Representatives from the Group of Seven nations met Wednesday to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, but they couldn't agree on a joint statement to release to the public afterwards.
German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that the disagreement had to do with the United States' insistence that the novel coronavirus be called the "Wuhan virus," in reference to where the pathogen is believed to have originated. The other countries, including Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, and Japan, winced at the notion, fearing that it could cause unnecessary division at a time when nations need to band together, The Washington Post reports.
But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he believes it's important to highlight that the Chinese government didn't warn the rest of the world about its initial outbreak. "We tried, you'll remember, from the opening days to get our scientists, our experts on the ground there so that we begin to assist in the global response to what began there in China, but we weren't able to do that," he said. "The Chinese Communist Party wouldn't permit that to happen." The World Health Organization has advised against calling the COVID-19 virus other names like "Chinese virus," warning it could encourage xenophobic behavior.
Pompeo said Beijing's ruling party "poses a substantial threat to our health and way of life, as the Wuhan virus clearly has demonstrated." Read more at The Washington Post. Tim O'Donnell
Former President Donald Trump's acting defense secretary had ordered NSA Director Gen. Paul Nakasone to accept Ellis' appointment as general counsel, and Nakasone agreed days before Trump left office, The Washington Post reported. The day Trump left the White House and Ellis was scheduled to start his new job, Nakasone placed him on administrative leave, citing a Pentagon inspector general investigation and inquiry into how Ellis handled classified information. The inspector general's investigation is still open, Nakasone told a House committee last Thursday.
"I have been on administrative leave for nearly three months without any explanation or updates, and there is no sign that NSA will attempt to resolve the issue," Ellis said in his resignation letter to Nakasone on Friday, the Post reports. "I therefore resign my position, effective immediately."
Ellis was general counsel to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) before he joined the Trump White House in early 2017 as a National Security Council lawyer. His appointment to the NSA "raised concerns among Democrats and national security experts that it was an attempt by the Trump administration to install a loyalist in a sensitive and senior position — one with visibility into the activities of other U.S. spy agencies," the Post reports. The NSA general counsel job doesn't require Senate confirmation. Peter Weber
The White House has removed Betsy Weatherhead, an experienced atmospheric scientist, from her role leading the U.S. National Climate Assessment and reassigned her to the U.S. Geological Survey, The Washington Post reports. Weatherhead was put in charge of the U.S. government's definitive report on the effects of climate change last November by Kelvin Droegemeier, director of President Trump's White House Office of Science Technology Policy (OSTP). Officials at President Biden's OSTP made the decision to return her to USGS, the Post reports.
Weatherhead's appointment surprised many science policy experts, but pleasantly so, because she accepts the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and poses a serious threat to the planet and the economy, the Post reports. Despite her long experience in the field and mainstream views, the Post says, Weatherhead had clashed with other federal officials in the 13 agencies involved in the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which coordinates the report.
Weatherhead wanted to bring in more authors from the private sector, include more viewpoints, and increase the number of chapters on options to mitigate and adapt to climate change, the Post says, and she has also "historically placed great emphasis on communicating scientific uncertainty." One of Weatherhead's previous bosses in the private sector, Juniper Intelligence CEO Rich Sorkin, called her "one of the world's experts on uncertainty," speculating that may have been what resonated with the Trump administration.
The Biden administration has yet to pick a replacement for Weatherhead or a new director of the Global Change Research Program. Trump removed the previous director, career appointee Michael Kuperberg, in November and replaced him with David Legates, who rejects the consensus on climate change. Droegemeier, who is not a climate change skeptic, reassigned Legate and another Trump political appointee, Ryan Maue, in January after they contributed to unapproved papers casting doubt on climate change, and both men resigned from the government a few days before Biden took office. Peter Weber
Federal and local law enforcement were searching Sunday night for a former sheriff's deputy suspected of killing three people late Sunday morning in Austin, Texas. The suspect, Stephen Broderick, 41, was a property crimes detective for the Travis County sheriff's office until last June, when he resigned after being arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a child. After spending 16 days in jail last June, Broderick posted bail; Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza said his office filed a motion Sunday to revoke Broderick's $50,000 bond.
The victims, described only as two Hispanic women and one black man, were all known to Broderick, who is Black, interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon said. "At this point, we do not think this individual is out there targeting random people to shoot. That does not mean he is not dangerous." The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service are aiding in the manhunt.
The shooting in Austin was the second multiple gun homicide on Sunday. Wisconsin's Kenosha County Sheriff's Department said Sunday afternoon that law enforcement has apprehended and charged with first-degree homicide a "person of interest" in a shooting at a Kenosha tavern early Sunday morning. At least three people died the three people were hospitalized with gunshot wounds after the shooting.
There have been about 150 mass shootings — defined as four or people shot — in 2021, and in the 34 days since a gunman murdered eight people at Atlanta-area spas in March, an average of nearly two mass shootings have happened every day, The Washington Post reports, citing the Gun Violence Archive. CNN made a map, posted before the Austin shooting, which in any case falls one death short of that definition of a mass shooting.
He's only been painting for five months, and already, Jake Garcia's art is becoming a collector's item.
The Boston resident is a nursing student at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services, but he recently discovered a love for painting. "I just thought it would be really nice if you're walking down the street and you see this scene you really like and you look down and there was an oil painting of it," Garcia said. "That would be really cool right?"
He ran with the idea, and has left several of his original paintings in spots around Boston. "I'll see something I like, I'll set up, I'll do a painting of it, and I'll do my best to leave it somewhere in the vicinity," Garcia told CBS Boston. He lets his Twitter followers know where they can look for his latest piece, and hopes that he also inspires people to pick up their own paintbrushes.
"We've all been inside and a beautiful thing to do is to just go outside and just enjoy the sounds and the sights and the smells and just paint what you see," he told CBS Boston. "I think that's really nice and I think more people need to do it." Catherine Garcia
Kruger is one of South Africa's largest game reserves, home to elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards, and buffalos. On Saturday, park rangers spotted three suspected poachers, and were able to capture one. He told the rangers one of his companions ran into a herd of elephants, and he wasn't sure if the man made it out alive. Later, the man's injured body was found.
Rangers are still trying to find a third suspect who sustained an eye injury while being chased. The three men are suspected of trying to poach rhinos, officials said, and during their investigation, rangers have discovered an axe and rifle.
"The campaign against poaching is the responsibility of all of us," Gareth Coleman, managing executive of Kruger National Park, said in a statement. "It threatens many livelihoods, destroys families, and takes much-needed resources to fight crime, which could be used for creating jobs and development." Catherine Garcia
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said if an infrastructure bill is introduced with an $800 billion price tag, that's one Republicans "could pass."
"Let's do it and leave the rest for another day and another fight," he added. President Biden has proposed a $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan that would upgrade roads and bridges; invest in manufacturing and workforce development; and fund care for senior citizens and disabled Americans. On Monday, Biden will meet with lawmakers to discuss his proposal.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) was also on Fox News Sunday, and said he wants to see Democrats work with Republicans to reach a bipartisan agreement on parts of the White House plan and a broader Democratic plan. "I think in the next few weeks we should roll up our sleeves and sit down and find ways that we can support to make these critically needed investments," Coons said.
Some Republicans have criticized Biden's plan because they don't believe an infrastructure bill should include $400 billion to cover care for the elderly and disabled people; administration officials counter that this will help keep the economy going. Many Republicans also don't like Biden's plan to offset the cost of his proposal with corporate tax increases, which could raise the rate from 21 percent to 28 percent.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is standing behind Biden, tweeting last week that the country's "roads, bridges, highways, public transit, airports, housing, and electric grid are all in need of an overhaul," and the American Jobs Plan is a "big, bold bill that will create jobs, invest in infrastructure, and help combat climate change." Catherine Garcia
Former President George W. Bush is still disappointed that immigration reform wasn't accomplished during his presidency, telling CBS News on Sunday that today, he wants to "help set a tone that is more respectful about the immigrant," which may lead to change.
After leaving the White House, Bush picked up a paint brush, and several of his oil paintings are featured in his new book, Out of Many, One: Portraits of America's Immigrants. He told CBS Evening News anchor Norah O'Donnell that he hopes his portraits create "a better understanding about the role of immigrants in our society. Mine is just a small voice in what I hope is a chorus of people saying, 'Let's see if we can't solve this problem.'"
Bush said he campaigned on immigration reform, and "made it abundantly clear to voters this is something I intended to do," but even though there was bipartisan support at the time, nothing came to fruition. Since then, presidents have signed executive orders on immigration, "but all that means is that Congress isn't doing its job," Bush said.
The problem with the debate over immigration, Bush continued, is it "can create a lot of fear: 'They're comin' after you.' But it's a nation that is willing to accept the refugee or the harmed or the frightened, that to me is a great nation. And we are a great nation." He supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who pass a background check and pay back taxes, and should President Biden ever propose this, Bush said he would lobby the GOP to get behind him. Catherine Garcia