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Iran's New Nuclear 'Understanding' with World Atomic Agency Explained

"What we have is a technical understanding that provides some breathing space for the political actors to find a political solution," Laura Rockwood, who authored the Additional Protocol being abandoned by Iran, told a press call attended by Newsweek.
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Joe Manchin Slows COVID-19 Stimulus Bill Passage Over Unemployment Benefits
Manchin is considering two proposals that would lower weekly unemployment benefits. However, the Biden Administration seems willing to accept a compromise
Boeing CEO waived pay but got compensation worth $21 million
Stock package comes as aerospace company lost nearly $12 billion last year and announced plans to cut 30,000 jobs.
What Widespread Vaccinations Mean for Weddings, Concerts and Other Large Gatherings
Vaccinating at least 70 percent of Americans could help reopen businesses, but experts weren't as confident about large gatherings happening in 2021.
Amanda Nunes sees difficulty in Megan Anderson at UFC 259: 'Every fight is completely different'
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Andrew Cuomo’s insidious lies are finally catching up with him
I made Gov. Cuomo angry last summer, and I now understand that I acted in a way that made him feel uncomfortable. But I want the governor to understand that my slight was unintentional, and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it and frankly, I’m embarrassed by it, and that’s...
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Man crushed to death by elevator in Brooklyn apartment building
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Why comparing Covid-19 vaccine efficacy numbers can be misleading
A shipment of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine arrives at a hospital in Bay Shore, New York, on March 3. | Johnny Milano/Bloomberg via Getty Images The best Covid-19 vaccine for you is most likely still the first one you can get. Three different Covid-19 vaccines are now being distributed across the United States, and all three are highly effective at the most important thing: preventing hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19. But some people remain worried that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is less effective at preventing disease to begin with. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan this week turned down 6,200 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses for his city. “Johnson & Johnson is a very good vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer are the best,” Duggan said in a news conference. “And I am going to do everything I can to make sure that residents of the city of Detroit get the best.” Scientists say that this is the wrong way to think about Covid-19 vaccines, and that judging the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as inferior based on its lower reported efficacy is misleading. Such actions are especially worrying at the current stage of the pandemic. Covid-19 has killed more than 500,000 Americans, and while cases seem to be declining, the virus is still spreading, new variants are gaining ground, and some parts of the country are already relaxing precautions (which health officials warn could end up prolonging the pandemic). Turning down vaccine doses while supplies of all Covid-19 vaccines are still stretched thin undermines the campaign to curb the pandemic. In clinical trials, the vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech, by Moderna, and by Johnson & Johnson reduced the fatality rate of Covid-19 by 100 percent compared to their placebo groups. They also kept all recipients out of the hospital. That means they can potentially downgrade Covid-19 from a public health crisis to a manageable problem. “The goal of a vaccine was really to defang or tame this virus, to make it more like other respiratory viruses that we deal with, so when you look at the three approved vaccines in the US, all of them are extremely good at that metric,” said Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security. The vaccines do have some important differences. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is one dose, while the others require two. It also can be stored at refrigerator temperatures, while the others require freezer temperatures. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is also less expensive, about $10 per dose, roughly half as much as the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The Moderna vaccine costs between $25 and $37 per dose. These factors give Johnson & Johnson an edge in logistics and could help the shots get to people in harder-to-reach places. Saad Omer, the director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, told Vox last month that it’s a vaccine that “can increase equity.” But when Johnson & Johnson filed for an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its Covid-19 vaccine in early February, it reported that its overall efficacy in preventing Covid-19 cases that produced symptoms was 66.1 percent. The Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines reported efficacy levels around 95 percent. That gap in efficacy numbers is fueling some people’s perception that the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine isn’t as good. However, scientists say that these numbers can’t be fairly compared to one another. The efficacy levels of the Covid-19 vaccines are specific to the clinical trials that produced them, and those trials were not conducted in the same ways. In addition, health officials have been emphasizing that the most important numbers — how well the vaccines prevent hospitalizations and deaths — are consistent across the board and are arguably more comparable. Even after these vaccines have begun distribution, researchers are finding that Covid-19 vaccines are doing a remarkable job of keeping people alive. That’s why the recommendation remains that the best Covid-19 vaccine for the vast majority of people is the first one they can get. “That’s how I think of these vaccines, as basically interchangeable,” said Adalja. Why it’s hard to make direct comparisons between the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine and the one from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech To gauge how well vaccines work, companies test them in several stages, looking to ensure they are safe, to find the correct dose, and to figure out how much protection they provide. These trials are designed to test vaccines individually, not to pit them against each other. So direct comparisons don’t always make sense and one has to be careful to understand the nuances of how each result was obtained. But health officials have acknowledged that the earlier results of the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines shifted expectations of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. “If this had occurred in the absence of a prior announcement and implementation of a 94, 95 percent efficacy [vaccine], one would have said this is an absolutely spectacular result,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine during the press conference in January. In phase 3 clinical trials, Covid-19 vaccines were tested against the virus in the real world, in actual people against the actual virus. This involves testing tens of thousands of participants to see who ends up showing symptoms, randomly dividing them into groups that receive the actual vaccine and groups that receive a placebo (without revealing who got what). Testing in the real world means dealing with all the confounding factors of the real world. Depending on which volunteers are selected and where they are, they face different infection rates of the virus. They have varying access to health care. Some places had more strict lockdowns than others, or started them at varying times, so participants experienced different public health measures. Michigan issued a mask mandate in March 2020 while California issued one in June 2020, for example. Timing is critical too. The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech finished enrolling participants in their phase 3 trials in October and reported their results in late November. The Johnson & Johnson phase 3 trial only finished enrolling participants in December 2020 and reported their results in January. That means the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was tested during one of the most severe stages of the pandemic, when transmission, cases, and hospitalizations were at their worst in many places around the world, including the US. The trial also captured efficacy against the new variants of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19) which began circulating at this point in some parts of the world. Several of these variants have shown themselves to be more contagious, deadlier, and more likely to evade protection from vaccines and prior immunity. And Johnson & Johnson’s efficacy results included trials in other countries, whereas the results from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech were mainly from US-based participants. Johnson & Johnson found that vaccine efficacy shifted depending on the country in which it was studied. The vaccine was found to have a 72 percent overall efficacy after four weeks in preventing Covid-19 symptoms in the US. Under the same benchmarks in South Africa, where a coronavirus variant with worrisome mutations that help it escape vaccines has been spreading widely, the company found a 64 percent efficacy. When it came to preventing severe and critical cases of Covid-19, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 85.9 percent efficacious in the US while in South Africa, efficacy against severe and critical disease was reduced to 81.7 percent. The fact that these vaccines were tested in different ways at different times is why it’s so hard to make apples-to-apples comparisons. “I don’t even look at those efficacy numbers and compare them head-to-head like that,” Adalja said. “Biostats 101: You cannot compare trial results like that unless they were done in a head-to-head fashion.” Researchers still need more information about Covid-19 vaccines, especially as new variants spread The huge emphasis on the fact that vaccines prevent hospitalizations and death doesn’t mean that preventing the symptoms of Covid-19 is not important. Millions of people in the US have preexisting health conditions and could suffer from the disease even if they don’t end up in the hospital. About 10 percent of Covid-19 survivors have reported persistent symptoms even after the virus has faded away, the so-called long haulers. It hints that the disease can cause long-term damage. And while vaccines can protect an individual, it’s less clear how well they prevent transmission from person to person (although evidence is mounting that the available Covid-19 vaccines reduce the virus’ spread). That’s why vaccinated people are encouraged to continue wearing masks until vaccinations are widespread. An ideal Covid-19 vaccine would reduce deaths, hospitalizations, symptoms, and transmission, and right now, all of the three Covid-19 vaccines available in the US check these boxes, even for people with risk factors for severe disease or long-term illness. “I wouldn’t be picky if I’m a high-risk person, because being picky may leave you out in the cold of not being vaccinated,” Lawrence Corey, a professor studying virology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “We have still an incredible epidemic going on here.” There are some people with a history of severe allergic reactions or certain immunological conditions who will have to be careful about selecting a vaccine, and some may not be able to receive one at all. But that makes it all the more important to vaccinate everyone around a vulnerable person, which helps build herd immunity. The looming concern, though, is how well Covid-19 vaccines will hold up as the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to mutate and new variants arise. Already, vaccine manufacturers are investigating booster doses and modifications of their shots to better counter the newer versions of the virus. Researchers will also have to figure out how well existing vaccines are holding up against the variants in the real world. While vaccine clinical trials were conducted independently of each other, it would behoove scientists to coordinate from here on out, sharing protocols and pooling data to draw more useful conclusions. “Imagine what will happen when these studies generate results, each with their own populations, eligibility criteria, validation procedures and clinical endpoints,” wrote Natalie Dean, an assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida, in Nature. “If we don’t want our final answers to be a jumble, we must act now to consider how data can be compared and combined.” In the meantime, it’s important to keep in mind that vaccines are one part of a comprehensive public health response to Covid-19. Social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, testing, tracing, and isolation remain critical to speeding up progress toward the end of the pandemic.
US could reach herd immunity by summer through vaccinations alone, CNN analysis finds
The pace of Covid-19 vaccine administration in the US continues to improve, each day bringing the country closer to herd immunity -- the point at which enough people are protected against a disease that it cannot spread.
US could reach herd immunity by summer through vaccinations alone, CNN analysis finds
If coronavirus vaccines continue at the current pace, the US could see 70%-85% of the population immunized by September -- a level that should provide herd immunity, a CNN analysis shows.
Pentagon evaluates Nat'l Guard staying at Capitol
The Pentagon says it's reviewing a request to have National Guard troops remain at the U.S. Capitol. (March 5)
NASA shows Perseverance's first drive on Mars
NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover has performed its first drive on Mars. The space agency on Friday showed images of the rover's wheel tracks on the surface of the Red Planet. (March 5)
U.S. embraces COVID-19 vaccines, improving odds of herd immunity
Americans are warming up to COVID-19 vaccines, with 19% saying they've already received at least one dose and 49% intending to do so when they get the chance.
Teacher pays just $1,300 a month for unreal ‘Monica Geller’ apartment in NYC
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John McAfee facing charges for alleged cryptocurrency 'pump and dump' scheme on Twitter
John David McAfee, the eccentric antivirus software pioneer, has been indicted on fraud and money laundering charges by the Department of Justice, which alleges he and a business partner participated in a scheme that earned more than $13 million by falsely promoting cryptocurrency to unwitting investors.
Fact Check: Do Overweight People Account For Most COVID-19 Deaths?
More than a year into the pandemic, the health care and science communities have identified a number of risk factors that increase the likelihood of complications from COVID-19. A recent report from the World Obesity Federation (WOF) unveiled new links between obesity and COVID-19 outcomes.
Iceland rocked by more than 20,000 earthquakes in 10 days
There have been more than 3,100 earthquakes on the peninsula in the past 48 hours​.
Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray's hat 'creates stir' at Phoenix Suns game
Was Cardinals quarterback just wearing an Oakland A's hat without motive? Or was he trying to send a message?
The most disturbing revelations from Husch Blackwell's report and what's next for LSU, Les Miles
SportsPulse: Nancy Armour details the most damning revelations from Husch Blackwell's investigation into LSU mishandling of sexual misconduct over the past decade.
Former Roanoke sheriff Octavia Johnson says she’ll seek GOP nomination for governor
Johnson seeks to become the first Black woman elected governor of any state
California theme parks, stadiums can reopen as early as April 1 after COVID-19 rules revamped
The venues will be allowed to welcome back fans far sooner than expected under new guidance the state unveiled Friday.
Elizabeth Duff, first black woman to drive Nashville city bus dies of Covid-19
CNN's Jake Tapper reports.
Almost half of Americans financially struggling 1 year after COVID-19 hit
In this tale of two economies, 40% of Americans have had a job cut or layoff — while 30% say they're better off than a year ago.
Conde Nast taps Axios reporter tied to axed Biden aide for Teen Vogue EIC
The Axios political reporter whose relationship with a Biden aide made headlines after he threatened a reporter looking to expose the affair has been tapped to be the next editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue. Conde Nast says it has hired Alexi McCammond, 27, to be the next editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, a digital-only fashion title that...
Dodgers, Angels and other California MLB teams can allow a handful of fans opening day
Only the San Francisco Giants among California's five MLB teams will be allowed to admit more than 100 fans until their counties fall out of the purple tier.
Texas governor back law to stop social media sites from banning users
A red-hot wave of Republicans in 20 states is pushing for new rules since former President Trump was banned from the two platforms.
Mark Pavelich, ‘Miracle on Ice’ team star, dead at 63
Mark Pavelich, a member of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic hockey team, was found dead in a treatment facility in central Minnesota. The 63-year-old died at Eagle’s Healing Nest, where he was receiving mental health treatment, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune. Pavelich was under civil commitment for assaulting his neighbor with a...
Meghan Markle’s Oprah interview is ‘danger’ to royal family, experts say
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s hotly-anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey could deal a major blow to the British monarchy — far worse than Prince Andrew’s disastrous sit-down amid the Jeffrey Epstein saga, royal experts say. Author Pauline Maclaran said she believes that Prince Andrew’s infamous interview about his friendship with the late convicted pedophile Epstein would...
Pamela Anderson eyes $14.9 million for Malibu beach house
'Baywatch' star Pamela Anderson is offering up her place on the beach, asking $14.9 million for her designer compound in Malibu Colony.
Cuomo official Malatras appears to throw cohorts under bus in nursing home denial
A member of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 task force on Friday denied any role in changing a Department of Health report to cover up the state’s true nursing home death toll from the coronavirus. The assertion by SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras appeared to place blame for the undercount on officials including Cuomo’s embattled top aide,...
In the End, WandaVision Choked
The Marvel series dug into difficult, complex emotions, but its finale ran away from them
All the products you need to care for your lockdown facial hair
Although the beard may be here to stay at least for a little while longer, it does need to be kept well-groomed and maintained properly in order to look and feel good. Check out these top beard care products to keep you looking suave.
Graham Challenges Biden as Senate Stalls on Unemployment Benefits, 'You Could Pick Up the Phone'
At the time Graham spoke, the Senate had been stalled for more than five hours over dueling amendments to expand unemployment benefits — which are due to expire on March 14.
Man arrested with over 300 grams of meth
Kyrsten Sinema Tweet Calling Minimum Wage Raise 'No-Brainer' Resurfaces After No Vote
"A full-time minimum-wage earner makes less than $16k a year. This one's a no-brainer. Tell Congress to #RaiseTheWage!" Sinema wrote in 2014, when she served in the House.
Biden seeking to boost COVID relief bill
President Joe Biden convenes a White House round table, aiming to strike a "conversation" with people who would benefit from his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. "People in the country are hurting right now," Biden said. (March 5)
Why the wait for fried chicken at NYC’s Pecking House is 8 weeks
NYC's Pecking House, launched in September by Eleven Madison Park alum Eric Huang, now has a 5,000-person wait list.
Capitol Hill has picked Shalanda Young to lead OMB -- but Biden hasn't yet
Congressional Democrats are pushing President Joe Biden to nominate Shalanda Young to lead the Office of Management and Budget after Neera Tanden withdrew her nomination amid opposition in the Senate.
Detroit’s Mayor Had a Point When He Turned Down Johnson & Johnson’s Vaccine
Even though he isn’t standing by it.
Wait, Are the Knicks Good Now?
The shock of being a game over .500 may prove to be fatal.
Fact Check: Was Pope Francis Once a Nightclub Bouncer?
Pope Francis trended on Twitter Friday amid his visit to Iraq. The day prior, one social media user declared that he used to work an odd job that could be considered surprising for a pope.
US jobless claims drop, but are still high
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Greg Abbott Blames Biden Border Policies for Spreading COVID, Days After Lifting Mask Mandate
Abbott says "the president and his administration need to step up and stop this program," ending the process of bringing asylum seekers into the country.
This week on "Face the Nation," March 7, 2021
Dr. Anthony Fauci and West Virginia Governor Jim Justice appear on Sunday's "Face the Nation"
Here's how Canadian schools have stayed open
While many US schools have yet to return to in-person learning amid the Covid-19 pandemic, most Canadian schools have been open for months. CNN's Paula Newton reports.
Psaki: Biden too busy with ‘historic crises’ to hold a press conference
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday said that President Biden hasn’t held a single solo press conference during his first 45 days in office because he’s busy with “historic crises” linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Psaki fended off a reporter’s questions about why Biden has not held an early-term question-and-answer forum — in...
Bill limiting China-backed Confucius Institutes passed unanimously by Senate
The Senate unanimously passed a bill this week that clamps down on China’s reach into U.S. universities by tightening restrictions on Confucius Institutes.