you worked for the Minneapolis Police Department, have you ever been trained to kneel on the neck of someone who is handcuffed behind their back while lying down?” “No, I didn’t.” “If that was done, would it be considered a strength?” “Absolutely.” “What level of strength could this be?” “It would be the highest level, lethal force.” “Why?” “Because of the fact that if your knee is on a person’s neck, it can kill them. Once a person is handcuffed, you must turn them on their side or sit them down. You have to get them off their chest. ““ Why? ”“ Because of – like I mentioned earlier, your muscles pull back when you’re handcuffed. And if you lie down on your chest, it restricts your breathing even more.

Recent episodes of United States and politics

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Lessons from Los Angeles’ deadly winter

(This article is part of California today newsletter. Register to have it delivered to your inbox.)

Hello.

In the Golden State, the average number of new Covid-19 cases per day over the past week has fallen to 6,641 – not the lowest they have been, but the trajectory is remarkable for the speed at which rates of positivity plummeted, especially compared to the slower flattening of cases after the state’s summer surge.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the drop in the number of cases in California can most likely be attributed to a combination of factors, including generalized behavioral precautions, vaccinations and, ironically, the large number of people who have already had the virus.

[Read more about the factors affecting when the United States could reach herd immunity.]

At the same time, the nation faces another unfathomable milestone: half a million deaths from the coronavirus, just a month after the United States passed 400,000.

Leaders continue to urge caution as dangerous variants of the coronavirus gain a foothold.

And as the vaccine rollout continues, experts have said losing sight of the inequalities that helped propel the winter crisis in California could shape our recovery; Already, early data suggests white Californians are being vaccinated faster than groups that have been hit hardest by the virus.

These inequities were fully visible at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, as my colleague Sheri Fink recently reported in this heartbreaking look at the heart of the Los Angeles outbreak, when hospitals were overwhelmed and hundreds people died.

I asked him what Californians should learn from the hospital spell. Here is our conversation:

At the start of the pandemic, you sent some of the oldest and most painful shipments outside New York hospitals, and you too reported from Houston during summer. What was different about the LA reporting during this wave? How did it compare?

Unfortunately, it was too familiar. The disparities were similar, with a disproportionate impact of the disease among Latinx and black communities and in less affluent areas. Hospitals have once again had to deal with far more critically ill patients than they were designed and staffed to handle, struggling to create space and recruit reinforcements.

The distress among medical service providers was more acute, to say the least. They had run a marathon and they were exhausted and often in disbelief in the denial they see in the community as a whole. Even though there is now more knowledge on how to deal with patients with severe Covid, the level of hospital deaths where I spent over a week reporting was horrendous.

One difference now is that if you’re at a higher risk of progressing to severe Covid-19 – if you’re 65 or older or have certain chronic medical conditions – there is a type of treatment that has been shown to reduce hospitalizations and deaths.

But the catch is, you have to get the monoclonal antibody infusion early, before you need to be hospitalized. It blocks the entry of the virus into cells, and several types have received emergency clearance from the FDA. However, in South Los Angeles where I was reporting, relatively few patients who could benefit appeared to be accessing it.

There were also positive differences: Healthcare providers had the protective equipment they needed to protect themselves. And many of them have been vaccinated against the virus that causes Covid-19.

In history, you spoke to Dr. Elaine Batchlor, CEO of MLK, who expressed frustration that her hospital was overwhelmed, while other large hospitals had fewer patients. But state officials said time and time again during the wave where they worked closely with hospital groups and providers to ease the burden.

Can you explain a little more if or why the hospital has not been able to transfer a sufficient number of patients to larger facilities with better resources?

Even though the outbreak has subsided, MLK has remained at or near the top of the region for the ratio of Covid patients per authorized hospital bed. For this particular hospital, there was little evidence of a leveling of the burden, other than government officials providing National Guard staff and contract nurses.

Dr Batchlor said he personally called other hospitals to try to transfer patients. I was present when government officials told hospital officials that two local hospitals had been staffed to take in patients with surges, but that was after the curve had already bent. MLK doctors said that when they tried to transfer patients they believed needed specialized care to other facilities, they were refused.

In their mind, this had to do with the makeup of their patients’ payers, of whom only 4 percent have commercial insurance. They said it was a long-standing problem that the pandemic only highlighted.

What are you monitoring more closely now, as vaccinations multiply? (I’m thinking of national treatment trends, troubling hot spots, or fairness in vaccine rollout.)

Having reported overseas, I looked at the deployment of vaccines not only in our communities and country, but also in other countries that could not afford to support advanced manufacturing or to purchase much. of global supply.

The lowest income countries have so far had virtually no access to licensed vaccines. If fairness was not a sufficiently important value in and of itself, the virus itself reminds us of the shared fate of humanity.

New strains can emerge wherever they continue to circulate, and some experts say the global economic recovery depends on controlling the virus around the world, and not just in richer countries.

[Read the full story here.]


California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley, and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.

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Inside the Deadly Capitol Shooting

WASHINGTON – During the four-and-a-half-hour attack on the Capitol on January 6, one of the times the crowds moved closer to the lawmakers they were pursuing was just after 2:30 p.m.

On one side of a set of antique wood and glass doors were dozens of lawmakers and their aides trying to evacuate the chamber from the House.

On the other, rioters were shouting “Stop the theft”, pounding the windows with a pole, a helmet and even a bare fist.

Between the two was a lieutenant from the Capitol Police, rushing to stack tables and chairs in a makeshift barricade. He had 31 rounds for his service weapon, and he told others he was afraid he would need them all.

At the height of the stalemate, a woman named Ashli ​​Babbitt attempted to jump out of a window. The lieutenant, her weapon already deployed, pulled the trigger once, killing her in a clash that was captured on video and widely seen around the world.

At least three investigations into the January 6 security response are underway, and authorities have not provided full details of Ms Babbitt’s death.

But videos taken from the episode, legal documents, and testimony point to a dire set of circumstances and an officer left to confront a crowd. The officer, a lieutenant who has not been publicly named, has been placed on administrative leave while his actions are reviewed by federal authorities.

The use of lethal force by officers is considered legally justified if they fear “objectively reasonable” that they will suffer serious and imminent harm to themselves or to others. Several police experts said the video of the meeting was not enough for them to give an opinion on the shooting. But interviews with two people with first-hand knowledge of the agent’s account suggest he will argue he acted to protect lawmakers from harm.

“I could look them in the eye,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts, who presided over the president’s chair and was one of the last to leave as the crowds tried to walk through the doors. “I mean, that’s how close they were.”

He added: “I don’t even know what would have happened if they had violated this area.”

Ms Babbitt’s husband Aaron told a Fox affiliate on the day of the riot that he saw his wife die on the news.

“She had no gun on her, I don’t know why she had to die at the People’s House,” he said, adding, “She was expressing her opinion and she was killed for it.”

He did not respond to an email requesting comment. One of Ms Babbitt’s brothers, reached by phone, declined to comment.

Ms Babbitt was one of five people who lost their lives on Capitol Hill that day. A Capitol policeman was overpowered and beaten by rioters. A Georgian woman appears to have been killed in a crash of fellow rioters. One man had a stroke and another had a heart attack.

The lieutenant had heard on the news that Trump supporters like Ms Babbitt would converge on Washington, according to his account. But the first time the protests were discussed at work did not occur until he arrived early that morning; according to his account, he had not received any advance planning to counter a violent riot or an invasion of the building.

That afternoon, the House and Senate were in session, with hundreds of lawmakers debating challenges to the certification of the Electoral College vote as crowds forced their way through the lines of police officers from the Capitol to outside and forcibly entered the building. Some said they just wanted to halt the proceedings while others carried weapons, climbing gear and ties that could be used as restraints.

The crowd was strewn with far-right nationalists, veterans and militiamen, and supporters of a dangerous conspiracy. The rioters slapped the police and called them traitors while threatening to kill former Vice President Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House.

The lieutenant, a veteran officer, was regularly assigned to the President’s Hall, a closed corridor and waiting area in the inner sanctum of the Capitol where access is severely restricted. The entrance hall runs directly behind the House Chamber and is lined with portraits of former House leaders. It is linked by two sets of old wooden doors with windows, one on the Democratic side and one on the Republican side.

At around 2:15 p.m., the lieutenant learned over the radio that the Capitol had been violated, according to his account.

Ms Pelosi was escorted out of the bedroom, but the situation at the time was so little known that she left her phone on the dais as if she was coming back shortly, Mr McGovern recalls.

At 2:30 p.m., a crowd that included Ms Babbitt walked through the Capitol Rotunda and Statuary Hall. By this time they were quiet, even staying in an alleyway bounded by velvet ropes. But as they made their way to the north doors of the house, they got aggressive, chanting, “Break it.

“Hey guys, I have a knife,” one can hear one person in the crowd.

These doors had been barricaded inside with furniture, and three plainclothes officers just inside the room had drawn their guns.

On the ground, the debates were interrupted several times, the leaders being expelled.

“You could hear people shouting outside bedroom doors and knocking on doors,” said Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat from California.

But no one on the House side has yet understood the size of the crowd or the gravity of the situation, McGovern said.

Seeking another way to enter the Chamber, part of the crowd, including Ms Babbitt, lifted off and walked towards the Democratic side of the President’s lobby.

They were heading right towards the passage used to evacuate the floor of the house. According to witnesses’ estimates, dozens of lawmakers and aides were being ushered through doors on the Republican side of the chamber into the President’s lobby. It was a slow group that had to sneak up a narrow staircase.

When Mr. McGovern reached the hallway, he turned to see the barricade of overturned furniture and the scene beyond.

“I could see the angry crowd banging on the glass, and saw several policemen sandwiched between the crowd and the doors,” he said. “That’s when I realized it was more than a few people.”

He added: “You are asking me to describe the evil – this is what it looked like. I mean, these people seem crazy. And I mean, they weren’t there to make a political point. They were there to destroy things.

Three Capitol Hill police officers stood guard outside the gates. The crowd hurled insults at them and hit the glass inches from their heads. To the right, at the top of a stairwell, stood a man in a suit with a headset, identified by someone familiar with Congressional security as an unarmed member of the House Sergeant-at-Arms staff.

Near the front was Ms Babbitt, 35, who had served 14 years in the Air Force and was an enthusiastic supporter of President Donald J. Trump. His social media feed was filled with QAnon conspiracy theories.

A man in the crowd, David Charles Mish Jr. of Wisconsin, told an investigator later that Ms Babbitt was telling police, “Just open the door. They are not going to stop, ”according to an affidavit.

Inside the gates was the lieutenant, who, according to his account, had trained to face an active shooter but never in a scenario like this, in which the Capitol was overrun by large numbers of people. . Calls for reinforcements and reports from officers engaged punctuated the radio traffic.

Since the breach began, rioters have brandished bear spray, batons, hoses and fire extinguishers against officers. When the lieutenant thought he heard on the radio that shots had been fired, according to his account, he positioned himself on a door on one side of the hallway, in sight of anyone attempting to pass through the glass doors.

With lawmakers slowly draining the back of the room, these doors have become a strategic choke point.

The officer, according to his account, could not see the three uniformed officers outside and did not know they were there – he only described seeing a hallway full of oncoming people. The three officers had no visible shields or riot gear – two of them weren’t even wearing hats.

According to the lieutenant’s account, he did not know who among the rioters, if any, was armed. He also couldn’t see how far the crowd stretched down the hall.

The lieutenant was also unaware, according to people briefed on his account, that a Capitol Police tactical team was climbing the stairwell behind Ms Babbitt, intending to reinforce the area and eliminate the rioters.

When the team arrived, one of the three officers on guard gave the note: “They are ready to roll.”

The officers walked away from their posts, leaving the doors unattended for a crucial 30 seconds.

“Go! Let’s go!” someone shouted as a few rioters renewed their attack on the glass. They continued to hammer, shaking the doors in their frames.

Several members of the mob have since been identified and arrested by the FBI, including Christopher Ray Grider, a central Texas cellar owner who is accused of attempting to knock on doors and supplying a black helmet used to break down doors. windows, and Chad Barrett Jones of Coxs Creek, Ky., charged with smashing windows with a pole.

As they moved in, they had a clear view of the lieutenant on the other side, who was raising his .40 caliber Glock handgun.

“There is a gun!” “He has a gun!” people shouted.

In the thick of the action, a helmet-wielding man burst through the window in front of Ms Babbitt. Seconds later, someone tried to stimulate her. She wore a Trump flag around her neck like a cape and a backpack on it.

As Mrs. Babbitt was hoisted up, the lieutenant fired a single shot. She fell back, hitting the ground hard. There was no proof that she had been armed.

Since Ms Babbitt’s death, far-right extremists and white supremacists have claimed her as a martyr and a “freedom fighter”, even reproducing her image on flags and with anti-Semitic images. Many have demanded disclosure of the name of the officer who shot her.

Mr McGovern said any loss of life was tragic. But he hailed the Capitol Police as heroes, noting that no member of Congress or his staff were injured. “I think he and others have been very restrained in all of this,” he said of the lieutenant.

The shooting put an end to attempts to break through the doors. Officers attempted to repel the rioters and provide Ms. Babbitt with medical assistance.

A member of the tactical team tried to stop the bleeding, pressing on his left shoulder as blood flowed from his mouth and nose.

Outside the Capitol, news of the shooting started to spread, helping to fuel the anger of the crowd.

Adam goldman reported from Washington, and Shaila Dewan from New York. Evan hill contribution to reporting from Madison, Wisconsin., Malachy browne from New York and Luke broadwater from Washington. Videos Dmitriy Khavin and Meg felling.

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Inside a deadly siege: how a series of failures led to a dark day on the Capitol

With the police in the lead, guns drawn, the group stumbled into chaos, Crow said. Some police rushed to barricade other doors to block the crowds. Others pinned rioters to the ground to allow lawmakers to pass.

Due to efforts to limit the number of people in the chamber, several lawmakers and assistants took refuge in their offices, scattered around the complex. Some were not contacted by the police, even though they were barricaded inside.

Many members of the House remained in a safe place, where they could have been exposed to someone with coronavirus, the attending physician’s office said on Sunday.

Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, Democrat of Delaware, urged a handful of Republicans to wear masks, to no avail. Representatives Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York, and Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, regularly updated the room, as lawmakers called their families and checked their staff.

On the side of the Capitol Senate, the rioters have come dangerously close to the lawmakers. As they approached, a quick-witted Capitol policeman pushed one of them, then backed away, and the crowd chased him. The officer’s maneuver helped push crowds away from a Senate entrance several yards away, according to a video taken by Igor Bobic, a reporter for HuffPost.

In a safe, undisclosed location, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham yelled at Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael C. Stenger, demanding a plan and ordering him to eliminate the rioters, according to a person in the room. Mr Stenger was circling around, the person said, inspiring no confidence that he was in control. He has since resigned, as has Chef Sund. Across the Capitol, urgent voices sizzled over police radios, giving details of the ongoing siege.

“There was certainly a higher sense of urgency” over police radio traffic as rioters violated the east side of the Capitol, said Ashan M. Benedict, head of the Washington field office of the Office of the United Nations. alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives, who worked with Capitol Police at the nearby Republican Party headquarters, where a homemade bomb was found.

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2020 has been particularly deadly. Covid was not the only culprit.




The year 2020 was abnormal for mortalities. At least 356,000 more people in the United States have died than usual since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the country in the spring. But not all of these deaths have been directly linked to Covid-19.

More than a quarter of above-normal deaths are from other causes, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure and pneumonia, according to New York Times analysis of estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Deaths attributed to other causes above normal


Diabetes

15% above normal

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

12%

Coronary disease

6%


Note: Data is from March 15 to November 14. Not all causes are included. Deaths from external causes, such as suicides and drug overdoses, are not available as investigations are still ongoing in most cases.

Some of these additional deaths may actually be due to Covid-19, but they could have been undiagnosed or wrongly attributed to other causes.

Many of these are most likely indirectly linked to the virus and caused by disruptions from the pandemic, including strains on health care systems, inadequate access to supplies like ventilators, or people avoiding hospitals out of fear. to be exposed to the coronavirus.

40,000 more deaths from diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension and pneumonia

Research has shown that people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease are particularly vulnerable to serious illness and death if they contract Covid-19.

In several states, deaths from diabetes are at least 20% above normal this year.


Higher-than-normal deaths from diabetes


United States

March 15 – November 14

Above normal death

8,500

New Jersey

March 15 – November 21

Illinois

March 15 – November 21

New York City

March 15 – November 21

Louisiana

March 15 – November 7

Michigan

March 15 – November 21

Indiana

March 15 – November 21

Arizona

March 15 – November 14

Tennessee

March 15 – November 21

Florida

March 15 – November 21

Massachusetts

March 15 – November 21

Maryland

March 15 – November 21

Texas

March 15 – November 21

New York (outside NYC)

March 15 – November 21

Pennsylvania

March 15 – November 21

Georgia

March 15 – November 14


Note: Only jurisdictions with sufficient data and above normal deaths that are above the national percentage are included. New York’s deaths are counted separately from the rest of New York State.

Prolonged economic stress on families during the pandemic could also contribute to the increase in deaths among those with chronic illnesses.

“You end up having to choose between your prescription drugs or buying groceries or keeping a roof over your head,” said Steven Woolf, director emeritus of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, whose research has also shown deaths from other causes. be higher than normal.

At least 10 states have seen deaths from high blood pressure – a common comorbidity like diabetes – rise even more than the national percentage. These can include death from heart failure, kidney failure, or stroke.

Many people who die from high blood pressure are also at high risk of severe Covid-19, so some of those deaths could be Covid-19 deaths that are missed, according to Robert Anderson, head of the statistics division of mortality at the CDC National Center. for health statistics.


Higher than normal deaths from high blood pressure


United States

March 15 – November 14

Above normal death

7600

New York City

March 15 – November 21

Louisiana

March 15 – November 21

Michigan

March 15 – November 21

Mississippi

March 15 – November 21

Illinois

March 15 – November 21

New Jersey

March 15 – November 14

Georgia

March 15 – November 7

Maryland

March 15 – November 21

Texas

March 15 – November 7

Tennessee

March 15 – November 21

Indiana

March 15 – November 21

Pennsylvania

March 15 – November 21


Note: Only jurisdictions with sufficient data and above normal deaths that are above the national percentage are included.

Nationwide, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease, which typically affects older people, are 12% above normal this year, with several southern states recording larger increases. This could be linked to the challenges of providing adequate care in nursing homes during the pandemic – deaths in nursing homes account for more than a third of the total coronavirus toll in the country. The virus may also have made some of the existing health problems of these patients worse.

Other factors related to the pandemic, such as social isolation and difficulties obtaining emergency services, could also have contributed to the deaths, Dr Woolf said.


Above-Normal Deaths Due to Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia


United States

March 15 – November 14

Above normal death

21,300

New Mexico

March 15 – November 21

Louisiana

March 15 – November 14

Mississippi

March 15 – November 14

Texas

March 15 – November 21

Georgia

March 15 – November 21

Arizona

March 15 – November 21

Caroline from the south

March 15 – November 21

Colorado

March 15 – November 21

Maryland

March 15 – November 21

Nevada

March 15 – November 21

Michigan

March 15 – November 21

West Virginia

March 15 – October 24

Illinois

March 15 – November 21

Kentucky

March 15 – November 21

Florida

March 15 – November 21

Ohio

March 15 – November 21

New Hampshire

March 15 – November 21

California

March 15 – November 21

Virginia

March 15 – November 21

Indiana

March 15 – November 21

Porto Rico

March 15 – October 31

New York City

March 15 – November 21

Nebraska

March 15 – November 21


Note: Only jurisdictions with sufficient data and above normal deaths that are above the national percentage are included.

Many of the higher than normal pneumonia deaths are most likely Covid-19-related deaths that were not identified as such, especially at the onset of the pandemic, when coronavirus testing was scarce. Chest x-rays of the virus and pneumonia also appear particularly similar, experts said.

New York, an early epicenter of the pandemic, has seen pneumonia deaths rise to about 50 percent above normal, more than double the percentage in the states with the highest rates.


Above normal deaths from pneumonia and influenza


United States

March 15 – November 14

Deaths above normal

3,000

New York City

March 15 – November 21

Tennessee

March 15 – November 14

Texas

March 15 – November 21

Michigan

March 15 – November 14

Florida

March 15 – November 21

Illinois

March 15 – November 21


Note: Only jurisdictions with sufficient data and above normal deaths that are above the national percentage are included.

As the pandemic progressed, coroners and medical examiners became more aware of deaths caused by the virus.

Counting deaths takes time, and many states are weeks or months behind in their reports. These CDC estimates are adjusted for the lag in mortality data from previous years.

Dr Woolf also warned that many people who are not counted in mortality statistics may still have health problems.

“A person who has survived the pandemic may end up deteriorating over the next several years due to issues that arose during the pandemic,” he said. This can include those who missed routine checks or had delays in receiving appropriate treatment for an illness.

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Europe’s second deadly wave

In early June, Europe was emerging from the depths of its fight against the coronavirus, just as the United States and others were battling a record number of cases. Europeans, desperate for a break, left for their sacred summer vacation – and paid dearly for it.

The second wave now hitting Europe is deadlier than the first, pushing reluctant governments into lockdowns and inflicting new scars on the European economy. Rapid reopening with few restrictions, coupled with cross-border travel, has proven to be a deadly combination.

In most European countries, daily deaths are higher than ever this fall. Nearly 105,000 people died from Covid-19 in November in 31 countries monitored by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

As Christmas approaches, the region is on high alert. Travel between Italian regions will be virtually banned between December 21 and January 6, with people allowed to travel only for work, health reasons or emergencies. New Year’s Eve dinners at hotels are also prohibited and limited to room service. And the ski slopes will be closed from the Alps to the Apennines, a coordinated decision of Italy, France and Germany.


The first coronavirus vaccines for adults are almost ready, but the vaccines for children will take much longer. Vaccines safe for adults may not be safe for children, and pediatric trials from Pfizer and Moderna are just beginning.

Nonetheless, groups of teachers and medical experts say children do not need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus for schools to reopen safely.

“There is very little concern or feeling that the school should not be open because the children are not immunized,” said Colin Sharkey, executive director of the Association of American Educators.

For the most part, it’s straightforward scientific analysis. Young children are not at high risk of infecting others and very rarely show severe symptoms of the coronavirus.

Teachers will also be among the first to receive vaccines. And even before teachers are vaccinated, unions and experts say elementary schools can be reopened as long as districts adhere to protocols for testing, personal protective equipment, physical distancing and ventilation.

“You can reopen elementary schools before you have the vaccine for teachers, but the vaccine will create assurance that things are safe,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.


The United States has not had a national day of mourning. We barely had moments of silence, even as the virus reaches new heights. Hospitals are filling up and people are dying with no place to formally represent our collective grief.

For residents of New Jersey, that may soon change. On the site of a former toxic dump, one of the first American memorials to the victims of Covid-19 is about to break through. As part of a $ 10 million makeover, more than 500 trees will be planted in a grove in the new Skyway Park – one for every Jersey City resident who has died from the coronavirus, Mayor Steven M. Fulop said Thursday.

Each person’s name will also be inscribed on a commemorative wall, giving the relatives of the dead a place of mourning. Many families were unable to observe traditional funeral rituals as the pandemic ravaged the North East. “We wanted to do something important for the families who couldn’t cry properly,” Fulop said.


Here’s a roundup of restrictions in the 50 states.


  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its first comprehensive list of strategies to fight the virus, including the universal use of face masks outside the home.

  • In a new informal survey of 700 epidemiologists, half said they would follow personal behaviors such as social distancing until at least 70 percent of the population is vaccinated.

  • The Rose Bowl, college football’s most famous postseason game, will be played in an empty stadium on January 1.

  • The revenue losses will force state and local governments to make devastating budget cuts. Without federal funding, utilities can slow down in the Red and Blue states.

  • The New York Young Republican Club held its 108th annual in-person gala on Thursday evening. “Catch us if you can”, a participant tweeted with a photo of over 20 unmasked guests, addressing his comments to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

  • Pediatrician and opinion author Dr. Aaron E. Carroll wrote a column: “Yes, people travel for vacations. Stop shaming them. While reporting on others can make you feel good about yourself, he says, it rarely corrects bad behavior.

  • On the Modern Love podcast, a widow lost her 56-year-old husband on the eve of the pandemic. She braced herself for desperation, but found resilience.


Covid saved my life. I reside in Saigon as an expatriate English teacher with a strong sense of irony. Vietnam remains a densely populated country with a population engaged in wearing masks. But my beard (a holdover from another teaching trip to Abu Dhabi), combined with the high humidity here, made the mask intolerable. So I shaved my beard. As a result, my wife Alison spotted a dime-sized basal cell carcinoma under my jaw, just above the lymph node. My surgery was successful, but I would not have discovered cancer without Covid. – Stephen Brock

Tell us how you are dealing with the pandemic. Drop us a line here, and we might post it in a future newsletter.

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Scientists have destroyed a nest of deadly hornets. Here is what they learned.

The giant Asian hornets – better known as the murderous hornets – have inspired menacing headlines throughout the summer amid warnings that invading insects could decimate American bee populations. Last month, after various sightings in the Pacific Northwest, officials in Washington state discovered and removed the first known deadly hornet nest in the United States.

As authorities continue to search for more nests to destroy in hopes of eradicating the hornets from the country, entomologists are revealing what they have learned from the nest’s first removal.

“It really looks like we got there on time,” Sven-Erik Spichiger, senior entomologist in the Washington State Department of Agriculture, said at a news conference on the nest’s findings this week.

Here’s what the scientists found.

At the end of last month, authorities in Blaine, Washington, removed the nest of aggressive hornets – which were about to enter their “slaughter phase” – before they could multiply and kill them. domestic bees from the area. If they had not been removed, the insects could have devastated pollinators essential to raspberries, blueberries and other crops in the region.

The hornet is not native to the United States and can be more commonly found in Asia, where it is known to kill up to 50 people per year in Japan.

Blaine’s settlement was located in an area of ​​forest and farmland after authorities attached radio trackers to three hornets they had trapped earlier. One of these hornets led the officials to the nest, which was about eight feet in a tree.

Entomologists extracted a few hundred hornets with a vacuum, then sealed the rest of the nest on Oct. 24, Spichiger said at the press conference, which was held virtually Tuesday. Authorities then removed the section of the tree where the nest had been sealed and took her to a quarantined research facility at Washington State University.

On October 29, authorities opened the nest to find most of the insects still alive. Including the hornets that were sucked in a few days earlier, officials said they removed around 500 hornets at various stages of the life of the nest, which measured around 14 inches long and at least eight inches wide.

In addition to the 112 worker hornets found, there were hundreds of larvae and pupae (the stage of life after larvae), as well as eggs and male hornets. Mr Spichiger also said the nest is capable of holding around 200 queens.

The nest is smaller than those found in areas where hornets are native, where there may be up to 700 queens, Mr Spichiger said.

Although Mr Spichiger said authorities removed many queens from the nest just in time, he said some may have escaped and formed new colonies next year.

At least three queens were found in a bucket of water nearby after extraction, he said, adding that it was impossible for officials to ensure they caught all of the hornets or how many there might be.

“When you see all the relatively small nests capable of popping 200 queens, it gives a bit of a break, because eventually each of those queens could become a new nest,” he says.

If queens did escape, they might not survive if they had not received adequate nutrition before leaving the nest. But if a person was properly fed and mated with a male, they could theoretically leave and choose a protected area to isolate during the winter, helping to form new colonies in the spring.

“It’s clear since we captured specimens last year and captured queens early, that a few of them were successful in establishing nests in 2020,” he said.

Hoping to eventually eradicate the hornets, state Department of Agriculture workers will continue to trap them until at least Thanksgiving.

However, officials will not follow queens they might capture as they likely won’t return to a nest for officials to eradicate. At this point in the season, the best chance for officials to locate another nest is for hornets to continue attacking a beehive, Mr Spichiger said.

The finds from this nest have left officials unsure of how the hornets got to the Pacific Northwest. Mr Spichiger said it was likely that a mated queen made it to Washington through international trade. He also said it was possible someone had smuggled the hornets into the United States to breed them for food. (They are sometimes eaten as snacks or used as an ingredient in alcoholic beverages.)

Even if there are no other hornets found in the area in the future, authorities will continue to use traps for at least three more years to ensure the area is free of hornets.

“These are not going to hunt you down and murder you,” Mr Spichiger said. But, “If you walk into a nest, your life is probably in danger.”

Yet, he added, “your life is also in danger if you also enter the nest of other biting insects.”

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Video: Deadly hornet’s nest destroyed in Washington state

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Deadly hornet’s nest destroyed in Washington state

Officials said they removed a giant Asian hornet nest found in a tree near Blaine, Wash., Before the insects could multiply and devastate bee colonies. The nest was the first to be found in the United States.

“They’re pretty – -” “They fog up in there, don’t they?” “Well, yeah, because it’s on ice. “Yeah.”

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Whether it’s reporting on conflicts abroad and political divisions at home, or covering the latest styling trends and scientific developments, Times Video reporters deliver an eye-opening and unforgettable view of the world.

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US issues sanctions on Russian center implicated in potentially deadly cyberattacks

The United States on Friday imposed economic sanctions on a Russian government research body responsible for a potentially fatal cyberattack on a Saudi petrochemical facility in 2017.

The sanctions did not name the target, but his description of the attack matched a hack that year of Petro Rabigh, the Saudi oil giant, which shut down security systems used to prevent an explosion. Attackers may have been successful if an error in their code did not inadvertently shut down the plant.

Private cybersecurity researchers have called the group that succeeded in the attacks “the most dangerous threat activity known publicly.”

According to the sanctions, the Russian state research center of the Russian Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics built the custom tools used in a series of 2017 attacks on oil facilities in the Middle East, as well as attempts to hack at least 20 electrical installations in the United States. . The tools, officials said, had the “ability to cause significant physical damage and loss of life.”

The Russian Embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The first attack on Petro Rabigh, in August 2017, compromised industrial controllers made by Schneider Electric, which keep equipment operating safely by regulating voltage, pressure and temperature. Russian hackers used their access to close the security locks of these controllers, leading investigators to believe the attack was most likely intended to cause an explosion that would have killed people.

The episode sparked an investigation by the National Security Agency, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, as well as investigators from Schneider, the security company’s Mandiant security team. FireEye and Dragos, a specialized security company. in industrial control security.

“It’s very important to explicitly speak out against attacks on industrial control systems,” said Nathan Brubaker, senior analyst at Mandiant, who first connected the attacks to the Russian research lab in 2018. “The more you let go. this activity, the better. becomes, which is really dangerous when you talk about systems that are at the heart of human life.

Schneider controllers are used in more than 18,000 factories around the world, including nuclear and water treatment facilities, oil and gas refineries and chemical plants.

“These systems provide for the safe emergency shutdown of industrial processes in critical infrastructure to protect human life,” Treasury Department officials said in their statement announcing the sanctions on Friday.

After the cyberattack on Petro Rabigh, private investigators caught up with the same group targeting northern European energy companies and conducting digital tours of more than a dozen electricity companies in the United States, looking for ways to ” access their systems.

“They are not only sophisticated, but they are the only actor who has tried to cross the line by killing people,” said Robert M. Lee, Managing Director of Dragos. “Not only did they demonstrate their ability but also their intention to hurt people, which no other actor had done.”

They came days after the Justice Ministry exposed charges against six Russian military intelligence officers accused of aggressive cyberattacks on the 2017 French elections, the 2018 Winter Olympics and power grids in Ukraine, as well. than another 2017 attack that hit companies like Merck, Mondelez, FedEx and Pfizer and caused billions of dollars in damage.

On Thursday, the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency accused the same Russian hackers who made forays into the U.S. electricity grid of hacking into state and local systems, including some election support systems.

Federal prosecutors have publicly downplayed the timing of indictments and sanctions, but some officials have said privately they intend to send a clear message that U.S. officials are closely monitoring the war systems of the Russia’s information ahead of the November 3 presidential election, whether they are about to hack electoral systems, amplify American political cracks, or enter the minds of voters.

The sanctions did not name the Russian hackers behind the attacks. As a result of Friday’s actions, the Russian research center connected to the government and people linked to it will see any assets or property they hold in the United States frozen.

The sanctions also expose anyone who does business or does research with the center to similar sanctions. “No one at the international level is going to touch them now,” Mr. Lee said.