Throngs of spring breakers flocked to Miami Beach again Sunday night, despite an official state of emergency and 8 p.m. curfew. On Saturday night police used pepper balls to disperse partyers on Ocean Drive, but that didn’t stop them from turning out again last night. Video footage showed people dancing on cars with liquor bottles and throwing money into the crowd. The emergency measures brought in by the Florida city argued that few revelers were wearing masks or practicing social distancing, with Mayor Dan Gelber noting that the virus is “still very present in our community.”
2. Anti-Netanyahu Protests Ahead of Israel’s Uncertain Elections
Israelis head to the polls tomorrow for the country’s fourth election in two years, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks to end a lengthy political stalemate resulting from the previous inconclusive votes. The country’s longest-serving leader is counting on his success in delivering vaccines, but over the weekend tens of thousands of Israelis protested against the right-wing politician, calling for him to go. While his Likud party remains ahead in the polls, Netanyahu doesn’t have the support of enough smaller parties to form a majority coalition government.
3. Diplomats Blocked From Canadian’s Espionage Trial in China
The trial of Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat accused of spying, began in Beijing Monday, with representatives from more than 20 countries denied access to the proceedings. The Canadian was detained in 2018 in an apparent tit-for-tat after Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou for breaking sanctions against Iran. Kovrig, who worked for the International Crisis Group, was arrested along with fellow Canadian Michael Spavor — whose trial on Friday lasted just two hours. The verdict in Spavor’s case is pending. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has ruled out trading the two men for Meng.
4. Chips Are Down for Automakers After Japan Factory Fire
A recent fire at a Renesas Electronics factory in Tokyo could cause a shortage in the global supply of automotive semiconductor chips, which is already down due to high pandemic-driven demand for digital products. Renesas hopes the damaged factory will resume manufacturing in about a month, but automakers may suffer in the meantime. There’s been a surge in auto sales, but due to a shortage of semiconductors carmakers like Ford, Honda and Nissan have had to curb production. Friday’s fire looks likely to make things worse.
Coronavirus Update: The U.S. trial of the AstraZeneca vaccine has found it is not only safe but 79 percent effective against stopping COVID-19 and 100 percent effective in preventing serious illness. And Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas, the leading opposition candidate in the Republic of Congo’s presidential election, has died of coronavirus hours after polls closed.
It’s time for #RealTalk and #RealChange. Why do Black people distrust the medical system? Why do white doctors believe racist myths? Should there be all-Black hospitals? The racial inequities in America’s health care system have been on display more than ever in the past year, and they cry out for bold questions and creative solutions. In today’s special, we hear from policymakers, medical professionals and patients about what needs to change to fix this shame in our society. Watch now!
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“There were literally thousands of them,” Melanie Williams said Monday, explaining how floods in New South Wales had resulted in swarms of spiders climbing the wall of her house to escape the water. Sydney residents said if they stood still the arachnids even started crawling up their legs. But scientists said what seems like a plague is easily explained. The spiders and other ground-dwelling creatures are always there, said Sydney University professor Dieter Hochuli, we just don’t notice them. “Just like people, they're trying to get to higher ground during a flood.”
2. Trump Plans Social Media Return — on His Own Platform
Is the silence deafening? After several major social media companies barred former President Donald Trump in the wake of the Capitol riot, the tweeter-in-chief has been unusually quiet. But not for much longer, his advisor says. Trump plans to launch his own platform in the next few months. “This is something that I think will be the hottest ticket in social media, it’s going to completely redefine the game, and everybody is going to be waiting and watching to see what exactly President Trump does,” Jason Miller told Fox News, without providing any details.
3. Dozens of Dead Pigs Found Along China’s Yellow River
Scores of pig carcasses have been found along part of the Yellow River in China’s Inner Mongolia region, state media reported Monday, raising concerns over food and water safety. Authorities are investigating whether the animals carried any disease and what caused them to die in large numbers — as well as disinfecting the area. Chinese farmers have only recently recovered from a 2018 outbreak of African swine fever, which saw more than half the pigs in the world’s main pork producer killed. In 2013, thousands of dead hogs were found in Shanghai’s Huangpu river.
4. Sandra Oh Voices ‘Fear and Anger’ After Atlanta Murders
The star of Grey’s Anatomy and Killing Eve made an impromptu appearance at a #StopAsianHate rally in Pittsburgh Saturday, declaring she’s “proud to be Asian.” Oh spoke passionately about the killings of six Asian women in Atlanta last week, saying, “For many of us in our community, this is the first time we are even able to voice our fear and our anger.” Steven Yeun, the first Asian American nominated for a best actor Oscar, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang and several K-pop stars have also spoken out, and actor Daniel Dae Kim lobbied Congress to tackle hate crimes.
5. Teething Problems: Serena Williams Pulls Out of Miami Open
The tennis superstar who’s won the Miami Open a record eight times was forced to withdraw after having oral surgery, she announced Sunday. “Miami is a special tournament for me because it’s my home and I am sad I won’t be able to see the incredible fans this year,” Williams said. Her most recent appearance came last month, when the 23-time Grand Slam singles winner lost to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open semifinals. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are also missing the Miami Open, which starts today.
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