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All the big news of the day, at home and around the world. || News Plexus LLC — delivering your news in a convenient, AD-FREE and easy-to-read stream.

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All the big news of the day, at home and around the world. || News Plexus LLC — delivering your news in a convenient, AD-FREE and easy-to-read stream.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

AP sources: Feds pinpoint suspect in officer's riot death
Federal investigators probing the death of a U.S. Capitol Police officer killed in the Jan. 6 riot have zeroed in on a suspect seen on video appearing to spray a chemical substance on the officer before he later collapsed and died, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

'Blame Trump' defense in Capitol riot looks like a long shot
Facing damning evidence in the deadly Capitol siege last month — including social media posts flaunting their actions — rioters are arguing in court they were following then-President Donald Trump's instructions on Jan. 6. But the legal strategy has already been shot down by at least one judge and experts believe the argument is not likely to get anyone off the hook for the insurrection where five people died, including a police officer.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Highlights of the COVID-19 relief bill advancing in Congress
The House passed a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package early Saturday, 219-212, that includes $1,400 checks for most Americans and billions of dollars for schools, state and local governments and businesses. Here's a look at some highlights of the legislation.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Highlights of the COVID-19 relief bill advancing in Congress
The House passed a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package early Saturday, 219-212, that includes $1,400 checks for most Americans and billions of dollars for schools, state and local governments and businesses. Here's a look at some highlights of the legislation.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

House passes $1.9T pandemic bill on near party-line vote
The House approved a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill early Saturday in a win for President Joe Biden,even as top Democrats tried assuring agitated progressives that they’d revive their derailed drive to boost the minimum wage.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Lady Gaga's dogs recovered safely after theft, shooting
Lady Gaga's two French bulldogs, which were stolen by thieves who shot and wounded the dog walker, were recovered unharmed Friday, Los Angeles police said. A woman brought the dogs to the LAPD's Olympic Community Police Station, just northwest of downtown, around 6 p.m, said Capt. Jonathan Tippet, commanding officer of the department's elite Robbery-Homicide Division.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

White House climate czar to AP: Texas storm 'a wake-up call'
The deadly winter storm that caused widespread power outages in Texas and other states is a “wake-up call” for the United States to build energy systems and other infrastructure that are more reliable and resilient in the face of extreme-weather events linked to climate change, President Joe Biden's national climate adviser says.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Trump the dominant force at conservative conference
A conference dedicated to the future of the conservative movement turned into an ode to Donald Trump as speakers declared their fealty to the former president and attendees posed for selfies with a golden statue of his likeness. As the Republican Party grapples with deep divisions over the extent to which they should embrace Trump after losing the White House and both chambers of Congress, those gathered at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday made clear they are not ready to move on from the former president — or from his baseless charges that the November election was rigged against him.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Myanmar's UN envoy dramatically opposes coup in his country
Myanmar's U.N. ambassador strongly opposed the military coup in his country and appealed for the "strongest possible action from the international community" to immediately restore democracy, in a dramatic speech to the U.N. General Assembly Friday that drew loud applause from many diplomats in the 193-nation global body. Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun began his statement saying he represented Aung San Suu Kyi's "civilian government elected by the people" in November, and supported their fight for the end of military rule.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Biden surveys Texas weather damage, encourages virus shots
President Joe Biden heard firsthand from Texans clobbered by this month's brutal winter weather on Friday and pledged to stick with them “for the long haul” as he made his first trip to a major disaster area since he took office. Biden was briefed by emergency officials and thanked workers for doing “God's work.” He promised the federal government will be there for Texans as they try to recover, not just from the historic storm but also the public health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

US advisers endorse single-shot COVID-19 vaccine from J&J
U.S. health advisers endorsed a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson on Friday, putting the nation on the cusp of adding an easier-to-use option to fight the pandemic. The acting head of the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement that the agency will move quickly to follow the recommendation, which would make J&J’s shot the third vaccine authorized for emergency use in the U.S. Vaccinations are picking up speed, but new supplies are urgently needed to stay ahead of a mutating virus that has killed more than 500,000 Americans.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Oath Keeper charged in Capitol riot renounces militia group
A member of the Oath Keepers militia group charged with plotting with other extremists in the attack on the U.S. Capitol disavowed the anti-government group in a court hearing Friday, telling the judge she is “appalled” by her fellow Oath Keepers and “humiliated” by her arrest. Jessica Watkins, one of nine members and associates of the far-right militia group charged with planning and coordinating with one another in the Jan. 6 siege, said she plans to cancel her Oath Keepers membership and has disbanded her local Ohio militia group. Watkins’ remarks came before the judge ordered her to remain behind bars while she awaits trial.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Democratic-led House makes conservation push with lands bill
The House passed legislation Friday that would create about 1.5 million acres of new wilderness and incorporate nearly 1,200 miles of waterways into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System as Democrats move to protect more public lands — with President Joe Biden's blessing. The bill passed by a vote of 227-200. The bill passed mostly along party lines, with eight Republicans joining all but one Democratic lawmaker in voting for the bill.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Ta-Nehisi Coates to write new 'Superman' film
Ta-Nehisi Coates, the acclaimed essayist and novelist who expanded the world of Wakanda for Marvel comics, will write the script for a new "Superman" film from Warner Bros. The studio announced Friday that Coates will pen the screenplay for an upcoming "Superman" film that's early in development. J.J. Abrams will produce. No director or star has yet been announced.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Pythons, iguanas: Florida restricts some exotic reptiles
Pythons, iguanas, monitor lizards, oh my! Florida is moving to restrict 16 invasive reptile species that have wreaked havoc in the Everglades and across the state. Burmese pythons, in particular, have been especially destructive to native wildlife.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Native American nominee's grilling raises questions on bias
When Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso snapped at Deb Haaland during her confirmation hearing, many in Indian Country were incensed. The exchange, coupled with descriptions of the Interior secretary nominee as “radical” — by other white, male Republicans — left some feeling Haaland is being treated differently because she is a Native American woman.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Ivory Coast 2nd country to receive COVID vaccines via COVAX
Ivory Coast on Friday became the second country in the world to receive a shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from the global COVAX initiative, with 504,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India. The vaccines arrived in the commercial capital, Abidjan, as part of the first wave of COVID-19 vaccines sent by COVAX, which was created to ensure that low- and middle-income countries have fair access to doses.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton lead ACM Awards nominations
Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton are the leading nominees for the Academy of Country Music Awards, but only Stapleton joined the all-male ballot for the top prize of entertainer of the year. The academy announced on Friday that Morris and Stapleton both had six nominations ahead of the April 18 awards show, which will air on CBS from Nashville, Tennessee.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Queen says COVID vaccine is quick, painless and helps others
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is encouraging people to be vaccinated against COVID-19, saying the shot is quick, harmless and will help protect others against the disease. In a video call with the officials responsible for rolling out the vaccine, the 94-year-old monarch compared the effort that's gone into Britain's national vaccination campaign to the way people worked together during World War II.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Another wave of fans returning to sports despite COVID-19
Another wave of fans is set to enter into arenas and ballparks across the United States as more sports begin to host small crowds amid the pandemic. New York's Madison Square Garden had roughly 2,000 fans on hand for the Knicks game Tuesday night. Several spring training facilities will open their doors to fans when major league exhibition games start on Sunday. The NCAA men's basketball tournament in Indiana has cleared the way for small crowds after it was canceled last year. Socially distant seating, mask mandates and temperature checks will be in place at many venues, but some experts remain concerned about community spread and the threat of more contagious variants of COVID-19. While average daily deaths and cases have plummeted in recent weeks, the COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. topped 500,000 Monday.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Georgia prosecutor investigating Trump call urges patience
The Georgia prosecutor investigating potential efforts by Donald Trump and others to influence last year's general election has a message for people who are eager to see whether the former president will be charged: Be patient. “I'm in no rush,” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said this week in an interview with The Associated Press. “I think people think that I feel this immense pressure. I don’t.”
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week
A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Congress split on US strikes in Syria on Iran-backed militia
The Biden administration defended the U.S. military airstrikes in Syria as legal and appropriate Friday, saying they took out facilities that housed valuable “capabilities” used by Iranian-backed militia groups to attack American and allied forces in Iraq.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Highlights of the COVID-19 relief bill advancing in Congress
The House is expected to pass a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package late Friday that includes $1,400 checks for most Americans and billions of dollars for schools, state and local governments and businesses.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

UN Security Council demands COVID cease-fire
The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Friday demanding that all warring parties immediately institute a “sustained humanitarian pause” to enable the unhindered delivery of COVID-19 vaccines and the vaccination of millions of people in conflict areas.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

US implicates Saudi crown prince in journalist's killing
Saudi Arabia's crown prince likely approved the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to a newly declassified U.S. intelligence report released Friday.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

US Army crowdsources ideas to combat sexual assault crisis
Sgt. Taylor Knueven always knew sexual assault and harassment plagued the U.S. Army. But the combat medic’s own assault early last year opened her eyes to the broken system surrounding one of the military’s most infamous problems. Earlier this week, Knueven and six other soldiers stood before a panel inside the 18th Airborne Corps headquarters at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to present ideas on how the Army can revamp the way it deals with sexual assault and harassment.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Canadian regulator authorizes AstraZeneca vaccine
Canadian regulators on Friday authorized AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for all adults.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

An explosion struck an Israeli-owned cargo ship sailing out of the Middle East on Friday, an unexplained blast renewing concerns about ship security in the region amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

US strike, first under Biden, kills Iran-backed militiaman
A U.S. airstrike in Syria targeted facilities belonging to a powerful Iranian-backed Iraqi armed group, killing one fighter and wounding several others, an Iraqi militia official said Friday, signaling the first military action undertaken by U.S. President Joe Biden.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

CDC chief: Variants mean keep guard up on virus
The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sounding the alarm that recent gains against the coronavirus may be stalling — and other coronavirus updates from around the nation and globe.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Biden heads to Texas to see storm damage, visit food bank
President Joe Biden headed to Texas Friday on his first trip to a major disaster site since he took office a little over a month ago.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

EXPLAINER: How US airstrike in Syria sends message to Iran
A U.S. airstrike targeting facilities used by Iran-backed militias in Syria appears to be a message to Tehran delivered by a new American administration still figuring out its approach to the Middle East.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Amnesty report describes Axum massacre in Ethiopia's Tigray
Soldiers from Eritrea systematically killed “many hundreds” of people, the large majority men, in a massacre late November in the Ethiopian city of Axum in the Tigray region, Amnesty International said Friday.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Gunmen abducted 317 girls from a boarding school in northern Nigeria on Friday, police said, the latest in a series of mass kidnappings of students in the West African nation.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

UN: Carbon-cutting pledges by countries nowhere near enough
The newest pledges by countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions are falling far short of what's needed to limit global warming to what the Paris climate accord seeks, a new United Nations report finds.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

At pivotal moment in Afghanistan war, Biden weighs a dilemma
America's longest war is approaching a crossroads.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Once the mainstream model, Michigan GOP embraces right wing
While Michigan has swung back to Democrats since Trump's narrow 2016 win, choosing President Joe Biden by more than 150,000 votes, Michigan's Republican Party has taken a hard right turn.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Vaccination 'passports' may open society, but inequity looms
In Israel, proof of vaccination "green cards" are allowing citizens to rejoin society — but are raising questions about discrimination.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

House to vote on virus bill; arbiter says wage hike a no-go
Democrats are ready to shove a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package through the House on Friday, despite a setback that means a minimum wage boost is unlikely to be in the final version that reaches President Joe Biden.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

COVID-19 bill must drop minimum wage hike, arbiter decides
The Senate parliamentarian dealt a potentially lethal blow Thursday to Democrats' drive to hike the minimum wage, deciding that the cherished progressive goal must fall from a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill the party is trying to speed through Congress, Senate Democratic aides said. The finding by Elizabeth MacDonough, the chamber's nonpartisan arbiter of its rules, means Democrats face an overwhelmingly uphill battle to boost the minimum wage this year because of solid Republican opposition. Their proposal would raise the federal minimum gradually to $15 hourly by 2025, well above the $7.25 floor in place since 2009.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Olympics gymnastics coach kills himself after being charged
A former U.S. Olympics gymnastics coach with ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar killed himself Thursday, hours after being charged with turning his Michigan gym into a hub of human trafficking by coercing girls to train and then abusing them. John Geddert faced 24 charges that could have carried years in prison had he been convicted. He was supposed to appear in an Eaton County court, near Lansing, but his body was found at a rest area along Interstate 96, according to state police.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Monarch butterflies down 26% in Mexico wintering grounds
The number of monarch butterflies that showed up at their winter resting grounds in central Mexico decreased by about 26% this year, and four times as many trees were lost to illegal logging, drought and other causes, making 2020 a bad year for the butterflies. The government commission for natural protected areas said the butterflies' population covered only 2.1 hectares (5.2 acres) in 2020, compared to 2.8 hectares (6.9 acres) the previous year and about one-third of the 6.05 hectares (14.95 acres) detected in 2018.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

'Who is at fault?' Investigation into Texas blackout begins
The catastrophic Texas blackout was a wider failure than the state's power grid, which teetered on the brink of an even bigger collapse during a freeze that knocked out electricity to 4 million customers, energy executives said Thursday. One CEO said he sounded warning days before what became one of the worst power outages in U.S. history, including to the office of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, whose regulatory appointees came under sharp criticism during the first investigative hearing since last week's crisis.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Democrats launch sweeping bid to overhaul US election laws
Stacey Abrams, whose voting rights work helped make Georgia into a swing state, exhorted Congress on Thursday to reject "outright lies" that have historically restricted access to the ballot as Democrats began their push for a sweeping overhaul of election and ethics laws. "A lie cloaked in the seductive appeal of election integrity has weakened access to democracy for millions," Abrams, a Democrat who narrowly lost Georgia's 2018 gubernatorial race, said during a committee hearing for the bill, which was introduced as H.R. 1 to signal its importance to the party's agenda.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Former Michigan Gov. Granholm confirmed as energy secretary
Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm won Senate confirmation Thursday to be energy secretary, joining President Joe Biden's Cabinet as a leader of Biden's effort to build a green economy as the United States moves to slow climate change. The vote was 64-35, with all Democrats and 14 Republicans, including GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, voting yes.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Amnesty report describes Axum massacre in Ethiopia's Tigray
Soldiers from Eritrea systematically killed “many hundreds” of people, the large majority men, in a massacre in late November in the Ethiopian city of Axum, Amnesty International says in a new report, echoing the findings of an Associated Press story last week and citing more than 40 witnesses. Crucially, the head of the government-established Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, Daniel Bekele. says the Amnesty findings “should be taken very seriously.” The commission's own preliminary findings “indicate the killing of an as yet unknown number of civilians by Eritrean soldiers” in Axum, its statement said.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Chief: Police heeded Capitol attack warnings but overwhelmed
Lawmakers pressed the acting U.S. Capitol Police chief Thursday to explain why the force wasn't prepared to fend off a violent mob of insurrectionists even though officials had compiled specific, compelling intelligence that extremists were likely to attack Congress and try to halt the certification of Donald Trump's election loss. Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman conceded there were multiple levels of failures that allowed hundreds of pro-Trump rioters to storm their way into the U.S. Capitol, overwhelming outnumbered officers and breaking through doors and windows.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

8 dead, including prison director, after Haiti jail break
A prison director was among at least eight people killed on Thursday after several inmates tried to escape from a prison in Haiti's capital, a police officer and witnesses said. The incident occurred in northeast Port-au-Prince at the Croix-des-Bouquets Civil Prison, which was built by Canada in 2012 and is known for a 2014 breakout in which more than 300 inmates escaped.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

New US envoy starts challenge to restore US on world stage
Linda Thomas-Greenfield presented her credentials as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday, officially taking on one of the most challenging jobs for the Biden administration of helping to restore the United States as a top multilateral player on the global stage after former President Donald Trump's unilateral "America First" policy.
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