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Former Michigan governor accused of negligence in Flint water crisis

The Michigan solicitor general has announced criminal charges against Rick Snyder, the former governor, for “willful neglect of his duty,” saying he failed to protect residents during the water crisis in Flint.

“The water crisis in Flint is not a relic of the past. At this very moment, the people of Flint continue to suffer from the categorical failure of officials at all levels of government. Richard Snyder, former Governor of the State of Michigan, is charged with two counts of willful negligence, each of a one-year misdemeanor, for willfully neglecting his mandatory legal obligations under the Michigan Constitution and of the Emergency Management Act, failing to protect the health and safety of Flint residents. No one, no matter how powerful or connected, is above responsibility when committing a crime. “This case has absolutely nothing to do with partisanship. It has to do with human decency, resuscitating the complete abandonment of the people of Flint, and finally, holding people to account for their alleged unspeakable atrocities that happened in Flint all those years ago.

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Former Michigan governor indicted for negligence over Flint water disaster

FLINT, Michigan – Rick Snyder, the former Michigan governor, was arraigned Thursday on a misdemeanor charge relating to his role in the Flint water crisis.

Mr Snyder, appearing on video at the Genesee County Courthouse in Flint, has been charged with two counts of willful neglect of his duty. If found guilty, the charges carry a maximum jail term of one year or a fine of up to $ 1,000.

Dressed in a dark jacket and face mask, Mr. Snyder said little during the brief arraignment, responding “Yes, Your Honor”, when the judge asked if he still lived in Michigan. Brian Lennon, an attorney for Mr Snyder, said the former governor was not guilty of the charges.

Mr. Snyder was released on bail and ordered not to leave Michigan without the judge’s permission. Mr Snyder did not speak to reporters when he left the courthouse.

In a statement, Mr Lennon said the charges were “completely unfounded” and that he expected the former governor to be exonerated. “Today’s charges do nothing to do justice to the people of Flint,” he said. “These unwarranted allegations do nothing to resolve a painful chapter in our state’s history. Today’s actions only perpetrate scandalous political persecution.

Several other officials were also recently charged with crimes related to the water crisis in Flint. They included Nick Lyon, the former director of public health; Howard Croft, former director of public works; and Darnell Earley, former city emergency manager.

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Former Michigan governor accused of negligence in flint water crisis

Rick Snyder, the former Michigan governor who oversaw the state when a water crisis devastated the town of Flint, has been charged with two counts of willful neglect of his duties, court records show .

The charges are felony punishable by imprisonment for up to one year or a fine of up to $ 1,000.

Michigan prosecutors will report their findings in a broad investigation into the water crisis on Thursday, officials said, a long-awaited announcement that is also expected to include charges against several other officials and senior advisers to Mr Snyder. .

Results will be announced by Dana Nessel of Michigan the Attorney General, Fadwa Hammoud, the state solicitor general, and Kym L. Worthy, the senior district attorney for Wayne County.

Charges had previously been filed in connection with the crisis, which began in 2014, but in June 2019 prosecutors stunned Flint by dropping all outstanding charges.

Fifteen state and local officials, including emergency officials who ran the city and a member of the governor’s cabinet, had been charged by state prosecutors with crimes as serious as manslaughter. Seven had already entered into plea agreements. Eight others, including most of the top officials, were awaiting trial.

Brian Lennon, an attorney for Mr Snyder, said Wednesday evening: “We believe there is no evidence to support criminal charges against Governor Snyder.”

He added that lawyers for the former governor had requested a confirmation of charges – or a copy of them – but had not yet received them from prosecutors.

Randall Levine, a lawyer for Richard L. Baird, a former senior adviser to Mr Snyder, said on Tuesday he was informed this week that Mr Baird would be among those facing charges related to the water crisis .

“At this time, we have not been made aware of the nature of the charges, nor how they relate to his position in the administration of former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder,” said Mr. Levine. “Rich’s relationship with the Flint community has always been strong. When Flint’s water crisis hit, Governor Snyder didn’t ask him to come to Flint, but instead raised his hand and volunteered.

In 2016, Mr Snyder apologized for what had happened, but for many residents of Flint it didn’t go far enough.

“He pushed it all to the side, and he pushed people to the side,” said Floyd Bell, a Flint resident whose two small grandchildren were poisoned with lead when they were babies and still have. developmental difficulties. “If he was truly aware of what was going on, he should be held accountable.”

Dr Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician at Flint who has warned officials about lead in the drinking water supply, said the prospect of new charges is a reminder that “accountability and justice are essential to health and upon recovery ”.

“This news is a balm, but it’s not the end of the story,” she said in an email. “Healing wounds and rebuilding confidence will take decades and long term resources.”

Melissa Mays, one of the first people in Flint to bring attention to the city’s water problems, said that given the attorney general’s office remained silent for more than 18 months, she was concerned that the accusations don’t go far enough.

“In Flint, we have been living in prison for almost 7 years and are forced to pay for water which still circulates in corroded and damaged infrastructure on the streets and in our homes while those responsible walk freely”, a- she writes. in an email. “We at Flint deserve TRUE justice and that means rich white politicians and agency heads are going to jail for their actions and inaction that have caused us so much damage and loss.”

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Deposed governor of Puerto Rico describes panicked flight of family from island

Puerto Rico had just announced its first three cases of Covid-19 last March, a curfew was approaching, and Ricardo A. Rosselló, the scientist-turned-governor who had resigned in disgrace months earlier, saw an opening.

The once popular former governor, who has long enjoyed a perch among the establishment elite, was kicked out after a series of mocking text messages were made public and hundreds of thousands descended on him. the street to demand that he resign. Mr Rosselló, 41, trained as a biomedical engineer, saw Covid-19 as an opportunity to get back into the game.

As the global crisis looms, he posted a series of Facebook Live videos highlighting the danger and offering advice to the government on how to handle the crisis. “The purpose of this video is not to be alarmist,” he said in a video. “Rather, it’s about providing information so that we can do whatever is in our hands to prevent this from developing in a way that is breaking down our health care system.

Some of the videos were widely viewed, but after a month he abandoned the campaign, admitting Puerto Ricans probably didn’t want a “governor in the back.”

“The first three to four months were very difficult, as no one was too keen to give a resigning ex-governor a chance,” Rosselló said in a recent interview, his first with a newspaper since he took over. had been forced to resign this summer. from 2019.

“I have to put my credentials in there and get my chops back,” he said.

As signs appear that the powerful old guard embodied by Mr Rosselló are loosening their decades-long grip on Puerto Rican politics, Mr Rosselló would like to put aside the summer that blew his political career. After nearly a year and a half in exile, the former governor wants, if not to be forgiven, at least to be understood. He would like to get his good name back. He hired publicists to help him do it.

“It was painful to lose your governorship,” he said on a video call in December from a Washington suburb. “It was painful, because I worked really hard for it, and I thought we were doing good things. But I think what was really painful was the kind of utter devastation to my reputation.

Mr Rosselló, a university professor who at the time had no governance experience beyond being the son of a former governor, took office in 2017, taking control of a government struggling who was already crippled by $ 73 billion in debt and a ten-year recession. Four months later, the island essentially declared bankruptcy.

He had only been on the job for nine months when Hurricane Maria flooded towns, buried homes in mud and killed thousands. Two years after the island’s recovery began, the texting scandal arose, when local reporters posted hundreds of pages of a private conversation on the Telegram messaging app in which the governor and his relatives counselors, all male, used coarse and offensive language.

They ridiculed women, gays, fat people, political opponents – even some of their supporters, whom they dismissed as idiots. One of the texts joked about the people who died after Hurricane Maria. The governor called a former New York city councilor a “whore” and joked that he wanted the mayor of San Juan, a political opponent, dead.

The cat blew up pent-up frustration with the hurricane, which had led to months without electricity, as well as the years of recession and corruption the island had already endured. People said they were tired of the political elite. They had had enough of Mr. Rosselló.

As the product of an influential political family, with a handsome appearance as a game show host and a doctorate. from the University of Michigan, Rosselló initially thought he could get away with it. (“There was pride,” he admitted in the interview.)

He recounted the moment he knew he was going to have to quit his $ 70,000 a year job: with furious protests swirling through the streets, he and his family were in their car when it hit a pothole. Her 5 year old daughter was terrified and thought she had been hit by gunfire.

“Obviously I couldn’t protect her,” Rosselló said. “That’s when it really crystallized.”

Mr. Rosselló, a Democrat, had failed to make allies among the old Republican bloc of his new progressive party, and they called for his resignation. He resigned with more than a year left in office, boarded a private jet and did not return.

After a year of renting small apartments at Airbnbs, he now lives in a $ 1.2 million home outside of Washington, which he bought last month. And he’s working again.

Mr Rosselló admits that it has been a slow recovery to normal. He acknowledged the failures of the ‘judgment’ but expressed little regret and suggested the coronavirus had been mismanaged without it. In March, he said, he was alarmed that authorities had allowed a salsa festival despite the public health emergency.

Even healthcare workers lined up long lines for vaccines, and early on, a virus testing program was marred by a contract scandal. Still, the island has managed to escape, for the most part, the overwhelming infection rates that have plagued many states. About 1,600 people have died.

A criminal investigation into the cat recently ended without charge, and Mr Rosselló felt justified.

He now prefers to reflect not on the mistakes, but rather on what he calls neglected achievements, such as energy reforms, anti-corruption measures and a minimum wage increase for construction workers that took place during his time. mandate. His biggest mistakes, he said: trying to change too too soon, working too hard, and never getting enough sleep.

I have to show the other side of this story, ”said Rosselló. “From my perspective, everything I have done, I have done for the people of Puerto Rico.”

Mr Rosselló believes he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from the hectic days following Hurricane Maria, the Category 5 hurricane that ravaged the island in the fall of 2017 and killed nearly 3000 people. Officials were blamed for inadequate preparation, delays in restoring power and failing to admit, at least initially, that so many people had died.

In the aftermath, Mr Rosselló said, he went sleepless for a week and personally went out to help save people on the rooftops. Even after leaving office, he said, he would wake up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep.

“The deaths in Maria are a terrible and terrible pain that I still carry,” he said.

His political party also suffered consequences, retaining the governorship in the November election but losing its majority in the Puerto Rican House and Senate. After decades of bipartisan rule, third-party candidates have dramatically increased their share of votes in the governor’s race, signaling that a political realignment is underway.

Yarimar Bonilla, a political anthropologist at Hunter College specializing in Puerto Rico, said the changes reflected in the last election were monumental, and they confirmed that the activism born after the texting scandal endures in a big way. Mr Rosselló, she said, was right that things got worse after he left – but she blames him for it.

“Every agency is a complete failure because of all the lackeys he appointed,” she said, noting that the health secretary appointed by Mr Rosselló was forced to resign when doctors went public the lack of testing for coronavirus. The former governor will be remembered for members of his administration who have been accused of corruption, closing schools to save money and his quest to even privatize beaches, she said.

The fact that it was a pothole that prompted Mr Rosselló to resign struck her as an ironic consequence of the neglected public services he failed to manage, she said.

“There was no bomb threat, no one shot him,” Ms. Bonilla said. “What put her daughter’s life in danger was a pothole – the infrastructure, the neglected streets of Puerto Rico.”

Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi, a longtime politician whom Rosselló had originally chosen to replace him, won the governor’s race in November, but with less than 35% of the vote.

“I’m afraid to say that nowhere is as much soul-searching as there should be” within the party about these results, said Kenneth McClintock, a former party secretary of state. by M. Rosselló.

But he and Mr Rosselló both referred to a plebiscite in November in which nearly 53% of voters favored a Puerto Rican state – a sign, they said, that the New Progressive Party still represents the interests of ‘a large part of the electorate.

“Since his departure, they have worked to recreate his image,” said Sandra Rodríguez-Cotto, the journalist who published the first article on the chat – and was criticized there. “He thinks he’s coming back in 2023, but he left a lot of questions unanswered.”

Mr Rosselló said he “loves Puerto Rico” but declined to say if he is considering a return. Things are finally starting to change for him, he said. He works as a consultant for My Business Matches, a cloud-based networking company in San Antonio, Texas owned by someone he worked with on one of his father’s campaigns. Puerto Rico’s comptroller records show the company had a $ 25,000 contract with the government to provide networking services at a trade show.

And even though the public service videos did not take off, he found a potential business opportunity with the arrival of the coronavirus: he invested, he said, in a company with two Beijing-based scientists with whom he was working and looking to develop a drug treatment for Covid-19.

Mr. Rosselló said he was in charge of mathematical modeling.

Speaking publicly now, he said, he just wants people to see that no matter what, he cared about Puerto Rico’s well-being.

“I’m not aiming for people to think that I am, you know, God’s gift to the world, but I hope they don’t see the opposite either,” Mr. Rosselló said. “I just want to work. I just want to help.

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Richard Thornburgh, former governor and attorney general, dies at 88

Dick Thornburgh, two-term Republican Governor of Pennsylvania who faced America’s worst nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979 and then served as United States Attorney General under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, has died Thursday in a retirement home in Oakmont. , Pennsylvania, outside of Pittsburgh. He was 88 years old.

His son David confirmed the death.

To the millions of voters who elected him, the five presidents he worked for in the Justice Department and the hundreds of organized crime figures, white-collar criminals and corrupt officials he prosecuted, Mr. Thornburgh was an ambitious man with a formula for success: clean the house, restore order and move to a higher office.

It worked for over two decades. He served as Richard M. Nixon’s Federal Attorney in Pittsburgh (1969 to 1975) and Deputy Attorney General to Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter in charge of the Criminal Division (1975 to 1977). He was the only Republican to serve two consecutive terms as governor of Pennsylvania (1979 to 1987). And he was the attorney general who bridged the Reagan and Bush justice departments (1988 to 1991).

But there was no formula for dealing with nuclear fusion. Trained in civil engineering and law, Mr. Thornburgh was used to dealing with cold and hard facts of science and law. But facts were hard to find in the maelstrom of chaos and fear following the partial meltdown of a nuclear reactor at the Three Mile Island Power Plant near Harrisburg, Pa. On March 28, 1979.

This happened 10 weeks after he took over as governor and 12 days after the release of “The China Syndrome,” a Jane Fonda-Jack Lemmon film about an uncontrollable nuclear accident, with its speech of a burning reactor. along the planet for China or the explosion in southern California with a layer of radioactivity that “would make an area the size of Pennsylvania permanently uninhabitable,” as one character put it.

Three Mile Island, 10 miles south of the State Capitol on the Susquehanna River, was not a Chinese syndrome. Overheated nuclear fuel pellets melted, a containment was broken, and radiation leaks contaminated the plant and escaped into the air. But the lingering confusion over what had happened and the scale of the danger, compounded by dire warnings from anti-nuclear activists, left the public bewildered.

Taking charge of the crisis, Governor Thornburgh has been a calm voice against the panic and made decisions that have proven to be correct. He ordered a preventive evacuation of pregnant women and young children within a five-mile radius of the factory. About 140,000 people left. And when a false report spread that the factory could explode, he consulted experts, called reporters, and announced that such a danger did not exist.

“You have to reassure people,” he said. “You have to walk past the cameras and the microphones and tell them what you know and what you don’t know. You have to stop the rumors and, of course, you have to make decisions. There is no Republican or Democratic way to deal with a nuclear crisis. No one has ever had to deal with this kind of accident before.

President Carter, visiting the paralyzed plant five days after the accident, praised the governor’s “superlative” performance. “Because of the confidence of the American people in him, and especially those who live in this region, the potential panic and unrest has been minimized,” Mr. Carter said.

It was an impressive start on the national stage for Mr. Thornburgh, a Rockefeller moderate and rising Republican star, elected on a pledge to put Pennsylvania on a solid economic footing and crack down on corruption, which had worsened under a Democratic predecessor, the governor. Milton J. Shapp. (He also offered voters a catchy slogan to remember his name: “Thornburgh is like Pittsburgh.”)

Mr Thornburgh has balanced the budget for eight years in a row, cut 15,000 state jobs, streamlined bureaucracy, cut taxes and state debt and left office with a surplus of $ 350 million. It also reduced unemployment, implemented social reforms and encouraged economic development. The private sector added 50,000 businesses and 500,000 jobs. At the end of his term, he had a 72% approval rating.

He taught at Harvard for a year, and in 1988 President Reagan, nearing the end of his second term, appointed Mr. Thornburgh to succeed Attorney General Edwin L. Meese 3rd, who had resigned under a cloud of allegations of ethics and misconduct. Five months later, newly elected President Bush retained him as attorney general, and he became the administration’s go-to person on criminal justice and civil rights issues.

Mr Thornburgh has reduced organized crime strike forces across the country, arguing that federal prosecutors could do a better job. He has attacked white-collar crime, winning convictions in a savings and loan scandal and against corrupt defense contractors, securities dealers and public officials, and stepped up the fight against drug trafficking , money laundering and terrorism.

He resigned as attorney general in 1991 to run in a special election for the unexpired term of Senator John Heinz, a Republican from Pennsylvania who had been killed in a mid-air plane crash. Harris Wofford, a Democrat and former Pennsylvania labor secretary, had been appointed temporarily, and senior Republicans were eager for Mr. Thornburgh to return to the seat and perhaps use him as a stepping stone to the presidency.

Mr. Thornburgh was much favored. But after a slow campaign, in which he continued to speak of severity on crime, he lost to Mr Wofford, former university president and assistant to John F. Kennedy, in this rarest political rarity, a slip of upset ground. Mr Wofford overcame Thornburgh’s 47 percent lead in the polls and won the start, with a 56-44 margin for the win.

Richard Lewis Thornburgh was born in Pittsburgh on July 16, 1932 to Charles and Alice (Sanborn) Thornburgh. His father was an engineer. After graduating from Mercersburg Academy, a prep school in Pennsylvania, in 1950, he earned an engineering degree from Yale in 1954 and a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1957.

In 1959, he joined the Pittsburgh-based law firm Kirkpatrick & Lockhart.

Mr. Thornburgh had married Virginia Hooten, his childhood sweetheart, in 1955 and had three sons with her, John, David and Peter. She was killed in 1960 in a car accident that left Peter with permanent brain damage. In 1963, Mr. Thornburgh married Ginny Judson, with whom he had a fourth son, William.

In addition to his son David, Mr. Thornburgh is survived by Mrs. Judson; his other sons; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

For years, Mr Thornburgh and his second wife have championed equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities, a fight they initially joined on behalf of Peter. As Attorney General, Mr. Thornburgh led the Bush administration’s campaign in Congress to enact the Americans with Disabilities Act 1990, which prohibited discrimination against people with physical, mental and sensory disabilities.

He began his political career with an unsuccessful race for a Pittsburgh seat in the United States House of Representatives in 1966 and ended it 25 years later with his loss in the Senate in 1991 to Mr. Wofford.

He served a year at the United Nations as Undersecretary for Personnel, Budget and Finance, then returned to practicing law where his career began, in what is today K&L Gates, the one of the largest international law firms in the country.

He has written numerous articles and reports on litigation and public policy, and has authored “Where the Evidence Leads: An Autobiography” (2003) and “Puerto Rico’s Future: A Time to Decide” (2007), which called for self-determination. for the territory of the United States, he described it as a vestige of colonialism.

Alex Traub contributed reporting.

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‘Balloon Boy’ parents pardoned by Colorado governor

In 2009, authorities chased away a silver helium balloon resembling a UFO as it hovered over northern Colorado, fearing that a young boy might be trapped inside. The frenzied rescue effort was televised live, but when the balloon landed there was no boy inside.

The 6-year-old boy was found hiding in an attic above the garage of his family’s home in Fort Collins, Colorado. His parents’ story – that they feared he would be trapped inside the balloon as it floated away from their backyard – seemed to unravel that night in a CNN interview in which the boy, Falcon said that “we did it for the show”.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis on Wednesday granted full and unconditional pardons to Falcon’s parents Richard and Mayumi Heene, who were accused of concocting a hoax to spark interest in a possible reality TV show.

In a statement, Mr. Polis said: “We are all ready to move past the spectacle of ten years ago which wasted the precious time and resources of law enforcement and the general public.”

In an interview on Thursday, Mr Heene claimed his family believed at the time that Falcon, now 17, was in the ball and that the media had not given him a chance to prove his innocence. Forgiveness, he said, “was the best news I have ever heard in my life.”

Mr. Heene pleaded guilty to attempting to influence an official, a felony, and was sentenced to 90 days in prison. Ms Heene pleaded guilty to felony filing a false report and spent 20 days in jail. The couple were ordered to pay $ 36,000 in restitution, the Associated Press reported.

“Richard and Mayumi have paid the price in the public eye, have served their sentences and it is time for all of us to move on,” said Mr. Polis. “It’s time to stop letting a permanent criminal record of the wereballoon saga follow and drag parents for the rest of their lives.”

The Heenes reported Falcon as missing on October 15, 2009. The family said they believed Falcon was in the saucer-shaped balloon Mr. Heene had built because Falcon was near him just before he was. it doesn’t come off and fly away.

The balloon, about 20 feet wide and seven feet long, hovered thousands of feet in the air and flew over 60 miles over a predominantly rural swath of northern Colorado as winds reached sometimes 20 miles per hour.

Traffic at Denver International Airport was halted as dozens of agencies joined the rescue effort, including the National Guard, which deployed two helicopters.

After the boy was found safe at the home, Jim Alderden, the Larimer County Sheriff at the time, told reporters that “the anguish and anguish this family was feeling was genuine and the relief that ‘they felt when he reappeared was genuine.

He added: “I cannot imagine that he would have been instructed to go into hiding by his parents.”

But days later, in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Mr. Alderden called the episode a “hoax.” Investigators, he said, believed the rescue “was a publicity stunt” by the family to sell themselves for a future reality show.

Prior to the hot air balloon getaway, the family had appeared on “Wife Swap,” a reality TV show in which two women exchanged lives and families for two weeks.

A lawyer for Mr Heene, David Lane, said on Thursday that Mr Heene had a strong defense but was forced to plead guilty.

“The prosecutors in this case came to me and told me that if Richard didn’t hand down a felony conviction and spend 30 days in jail, we would do everything in our power to make sure Mayumi was deported,” he said. Mr Lane said. (Ms. Heene is from Japan.)

“I know I could have beaten him if we had fought him,” Heene said.

The Larimer District Attorney’s Office, where the Heenes pleaded guilty, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

After the convictions, the Heenes moved to north central Florida, where they home schooled their three sons. Mr Heene said their children were doing “exceptionally well”.

Mr Heene said the pardon would allow him to obtain a general contractor’s license in Florida and that he plans to apply to appear on the entrepreneurial reality show “Shark Tank”.

Kitty bennett contributed to the research.

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Governor Cuomo hopes to prevent a new fast-moving COVID-19 strain from entering the US from the UK

Dozens of European Union (EU) countries today began banning flights from the United Kingdom (United Kingdom) in an effort to prevent a new, rapidly spreading strain of COVID-19 from reaching the continent.

Similarly, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling on US federal officials to act swiftly to prevent the mutant virus from entering the United States by stopping or limiting transatlantic flights to New York and New Jersey. According to Syracuse.com, their pleas have so far been unanswered, and the US federal government has yet to react to this new development.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that the new variant of the virus is 70 percent more transmissible than existing strains, and scientists say it is responsible for the wave of new cases now hitting southern England.

In an urgent address to his nation, Johnson instituted stricter lockdown measures, ordering the closure of non-essential businesses in the affected areas of southern England, including London. It also banned all non-essential travel in the region and told the British they would have to redo their vacation plans, with no mixing of homes allowed in the interior.

During a conference call with reporters this afternoon, Cuomo emphasized the urgency of containing the most infectious new strain. “Today, that variant is getting on a plane and landing at JFK,” he said. “Doing nothing is negligence. It is gross negligence. “

Cuomo explained that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates airports at state borders, does not have the authority to cancel flights due to health concerns. The Port Authority also does not have the ability to require that incoming passengers meet certain health requirements. Those policies can only be enacted, Cuomo said, at the federal level.

New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said that so far, New York State health officials have not detected the new variant of the virus. But it could happen quickly.

“That is what kept me awake last night,” said the governor. “This is the mistake we made” in early 2020, when COVID-19 first entered the United States via flights from Europe. “Where is HHS? Where is the CDC? Where is the NIH? “Cuomo said.

The World Health Organization has determined that this variant of COVID-19 spreads more aggressively than previous strains, but “there is no evidence to suggest that it is more lethal or causes a more serious disease,” as the prime minister emphasized. Briton in yesterday’s speech.

President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for the Surgeon General of the United States, Vivek Murthy, said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’: “We don’t have evidence yet that this is a more deadly virus for a person who gets it.” according to AP News. He added: “There is no reason to believe that the vaccines that have been developed will not be effective against this virus either.”

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William Winter, governor of reformed Mississippi, dies at 97

“He was the model of what you aspire to be as governor,” said Ray Mabus, who worked in Mr. Winter’s administration and was governor himself from 1988 to 1992, in an interview. “He was the best governor Mississippi has ever had.”

William Forrest Winter was born February 21, 1923 in Grenada, Mississippi, a small town in the north central state. He grew up nearby, on a farm owned by his father, William Aylmer Winter, who served three terms in the State House of Representatives and three in the State Senate. Her mother, Inez (Parker) Winter, was a teacher.

He is survived by his wife, Elise (Varner) Winter; his daughters, Anne Winter, Lele Gillespie and Eleanor Winter; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Black and white tenants lived and worked on the Winters’ farm, and young William developed friendships with several black children. But it was the Mississippi of the Jim Crow era, and the winters were typical in their embrace of the state-imposed racial hierarchy.

“All I knew growing up was racial segregation,” Winter said in an interview for the documentary “The Toughest Job: William Winter’s Mississippi” (2014). “It was an accepted way of life in the white community.”

Yet two experiences pointed Mr. Winter in a different direction.

At the University of the University of Mississippi, he befriended James Silver, a history professor whose progressive teachings on race and civil rights inspired a generation of liberal Mississippians.

After graduating in 1943, Mr. Winter entered the military as an officer. An aspiring politician, even then, he dreamed of a combat role, but instead found himself training a separate black regiment in northeast Alabama. There, as part of an integration experience, he worked alongside black officers, whose rhetoric about civil rights and political progress prompted him to push for change at home.

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Video: Snowstorm delayed vaccine deliveries, says NJ governor

new video loaded: Snowstorm has delayed vaccine deliveries, says NJ governor

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Snowstorm has delayed vaccine deliveries, says NJ governor

Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey said the snowstorm that hit the east coast on Wednesday and Thursday morning delayed delivery of coronavirus vaccines to some hospitals by several hours.

And also, my friends, as you go out this morning to dig and help your neighbors, remember to stay safe on all counts. If you see a broken power line, call it. Stay away from it. If your power is off, call her and don’t assume someone else will. Remember we are in a pandemic. So keep social distance and keep your face covered while you help your neighbors. I think it’s fair to say before anyone asks the question, I think this storm has disrupted part of the vaccine delivery, but I think it’s a disruption that will be measured and will happen there. But a bit later as opposed to a binary – it was going to get there and it is not now. I don’t know of any place that was out there that wouldn’t get it. It may be a little later than expected. I said yesterday that we started with six hospitals, 47 more will come online and I think 35 of those 47 expected to receive vaccines today or tomorrow. I think it’s going to be measured in hours or half a day rather than much more than that.

Recent episodes of Extreme weather conditions

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Biden to choose Jennifer Granholm, former Michigan governor, for energy secretary

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joseph R. Biden to name Jennifer M. Granholm, former Michigan governor and long-time champion of renewable energy development, to be the next energy secretary, according to four people close to the transition team of the elected president.

If confirmed, Ms Granholm, 61, will be the second woman, after Hazel R. O’Leary, who served under President Bill Clinton, to head the vast department, which oversees the states nuclear weapons complex- United as well as 17 national laboratories. and a wide range of energy research and development initiatives.

Several people close to the transition said advisers struggled with whether the energy department should be headed by someone grounded in its core mission of ensuring the security of the country’s nuclear arsenal, or whether Mr. Biden should choose someone with a vision to lead a clean cleanup. -energy transformation.

Ms. Granholm was widely recognized during her two terms as governor of Michigan for leading her state through a recession and working with the Obama administration on an auto industry bailout in 2009 that included investments in clean energy and incentives for automakers to invest in technologies such as battery storage. .

At the end of her second term, in 2011, she became an advocate for the development of renewable energy, including giving a TED Talk on how investing in alternative energy resources can strengthen state economies. Mr Biden has focused on his coronavirus recovery plan.

“The economy is clear: Now is the time for low-carbon clawback,” Ms Granholm wrote this year in The Detroit News, advocating for Michigan and other states to adopt low-emission clawback measures of carbon to help rebuild from the economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision to choose Ms Granholm was seen as a nod to environmental groups, some of whom had campaigned against Ernest J. Moniz, a former energy secretary who had long been seen as the leader in taking head of the department a second time. Although he was a favored candidate of labor groups and a close advisor to Mr Biden, activists strongly opposed his financial ties to the fossil fuel industry and the positions he had taken in favor of the continued development of natural gas.