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After the riot, what is the future of art on the Capitol?

On politics After the riot, what is the future of art on Capitol Hill? Built largely by slaves, the building includes only one small object honoring their work.

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Future vaccines depend on shortage test subjects: monkeys

Mark Lewis was desperate to find monkeys. Millions of human lives all over the world were at stake.

Mr Lewis, the chief executive of Bioqual, was responsible for supplying lab monkeys to pharmaceutical companies like Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, which needed the animals to develop their Covid-19 vaccines. But as the coronavirus swept across the United States last year, there were few specially bred monkeys in the world.

Unable to supply scientists with monkeys, which can cost more than $ 10,000 each, a dozen companies found themselves searching for research animals at the height of the pandemic.

“We lost work because we couldn’t deliver the animals on time,” Lewis said.

The world needs monkeys, whose DNA closely resembles that of humans, to develop Covid-19 vaccines. But a global shortage, resulting from unexpected demand caused by the pandemic, has been exacerbated by a recent ban on the sale of wildlife from China, the largest supplier of laboratory animals.

The latest shortage has reignited talks about creating a strategic reserve of monkeys in the United States, an emergency stockpile similar to those maintained by the government for oil and grains.

As new variants of the coronavirus threaten to render the current batch of vaccines obsolete, scientists rush to find new sources of monkeys, and the United States reassesses its dependence on China, a rival with its own biotechnological ambitions.

The pandemic has underscored how well China controls the supply of vital goods, including masks and medicine, which the United States needs in a crisis.

U.S. scientists searched private and government-funded facilities in Southeast Asia as well as Mauritius, a small island nation off the coast of Southeast Africa, for stocks of their favorite test subjects, rhesus macaques and cynomolgus macaques, also known as long-tailed macaques.

But no country can compensate for what China previously provided. Before the pandemic, China supplied more than 60% of the 33,818 primates, mostly cynomolgus macaques, imported to the United States in 2019, according to analyst estimates based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The United States has as many as 25,000 laboratory monkeys – mostly pink-faced rhesus macaques – in their seven primate centers. About 600 to 800 of these animals have been researched for coronaviruses since the start of the pandemic.

Scientists say monkeys are ideal specimens for coronavirus vaccine research before they are tested on humans. Primates share over 90% of our DNA, and their similar biology means they can be tested with nasal swabs and have their lungs scanned. Scientists say it’s nearly impossible to find a substitute for testing Covid-19 vaccines, although drugs such as dexamethasone, the steroid used to treat President Donald J. Trump, have been tested in hamsters.

The United States once relied on India to supply rhesus macaques. But in 1978, India halted exports after the Indian press reported that the monkeys were being used in military trials in the United States. Pharmaceutical companies have been looking for an alternative.

Eventually, they landed on China.

The pandemic has shattered what had been a decades-long relationship between American scientists and Chinese suppliers.

“When the Chinese market closed, it just forced everyone to turn to a smaller number of animals available,” Lewis said.

For years, several airlines, including major US carriers, have also refused to transport animals used in medical research due to opposition from animal rights activists.

In the meantime, the price of a cynomolgus monkey has more than doubled from a year ago to over $ 10,000, Mr Lewis said. Scientists who are researching cures for other illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease and AIDS, say their work has been delayed as priority for animals goes to coronavirus researchers.

The shortage has led a growing number of American scientists to ask the government to ensure a constant supply of animals.

Skip Bohm, associate director and chief veterinarian of the Tulane National Primate Research Center outside of New Orleans, said the discussion for a strategic ape reserve began about 10 years ago between directors of national primate research centers. But a stock was never created because of the amount of money and time required to build a breeding program.

“Our idea was a bit like the strategic oil reserve, in that there is a lot of fuel out there that is only used in an emergency,” Prof Bohm said.

But as new variants of the virus are discovered, potentially restarting the vaccine race, scientists say the government must act on the stock immediately.

“The strategic ape reserve is exactly what we needed to treat Covid, and we just don’t have it,” said Keith Reeves, senior researcher at the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Harvard Medical School.

But a strong strategic reserve may still be unable to meet the growing demand for laboratory animals, as Chinese researchers have learned. Even with a government-controlled stock of around 45,000 monkeys, Chinese researchers say they are also facing a shortage.

Researchers often collect hundreds of specimens of a single monkey, whose tissues can be frozen for years and studied over long periods of time. Scientists say they get the best out of each animal, but monkeys infected with Covid-19 cannot be returned to live among other healthy animals and must ultimately be euthanized.

In January, Shen Weiguo, general manager of Shanghai Technology Venture Capital Group, told local lawmakers that three major biomedical companies in the city were short of 2,750 research monkeys last year, according to a report in the news media. ‘State. The deficit is expected to grow by 15% per year over the next five years, Mr. Shen said.

Hubei Topgene Biotechnology breeds monkeys for its own research and for export. The United States was previously its main export destination, but the company currently does not have enough animals to conduct its own experiments, said Yan Shuo, sales manager.

“Now it’s not even about the money,” Mr. Yan said. “We don’t even have monkeys to sell overseas.”

The United States has seven national primate research centers, where animals, when not researched, live in colonies with access to the outdoors and enrichment activities. The facilities are affiliated with research universities and funded by the National Institutes of Health. Animal rights activists have long accused centers of abuse, including separating babies from their mothers.

Matthew R. Bailey, president of the National Association for Biomedical Research, said he was preparing to raise the ape shortage with the Biden administration. He said China’s decision to halt exports at the onset of the pandemic was “probably a cautious emergency measure,” but suggested that China could restart exports given what is now known. on the spread of the virus.

China’s Foreign Ministry said the ban did not target specific species or countries.

Once the international situation improves and the import and export conditions are met, “the ministry said in a statement,” China will actively consider resuming the approval of imports and exports and other related work ”.

Experts said the United States must take some responsibility for not having enough research monkeys.

The budgets of the national primate centers have remained stable or declined for more than a decade. Koen Van Rompay, an infectious disease expert at the California National Primate Research Center, said the federal government asked the center to expand its breeding colonies about 10 years ago, but did not give it increased funding, he therefore reduced his colony instead.

“What we’ve done in a number of cases is we’ve given our females birth control,” said Dr. Van Rompay. “So there would be fewer babies born in the spring.”

At a panel hosted by the National Institutes of Health in December 2018, scientists discussed the challenges facing primate supply in America. There was a realization then that “if China decides to turn off the tap, we will be in big trouble,” said Jeffrey Roberts, associate director of the California National Primate Research Center.

Participants “agreed that the need to breed cynomolgus macaques at the national level is critical and could jeopardize biomedical research in the United States as a whole, if not met,” according to a report from the meeting. “They stressed that it may already be too late to meet this need, but that it will certainly be too late in a few months.”

Amber wang and Elsie Chen contributed to the research.

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The future of Texas

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You can argue that the US state with the best long-term economic future is Texas.

It’s a more affordable place to live than most of the northeast or west coast, and it still has powerful means to attract new residents, including a thriving cultural scene, diverse population, and research universities from around the world. foreground. Its elementary schools and colleges perform well above average in reading and math (especially ahead of those in California), according to the Urban Institute.

These strengths have helped Texas’ population grow by over 15%, or about four million people, over the past decade. In recent months, two top tech companies – Oracle and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise – have announced that they will be moving their headquarters to the state, and Tesla may soon follow suit. Much like California in the 20th century, Texas today resembles a state that can embody and shape the future of the country.

But Texas also has a big problem, as the world has just seen. The fossil fuel problem is a useful way to think about it.

Even with its growing tech and healthcare industries, the Texas economy revolves around oil and gas. And these fossil fuels have created two threats to the state’s economic future.

The first is climate change, which is making Texas a less pleasant place to live. The number of 95-degree days has increased and severe hurricanes have become more common, including Harvey, which brutalized Houston and the Gulf Coast in 2017. Ironically, climate change can also weaken the jet stream, making it more common freezing weather episodes.

Nationally, Texas politicians have played a pivotal role in preventing action to slow climate change. At the local level, leaders have failed to prepare for the new era of extreme weather – including leaving the power grid vulnerable to last week’s cold snap, which in turn left millions of Texans without electricity or water.

Many residents feel abandoned. In Copperas Cove, a town in central Texas, Daniel Peterson told my colleague Jack Healy on Saturday that he was completely exasperated by officials who failed to restore power six days after it was cut. He is considering installing a wood-burning stove because, as he said, “it will happen again.”

In Dallas, Tumaini Criss spent the weekend fearful that she would not be able to afford a new home for herself and her three sons after a leaking pipe collapsed into her ceiling and destroyed appliances and furniture. . “I don’t know where this is taking me,” she said.

In San Antonio, Juan Flores, a 73-year-old Navy veteran, told my colleague Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio that he was frustrated by the lack of communication from local officials. When Giulia interviewed Flores, he hadn’t showered in days (and graciously warned her to take a step back by questioning her, saying, “I stink”). To get enough water to flush the toilet, he had gone to a bar. To heat his apartment, he boiled water on his stove.

The second threat is linked to climate change but different. This comes from the possibility that alternative energy sources like wind and solar power will become cheap enough to take down the Texas oil and gas industry.

“The cost advantage of solar and wind power has become decisive and promises to become even greater,” wrote Noah Smith, economist and native of Texas, in his newsletter Substack. “I don’t want to see my home state become an economic backwater, chained to the corpse of a dying fossil fuel age.”

Instead of adequately investing in new forms of energy, however, many Texas politicians have tried to protect fossil fuels. Governor Greg Abbott last week went so far as to blame wind and solar power – wrongly – for causing the power outages. The main culprit was the failure of natural gas, as shown in these charts by my colleague Veronica Penney.

As Smith explains, probably the best hope for the Texas energy industry is to embrace wind and solar power, not the scapegoat. The state, after all, gets a lot of wind and sun. “Texas can be the future, instead of fighting the future,” Smith wrote.

The larger economic history here is common. Businesses – and places – that have been successful for decades with a single technology rarely welcome change. Kodak did not promote digital photography, and neither the New York Times nor the Wall Street Journal created Craigslist.

Texas political and business leaders have taken many successful steps over the past decades. They have avoided some of the political sclerosis that has held back parts of the Northeast and California, like zoning restrictions that benefit aging homeowners at the expense of young families.

But Texas rulers are sacrificing the future for the present in a different way. They have helped their fossil fuel companies maximize their short-term profits at the expense of the long-term welfare of the state. They have resisted regulations and investments that could have made their power grid more weather-resilient (as the Times story shows), and tried to reject climate change even as it forced Texans to endure harsh harsh conditions. more miserable weather conditions.

In this way, Texas offers a different – and more disturbing – glimpse into the future.

What is happening now:

The ball is life: Serena Aponso, 14 years old – named this Serena – worked as a ball kid at this year’s Australian Open. This is what his days looked like.

The media equation: Investigative journalism is booming in Russia. Ben Smith explains.

From the review: Ross Douthat considers Rush Limbaugh. And Gail Collins discusses next year’s midterm election with Bret Stephens.

Lives lived: Arturo Di Modica, sculptor and Sicilian immigrant, was best known for “Charging Bull,” a 3.5-ton bronze he illegally deposited one night in Lower Manhattan – where a monument remains. Di Modica died at the age of 80.

Sales of “computer glasses” are booming. The many companies that sell blue light glasses – priced at under $ 20 to over $ 100 – claim they can help relieve eye strain and improve sleep. But do we really need it?

No, say many experts. “Anyone who promises miracles with a pair of blue light-blocking glasses is probably selling something,” Wirecutter’s Kaitlyn Wells wrote.

The low level of blue light from the screens does not seem to cause any health problems. In Britain, a company had to pay a fine of around $ 56,000 after falsely claiming that glasses could protect the retina from damage.

Some experts believe that blue light – which is emitted from both the sun and tech screens – can cause problems sleeping. But glasses are not the only solution. Phone covers are often cheaper – and activating Night Mode is free, Tim Barribeau, an editor at Wirecutter, told us. Or you can just put your phone away a few hours before bed.

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A glimpse into America’s future: climate change is a problem for power grids

Huge winter storms plunged large parts of the central and southern United States into an energy crisis this week as frigid explosions in arctic weather crippled power grids and left millions of Americans without electricity in high temperatures dangerously cold.

The network outages were most severe in Texas, where more than four million people woke up to power outages Tuesday morning. Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday called for emergency reform of the Texas Electricity Reliability Council, saying the state’s power grid operator “has been anything but reliable for the past 48 hours.”

Analysts have started to identify some key factors behind the Texas network outages. Record-breaking cold weather prompted residents to ramp up their electric heaters and pushed demand for electricity beyond the worst-case scenarios predicted by network operators. At the same time, many of the state’s gas-fired power plants have been shut down in freezing conditions, and some factories appear to be suffering from fuel shortages as demand for natural gas has increased across the country. Many Texas wind turbines also froze and stopped working, although that was only a small part of the problem.

The resulting power shortages have forced grid operators in Texas to impose rotating power cuts on homes and businesses, starting Monday, to prevent a wider system collapse. Separate regional networks in the Southwest and Midwest are also under serious strain this week.

The crisis has highlighted a deeper warning for power systems across the country. Power grids can be designed to cope with a wide range of harsh conditions – provided that grid operators can reliably predict future dangers. But as climate change accelerates, many power grids will face new and extreme weather events that go beyond the historical conditions for which these grids were designed, putting systems at risk of catastrophic failure.

Building resilient power grids in the face of increasingly wild and unpredictable weather conditions will be a huge challenge, experts said. In many cases, this can prove to be costly, although, as Texas shows, the costs of a network outage can also be extremely expensive.

“It’s basically a matter of how much insurance you want to buy,” said Jesse Jenkins, an energy systems engineer at Princeton University. “What makes this problem even more difficult is that we are now in a world where, especially with climate change, the past is no longer a good guide for the future. We need to prepare much better for the unexpected. “

Texas’ main power grid, which operates largely independently from the rest of the country, is primarily designed to deal with the state’s most predictable weather extremes: soaring summer temperatures that prompts millions of Texans to turn on their air conditioners at the same time.

Although freezing temperatures are rarer, grid operators in Texas have long known that demand for electricity can increase in the winter as well, especially after severe cold spells in 2011 and 2018 that drove millions of Texans to mount their electric heaters and put a strain on the system.

But this week’s winter storms, which buried the state in snow and ice, and led to record high temperatures, exceeded all expectations – and pushed the grid to its breaking point.

Texas grid operators had predicted that in a worst-case scenario, the state might need 67 gigawatts of electricity to handle a winter peak. But by Sunday evening, demand for electricity had exceeded 69 gigawatts. As temperatures dropped, many homes depended on older, inefficient electric resistance heaters, which used more energy.

The problems worsened from there, as freezing weather shut down power plants with a capacity of more than 30 gigawatts by Monday night. The vast majority of these outages occurred in thermal power plants, such as natural gas generators, as falling temperatures crippled plant operations and growing nationwide demand for natural gas seemed to leave some factories find it difficult to procure fuel. A number of state power plants were also offline for scheduled maintenance in preparation for the peak summer.

At times, the state’s wind farm fleet has also lost up to 5 gigawatts of capacity as many turbines froze in freezing conditions and stopped working.

“No power system model imagined that all 254 Texas counties would be subject to a winter storm warning at the same time,” said Joshua Rhodes, a state power grid expert at the University of Texas at Austin . “This puts a strain on the electricity grid and the gas grid, which supply both electricity and heat.”

In theory, experts say, there are technical solutions that can avoid such problems. But their installation can be expensive and the difficulty is to anticipate exactly when and where such solutions will be needed.

Wind turbines, for example, can be fitted with heaters and other devices so they can operate in freezing conditions – as is often done in the upper Midwest, where the cold is more common. Gas plants can be built to store the oil on site and burn the fuel if needed, as is often done in the Northeast, where natural gas shortages are more common. Grid regulators can design markets that pay extra to keep a fleet of standby power plants in reserve for emergencies, as is often the case in the Mid-Atlantic.

But all of these solutions cost money, and network operators are often reluctant to force consumers to pay extra for warranties if they don’t think it will be necessary.

“Building resilience often comes at a cost, and there is a risk of both underpaying but also overpaying,” said Daniel Cohan, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University. “It’s a difficult balancing act.”

In the coming months, as network operators and policymakers in Texas study this week’s winter storm, they may begin to wonder how and if the network could be hardened to withstand extremely cold temperatures. Are there aging infrastructures that are in urgent need of repair? Would it make sense to create more connections between the Texas power grid and other parts of the country to balance electricity supplies – a move the state has long resisted? Should homeowners be encouraged to install expensive backup batteries or more efficient heat pumps that consume less electricity? Should state electricity markets be altered to keep additional power plants in reserve?

One of the challenges is that climate change makes preparation more difficult. Overall, the state is warming as global temperatures rise, and cold weather extremes are becoming, on average, less frequent over time.

But some climatologists have also suggested that global warming could, paradoxically, lead to more winter storms like this week’s. Some research suggests that the warming of the Arctic is weakening the jet stream, the high-level air current that circles northern latitudes and generally holds back the icy polar vortex. This allows cold air to escape southward, especially when an additional warming explosion hits the stratosphere and warps the vortex. The result can be episodes of plunging temperatures, even in places rarely suffocated by frost.

But this remains an active topic of debate among climatologists, with some experts less convinced that polar vortex disturbances are more and more frequent, which makes it even more difficult for network planners to anticipate the dangers ahead.

Power utilities and grid operators across the country face similar issues as climate change threatens to intensify heat waves, droughts, floods, water shortages and other calamities, all of which could create new and unforeseen risks to the country’s power systems. Dealing with these risks will come at a cost: A recent study found that the South East alone may need 35% more electrical capacity by 2050 just to cope with the known dangers of climate change.

And the task of building resilience is becoming increasingly urgent. Many policymakers are increasingly promoting electric cars and electric heaters as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But as more of the national economy depends on reliable electricity flows, the cost of blackouts will become increasingly dire.

“It’s going to be a tall order,” said Emily Grubert, electrical systems expert at Georgia Tech. “We need to decarbonize our power systems so that climate change doesn’t get worse, but we also need to adapt to changing conditions at the same time. And the latter alone is going to be very expensive. We can already see that the systems we have today don’t handle this very well.

John Schwartz and Dave montgomery contribution to reports.

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The House will vote on Marjorie Taylor Greene’s removal from committee roles as GOP weighs its future.

The House will vote on Thursday to strip Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of her powers on the committee, a senior Democrat said, forcing Congress Republicans to take a public stand on the Georgia rookie who endorsed conspiracy theories and calls for run Democratic politicians ahead of his election.

Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, No. 2 Democrat, said on Wednesday that he had spoken with Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican leader, and that “it is clear that there is no alternative to holding a floor vote on the resolution to be withdrawn. Representative Greene from her committee assignments. “

House Democrats, angered by a spate of social media posts made by Ms Greene before winning her seat in November, threatened earlier this week to make the unusual move to unilaterally move Ms Greene from education committees and the budget if The Republicans themselves did not act. Party leaders generally have authority over who represents them on committees.

The vote will force Republicans to officially state for the first time whether Ms Greene should be reprimanded for her past comments.

While most Republican lawmakers have been privately horrified by his rhetoric, some have argued that members of Congress should not be punished for remarks they made prior to their election and that allowing a party (in this case, the Democrats) to take unilateral action against a lawmaker in another party would set a dangerous precedent. Others are reluctant to take such a vote after former President Donald J. Trump rallies alongside Ms Greene.

Mr McCarthy met with Ms Greene on Tuesday evening in her office to discuss her past rhetoric and calls from members on both sides to remove her from committees. Mr McCarthy then met with a group of Republicans who control the conference committee’s missions, but no decision was ultimately made on whether or how to reprimand Ms Greene, according to people familiar with the discussions.

A spokesperson for Mr McCarthy declined to respond to Mr Hoyer’s announcement and said the Republican leader “will raise this issue with members later today.”

Mr Hoyer’s announcement comes hours before House Republicans meet at 4 p.m. on Wednesday to discuss the future of Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No.3 Republican in the House. They are also expected to discuss the turmoil around Ms. Greene.

Mr. Trump’s supporters want to strip Ms. Cheney of her leadership position as a reward for her vote to impeach the former president. And a range of House and Senate Republicans and Trump critics want to strip Ms. Greene of her committee duties for endorsing false statements and using bigoted and violent language.

Ms. Greene’s behavior poses the most serious test for Republicans because her behavior is so outside the mainstream of American politics. The House Republicans meeting will be a turning point for the party as members wonder how to deal with two lawmakers who infuriated different wings of the party for very different reasons.

Ms Greene took advantage of the announcement on Wednesday, sending out a fundraising email minutes after Mr Hoyer released his statement, asking his supporters to “rush an emergency donation” to help defend her. The Georgia Republican began fundraising on Tuesday, claiming Democrats were unfairly targeting her for her beliefs, and said the effort earned her more than $ 160,000 in one day.

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Oil industry faces a bleak future after murderous year

For much of the past year, investors criticized Exxon and Wall Street was plagued by rumors the company would cut its dividend to preserve cash. The stock price had fallen about half from the start of last January, falling to $ 31 in November, its lowest level in nearly 20 years.

But Exxon’s share price has rebounded to around $ 46, mainly because energy prices have rallied sharply in recent weeks. Oil prices have risen nearly 10% this year, and the snowstorm in the northeast is pushing up natural gas prices because the fuel is used to heat homes and businesses. Exxon’s dividend now looks secure. And write downs aside, Exxon made a small profit in the last three months of the year.

“The industry has gone to hell and back,” said Michael C. Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economy Research. “Most of them have survived the worst circumstances they’ve ever faced, and it’s almost certain that things will improve from here in terms of price and demand.”

Goldman Sachs has predicted that oil prices could rise by $ 10 a barrel, up to $ 65 by July. It would be a remarkable recovery from prices which were languishing at less than half of those for much of 2020, even if it would remain well below prices of a decade ago, when a barrel of oil was over $ 140 and the oil companies were making record profits.

The industry has suffered repeated shocks in recent years, with prices falling during the recession that began in December 2007, again in 2015 when OPEC flooded the market with crude to cut US production, and the year last, when the pandemic took hold.

The pain of the industry has forced many companies to lay off employees and cut dividends. Dozens of once-high-flying companies like Chesapeake Energy have declared bankruptcy in recent years.

Even now, as conditions appear to be improving, the outlook for the industry remains uncertain. Due to the emergence of new variants of the coronavirus, it is not clear how quickly the United States, Europe and other major economies will bring the spread of the virus under control. And then there are the big questions about climate change.

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Trump’s sleight of hand: screaming fraud, pocketing donor money for the future

In total, the Trump campaign has paid more than a dozen law firms, including $ 1.6 million to Kasowitz Benson Torres, over $ 500,000 to Jones Day, and about $ 600,000 to Dechert. Law firm Kurt Hilbert, which was on Mr. Trump’s phone pressuring Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” votes to overturn the election result, received more of $ 480,000. A payment of $ 3 million went to the Wisconsin Election Commission to pay for a recount.

A major Republican donor, C. Boyden Gray, who contributed more than $ 2 million to Republicans in the 2020 cycle, also provided legal advice to Mr. Trump, earning $ 114,000.

Operation Trump continued to spend on fundraising, pouring millions into a secret limited liability company, American Made Media Consultants, for online and SMS advertising. Family members of Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have previously served on the board of directors of the company, which spent more than $ 700 million in the 2020 campaign.

In the post-election period, more than $ 63 million in spending passed through the company from committees linked to Mr. Trump.

The Republican National Committee ended the year with more than $ 80 million in the bank after the fundraising blitz, and the party is entitled to a share of the additional $ 63 million in two accounts shared with Mr. Trump. According to one deal, the RNC raised 25 cents for every dollar Mr. Trump raised online through his joint account in December.

One of Mr. Trump’s shared committees with the RNC spent $ 237,000 in pounds through a company, Reagan Investments, which also worked for a PAC controlled by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. The Trump campaign donated signed copies of a book by Mr. Cruz last fall to donors who donated $ 75 or more.

And, as they have done since he began his candidacy in 2015, Mr. Trump’s campaign accounts have sponsored his businesses in the post-election period.

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Supreme Court case could limit future lawsuits against fossil fuel industry

Acting City of Baltimore Attorney Dana P. Moore said the city has filed a lawsuit in state courts “because it’s the proper forum to hold them to account for wrongs. localized ”. She called the fossil fuel industry’s efforts to bring the case to Federal Court a “delay tactic.”

Baltimore’s lawsuit, originally filed in July 2018, argues that the city “is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and flooding,” and that it has spent “significant funds” to plan and cope. to global warming. The lawsuit also cites the cost of health problems linked to climate change, including rising hospitalization rates in summer.

Michael Martin, the pastor of Stillmeadow Community Fellowship, a church in southwest Baltimore, said the effects of climate change on the city were increasingly evident. “We are on a path towards more flooding and worse flooding,” he said. The church served as a community center after the ruinous floods of May 2018 that warped roads and put seven feet of water on the streets. And the floods keep coming.

As for the Baltimore case, he said, “I think it’s bold, and I think it’s useful.” But he suggested that focusing solely on fossil fuel companies was short-sighted, as other factors such as development were also major contributors to the floods.

As the hearing date nears, a number of science and advocacy organizations, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, have called on new Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett to stand recuse the case because his father, Michael Coney, was for many years one of the main lawyers and Shell officials, one of the defendants. As a judge of the Seventh Circuit, Ms Coney has withdrawn from cases involving certain Shell entities.

In response to written questions submitted after her nomination hearings, she said she would “consider all relevant factors” to the challenge issue “where there is an appearance of bias”. She has not yet announced a challenge in this case. (Judge Samuel Alito, who owns shares in fossil fuel companies, recused himself.)

For Lee Wasserman, director of the Rockefeller Family Fund, which promotes climate litigation as a way to hold companies accountable for their role in global warming, the need for Ms. Coney’s recusal is obvious. “Her first major decision on court is whether she should recuse herself in a case involving her father,” Mr. Wasserman said.

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How Sheldon Adelson’s death could affect the future of the GOP

Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt called Adelson a “force of nature” in a statement following news of his death, which was caused by complications from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, his company said , Las Vegas Sands.

Mr Adelson was a major supporter of Israeli causes, and Dr Adelson, who was born in Israel and was the driving force behind the family’s involvement in Israeli conservative politics, is expected to remain active as editor of the free daily. Israel Hayom. “Miriam will continue to make all the decisions she makes as if he is by her side,” said a person who knows the Adelsons and spoke on condition of anonymity because the family is in mourning.

In the United States, the couple have been a key source of support for the Republican Jewish Coalition, which has remained a close ally of Mr. Trump throughout his turbulent presidency. The Adelsons were among those who helped convince Mr. Trump to take a tough pro-Israel stance, which led to his decision in 2017 to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a move that angered the Palestinians and led to unrest all over the Middle East.

The couple were seated in the front row for the groundbreaking ceremony commemorating the move in May 2018. On that day, Dr. Adelson described Mr. Trump as “the Truman of our time” in an extraordinary editorial on the front page of The Las Vegas Review-Journal, which she and her husband bought in 2016.

His huge spending changed the contours of battles for the Senate and House, as well as previous Republican presidential nomination contests. In 2012, he funded a super PAC backing Newt Gingrich that bloodied would-be candidate Mitt Romney and gave Mr. Gingrich’s often-exciting campaign a lifespan longer than many thought. But in the general election, the Adelsons invested millions more in another super PAC that aimed to help Romney defeat President Barack Obama.

For years the top Republicans have demanded Mr. Adelson’s approval and money. In the 2016 presidential primary, Mr. Trump attacked fellow Republicans for prosecuting Mr. Adelson, especially Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. “Sheldon Adelson is looking to give Rubio a lot of money because he feels he can turn him into his perfect little puppet. I agree! ”Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter in October 2015.

Their relationship has evolved over time. Once Mr. Trump became the apparent Republican candidate and the party began to unite around his renegade candidacy, Mr. Adelson agreed to back him.

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The future of the coronavirus? Annoying childhood infection

Other experts have said that this scenario is not only plausible but probable.

“I completely agree with the general intellectual construction of the article,” said Shane Crotty, virologist at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology in San Diego.

If the vaccines stop people from spreading the virus, “then it looks a lot more like the measles scenario, where you immunize everyone, including children, and you don’t really see the virus infecting people anymore,” he said. Dr Crotty.

Vaccines are more plausible to prevent disease – but not necessarily infection and transmission, he added. And that means the coronavirus will continue to circulate.

“The vaccines we have now are unlikely to provide sterilizing immunity,” the type needed to prevent infection, said Jennifer Gommerman, an immunologist at the University of Toronto.

Natural infection with the coronavirus produces a strong immune response in the nose and throat. But with current vaccines, Dr Gommerman said, “You don’t get a natural immune response in the upper respiratory tract, you get an injection in your arm.” This increases the likelihood that infections will still occur, even after vaccination.

Ultimately, Dr Lavine’s model is based on the assumption that the new coronavirus is similar to the common cold coronavirus. But that hypothesis may not hold, warned Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

“Other coronavirus infections may or may not be applicable because we haven’t seen what these coronaviruses can do to an elderly, naive person,” said Dr Lipsitch. (Naive refers to an adult whose immune system has not been exposed to the virus.)