The fire originated in a duplex on the second and third floors of the building but never extended past the unit and the hallway nearest the apartment, FDNY Commissioner Dan Nigro revealed. Smoke generated from the duplex blaze was able to filter out through an open door and spread throughout the 19-story structure, he explained.
"The door to that apartment unfortunately when the residents left was left open, it did not close by itself. The smoke spread throughout the building, thus the tremendous loss of life," Nigro said at an evening press briefing.
The functionality of the building's fire alarms were under investigation, but Nigro said one did alert a neighbor to the rising smoke and prompted the initial 911 call. He also said the building's heat was working as well.
Hours earlier, the commissioner and Mayor Eric Adams revealed the devastating toll of the morning fire: a total of 63 people had suffered injuries. Thirty-two had been hospitalized with life-threatening injuries and another nine had injuries that were serious. Sadly, 19 of those victims died.
The overwhelming majority of the fire's victims were suffering from severe smoke inhalation, Nigro said. Firefighters rushing into the building discovered victims on all nearly every floor of the building -- many found experiencing cardiac and respiratory arrest.
Names and ages of the victims have not been disclosed, but fire officials confirmed that of the 19 dead, nine were children.
Elected leaders at the evening press conference explained that many of the building's residents were Muslims from Gambia. The governor, who was on hand and met with many of the victims, said a fund would be established for the fire victims.
"This is going to be one of the worst fires we have witnessed here in modern times in the City of New York," Adams said earlier in the day.
Chicago school leaders canceled class for a fourth day in the nation’s third-largest district as negotiations with the teachers’ union over remote learning and safety protocols failed to produce an agreement over the weekend.
The announcement came as the principals of some schools had already notified families that their schools would be closed for instruction Monday.
Disputed issues included testing and metrics to close schools. The Chicago Teachers Union wants the option to revert to districtwide remote instruction, and most members have refused to teach in-person until there’s an agreement, or the latest COVID-19 spike subsides. But Chicago leaders reject districtwide remote learning, saying it’s detrimental and schools are safe. Instead, Chicago opted to cancel classes as a whole two days after students returned from winter break.
Chicago Public Schools face the same pandemic issues as other districts nationwide, with more reverting to remote learning as infections soar and staff members are sidelined. But the situation in union-friendly Chicago has been amplified in a labor dispute that’s familiar to families in the mostly low-income Black and Latino district who have seen disruptions during a similar safety protocol fight last year, a 2019 strike and a one-day work stoppage in 2016.
“What the teachers’ union did was an illegal walkout. They abandoned their posts and they abandoned kids and their families,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “We are working diligently every singe day at the bargaining table to narrow the differences and get a deal done.”
Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus, called the strain “deltacron,” because of its omicron-like genetic signatures within the delta genomes, Bloomberg said.
So far, Kostrikis and his team have found 25 cases of the virus, according to the report. It’s still too early to tell whether there are more cases of the strain or what impacts it could have.
“We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail” against the two dominant strains, delta and omicron, Kostrikis said in an interview with Sigma TV Friday. He believes omicron will also overtake deltacron, he added.
The researchers sent their findings this week to GISAID, an international database that tracks viruses, according to Bloomberg.
The deltacron variant comes as omicron continues its rapid spread across the globe, causing a surge in Covid-19 cases. The U.S. is reporting a seven-day average of more than 600,000 new cases daily, according to a CNBC analysis Friday of data from Johns Hopkins University. That’s a 72% increase from the previous week and a pandemic record.
Gavin Newsom on Saturday called for California lawmakers to approve $1.4 billion in emergency COVID-19 money as the omicron variant surges.
Most of that money would go to expanding hospital surge capacity and increasing testing, including by expanding the hours at testing sites and sending millions of rapid tests to local health departments, community clinics and schools.
Newsom’s call for additional funding comes as testing demand outstrips supply in California, resulting in long lines at testing sites and longer wait times for results.
On Friday, the Democratic governor started sending 200 members of the National Guard to help staff testing sites to add capacity for walk-in appointments, manage crowds and backfill staff who catch the virus and must isolate.
The highly infectious omicron variant now accounts for at least 80% of COVID cases in California, according to Newsom’s office. The state’s daily case rate has skyrocketed, and more than 1 in 5 tests are coming back positive, according to state data.
Newsom would also use the money to speed vaccination efforts, including by fighting misinformation about vaccines and partnering with ethnic media outlets, according to the governor’s office.
Newsom plans seek an additional $1.3 billion for COVID response later this year in the 2022-23 budget, which takes effect July 1. He is also calling for the Legislature to create a new COVID-19 supplemental sick leave policy for frontline workers who catch the coronavirus or have to care for an infected family member.
A previous pandemic sick leave policy expired in September.
“From day one California has taken swift and direct action to battle COVID-19 with policies that have saved tens of thousands of lives, but there’s more work to be done,” Newsom said in a statement. “Our proposed COVID-19 emergency response package will support our testing capacity, accelerate vaccination and booster efforts, support frontline workers and health care systems and battle misinformation.”
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Transcript from NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ on Sunday. Host Michel Martin speaks with scientist Resia Pretorius of Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
MARTIN: So your research suggests microclots could turn out to have a key role when it comes to understanding long COVID. Could you just tell us a little bit more about what they are and, you know, how that might explain some of the symptoms that long COVID patients experience, especially the ones we hear the most about, like fatigue and brain fog?
PRETORIUS: Sure. When we speak about long COVID and microclots, I think we should just step back a second and speak about acute COVID. We have noted - we and others have noted that the vascular system and clotting is not working properly during acute COVID. So the dilemma with long COVID is that the percentage of individuals, up to 30%, never really get over the presence of these clotting abnormalities or physiological abnormalities when they are not infective anymore - so when they get over the normal five to 10 days of acute COVID. So during long COVID, these clots then just continue to be present.
MARTIN: Do you have any sense of why these microclots aren't breaking down like blood clots typically do in healthy individuals?
PRETORIUS: Inside the microclots that are present in these individuals' blood in circulation, there are various entrapped molecules, inflammatory molecules, that actually prevent the breakdown of the microclots. So although the body's trying very hard to break down these clots with the normal physiological processes, molecules entrapped in the microclots actually prevent it from breaking down.
Now, that is a massive issue because if these microclots are in circulation, it damages the vasculature, or your blood vessels, and in that process, prevents the cells to receive enough oxygen, causing then a failure of the coagulation system of oxygen to your cells. And that can be linked to all of the lingering symptoms that have been noted in long COVID.
Novak Djokovic's Australian visa cancelation was overturned Monday by a judge on the country's federal circuit court, who ordered his immediate release from immigration detention.
The world No. 1 tennis player is seeking to achieve a record 21st Grand Slam win when the Australian Open begins on Jan. 17, but border officials canceled his visa last week and he was denied entry to Australia. The ruling enables him to defend his Australian Open title.
Judge Anthony Kelly had earlier ruled that the Serbian tennis star could leave the Melbourne detention facility in which he had been placed to attend the hearing, which was broadcast online by the court.
Kelly said at the hearing earlier Monday that he was "somewhat agitated" over Djokovic's treatment by border officials, adding: "What more could this man have done?"
Border officials canceled his visa, saying he failed to provide "appropriate evidence" for his medical exemption from the country's COVID-19 vaccine requirement.
Lawyers for Djokovic, argued that the tennis star could play in the Australian Open because he had tested positive for the virus in December and had received the exemption.
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was remembered by a host of top Democratic politicians at his memorial service in Las Vegas on Saturday, with President Joe Biden hailing the Nevada Democrat as someone who "would always have your back" and former President Barack Obama recalling him as a fighter "who did not give up."
Reid, the scrappy former Democratic Senate leader who spearheaded epic legislative battles throughout three decades in Congress, died in December at age 82 following a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
His service honored his love of family, with all five of the late senator's children speaking; his love of Nevada, the state he helped put on the political map during his decades in office; and the central role he played in ushering in some of the most significant pieces of legislation of the last two decades.
Obama cast Reid as the consummate pragmatist, someone willing to work "with folks he didn't agree with or particularly like" in order to get things done. At a time when "so often compromise is portrayed as weakness, Harry had a different view," Obama said, recalling how the former Democratic leader "did not believe in highfalutin theories or rigid ideologies" and "met people where they were, not where he wanted them to be."
Raskin, a member of the House select committee investigating the insurrection, invited Grisham to testify before the committee after the two had a "candid" phone call about what was happening in the White House that day.
Grisham was chief of staff to former first lady Melania Trump at the time of the riot.
According to Raskin, Grisham named a "lot of names I had not heard before” and “identified some lines of inquiry that had never occurred to me” during the course of their phone call, per CNN.
“America is going to be shocked and surprised at what we all come to learn this year," about the events of Jan. 6, Raskin added.
The Ossoff ethics bill, which the Democratic freshman Senator plans to introduce once he finds a Republican co-sponsor, would crack down on conflicts of interest by making it illegal for lawmakers and their families to trade stocks while in office, a Washington, D.C. source close to the situation said.
It would also likely require lawmakers put their assets in blind trusts — a step that the 34-year-old Ossoff completed himself months after being elected in January 2021.
No Senate Republicans appear to have publicly come out against congressional stock trades, so Ossoff may have trouble finding a co-sponsor in the Senate. But Republican support in the House is more likely, since several GOP House members including Texas Reps. Michael Cloud and Chip Roy have come out against the practice.
Another proposal to curb Congress trades, the Ban Conflicted Trading Act, was introduced in the Senate in March by four Democratic Senators including Sen. Jeff Merkeley of Oregon and Ossoff’s fellow Georgia freshman Raphael Warnock. It also has an accompanying bipartisan House version backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Roy, among other Democrats and Republicans.
But the Ban Conflicted Trading Act would only ban trades by members of Congress and their senior staff — not spouses or families — so Paul Pelosi’s stock-picking would remain legal.
Ossoff’s forthcoming bill would be stricter by closing the spouse loophole, the source said. That would put the new bill more in line with a bipartisan House proposal called the TRUST In Congress Act, which would ban close family members from trading and is supported by Democrats including Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) and Karen Bass (D-Calif.), as well as Republicans like Roy, Cloud, Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Fred Keller (R-Pa.).
South Dakota's senior senator announced Saturday that he will run for a fourth term, putting a lid on speculation that he might retire. The announcement comes a day after Thune turned 61.
"I'm asking South Dakotans for the opportunity to continue serving them in the U.S. Senate," read a statement posted to Thune's campaign account on the social media Twitter. "South Dakota deserves a strong and effective senator who can deliver the result they expect."
Only Karl Mundt, who served in the Senate from 1948 to 1973, won four terms as a senator in South Dakota. Since Mundt’s retirement, three senators have lost running for a fourth term: George McGovern in 1980, Larry Pressler in 1996 and Tom Daschle in 2004.
The decision also puts Thune on course to become the next leader of the Senate. He’s currently the number-two ranking senator behind Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Thune had been weighing retirement, wanting to spend more time with his family, which includes five grandchildren.
Johnson revealed his decision in a two paragraph statement and larger opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.
"I believe America is in peril," Johnson wrote. "Much as I'd like to ease into a quiet retirement, I don't feel I should."
He acknowledged making his two-term pledge during the 2016 campaign but said he and his wife, Jane, didn't anticipate "the Democrats' complete takeover of government and the disastrous policies they have inflicted on America and the world, to say nothing of those they threaten to enact in the future."
Johnson, who has drawn flak for his comments about COVID-19 and raised doubts about mass vaccinations, also cited what he called the "government's failed response" to the pandemic in his decision to run.
Johnson, 66, said he would "continue to fight for freedom in the public realm by running for re-election. It is not a decision I have made lightly. Having already experienced a growing level of vitriol and false attacks, I certainly don’t expect better treatment in the future."
The president and his top legislative allies see the bill — Manchin's own Freedom to Vote Act — as key to thwarting Republican-led changes at the state and local levels and preserving their chances in this fall's midterm elections.
"You think you're just about there. You think you've got an agreement on most of the things and it's settling in. And then you come back the next morning and you're starting from scratch," said the one source who made the Etch A Sketch analogy.
To date, Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) haven't wavered in their opposition to lowering the 60-vote threshold for passing major legislation or creating a one-time carve-out to bypass the filibuster.
At Ghislaine Maxwell’s criminal trial—where the former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein was convicted on five counts related to child sex-trafficking—a victim named Carolyn testified that a second woman also arranged for her to be molested by the perverted multimillionaire.
Sarah Kellen, a former assistant to Epstein, scheduled some of her “massage” appointments at his Palm Beach lair, sent for cars to pick her up and once took nude photographs of her for the pedophile, Carolyn said. “[Kellen] called and said she was calling in regards to Mr. Epstein,” she testified, “and that I would get paid $500 to $600 if she could take pictures of me.”
Kellen “knew what was going on,” Carolyn later added. “She was older than me, so she was an adult. She knew what was happening.”
Indeed, Kellen was part of Epstein’s inner circle for more than a decade and named among four “potential co-conspirators” in the financier’s lenient plea deal in Florida in 2008. That year, multiple teenage victims, including Carolyn, filed lawsuits against Epstein as well as Kellen, with one complaint describing Kellen as his “lieutenant” who “served as both his scheduler and a recruiter/procurer of the girls.”
Now, in the wake of Maxwell’s guilty verdict, Kellen is one of Epstein’s longtime associates who could still face a criminal indictment.
Asked why Kellen wasn’t charged alongside Maxwell, victims’ attorney Brad Edwards said, “I think that’s probably phrased more accurately as why she wasn’t charged yet.”
“The way that I see it is: Sarah has been given dozens if not hundreds of chances to potentially reposition herself in this narrative,” Edwards told The Daily Beast. “You’re either on the side of the victims or the other side, which is the side of the bad guys.”
Kellen and her representatives declined to comment for this story.
Balkovec started her pro baseball career as a strength and conditioning coach with a St. Louis Cardinals minor-league affiliate in 2012. She went on to become the Houston Astros' Latin American strength and conditioning coordinator, also becoming the first woman to hold that position, before moving into the same role with the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks.
After taking time away from American baseball to pursue an additional master's degree in the Netherlands, Balkovec did a fellowship with Driveline Baseball, the Washington-based player development organization. She was then hired by the Yankees as a minor-league hitting coach.
Balkovec, 34, was a catcher for the softball teams at Creighton and the University of New Mexico. Her appointment comes after a recent run of history-making moves for women in baseball, including Kim Ng's hiring as general manager of the Miami Marlins in 2020 and Bianca Smith becoming the first Black woman to coach in pro baseball last year.
A single-engine Cessna 172 went down Sunday onto train tracks adjacent to Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, sending the pilot to the hospital.
The pilot was the sole occupant on board, and was pulled from the aircraft by bystanders prior to the arrival of firefighters at around 2:10 p.m. Sunday, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s valley bureau tweeted, “… Plane lost power, crashed onto tracks, #LAPD pulled pilot out just before approaching train collided with the unoccupied plane.”
The pilot was taken to a trauma center by LAFD paramedics to be treated for unspecified injuries.
No other injuries were reported and there was no fire, according to the LAFD. A minor fuel spill was contained by firefighters.
Authorities said they found homemade explosives, including hand-style grenades and a pipe explosive, along with nails and duct tape while searching the home of a Florida man arrested after he was spotted running away from a Jan. 6 anniversary rally.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Garrett Smith, 22, was near a political assembly supporting a jailed Oath Keeper who is charged with participating in the Capitol riot last year. When they searched his backpack, they found a pipe-style explosive device and a checklist detailing items to bring including armor, helmet, shaded goggles, a gas mask, duct tape and flammable rags.
Deputies said they also found a helmet with a logo on it that had been seen at other protests in cities such as Portland, where Smith had spent time.
But the sheriff stressed it was too early to say whether Smith was affiliated with any group. Deputies also obtained a search warrant for Smith’s house, where the sheriff said they found another pipe explosive, along with hand grenade-style explosives, nails and duct tape.
Sonya Champ, 40, is believed to be the fifth victim in a number of murders carried out by a serial assailant dubbed the "shopping cart killer," according to NBC News.
Another two females were positively identified by Virginia police officials Friday evening.
Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis told reporters that DNA analysis was used to identify 29-year-old Cheyenne Brown, of Washington, D.C., and 48-year-old Stephanie Harrison, of Redding, Calif., who were found in Alexandria, Va., on December 15, 2021.
"He preys on the weak, he preys on the vulnerable, and he does unspeakable things with his victim," Davis said. "Our shopping cart killer does unspeakable things with his victims."
Police suspect Anthony Robinson, 35, of Washington, D.C., who was arrested and charged in November for the murder of two other women, is behind the killings.
Investigators believe Robinson transported the bodies of Allene Elizabeth Redmon, 54, and Tonita Lorice Smith, 39, in a shopping cart before their remains were discovered in Harrisonburg, Va.
"We believe he transported at least one of our Fairfax County victims in a shopping cart as well," Davis said.
Robinson has been listed as the "primary and singular suspect" in the murders of Brown and Harrison, and criminal charges are expected to be brought against him.
No one was injured in the incident, according to the Brown County Sheriff's Office.
According to a news release, reports of the broken ice were received around 10:17 a.m.
The Brown County Sheriff's Office, New Franken Fire Department, Green Bay Metro Fire Department, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Coast Guard worked together on the ice rescue. Everyone was brought to safety by around noon.
The Sheriff's Office said the chunk of ice floated about three-quarters of a mile during the rescue, and was approximately a mile from the shoreline by the time everyone was brought to safety. While the ice remained in "fairly stable condition," it was "deteriorating rapidly" and cracking as water pounded against the edges, according to the news release.
The Santa Fe Sheriff's Office and New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney's Office are 'actively working' with the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department, New York, and Baldwin's lawyers to get any materials on the phone pertaining to their investigation, according to a press release.
The investigation relates to a probe into the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Western movie 'Rust.'
Baldwin, 63, could be seen in photos pacing around the outdoor set while talking on the cellphone immediately after the fatal shooting.
A lawyer for Baldwin did not respond to requests for comment as to why the actor has not yet handed over his cellphone to authorities.
“I have studied these policies and I am very concerned about the implications to your safety as police officers, the safety of the public and justice for the victims,” Sewell wrote in the email obtained by The Post.
“I am making my concerns known to the Manhattan District Attorney and hope to have frank and productive discussions to try and reach more common ground.”
District Attorney Alvin Bragg, in his first memo issued Monday, instructed his staff to stop prosecuting many low-level offenses, to seek reduced charges for certain crimes and not to ask for bail except in the most serious cases.
Sewell, who also recently started in her role after being appointed by new Mayor Eric Adams, said the progressive approach will erode quality of life in the city, and sends a message to police officers that they are not protected.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has tested positive for COVID-19, her office confirmed in a statement Sunday evening.
"She is experiencing symptoms and recovering at home. The Congresswoman received her booster shot this Fall, and encourages everyone to get their booster and follow all CDC guidance," the statement read.
Opponents have vowed to challenge the new law, which the City Council approved a month ago. Unless a judge halts its implementation, New York City is the first major U.S. city to grant widespread municipal voting rights to noncitizens.
More than a dozen communities across the U.S. already allow noncitizens to cast ballots in local elections, including 11 towns in Maryland and two in Vermont.
Noncitizens still wouldn’t be able to vote for president or members of Congress in federal races, or in the state elections that pick the governor, judges and legislators.
The Board of Elections must now begin drawing an implementation plan by July, including voter registration rules and provisions that would create separate ballots for municipal races to prevent noncitizens from casting ballots in federal and state contests.
It's a watershed moment for the nation's most populous city, where legally documented, voting-age noncitizens comprise nearly one in nine of the city’s 7 million voting-age inhabitants. The movement to win voting rights for noncitizens prevailed after numerous setbacks.
The measure would allow noncitizens who have been lawful permanent residents of the city for at least 30 days, as well as those authorized to work in the U.S., including "Dreamers,” to help select the city’s mayor, city council members, borough presidents, comptroller and public advocate.
The first elections in which noncitizens would be allowed to vote are in 2023.
Multiple sources connected to the iconic comedian and actor -- most famous for his starring role as Danny Tanner in 'Full House' -- tell us he passed away Sunday at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando.
The Sheriff's Department and the fire department responded to the hotel around 4 PM ET ... after hotel security had found Bob in his room. We're told he was pronounced dead on the scene, but the circumstances of his death are still unclear.
Bob's been touring the country lately, hitting a lot of destinations throughout the state of Florida, including in Orlando, which got started in September and was supposed to take him through May.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office says Bob's death appears to be a mystery to them ... because they say, so far, there's no signs of anything fishy in the case that would raise any red flags.
OCSO says, "On arrival, (deputies) located a man who was unresponsive in a hotel room. The man, identified as Robert Lane Saget, (DOB: 5/17/1956), was pronounced deceased on scene. We have no information on cause of death, and detectives have found no signs of foul play or drug use in this case. This is all the information we have for release at this time and we do not anticipate further updates."
They note, the Medical Examiner’s Office will make the final call on the cause and manner of death.
After her 28th victory in a row — a runaway $42,200 win capped by a Final Jeopardy question about a 1948 expedition account — Amy Schneider has become only the fourth contestant and the first woman in Jeopardy! history to win more than $1 million on the regular game show.
Schneider, a software engineering manager from Oakland, Calif., called her run on the show "a life-changing experience."
"It feels amazing, it feels strange," Schneider said in a press release. "It's not a sum of money I ever anticipated would be associated with my name."
Schneider's record-breaking run began Nov. 17, when she claimed a last-minute victory by being the only contestant to correctly answer the Final Jeopardy clue ("A cemetery on this island has the graves of Robert Fulton & 2 of the first 4 Treasury Secretaries" The correct response: "What is Manhattan?").
During an episode that aired the week of Thanksgiving, she acknowledged her identity as a transgender woman by wearing a trans pride flag pin.
"I didn't want to make too much about being trans, at least in the context of the show. I am a trans woman, and I'm proud of that fact, but I'm a lot of other things, too!" she wrote on Twitter of her decision to wear the pin.
President Bush, addressing the nation with a strategy for a new way forward in Iraq, said he will send an additional 20,000 American troops to the region and outlined his plan for securing Baghdad against sectarian violence.
While he expressed confidence that this strategy ultimately will bring success in Iraq, the president warned that violence is likely to continue even if the strategy works "exactly as planned."
"This new strategy will not yield an immediate end to suicide bombings, assassinations, or IED attacks … [We] must expect more Iraqi and American casualties," Bush said. "The question is whether our new strategy will bring us closer to success. I believe that it will."
The president also accepted responsibility for mistakes in Iraq.
"The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people -- and it is unacceptable to me," he said. "Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely. They have done everything we have asked them to do. Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me."
During his primetime speech from the White House library, Bush said he has made it clear to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Iraq's other leaders that the United States' commitment to the region is not open-ended.
He said the Iraqi government needs to follow through on its promises of benchmarks for success -- or else risk losing the support of the American and Iraqi peoples.
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