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New Study Estimates More Than 900,000 People Have Died Of COVID-19 In U.S.

New study: 900,000 dead from Covid-19 in US

A new study estimates that the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. is more than 900,000, a number 57% higher than official figures.

Worldwide, the study's authors say, the COVID-19 death count is nearing 7 million, more than double the reported number of 3.24 million.

The analysis comes from researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, who looked at excess mortality from March 2020 through May 3, 2021, compared it with what would be expected in a typical nonpandemic year, then adjusted those figures to account for a handful of other pandemic-related factors.

The final count only estimates deaths "caused directly by the SARS-CoV-2 virus," according to the study's authors. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.

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A bill aims to stop abusers stalking ex-partners. US telecom firms are lobbying against it

Telecom companies lobby against stalker protection bill

The top lobby group for the US wireless industry is quietly seeking to weaken proposed legislation that has been designed to protect victims of domestic violence by allowing them to remove themselves from family phone plans.

Companies including Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T Wireless are seeking to protect themselves from possible future liability and enforcement in the event that they do not adequately comply with the new proposed legislation. Advocates say the bill would help prevent abusers from surveilling and stalking their victims after leaving the relationship.

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Trillions of cicadas are about to swarm 15 states

Cicadas coming by the trillions ot 15 states

In the coming days, a couple weeks tops, trillions of Brood X cicadas will emerge from the ground for the first time in 17 years.

Though there are numerous broods of cicadas, Brood X comes out in the largest numbers.

The brood will emerge in large quantities, covering surfaces en masse and emitting the sounds of a nonstop lawnmower. Brood X will appear in 15 states and jurisdictions: Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Upon emerging, University of Maryland entomologist Michael Raupp described the Brood X cicada’s lifecycle as a mix of a survivalist thriller and a romance novel.

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U.S. Justice Department worried about Arizona vote recount

Arizona Senate President FannThe U.S. Department of Justice expressed concern Wednesday about ballot security and potential voter intimidation arising from the Republican-controlled Arizona Senate’s unprecedented private recount of the 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa County.

In a letter to GOP Senate President Karen Fann, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said the Senate’s farming out of 2.1 million ballots from the state’s most populous county to a contractor may run afoul of federal law requiring ballots to remain in the control of elections officials for 22 months.

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Amnesty International to restore 'prisoner of conscience' status to Russia's Navalny -aide

AI restores prisoner of conscience' status to Navalny

Amnesty International will next week announce it is reversing a decision to strip jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny of its "prisoner of conscience" status, a top aide said on Thursday.

The human rights group announced on Feb. 24 that it would stop referring to Navalny as a prisoner of conscience on the grounds that in the past he had made comments that qualified as advocacy of hatred.

Navalny's chief of staff Leonid Volkov, speaking in English to Canadian legislators, accused Russia of carrying out a series of dirty tricks to blacken the politician's reputation.

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Twitter shuts down accounts for attempting to evade Trump ban

Twitter shuts down accounts trying to evade Trump ban

Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) suspended several accounts this week that were set up to share statements from a new part of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s website, saying they broke its rules against evading an account ban.

Trump was banned from Twitter, where he had more than 88 million followers, and multiple other social media platforms following the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.

On Tuesday, a page was added to Trump’s site, dubbed “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” where he posts messages that can be shared by his audience to both Twitter and Facebook.

"As stated in our ban evasion policy, we'll take enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account," a Twitter spokesman said in a statement.

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Florida governor signs Republican-backed law imposing new voting curbs

Florida Governor signs GOP bill restricting voting

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed a bill imposing new limits on voting by mail and using ballot drop boxes, the latest Republican-backed voting restrictions to become law in a U.S. election battleground state.

The new law restricts the use of absentee ballot drop boxes to the early voting period, adds new identification requirements for requesting such ballots, and requires voters to reapply for absentee ballots in each new general election cycle. Previously, Florida voters only had to apply once every two election cycles.

The law also gives partisan election observers more power to raise objections and requires people offering voters assistance to stay at least 150 feet (45 meters) away from polling places, an increase from the previous 100-foot (30-meter) radius.

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$2.3 million on travel in 8 months: Trump Navy secretary flew around the world, despite COVID-19

Kenneth BraithwaiteFormer Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite traversed the globe in his brief tenure under the Trump administration, spending more than $2.3 million on air travel, according to figures and documents obtained by USA TODAY.

Braithwaite spent $232,000 the week before President Joe Biden's inauguration to fly to Wake Island, a tiny Pacific atoll, where, according to Navy spokesman Capt. Jereal Dorsey, no sailors or Marines are stationed. The executive director of the government watchdog Project On Government Oversight called the trip "an expensive abuse of power."

Braithwaite was Navy secretary, the service's most senior civilian, from May 29 until Biden took office on Jan. 21. During that time, Braithwaite embarked on 22 trips to foreign and domestic destinations – more than any other senior Pentagon civilian – even as the COVID-19 pandemic trimmed the wings of other senior officials, according to two Defense Department officials.

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Biden team says it supports waiving patent protections on Covid-19 vaccines

Bidem team supports waiving vaccine patents

The United States said on Wednesday that it supports waiving valuable patent and other intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines to help expand production of life-saving shots worldwide.

“This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures,” U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement announcing the move.

The decision is a victory for progressive Democrats who have pushed President Joe Biden to endorse India and South Africa's call for a broad waiver of all intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

The announcement “is a critical step forward in the fight against Covid-19 and will be a game-changer in the global rush to put shots in arms and save lives," Rep. Earl Blumenauer said in statement. "What’s happening in India right now has made clear that time is of the essence."

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