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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 69,315

Journal Archives

Scoop: Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel escorted out of RNC retreat

Source: Axios

During this weekend’s highly anticipated donor retreat hosted by the Republican National Committee in Palm Beach, Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel was escorted off the premises while his primary opponent, Jane Timken, was allowed to stay, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation tell Axios.

What we’re hearing: The invitation-only event is taking place at the Four Seasons Resort, and the RNC reserved the entire hotel. While Timken, former Ohio GOP chair, was invited to the event “because she is a major donor” — Mandel was not, so he was asked to leave, according to one of the sources

Despite not having his name on the list, Mandel seized on the opportunity to get some face time with top Republican donors while they all were in one place, one source familiar with his plans told Axios.

But when the first event formally kicked off at the hotel Friday night, Mandel and others who did not have credentials were asked to leave.

Read more: https://www.axios.com/josh-mandel-rnc-trump-9aabdd69-75a9-4392-811e-51c3b1fe5e94.html

Duke to require students to be vaccinated for fall semester

Source: Duke Chronicle

All students will have to be vaccinated for COVID-19 before they can enroll for the fall semester, President Vincent Price announced Friday.

The policy covers all undergraduate and graduate students who intend to be on campus for any amount of time starting in the fall, and students will have to present proof of their vaccination to Student Health before enrolling. Duke will accommodate documented medical and religious exemptions.

“Looking ahead, we know that widespread vaccination will be the only way to facilitate a return to normal and robust campus life,” Price wrote in a message to students, faculty and staff.

Duke has offered all students and employees the opportunity to be vaccinated, Price noted. He urged those who have not yet been vaccinated to schedule appointments as soon as possible.

Read more: https://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2021/04/duke-university-vaccines-required-fall

Pfizer asks to OK Covid vaccine for younger teens

Source: Politico

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech on Friday asked the Food and Drug Administration to greenlight its coronavirus vaccine for use in children 12 to 15 years old, just one week after the companies said a late-stage trial showed the vaccine was highly effective in this age group.

If U.S. regulators clear the request, it would make Pfizer's shot the first to become available to younger teens. The move could also speed the timeline for getting more students back into school and curb costly safety measures being considered by education systems.

Of the three vaccines already in use in the United States, Pfizer's shot is the only one now authorized for 16- and 17-year-olds.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they plan to submit similar requests to regulators in other countries in the coming days.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/09/pfizer-coronavirus-vaccine-teens-480611

BREAKING: House Ethics Committee opens investigation into Matt Gaetz

Amazon to Open Its First Grocery Stores on the East Coast


Amazon is opening its first grocery stores on the East Coast, the company confirmed Thursday, in the latest sign of its efforts to upend traditional supermarkets.

The company plans to open two grocery stores in the Washington, D.C., area. One will be in the city's Logan Circle neighborhood and the other will be in the northern Virginia town of Franconia, not far from Amazon's second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, which is in the Crystal City section of Arlington.

Two other grocery stores are planned for the Philadelphia suburb of Warrington, Pennsylvania, and for Chevy Chase, Maryland, Amazon confirmed Thursday.

The company declined to comment on whether the four stores will be Fresh stores or when the locations will open.

California workplace safety chief to be tapped to lead OSHA

Source: Politico

The White House is expected to announce the nomination on Friday of California's workplace safety chief, Doug Parker, to lead the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The role has taken on outsize importance amid the pandemic and as the administration is weighing whether to issue an emergency temporary standard, which would create a set of enforceable, Covid-19-related workplace safety regulations.

President Joe Biden, who campaigned on issuing such an emergency standard immediately, originally directed his Labor Department to decide by March 15 whether it was necessary. But Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh said Thursday that the agency is still considering whether a standard is needed.

Parker heads California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health and previously worked at the Mine Safety and Health Administration during the Obama administration. Safety experts lauded the nomination.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/09/osha-nominee-doug-parker-480623

J&J Covid Vaccine Reviewed by EU Regulator After Blood Clots

Source: Bloomberg

The European Union’s drug regulator has started a review to assess blood clots in people who received Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine.

Four serious cases of unusual clots accompanied by low blood platelets, one of which was fatal, have emerged after immunization with the J&J shot, the European Medicines Agency said Friday. The regulator is now scrutinizing potential safety issues for two Covid vaccines, after AstraZeneca Plc’s shot was possibly linked to a rare blood-clotting disorder.

J&J is working with regulators to assess data on the rare clots, and “at present, no clear causal relationship has been established” with the vaccine, the company said in an e-mailed statement. The shares traded as much as 1.6% lower.

One of the cases following J&J vaccinations happened during a clinical trial. At the time, the company said it had found no evidence the vaccine was at fault. Three others occurred in the U.S., where the shot has been given to almost 5 million people.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-09/eu-regulator-investigating-blood-clots-after-j-j-covid-vaccine

Amazon Appears to Defeat Union Drive at Alabama Warehouse

Source: New York Times

Amazon appeared to beat back the most significant labor drive in its history on Friday, when an initial tally showed that workers at its giant warehouse in Alabama had voted decisively against forming a union.

Workers cast at least 1,608 votes against a union, giving Amazon enough to defeat the effort, as ballots in favor of a union trailed at 696, according to a preliminary count. Hundreds of votes remained to be tallied, but are not enough to bridge Amazon’s margin of victory. Once the count is complete, the results will still need to be certified by federal officials.

The lopsided outcome at the 6,000-person warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., dealt a crushing blow to labor organizers, Democrats and their allies at a time when conditions have been ripe for unions to make advances.

Amazon, which has repeatedly quashed labor activism, had appeared vulnerable as it faced increasing scrutiny in Washington and around the world for its market power and influence. President Biden signaled support for the union effort, as did Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent. The pandemic, which drove millions of people to shop online, also spotlighted the plight of essential workers and raised questions about Amazon’s ability to keep those employees safe.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/09/technology/amazon-defeats-union.html

Matt Gaetz Hires Criminal Defense Team

Source: Political Wire

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has hired white collar criminal defense lawyers Marc Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner to lead his legal team, NBC News reports.

Read more: https://politicalwire.com/2021/04/09/matt-gaetz-hires-criminal-defense-team/

"If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear".

Matt Gaetz is fundraising -- again -- off his sex trafficking scandal

Source: Florida Politics

U.S. Rep. Matt Getz started fundraising off a still unfolding sex scandal that could put him in prison.

Gaetz penned a fundraising appeal blasted to supporters Friday morning. It asked for checks to be sent to the campaign account Friends of Matt Gaetz. In it, Gaetz compares himself to members of former President Donald Trump’s administration who became embroiled in an investigation of Russian election meddling.

“Here we go again,” the email begins. “Just another media hoax. Do you remember the fake Russia Hoax? Their attempt to frame General (Michael) Flynn? I do… and now they are coming for me.”

The Department of Justice ultimately dropped charges against Flynn after he pleaded guilty.

Read more: https://floridapolitics.com/archives/418875-matt-gaetz-is-fundraising-off-his-sex-trafficking-scandal/
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