Biden-Harris 2024? It’s in the works
Two hundred million COVID-19 vaccine shots in 100 days? It’s on President Joe Biden’s agenda. The NBA trade deadline is officially over. And we’re in for a dangerous tornado season.
It’s Ashley and Alex. Is it Friday yet? Let’s talk news.
But first, someone check in on Egypt: A skyscraper-size cargo ship is still wedged in the Suez Canal.
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64 days in, one press conference down
The president held his first solo press conference on Thursday — 64 days into the job — and confirmed that he’s already planning to run for a second term. Biden has taken longer than his predecessors to formally address the press corps, turning today’s show into a highly anticipated event. ICYMI:
- Biden set a new COVID-19 vaccine goal of 200 million shots in 100 days: “I believe we can do it.”
- Biden defended his immigration policy as reporters pressed him on his plan to address a surge of migrant children seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Biden said he supports a return to the talking filibuster in the U.S. Senate — not getting rid of the filibuster outright.
- Biden said he’s consulting with allies on how to respond to North Korea’s recent testing of ballistic missiles: “There will be responses if they choose to escalate.”
- Biden conceded that the administration is facing challenges in meeting the May 1 deadline for troop withdrawal in Afghanistan.
- Biden said Chinese President Xi Jinping “doesn’t have a democratic bone in his body” as he talked about “holding China accountable to follow the rules.”
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Washington. (Photo: Evan Vucci, AP)
Boulder shooting suspect ordered held without bail pending mental illness assessment
The man accused of gunning down 10 people in a Colorado supermarket will be held without bond pending an assessment “to address his mental illness,” a judge ruled Thursday. The 21-year-old shooting suspect, whose name we feel does not deserve space in The Short List, didn’t speak other than to say “yes” when asked by the judge whether he understood the charges against him. It was his first court appearance since the shooting rampage on Monday at the King Soopers market in Boulder. If convicted, the suspect could face a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole.
Mental illness is rarely the cause of mass shootings, experts say: The family of the Colorado shooting suspect said he had “mental illness.” But researchers and advocates say the rush to cast blame on mental illness after a mass shooting is misplaced. “There’s no psychotic illness whose symptom is shooting other people,” says Vanderbilt University’s Dr. Jonathan Metzl.
An attendee at a vigil to remember the 10 killed in Monday's shooting at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colo., sets out a sign. (Photo: Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY NETWORK)
What everyone’s talking about
- Jessica Walter, star of TV shows and films from “Arrested Development” to “Play Misty for Me,” died Wednesday. She was 80.
- Meghan McCain tried to weigh in on identity politics and fumbled. There’s a right way to do it.
- Gloria Steinem reflects on her decades-long fight for equality and against the violence women face.
- To Zoom or not to Zoom? Jews are grappling with how to celebrate Passover safely.
- This is America: I’m still grieving the Atlanta-area spa shootings, writes USA TODAY’s Eve Chen.
50M people under weather threat
About 50 million people are in the path of a severe weather outbreak forecast for the Southern USA on Thursday. In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a large tornado was confirmed on the ground and was moving northeast toward Birmingham, the National Weather Service said. Some of the major metropolitan areas in the path of Thursday’s storms include Memphis and Nashville in Tennessee. In Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency for 46 counties because of the severe storm threat. The storms were forecast to hit primarily during the afternoon and early evening, and some could potentially occur after dark. Nighttime tornadoes are especially dangerous as many people may not know a storm is heading to their neighborhood unless closely monitoring severe weather watches and warnings, AccuWeather warned.
The 2021 tornado season may be more destructive because of La Niña. Here’s the forecast.
NBA trade deadline: Who moved where?
With nearly two months left in the 2020-21 season and a lot unsettled in the standings, the NBA trade deadline has come to an end. Who was traded? Kyle Lowry? Victor Oladipo? Lonzo Ball? Harrison Barnes? Who made the big move? Boston? Philadelphia? Miami? Los Angeles Clippers? Denver? Here’s a look at all the major moves that lead up to Thursday’s deadline.
- NBA trade deadline tracker: Who is moving where? Which teams got help?
- Nuggets gear up for postseason by landing Aaron Gordon in deadline trade with the Magic.
- Kim Janey is Boston’s first Black and first female mayor: “I am making history of my own.”
- U.S. unemployment claims fell to 684,000, the fewest since the pandemic began.
- Johnny Depp lost a bid to appeal a U.K. court ruling that he assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard.
- “Superbugs” kill more than 35K people in the USA each year. Doctors may be partially to blame, study suggests.
- Judge signals plea offers coming in Capitol riot inquiry as authorities focus on violent suspects.
34% of US adults have had at least one vaccine jab, while half of the others don’t want it
Are we warming up to those vaccines yet? In the U.S., 34.1% of adults report having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and those who aren’t vaccinated and would get the shot say they are relatively brand agnostic, according to a new survey on vaccine hesitancy. Meanwhile, 66% of people willing to get the shot would be up for the Moderna vaccine, while 70% are willing to get the Pfizer vaccine and 67% are willing to get the J&J vaccine. But just 51% of people still unvaccinated say they would get a shot if offered to them.
Give it to me straight: The U.S. coronavirus death toll exceeds 540,000 and is continuing to rise. But deaths could have stayed under 300,000 if America hadn’t botched its COVID-19 response, a University of California, Los Angeles economics professor estimates.
- Would you get a COVID-19 vaccine from your dentist? “Drillers and fillers” fight pandemic.
- Can schools punish students who break COVID-19 rules on spring break?Maybe.
Fulton County Department of Public Health registered nurse Rosalie Pringle prepares dozens of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Wednesday in Atlanta. (Photo: Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
A break from the news
- 🔐 3 Amazon privacy settings you need to change now.
- 🍿 Glenn Close’sOscar-nominated performances ranked, from “Hillbilly Elegy” to “Fatal Attraction.”
- 💰 High income and location: These two situations could make your Social Security benefits taxable.
National Puppy Day (part 2!)
… and thank you Short List reader Theodore for this photo of Sweetie, “she’s a greyhound, and the prettiest girl in Illinois!”
Sweetie, a greyhound, is "the prettiest girl in Illinois!" (Photo: Special to USA TODAY)
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