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5 things to know for March 23: Boulder, Covid-19, Israel, White House, China

New York police are investigating recent attacks on Asian Americans as potential hate or bias crimes following the Atlanta spa shootings.

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1. Colorado shooting

Ten people, including a police officer, were killed yesterday afternoon after a gunman opened fire in a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. The attack unfolded just before 3 p.m. local time as customers in the King Soopers store waited in line for Covid-19 vaccines and shopped. Among those killed was 51-year-old Officer Eric Talley, who was the first police officer to respond. Police haven’t released details about the rest of the victims yet. A suspect is in custody, but so far police have declined to comment on his identity, a motive or the specific weapon. A senior law enforcement source said the shooter used an AR-15-style rifle. The shooting comes just days after another mass murderer took the lives of eight people at spas around Atlanta. Together, these tragedies have renewed calls for stricter gun control legislation.

2. Coronavirus 

The AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is gaining steam after the company released new data on its efficacy. A US-based clinical trial showed the vaccine had 79% efficacy against symptomatic disease and 100% efficacy against severe disease and hospitalization, though an independent US board expressed concern over whether the data is complete. Still, the Biden administration will loan about 4 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Canada and Mexico as the shots await approval in the US. South Korea’s President just got the AstraZeneca vaccine himself, and starting today, adults age 65 and older across his country can, too. While there’s still concern that travel and mass gatherings could feed another surge in the US, experts estimate vaccine usage has already saved about 40,000 American lives.

3. Israel 

Israelis head to the polls today for the country’s fourth general election in under two years. Political leaders have failed to form a decisive government after the last three elections, and there’s no guarantee this one will be any different. Most likely, the vote will chiefly serve as a referendum on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Though he’s won praise for recent diplomatic deals and his handling of the pandemic, the country’s leader of 15 years is also on trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. While Netanyahu’s Likud party will likely come out on top this time, polls show as many as 13 parties could win spots in the 120-seat Knesset, which would make forming a cohesive government all the more difficult.

4. White House

White House advisers are expected to present a two-part, $3 trillion jobs and infrastructure proposal to President Biden as soon as this week. The massive plan is part of the economic agenda Biden promised during his campaign and represents the second phase of his “rescue” and “recovery” strategy (after the coronavirus relief bill). One part of the new plan focuses on infrastructure and clean energy, and the other on what’s being termed the “care economy” — things like early education and child care. No final decisions have been made on the plan, but Biden says he will work with congressional Democrats to find the best way forward.

5. China

The US and several international allies announced coordinated sanctions against two Chinese officials for “serious human rights abuses” against Uyghur Muslims. The announcement, in cooperation with the European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom and others, is a collective motion of condemnation for Beijing’s repression of Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang province. China hit right back, announcing sanctions against 10 EU politicians and four entities for “maliciously spreading lies and disinformation.” This recent volley will likely be a big topic of conversation when Chinese and Russian officials meet in Beijing this week, since both countries are bitter over sanctions from the international community.


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Popeyes is bringing its famous fried chicken to Britain

Taste that crispy, juicy American culture.

Giant pandas ‘on top form’ mated ‘multiple times’ this weekend, a French zoo reports

Geez, they don’t have to brag.



That’s about how many unaccompanied migrant children were detained at the southern US border between February 28 and last Saturday, eclipsing the number of minors apprehended in all of February. Senior Biden administration officials traveled to Mexico yesterday to discuss managing migration with government officials as the surge continues.


“If they (Saudi Arabia) lift the blockade and open the airport then there will be a supportive atmosphere for the entering into negotiations and reaching credible conclusions.”

Houthi Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Hussin Al-ezzi, reacting to Saudi Arabia’s embrace of a proposal to end the six-year conflict in Yemen between the Saudi-led coalition and Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The plan also involves lifting a Saudi-imposed sea and air blockade in the region.


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We’ll take 500, thank you

With the time and talent it takes to make these sweet works of art, well, they’re just too pretty to eat! Also, they’re clay so … they’re definitely not edible anyway. (Click here to view.)

Article Topic Follows: National-World

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