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Capitol riot: Updated list of arrests in New York State (photos) - syracuse.com posted at 15:09:44 UTC

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Capitol riot: Updated list of arrests in New York State (photos) - syracuse.com posted at 15:09:44 UTC


The man feds believe to be sanitation worker Dominick Madden at the Jan. 6 insurrection.Federal Bureau of Investigation

Capitol riot: Updated list of arrests in New York State (photos) - syracuse.com

 
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1:01 PM 1/25/2021 - Putin says palace Navalny alleges he owns is not his or his family's | Moderna Finds COVID-19 Vaccine Less Effective Against Variant Found In South Africa | Merck ends COVID vaccine program

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1:01 PM 1/25/2021 - Putin says palace Navalny alleges he owns is not his or his family's | Moderna Finds COVID-19 Vaccine Less Effective Against Variant Found In South Africa | Merck ends COVID vaccine program


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Not only does he not know any actual billionaires, but the people he does know are “just the opposite,” Giuliani said.
 
Michael Novakhov's favorite articles on Inoreader
Putin says palace Navalny alleges he owns is not his or his family's  TimesLIVE
  1. Vladimir Putin: Palace in Navalny report 'doesn't belong to me'  DW (English)
  2. Why Russian protests against Putin could be different this time around  CNBC
  3. Alexei Navalny is a real threat to Vladimir Putin  Financial Times
  4. ‘Counterproductive, dangerous’: Putin slams pro-Navalny protests  Al Jazeera English
  5. Navalny Attacked by Putin Allies After Russia Protests  The New York Times
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News
Aleksei Navalny and the Future of Russia
Over the weekend, a standoff between President Vladimir Putin and his loudest critic became a showdown in the streets. Could this be a turning point?
Putin Thrusts Global Food Markets Into Russian Politics  Bloomberg

Mexico's president thanks Putin for vaccine shipments  Reuters
  1. Why Russian protests against Putin could be different this time around  CNBC
  2. Alexei Navalny is a real threat to Vladimir Putin  Financial Times
  3. ‘Counterproductive, dangerous’: Putin slams pro-Navalny protests  Al Jazeera English
  4. Vladimir Putin: Palace in Navalny report 'doesn't belong to me'  DW (English)
  5. Navalny Attacked by Putin Allies After Russia Protests  The New York Times
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News
NPR News: 01-25-2021 12PM ET

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Three southern BK nabes lead city in COVID positivity rates

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Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York City

Three southern Brooklyn neighborhoods — Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, and parts of Brighton Beach — currently make up the area of the city with the highest positivity rate for COVID-19 tests. 

City testing data shows 17.37 percent of all tests administered in the 11235 zip code produced positive results during the 7-day period from Jan. 12 through Jan. 18, when the most recent data is available. 

Some 521 new coronavirus cases cropped up that week in the area, which is nearly 100 more new cases than the next highest zip code, 10467 in the Bronx.  

While no other Brooklyn neighborhoods cracked the top five of the city’s highest COVID-19 positive testing rate, six other southern Brooklyn neighborhoods — Bensonhurst, Mapleton, Bath Beach, Gravesend, other parts of Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Seagate and Homecrest, in that order — are included in the top ten. 

Throughout Brooklyn, the positive testing rate sits at 8.13 percent. Across the Five Boroughs, where the rate has hovered around 9 percent, health officials have recorded 36,069 new cases over the seven days ending on Jan. 18. 

Theresa Scavo, chairwoman of the area’s Community Board 15, attributes the recent spike in southern Brooklyn cases to people dropping their guard to spend the holidays with family members.

“People are getting crazy, they have been locked in their homes for months,” Scavo said. “You had the holidays, people want to be with friends and family, and they let their guard down, that’s what happening.” 

She told Brooklyn Paper the community board has also received multiple reports from residents of store employees not wearing masks inside their businesses and people not wearing masks when walking on the waterfront. 

“The community board has received a lot of complaints that there are certain stores that the personnel of the stores are not wearing masks,” Scavo said. “People are mentioning that they are walking around in certain areas, along the waterfront, and people are not wearing masks.”

Area Councilman Chaim Deutsch, however, suggests the increase in COVID-19 rates could result from city dwellers traveling to his district for its recreational spaces, such as the waterfront, and also from caretakers coming from different areas of the city to treat the district’s high population of elderly people. 

“Because there is so much activity and so many places people can actually go to, you tend to have more people congregating in certain areas,” My district has a very high population of seniors… where they also have homecare attendants.” 

Deutsch recommends the city government dispatch people to knock on doors to educate residents on the importance of wearing a mask, washing their hands and social distancing to combat the spreading of misinformation about the coronavirus on social media. 

“There is not enough education,” Deutsch said. “People are constantly on social media… they need to re-educate people constantly because people always believe the last thing they read.”

But most importantly, he said the city needs to designate vaccinations to southern Brooklyn, especially his district, where there is an outsized senior population and coronavirus cases are soaring. 

“My constituents are telling me they are trying to get appointments,” Deutsch said. “We need to see the city putting in resources in those areas that need it most. My district needs it most.” 

Sheepshead Bay resident Ned Berke expressed frustration at the infection rate in a neighborhood Facebook group.

“Keep up the hard work of wearing masks around your chins, coughing into the markets’ open salad bar, and generally not giving a s—,” he wrote. “Sheepshead proud.”

Update (3:47 pm): This story has been updated to include comments from area Councilman Chaim Deutsch.

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In ambulances, an unseen, unwelcome passenger: COVID-19

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In ambulances, an unseen, unwelcome passenger: COVID-19

By STEFANIE DAZIO

today

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It’s crowded in the back of the ambulance.

Two emergency medical technicians, the patient, the gurney — and an unseen and unwelcome passenger lurking in the air.

For EMTs Thomas Hoang and Joshua Hammond, the coronavirus is constantly close. COVID-19 has become their biggest fear during 24-hour shifts in California’s Orange County, riding with them from 911 call to 911 call, from patient to patient.

They and other EMTs, paramedics and 911 dispatchers in Southern California have been thrust into the front lines of the national epicenter of the pandemic. They are scrambling to help those in need as hospitals burst with a surge of patients after the holidays, ambulances are stuck waiting outside hospitals for hours until beds become available, oxygen tanks are in alarmingly short supply and the vaccine rollout has been slow.

Emergency medical workers Jacob Magoon, from left, Joshua Hammond and Thomas Hoang lift a patient onto a gurney in Placentia, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Emergency medical technician Thomas Hoang, 29, of Emergency Ambulance Service, loads a patient into an ambulance in Placentia, Calif., Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Emergency medical technician Joshua Hammond, right, of Emergency Ambulance Service, holds the hand of a patient to calm her down in Placentia, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

EMTs and paramedics have always dealt with life and death — they make split-second decisions about patient care, which hospital to race to, the best and fastest way to save someone — and now they’re just a breath away from becoming the patient themselves.

They gown up, mask up and glove up, “but you can only be so safe,” Hammond said. “We don’t have the luxury of being 6 feet apart from the patient.”

Full Coverage:  Photography

Statistics on COVID-19 cases and deaths among EMTs and paramedics — especially ones employed by private companies — are hard to find. They are considered essential health care workers but rarely receive the pay and protections given to doctors and nurses.

Hammond and Hoang work for Emergency Ambulance Service Inc., a private ambulance company in Southern California. They, like so many others, have long fostered goals of becoming first responders to serve their communities.

Hoang is attending nursing school. Hammond is one test away from becoming a paramedic. Both were called to a life in the medical field after traumatic experiences: Hammond had to call 911 after his mother had an allergic reaction, and Hoang witnessed a young bicyclist get hit by a car.

Yet as COVID-19 infections surge and the risks increase, they wonder: Is it worth risking your life — and the lives of your loved ones at home — for a small paycheck and a dream?

“It’s really hard to justify it beyond ‘I really want to help people,’” said Hammond, 25. “Is that worth the risk?”

For now, yes.

“I do want to do my part in helping people get better, in a sense,” said Hoang, 29.

And so their day starts at 7 a.m.

Wearing masks, Hoang and Hammond clean their ambulance and equipment, wiping down every surface even if the previous crew scrubbed it already. They take no chances during their daylong shift covering the Orange County city of Placentia.

The 911 calls come in with limited information: a broken bone, chest pain, difficulty breathing, stomachache, fever. Every patient is a potential carrier of the coronavirus, whether they know it or not.

Sometimes, people know they’re infected and tell 911 dispatchers before the EMTs arrive. Other times, the symptoms themselves — fever, shortness of breath — signal a possible case. But Hammond remembers one woman, suffering from hip pain, who didn’t tell him or his partner about her coronavirus diagnosis.

He only found out afterward, saying it reinforced the importance of treating every patient as if they have tested positive.

“That was definitely a call where we learned a lot,” Hammond said.

Unlike doctors and nurses, first responders must go inside homes. They walk into hot zones where everyone in a household is sick, where the virus is in the air. They lift immobile patients onto gurneys, their masked faces just inches apart.

They race to hospitals already overwhelmed with sick people, sometimes only to wait hours outside before their patient can be admitted. And then they do it all again when the next 911 call comes in.

“We don’t know the end result,” Hoang said. “We only know the beginning to the hospital.”

Then there are those who direct the EMTs where to go. In Los Angeles County, 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest from Hoang and Hammond, three young women stood before six screens apiece recently, talking into headsets with clear, clipped voices, marshaling other ambulance crews around a territory stretching from the mountains to the sea.

Ashley Cortez, Adreanna Moreno and Jaime Hopper work 12-hour shifts as dispatchers for Care Ambulance Service Inc. If the EMTs are the front lines, these women are the scouts.

They play chess with ambulances all day. When one gets stuck at a hospital for eight, 10 or 12 hours, the dispatchers must reposition the others to cover its area. When an EMT reports a positive COVID-19 test, the dispatchers must find a way to cover the ambulance’s calls if the whole crew must quarantine. When one household has multiple coronavirus patients requiring two ambulances, the dispatchers have to plug the hole.

Their greatest fear is what’s called a “level zero” — when there are no ambulances left to send to an emergency. In Los Angeles County, one of the nation’s hardest-hit counties during the pandemic, the fear becomes a regular reality.

For Moreno, 28, the anxiety begins the night before her shift.

“I lay there and know I’m going to come in, and I know I’m going to have no units to run these calls,” she said.

On Christmas weekend, Cortez watched as call after call piled up on her screen — with no ambulances available. Typically, it takes 30 seconds to send one out. That weekend, it took up to 15 minutes. And this was even before ambulances started languishing outside hospitals for hours.

“I was just in disbelief,” said Cortez, 26.

There’s not much more the dispatchers can do. They watch those screens. They listen to radio chatter. They rearrange the crews to cover the most territory possible. And they wonder what fresh horror awaits in a virus-ravaged world where the dangers are too many and the ambulances are too few.

“What if something happens to my daughter,” Cortez said, “and there was nobody to send for her?”

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California may have highly contagious homegrown COVID-19 strain

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Dr. Eric Vail, a pathologist at Cedars Sinai, said the strain could be responsible for doubling the state’s total death toll in the space of less than three months.

“It probably helped to accelerate the number of cases around the holiday season,” Vail said.

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Did a homegrown coronavirus strain cause California's recent COVID surge?

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Health officials in California are investigating whether a homegrown coronavirus strain could be partly to blame for the state's surge in infections. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, scientists stumbled upon the new strain while looking for signs of the highly contagious variant that originated in the United Kingdom before making its way over to the US. 

During that search, researchers found a new strain, dubbed B.1.426, which is thought to be responsible for the rapid rise in infections during the holiday season in California where more than 3.1 million cases have been reported and 36,790 people have died. 

The new strain is also highly contagious and is propagating faster than any other variant in California.

'While the B.1.1.7 strain may play an important role in increased COVID rates in the UK and Europe, there are still no reports to account for the current spike of cases in Los Angeles and California as a whole that began in early November 2020,' researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center wrote in their findings. 

Health officials in California are investigating whether a homegrown coronavirus strain, dubbed B.1.426, could be partly to blame for the state's surge in infections. The strain has five mutations including, CAL.20C (red bubble), which has been increasingly found in California
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Health officials in California are investigating whether a homegrown coronavirus strain, dubbed B.1.426, could be partly to blame for the state's surge in infections. The strain has five mutations including, CAL.20C (red bubble), which has been increasingly found in California 

According to researchers, the CAL.20C strain was barely detectable in October, but by December it made up 24 per cent of 4,500 viral samples
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According to researchers, the CAL.20C strain was barely detectable in October, but by December it made up 24 per cent of 4,500 viral samples

The graphic depicts the rapid increase of infections between late November through December in California. The increase is being blamed on what researchers believe is a homegrown strain of the coronavirus
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The graphic depicts the rapid increase of infections between late November through December in California. The increase is being blamed on what researchers believe is a homegrown strain of the coronavirus 

In California, more than 3.1 million cases have been reported and 36,790 people have died. More than 18,000 people died in the state in less than three months
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In California, more than 3.1 million cases have been reported and 36,790 people have died. More than 18,000 people died in the state in less than three months

'We report the existence of a novel strain CAL.20C that is currently increasing in numbers in Southern California,' they added. 

The B.1.426 strain was initially discovered in July, but it wasn't seen again until three months later. 

According to the research, the CAL.20C strain was barely detectable in October, but by December it made up 24 per cent of 4,500 viral samples. 

In a separate study, researchers found that 25 per cent of viral samples from Northern California between late November and December were of the same type, according to the LA Times. 

'There was a homegrown variant under our noses,' Dr Charles Chiu, a laboratory medicine specialist at UC San Francisco, told the newspaper. 

Chiu said if they hadn't been searching for the UK strain, they 'could have missed this at every level'.

According to the Cedars-Sinai team, the B.1.426 strain has five mutations, including the L452R mutation, which alters the virus' spike protein. The spike protein is what the virus uses to infiltrate human cells. 

The new strain is believed to be partly responsible for California nearly doubling its death toll in less than three months.  

However, just how big of a role the new strain played in the surge is still unclear due to the presence of other factors including holiday gatherings and people disregarding CDC guidance.

In order to determine B.1.426’s role in the surge, investigators are trying to figure out what it's capable of doing.   

In a separate study, researchers found that 25 per cent of viral samples from Northern California between late November and December were of the same type. A doctor checks in on a patient with COVID-19 in Los Angeles
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In a separate study, researchers found that 25 per cent of viral samples from Northern California between late November and December were of the same type. A doctor checks in on a patient with COVID-19 in Los Angeles 

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CA health chief says COVID infection curve 'beginning to flatten'

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Researchers told the LA Times that they will focus on its transmissibility and its ability to circumvent masks, drugs and vaccines, which are being used as tools to stop the spread. 

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is stepping up its efforts to track coronavirus mutations to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines and treatments stay ahead of new variants of the disease until collective immunity is achieved, the CDC chief said on Sunday.

Dr Rochelle Walensky spoke about implications posed by the rapidly evolving virus during a Fox News Sunday interview as the 

More than 25 million Americans have been infected with the virus and there have been more than 418,000 deaths just over a year after the first US case of COVID-19 was documented.

Walensky, who took over as CDC director last Wednesday, the day President Joe Biden was sworn in, also said the greatest immediate culprit for sluggish vaccine distribution is a supply crunch worsened by inventory confusion inherited from the Trump administration.

'The fact that we don't know today, five days into this administration, and weeks into planning, how much vaccine we have just gives you a sense of the challenges we've been left with,' she told Fox News Sunday.

Biden's transition team was largely excluded from the government's vaccine rollout deliberations for weeks after his election as then-President Donald Trump refused to concede defeat and allow the incoming administration access to information needed to prepare to govern.

There have been more than 25 million cases of the virus reported in the US since the pandemic began last year
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There have been more than 25 million cases of the virus reported in the US since the pandemic began last year 

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LA County begins opening mass COVID vaccination sites

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Ron Klain, Biden's chief of staff, said in a separate interview on NBC's Meet the Press, that a plan for distributing the vaccine, particularly beyond nursing homes and hospitals, 'did not really exist when we came into the White House.'

Walensky said she was confident the government would soon resolve supply questions, and go on to dramatically expand vaccine production and distribution by late March.

Uncertainty over immediate supplies, however, will hinder efforts at the state and local levels to plan ahead for how many vaccination sites, personnel and appointments to set up in the meantime, exacerbating shortages in the short term, she said.

Vaccination has become ever more critical with the recent emergence of several coronavirus variants believed to be more transmissible, and in the case of one strain first detected in Britain, possibly more lethal.

'We are now scaling up both our surveillance of these and our study of these,' Walensky said, adding that the CDC was collaborating with the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and even the Pentagon.

The object, she said, is to monitor 'the impact of these variants on vaccines, as well as on our therapeutics,' as the virus continues to mutate while it spreads.

Until vaccines can provide 'herd' immunity in the population, mask-wearing and social distancing remain vital to 'decrease the amount of virus that is circulating, and therefore, decrease the amount of variants that are out there,' Walensky said.

Although British officials on Friday warned that the so-called UK variant of the coronavirus, already detected in at least 20 US states, was associated with a higher level of mortality, scientists have said existing vaccines still appeared to be effective against it.

They worry, however, that a more contagious South African variant may reduce the efficacy of current vaccines and shows resistance to three antibody therapeutics developed for treating COVID-19 patients. 

Similarities between the South African variant and another identified in Brazil suggest the Brazilian variety may likewise resist antibody treatment.

'We're in a race against these variants,' said Vivek Murthy, nominated by Biden to become the next US surgeon general, on ABC's This Week program on Sunday.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease specialist, said in late December he was optimistic the US could achieve enough collective immunity to COVID to regain 'some semblance of normality' by the fall of 2021.

But Murthy said getting to herd immunity before a new school year begins in September was 'an ambitious goal'.

Nevertheless, Murthy suggested the government may exceed Biden's objective of administering 100 million vaccinations in the first 100 days of his presidency, telling ABC News, 'that's a floor; it's not a ceiling'.

Fauci, appearing separately on CBS News' Face the Nation, said the 100-million-shot goal encompasses people who may have received both injections of the two-dose vaccines and those who have only gotten the first jab.  

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