No to vaccine passports
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Monday signed a bill that prohibited private businesses and public institutions from requiring COVID-19 “vaccine passports” to access services or refusing those not inoculated against the novel coronavirus. “I’ve signed SB 267! Since the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, both Dr Scott Harris [state health officer] and I have said that we would not mandate vaccines in the state of Alabama,” Ivey said in a statement. “I am supportive of a voluntary vaccine, and by signing this bill into law, I am only further solidifying that conviction.” Ivey added that she has been vaccinated and would “encourage any Alabamian who has not gotten their shot to roll up their sleeves.”
Explosion causes outage
An explosion and fire at a Queensland coal-fired power station caused a widespread power outage, affecting almost 500,000 homes from northern New South Wales to Cairns. The Queensland government-owned corporation CS Energy confirmed that the fire at the Callide power station near Biloela caused the shutdown of the station’s three operating generators. CS Energy said the fire broke out in a turbine hall at the Callide Power Station at about 1:45pm, causing the three units that were generating power at the time to go off line. Energex, which manages the power network in southeast Queensland, said that 389,000 people from the Gold Coast to Caboolture were affected by outages. Most had power restored by 3.30pm yesterday. Ergon Energy, which distributes power outside the southeast, reported unexpected power outages in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Gladstone.
Defiant priest told to quit
A priest in Wisconsin who has been ignoring COVID-19 gathering restrictions at his masses and criticized Democrats for their stance on vaccines said that the leader of the Diocese of La Crosse had asked him to resign. The Reverend James Altman announced the request from Bishop William Callahan during his sermon on Sunday at St James the Less Catholic Church in La Crosse. The sermon was posted to YouTube. “As the bishop has stated to me: I am ineffective. So for the record dear family, Bishop Callahan has asked me to resign as pastor as of this past Friday, two days ago, because I am divisive and ineffective,” Altman said. Audible “no” sounds from the crowd can be heard during the video, the La Crosse Tribune reported. Altman came under fire last fall for calling Democrats godless and saying they would go to hell if they do not repent.
Dead man found in dinosaur
Police in Catalonia are investigating the death of a man who is thought to have become trapped inside a large dinosaur statue while trying to retrieve his mobile phone. Officers were called to the statue in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, a satellite town of Barcelona, after a man and his son noticed something inside the papier-mache stegosaurus on Saturday afternoon. A spokeswoman for the regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, said the death of the 39-year-old man was not being treated as suspicious. “We found the body of a man inside the leg of this dinosaur statue. It’s an accidental death; there was no violence. This person got inside the statue’s leg and got trapped... It looks like he entered the statue head first and couldn’t get out,” the spokeswoman said, adding that officers had called in firefighters to help cut into the statue so the body of the man could be removed.
WIDE REOPENING DISCOURAGED: A study from Peking University has suggested that lifting restrictions in the style of the US, UK and others would be catastrophic China would face a “colossal outbreak” on a scale beyond anything any other country has yet seen if it were to reopen in a similar manner to the US. That is a prediction based on statistical modeling by researchers at Beijing’s Peking University. A switch from China’s current COVID-19 elimination strategy to a US-style approach with few restrictions would lead to as many as 637,155 infections per day, according to the study, which was published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday. That would be the largest daily figure reported by any country since the start of the
UNCERTAINTY: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not specify measures NATO might take, but many believe that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project could be canceled The US has said it has evidence that Russia has made plans for a “large scale” attack on Ukraine and said NATO allies are “prepared to impose severe costs” on Moscow if it attempts an invasion. Speaking at a NATO ministers meeting in Latvia, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that it was unclear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a decision to invade, but added: “He’s putting in place the capacity to do so in short order, should he so decide.” “So despite uncertainty about intention and timing, we must prepare for all contingencies while working to see to
NOT ELIGIBLE: Most of those charged over democracy protests were born after the UK handed Hong Kong back to China, figures form Hong Kong Watch showed More than 90 percent of people who have faced protest charges in Hong Kong are too young to access a UK visa scheme dedicated to helping Hong Kongers flee to the UK, say advocates and lawmakers calling for new laws to assist them. The release of the figures on Sunday by advocacy group Hong Kong Watch comes before a British parliamentary debate this week on proposed migration law amendments that would widen the pathway for people with British National Overseas (BNO) status to resettle in the UK. More than 10,000 people were arrested during or after the mass protests that swept Hong
An episode of The Simpsons in which the cartoon family from the US visit Tiananmen Square has been removed from Disney’s streaming channel in Hong Kong at a time when authorities are clamping down on dissent. The missing episode adds to concerns that Chinese-style censorship is becoming the norm in the territory, ensnaring global streaming giants and other major tech companies. Disney+ has made rapid advances since it was launched 18 months ago, reaching more than 116 million worldwide subscribers. The Hong Kong version started streaming earlier this month and eagle-eyed customers soon noticed that an episode of The Simpsons featuring China was