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The world’s next skateboard star is a 6-year-old Australian girl riding ramps double her size

Sun, 2021-04-18 14:10

(CNN) — While her kindergarten classmates spend their free time playing with blocks and running around outside, Paige Tobin has been busy dropping into 12-foot high skateboard ramps, amassing a burgeoning online fanbase, and challenging gender stereotypes.

Paige, 6, of Lake Macquarie, Australia, nabbed the world’s attention last week after an Instagram video of her skating in a pink dress collected more than 1.4 million views. It featured Paige dropping into a skate ramp while a young boy looked on in amazement.

The video showcased skills that Paige has been honing since she discovered her mom’s old skateboard roughly four years ago.

“When Paige was about 2, she picked up an old skateboard in the garage and started standing up on it,” her mother, Emma, told CNN over Skype. “It kinda started there.”

In that short period of time, Paige has won the King of Concrete skateboarding competition in Melbourne in the under-9 field and scored a handful of sponsorship deals with S1 Helmets, Pride Socks, and Fringe Skateboards, to name a few.

“Paige is definitely skating exceptionally well, not just for the age but for skateboarding in general,” said Neftalie Williams, a lecturer at the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism who studies race and diversity in the world of skateboarding. “Those kinds of moments are when people see that skateboarding is for any age and any background. It shows that skateboarding is globally accessible.”

Paige, whose family lives along Australia’s southeastern coast, said skateboarding makes her “really happy” and one trick she’s been working to master is a move called a blunt to fakie. The trick involves riding the board up to the edge of a ramp, stalling the board on the ledge while balancing on it and then popping the board off the ramp to ride back down.



The skateboarding community has come a long way in encouraging females and non-gender conforming people to join the sport. Yet it still has farther to go.

Firm figures for the current number of females and non-gender conforming skateboarders across the US are not available. But a 2017 study called “Beyond the Board: Skateboarding, Schools, and Society,” co-authored by Williams of USC, cited figures from the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), which found that “male participants accounted for roughly 4.6 million skateboarders, while female participation was noted at approximately 1.7 million.”

“In that same report, SFIA highlighted that 77.8% of males and 22.2% of females who completed the survey identified as core/frequent (more than 26 times a year) skateboarders,” the study said.

One of the recent developments that helped change skateboarding’s perception was the Olympics, Williams said.

In 2016, the International Olympic Committee added male and female skateboarding as a summer Olympic sport starting with the Tokyo games. This gave the sport a new level of legitimacy and exposure, Williams told CNN over the phone.

Popular Instagram hashtags like #girlswhocanskate and young skaters like Paige and Sky Brown, a British teenage skateboarding sensation, have also helped popularize the sport beyond males, Williams said.

“One of the most important things about seeing Paige skating is how it’s a reminder that there has been an explosion in women, girls and gender non-conforming skaters as well,” Williams said. “That has really shaped and changed the way people perceive skateboarding culture.”


The threat of injury “goes through your mind”

Paige pointed to Brown, of England, as her biggest source of inspiration. But her skateboarding hero has also shown Paige — and Paige’s family — that the sport isn’t without risks.

Brown suffered severe injuries in June 2020 after she was filmed taking a bad fall during training.

The video shows Brown flying off the end of a half-pipe while traveling at high speed. She suffered skull fractures and broken bones in her left wrist and hand in her fall. She was taken to the hospital by helicopter.

Brown, who was 11 at the time, posted a video on her Instagram and YouTube channels with a clip of her spill and an emotional message from her hospital bed.

The sight of Brown’s spill caused Emma to stop and think about Paige’s skateboarding.

“It definitely goes through your mind, ‘if anything were to happen to her, would I blame myself?'” Emma said. “I just have to hold my breath and keep rolling with it.”

Paige and Emma rolled over to Sydney this weekend to put on a skateboard demonstration. The pair have plans to visit the US this summer to do some photography, film work, and hopefully meet one of Paige’s other skateboarding idols, Tony Hawk, Emma said.

For any young people thinking of getting into skateboarding, Paige had this piece of advice: “Never give up.”

In the age of active shooters, a new mantra has emerged: ‘Run. Hide. Fight.’

Sun, 2021-04-18 13:38

(CNN) — It’s a nightmare scenario: You’re at a mall, shopping with friends. Or maybe buying some last-minute groceries for dinner. All of a sudden, you hear gunshots.

What do you do?

It’s a reality many of us struggle to accept, but with the frequency of mass shootings in the United States, experts say it’s something you need to consider.

In fact, the FBI has coined a mantra to help people remember what to do in the event of an active shooter situation: “Run. Hide. Fight.” (School children are taught a different lesson.)

In the age of active shooters, it’s just as important as the “stop, drop and roll” instructions that fire officials have taught for decades.

“You prepare for difficult and dangerous moments like what to do during a tornado or fire, so you should be just as prepared for an active shooter situation,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard of Oakland County, Michigan, told CNN. “You need to have an exit strategy, a plan.”



The second you hear gunshots, run.

“Freezing in place is the worst thing you can do. Seconds would matter,” Jeff Butler, a former Navy SEAL and CIA officer, told CNN. “The first thing is running. Don’t hunker down in place, if there is a viable exit nearby that gets you completely out of the scenario.”

Regardless of your location — whether it be a movie theater, bank, school building or elsewhere — familiarize yourself with your surroundings, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says in its active shooter booklet.

If you sense there’s something wrong, trust your instincts, report what you see and leave immediately.

DHS says to always note the location of at least two exits. When evacuating, leave all your belongings behind. And if you’re with people who need help escaping and are able to assist, lead them to the nearest exit. But don’t move anyone who is already wounded.

When running, keep your hands visible so law enforcement officers don’t confuse you with an active shooter and follow all directions from police, DHS says.

Once you’re safe, call 911 if police aren’t already on the scene.



If you can’t run, the next best option is to hide.

Planning where you’re going to hide is just as important as noting exits, experts say. Always look for spots that will provide cover and safety in case a shooting breaks out in an area you can’t escape.

“The active shooter event is usually about three minutes long and you have to know exactly what you’re going to do in those moments,” Jean-Paul Guilbault, the CEO of safety and emergency management company Navigate360, told CNN. “This starts with visualizing yourself in that situation, having an exit plan and knowing where you’re going to seek safety if you can’t evacuate.”

Navigate360 provides active shooter response training to help ordinary people survive attacks.

Bouchard said a good hiding spot is one that keeps you out of view, provides protection from bullets and is spacious enough to exit and run when possible.

If you’re in an enclosed space, turn off the lights, close and lock the door, and put something heavy — such as furniture — in front of it, he added.

Don’t forget to silence your phone and any other electronic devices that could give away your hiding spot, DHS says.

Stay calm and, if possible, call 911 to inform authorities of the shooter’s location. If you can’t talk, just stay on the line so the dispatcher can hear what’s happening.



If you can’t run, and there’s nowhere to hide, there’s only one option left: Fight like hell.

Because confronting an active shooter is extremely dangerous, experts say it should be done only as a last resort.

“As far as making your attempt to fight, wait for a reload,” Butler, who helps design active shooter response plans, said. “Use a weapon at hand, something hard and heavy that you can swing at them with.”

Making your move while the shooter is reloading a weapon helps even the fight, Butler said.

During your attack, yell as loud as possible and throw what you can, says Ready, a FEMA program. Try to improvise a weapon using nearby items such as chairs, fire extinguishers or scissors.

Commit to the fight and be prepared to cause severe injury or death, Ready says.

“Fight doesn’t just mean fight. It means conquering,” Guilbault said. “When you’re in the same room as a shooter, make noise, create chaos, use anything you have to confuse the attacker.”

You are within your rights to do whatever is necessary to save your life or the lives of people around you, even if it means lethal force, Bouchard said.

All that matters in an active shooter situation is survival.

Miami GP to join F1 calendar from 2022 in 10-year deal

Sun, 2021-04-18 12:36

MIAMI (AP) — There will be two Formula One races in the United States next year with the new Miami Grand Prix added to the calendar from 2022.

Next year’s race will be the first in a 10-year deal and is in addition to the existing grand prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.

“We are thrilled to announce that Formula 1 will be racing in Miami beginning in 2022,” F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali said on Sunday.

“The USA is a key growth market for us, and we are greatly encouraged by our growing reach in the US which will be further supported by this exciting second race.”

The exact date of the race has yet to be confirmed but Domenicali said it would be in the “second quarter of next year.”

It will be the first-ever F1 race in Miami and the first in Florida since 1959. It will take place at a new circuit in the Hard Rock Stadium complex in Miami Gardens, home to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross made his stadium a multi-sport venue. The home of the Dolphins, University of Miami and Orange Bowl has been the site of Super Bowls and college national championship football games. It also hosts soccer, and in 2019 became the home of the Miami Open tennis tournament.

Ross had sought a Formula One race in Miami for nearly three years.

The circuit itself will be 5.41 kilometers (3.36 miles) long and will feature 19 corners and three straights, with an estimated top speed of 320 kph (199 mph). Hard Rock Stadium will sit at the heart of the track.

“We have worked with specialist designers to create a racetrack that we, Formula 1 and the FIA believe will provide great racing and we hope to create best-in-class unique fan experiences that are reflective of the diverse and dynamic nature of Miami,” said Tom Garfinkel, vice-Chairman, president and CEO of Hard Rock Stadium. “When we looked at the Hard Rock site we basically had a blank sheet paper to work (on) with designers, to work with Formula One, to put together a race track that is dynamic.”

Miami will be the 11th location in the US to host an F1 race since the championship began in 1950. There have been grands prix in Indianapolis, Sebring, Riverside, Watkins Glen, Long Beach, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix as well as Austin.

However, there is not yet an American driver to help the future development of F1 in the U.S. as it competes against NASCAR and IndyCar.

“Obviously that’s helpful, I don’t think it’s critical (to have an American driver),” Garfinkel said. “These cars, the technology, the racing itself. I think there’s no better form of racing in the world and we’re thrilled to bring that to Miami.

Garfinkel hopes that seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton is there to enjoy the experience. His Mercedes contract runs out at the end of this year and he has not yet committed to staying in F1.

“Lewis Hamilton is one of the greatest racing drivers who ever lived, so obviously we’d love to have him racing in Miami,” Garfinkel said.

Fauci says he expects J&J vaccine to resume later this week

Sun, 2021-04-18 11:41

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States will likely move to resume Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine this coming week, possibly with restrictions or broader warnings after reports of some very rare blood clot cases, the government’s top infectious diseases expert said Sunday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, in a series of news show interviews, said he expects a decision when advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meet Friday to discuss the pause in J&J’s single-dose vaccine.

“I would be very surprised if we don’t have a resumption in some form by Friday,” he said. “I don’t really anticipate that they’re going to want it stretch it out a bit longer.”

Fauci, who is President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said he believed that federal regulators could bring the shots back with restrictions based on age or gender or with a blanket warning, so that it is administered in a way “a little bit different than we were before the pause.”

The J&J vaccine has been in limbo after the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration said last week they needed more evidence to decide if a handful of unusual blood clots were linked to the shot — and if so, how big the risk is.

The reports are rare — six cases out of more than 7 million U.S. inoculations with J&J vaccine. The clots were found in six women between the ages of 18 and 48. One person died.

The acting FDA commissioner had said she expected the pause to last only a matter of days. Still, the decision last Tuesday triggered swift action in Europe and elsewhere.

Fauci said he doubted very seriously that the U.S. would permanently halt use of the J&J vaccine.

“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” he said. “The pause was to take a look, make sure we know all the information we can have within that timeframe, and also warn some of the physicians out there who might see people, particularly women, who have this particular adverse event, that they treat them properly.”

“I think it’ll likely say, ‘OK, we’re going to use it. But be careful under these certain circumstances.’”

More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been given in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects. Authorities stressed they have found no sign of clot problems with the most widely used COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. — from Moderna and Pfizer.

Fauci appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CNN’s “State of the Union,” ABC’s “This Week” and CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Sheriff: 3 dead, 2 wounded in shooting at Wisconsin tavern

Sun, 2021-04-18 10:39

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Three people were killed and two were left wounded early Sunday in a shooting at a tavern in southeastern Wisconsin, sheriff’s officials said.

Kenosha Sheriff David Beth said the suspect in the shooting at Somers House Tavern in the village of Somers in Kenosha County is still at large, but that he believes the public is not in danger.

“We believe our suspect knew who he was targeting,” Beth said during a Sunday morning news conference. He asked that anyone with information about the incident to contact the Kenosha Sheriff’s Department. Somers is about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Milwaukee, not far from the Wisconsin-Illinois border.

The suspect had been asked to leave the bar but returned and opened fire. Beth left open the possibility that there was more than one suspect. He said he believed at least one handgun was used.

Officials were still working to determine the identities of the people who died. The two people who were wounded were taken to area hospitals. There may have been more people with less serious injuries, and the sheriff’s department has contacted local hospitals to find them, Beth said.

It was the latest in a recent string of mass shootings across the country, including the killings of eight people at a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis on Thursday. Last month, four people were killed at an office shooting in California, eight people were fatally shot at massage businesses in the Atlanta area, and 10 died in gunfire at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.

The nearby city of Kenosha was the scene of serious unrest last summer, after police shot a young Black man, Jacob Blake, leaving him paralyzed. A white Illinois teenager was accused of fatally shooting two people during the Kenosha protests. Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, is charged with homicide and attempted homicide in the Aug. 25 shootings. He has pleaded not guilty and says he fired in self-defense.

Couples evacuate from duplex fire in Miami

Sun, 2021-04-18 10:21

Fire rescue crews responded to a duplex that went up in flames.

Ten units responded to the scene along the 2400 block of Southwest 29th Avenue.

Two couples in two units managed to evacuate the duplex without injuries.

As officials work to investigate the cause, the Red Cross is now assisting those families.

Some pet birds in the backyard did not survive.

Man dies after shooting in Miami

Sun, 2021-04-18 10:10

A 35-year-old man has died after a shooting in Miami.

Shots rang out and the victim was hit along Northeast 60th Terrace, at around 4 a.m., Sunday.

Fire rescue officials rushed the man to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Police are currently investigating the shooting.

Please check back on and 7News for more details on this developing story.

Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting

Sun, 2021-04-18 09:33

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The former employee who shot and killed eight people at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally purchased the two assault rifles used in the attack despite red flag laws designed to prevent that, police said.

A trace of the two guns found by investigators at the scene revealed that suspect Brandon Scott Hole, 19, of Indianapolis, legally bought the rifles in July and September of last year, officials with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said Saturday.

IMPD did not share where Hole bought the guns, citing the ongoing investigation, but said Hole was witnessed using both rifles during the assault.

Deputy Police Chief Craig McCartt said Hole began firing randomly at people in the parking lot of the FedEx facility late Thursday, killing four, before entering the building, fatally shooting four more people and then turning the gun on himself.

Indiana has had a “red flag law” allowing police or courts to seize guns from people who show warning signs of violence since 2005, when it became one of the first states to enact such a law after an Indianapolis police officer was killed by a man whose weapons had to be returned despite hospitalization months earlier for an emergency mental health evaluation.

The law is intended to prevent people from purchasing or possessing a firearm if they are found by a judge to present “an imminent risk” to themselves or others.

Authorities have two weeks after seizing someone’s weapon to argue in court that the person should not be allowed to possess a gun, according to the law. Officials have not said whether a judge made a red flag ruling in Hole’s case.

Paul Keenan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis field office, said that agents questioned Hole last year after his mother called police to say that her son might commit “suicide by cop.” He said the FBI was called after items were found in Hole’s bedroom but he did not elaborate on what they were. He said agents found no evidence of a crime and that they did not identify Hole as espousing a racially motivated ideology.

A police report obtained by The Associated Press shows that officers seized a pump-action shotgun from Hole’s home after responding to the mother’s call. Keenan said the gun was never returned.

McCartt said Hole was a former employee of FedEx and last worked for the company in 2020. The deputy police chief said he did not know why Hole left the job or if he had ties to the workers in the facility. He said police have not yet uncovered a motive for the shooting.

Investigators searched a home Friday in Indianapolis associated with Hole and seized evidence, including desktop computers and other electronic media, McCartt said.

Hole’s family said in a statement Saturday they are “so sorry for the pain and hurt” his actions caused.

Canada’s healthcare workers brace for the painful blow of a punishing third wave

Sun, 2021-04-18 08:45

(CNN) — For days now, as the Covid-19 case count mounted and horrifying hospital admissions surged, Canadians seemed dismayed and asked: how could this happen here, where most people dutifully followed public health guidelines?

But many of Canada’s healthcare workers were telling anyone who would listen that some provincial governments reopened too quickly after a difficult post-Christmas surge.

“So, we’re stuck, where we have cases out of control, hospitals completely full, not enough vaccine supply available and months of difficult public health measures ahead of us,” said Dr. Michael Warner, the director of critical care at the Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto, in an interview with CNN.

Provincial governments across the country are now reckoning with a damaging third wave of Covid-19, one that might imperil the universal healthcare system of which Canadians are so fiercely proud.

From coast to coast, across thousands of miles and hundreds of hospitals, many provinces are now anxiously watching the case count rise as variants of concern spread a more contagious virus to younger Canadians and land more people in hospital.

And nowhere in Canada is the hospital situation as critical as it is in Ontario, the country’s most populous province.

“The government didn’t listen to scientists, they didn’t listen to epidemiologists, they didn’t listen to doctors other than their chief medical officer of health. And because they failed to listen to scientists, they thought they could negotiate themselves out of this virus, but the virus is too strong, the variant is a different disease,” said Warner, telling CNN on Friday his ICU was working at 115% capacity.

Ontario premier Doug Ford defended his actions Friday as he announced new restrictions, including extending a stay-at-home order until at least mid-May, prohibiting indoor and outdoor gatherings, and restricting non-essential travel in and out of the province.

At a press briefing Friday, Ford insisted he has always acted on the science, adding that in the case of recent rising critical care admissions, he drafted the stricter public health policies “the second” he found out.

“Whatever we put into place though, it’s going to take time to take effect so right now, the trajectories of Covid rises are really baked in and I think the next 2 to 3 weeks for Ontario and Canada are going to be very, very, tough.” said Dr. Fahad Razak, who treats coronavirus patients at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

On Saturday, Ontario again shattered fresh records for both hospital and ICU admissions. Modeling released by the province’s expert advisory panel Frida detailed a dire snapshot of the crisis already unfolding in hospitals and how the situation is likely to get even worse.

“Notice that our hospitals can no longer function normally, they are bursting at their seams, we’re setting up field hospitals and we’re separating critically ill patients from their families by helicoptering them across the province for care, our children’s hospitals are now admitting adults as patients. This has never happened in Ontario before it’s never happened in Canada before,” said Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, Ontario’s science advisory co-chair.

Brown was strikingly blunt about the worst-case scenario that could see Ontario rationing care, especially finding critical care spots for patients saying, “there may just not be the ability to put them into these types of beds.”

“We will be there, we will do our best, but I’m trained to save people, not to use a checklist to decide if people are going to live or die, but that’s where we’re head and that’s my biggest fear and I think a lot of healthcare workers are beyond angry, I think we’re really forlorn about the situation we find ourselves in,” said Warner.

Throughout Canada, save for its Atlantic provinces that have worked hard to create a ‘bubble’ with some of the lowest incidence rates of Covid-19 in all of North America, the epidemiological data has been alarming.

Health Canada reported a 35% increase in hospitalizations and a more than 20% increase in ICU admissions throughout Canada in the week ending April 11th. More worrying still, the mortality trend is concerning, with a 38% increase in deaths in the last week alone.

Some public health professionals say many provinces reopened too much, too soon. And in Ontario, many healthcare providers say that, given their scarcity in Canada, vaccines should have been more quickly allocated to marginalized and racialized communities.

In many of Canada’s largest cities, essential workers in factories, meat processing plants and distribution centers have suffered through dangerous outbreaks.

Dozens of Ontario’s doctors have taken to social media demanding these workers have safer working conditions and easy access to sick pay when they contract the virus or must be tested for it.

Most provinces, including British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec are beginning to concentrate on these workplaces and community hotspots with mobile testing and vaccination clinics.

Some healthcare workers, however, are resigned that those programs were not put in place quickly enough to spare them and their patients from the ravages of a third wave, much worse than the first two.

“It’s clearly a crisis, we’re in the midst of a crisis now, it’s not a week away, we’re in it right now,” said Razak.

US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency

Sun, 2021-04-18 08:24

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The United States and China, the world’s two biggest carbon polluters, agreed to cooperate to curb climate change with urgency, just days before President Joe Biden hosts a virtual summit of world leaders to discuss the issue.

The agreement was reached by U.S. special envoy for climate John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua during two days of talks in Shanghai last week, according to a joint statement.

The two countries “are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands,” the statement said.

China is the world’s biggest carbon emitter, followed by the United States. The two countries pump out nearly half of the fossil fuel fumes that are warming the planet’s atmosphere. Their cooperation is key to the success of global efforts to curb climate change, but frayed ties over human rights, trade and China’s territorial claims to Taiwan and the South China Sea have been threatening to undermine such efforts.

Meeting with reporters in Seoul on Sunday, Kerry said the language in the statement is “strong” and that the two countries agreed on “critical elements on where we have to go.” But the former secretary of state said, “I learned in diplomacy that you don’t put your back on the words, you put on actions. We all need to see what happens.”

Noting that China is the world’s biggest coal user, Kerry said he and Chinese officials had a lot of discussions on how to accelerate a global energy transition. “I have never shied away from expressing our views shared by many, many people that it is imperative to reduce coal, everywhere,” he said.

Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, to the April 22-23 summit. The U.S. and other countries are expected to announce more ambitious national targets for cutting carbon emissions ahead of or at the meeting, along with pledging financial help for climate efforts by less wealthy nations.

It’s unclear how much Kerry’s China visit would promote U.S.-China cooperation on climate issues.

While Kerry was still in Shanghai, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng signaled Friday that China is unlikely to make any new pledges at next week’s summit.

“For a big country with 1.4 billion people, these goals are not easily delivered,” Le said during an interview with The Associated Press in Beijing. “Some countries are asking China to achieve the goals earlier. I am afraid this is not very realistic.”

During a video meeting with German and French leaders Friday, Xi said that climate change “should not become a geopolitical chip, a target for attacking other countries or an excuse for trade barriers,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

On whether Xi would join the summit, Le said “the Chinese side is actively studying the matter.”

The joint statement said the two countries “look forward to” next week’s summit. Kerry said Sunday that “we very much hope that (Xi) will take part” in the summit but it’s up to China to make that decision.

Biden, who has said that fighting global warming is among his highest priorities, had the United States rejoin the historic 2015 Paris climate accord in the first hours of his presidency, undoing the U.S. withdrawal ordered by predecessor Donald Trump.

Major emitters of greenhouse gases are preparing for the next U.N. climate summit taking place in Glasgow, U.K., in November. The summit aims to relaunch global efforts to keep rising global temperatures to below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) as agreed in the Paris accord.

According to the U.S.-China statement, the two countries would enhance “their respective actions and cooperating in multilateral processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.”

It said both countries also intend to develop their respective long-term strategies before the Glasgow conference and take “appropriate actions to maximize international investment and finance in support of” the energy transition in developing countries.

Xi announced last year that China would be carbon-neutral by 2060 and aims to reach a peak in its emissions by 2030. In March, China’s Communist Party pledged to reduce carbon emissions per unit of economic output by 18% over the next five years, in line with its goal for the previous five-year period. But environmentalists say China needs to do more.

Biden has pledged the U.S. will switch to an emissions-free power sector within 14 years, and have an entirely emissions-free economy by 2050. Kerry is also pushing other nations to commit to carbon neutrality by then.

WWII-era plane makes emergency ocean landing at Cocoa Beach Air Show

Sat, 2021-04-17 23:49

COCOA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The pilot of a restored World War II-era plane made an emergency ocean landing Saturday during the Cocoa Beach Air Show.

Witnesses told Florida Today they heard the BM Avenger engine sputtering down the beach and knew something was off as the plane slowly descended.

“It looked like (the pilot) pulled up at the last moment and avoided any spectators, there were loads of people on the water, and then I saw him on top of the plane, it looked like he was okay,” said Melanie Schrader.

The pilot was not injured and refused medical treatment.

The air show released a statement saying the plane had a mechanical issue and that rescue personnel were standing by during the emergency landing.

The plane was a torpedo bomber used by the U.S. Navy during World War II. According to the Cocoa Beach Air Show website, the plane underwent extensive restoration before returning to flight last year.

Dozens injured after floor collapses during massive house party near University of Georgia

Sat, 2021-04-17 22:41

ATHENS-CLARKE COUNTY, Georgia (WGCL/CNN) — Athens-Clarke County Fire responded to a shocking scene early Friday morning after a massive house party led to a floor collapse.

The department was notified of an incident on Magnolia Bluff Drive near UGA around 1:00 a.m. When they received information on the unusually large number of people inside the home, the response was upgraded to include an Engine, Rescue truck, and a Battalion Chief.

Athens-Clarke County Police were already on the scene when fire crews arrived, working to remove victims from within the structure. National EMS ambulances were also on the scene, and the nature of the emergency led to another fire response upgrade with an additional Rescue truck and Battalion Chief requested.

First responders had a difficult time getting close to the home, a two-story house over a high crawl space, due to the large number of vehicles and people blocking the street.

Reports said that a majority of the first floor had collapsed into the crawl space beneath under the weight of a severely overcrowded party.

Fire crews and medical teams treated around 25 people with a variety of injuries, including scratches and cuts up to a potentially broken arm; however, no patients were transported by EMS, with most either driving themselves or being taken by friends to local area hospitals.

Estimates put the size of the party at nearly 500 people.

“We are grateful that this unexpected event didn’t turn out any worse than it did”, said Captain Nate Moss, a representative of the Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Services Department. “Many times, overcrowding can result in collapses of decks and flooring, especially in older structures. The thing that helped, in this case, was the lack of elevation. These folks should consider themselves fortunate”.

Code enforcement officials were contacted regarding whether the property should be condemned.

India, world’s biggest vaccine producer, is running out of COVID-19 vaccines, as second wave accelerates

Sat, 2021-04-17 22:16

(CNN) — In India, the world’s biggest vaccine producer, millions of people are waiting for COVID-19 vaccines amid a devastating second wave of infections.

India typically produces more than 60% of all vaccines sold globally, and is home to the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine maker. Its vast manufacturing capability is why the country signed on as a major player in COVAX, the global vaccine-sharing initiative that provides discounted or free doses for lower-income countries. Under the initial agreement announced last year, SII would manufacture up to 200 million doses for up to 92 countries.

But the situation in India is markedly different from just a few months ago. Its second wave began in March, quickly surpassing the first, which had peaked last September at more than 97,000 coronavirus cases a day.

On Friday, the country reported 217,353 new cases — its highest single-day figure so far, according to data from the Indian Ministry of Health. India added a million new cases in less than a week, surpassing 14 million total cases on Thursday.

States and cities are imposing new restrictions, including weekend and nighttime curfews in the capital region Delhi, home to 19 million people. Migrant workers are also leaving major cities en masse for their home villages, afraid any potential lockdowns will leave them stranded.

And through it all, vaccine supplies have dried up on the ground, with at least five states reporting severe shortages and urging the federal government to act.

In the face of crisis, the government and SII have shifted focus from supplying vaccines to COVAX to prioritizing their own citizens at home.

“Deliveries of doses from the Serum Institute of India will be delayed in March and April,” said COVAX, which is run by a coalition including international vaccine organization Gavi and the World Health Organization, in a news release on March 25. “Delays in securing supplies of SII-produced Covid-19 vaccine doses are due to the increased demand for Covid-19 vaccines in India.”

India had provided 28 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine so far, and was scheduled to deliver another 40 million doses in March and 50 million in April, the release said, adding that COVAX and the Indian government “remain in discussions” about completing supplies.

It’s not the first time India had to pause its COVAX contributions: in January, the government restricted the export of AstraZeneca vaccines produced by SII “because they want to prioritize for the most vulnerable and needy segments first,” SII CEO Adar Poonawalla.

But these repeated delays have hit poor countries hard. The director of Africa’s disease control body warned India’s hold on exports could be “catastrophic” for the continent — while Pakistan, one of the biggest program recipients, decided to allow private vaccine imports and sales to fill the gap.

Vaccination centers turning people away

India is administering two vaccines domestically: the Oxford-AstraZeneca one, also known as Covishield, and its homegrown Covaxin, developed jointly by Bharat Biotech and the government-run Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

The country started its vaccination program in January for health care workers and priority groups, with the goal of fully inoculating 300 million people by August. But the program had a sluggish start, facing logistical issues as well as vaccine hesitancy among the population — especially towards Covaxin, which was approved for emergency use before the efficacy data of its third phase trial were released.

To date, only 14.3 million people have been fully vaccinated — just over 1% of India’s population of 1.3 billion, according to Johns Hopkins University.

But public confidence rose as the government stepped up an awareness campaign to assuage concerns, and the vaccination program picked up speed. As new daily cases accelerated in March and April, several states began reporting major vaccine shortages.

In Odisha, nearly 700 vaccination centers had to close last week due to shortages, wrote health authorities in a letter to the central government, warning the state would soon exhaust its available stock.

Rajesh Bhaskar, a health official in Punjab, told CNN last week the state had about 450,000 doses of Covishield and 30,000 doses of Covaxin. The state is home to more than 27 million people, according to the government’s latest available statistics. “We want to vaccinate about 100,000 people per day at least, and the current supply is insufficient to meet that demand,” he said.

Several districts in Maharashtra, the worst-hit state, had to temporarily suspend vaccination drives, including more than 70 centers in Mumbai that shut last week, according to the state’s health minister, Rajesh Tope. Maharashtra had administered more than 11.1 million doses as of Thursday, the most of any Indian states, according to the Indian Ministry of Health.

“In both cities and villages, we have created teams … to bring all those above 45 years old to take the vaccine,” Tope said on April 7. “People are coming to the centers, but our healthcare workers have to tell them that they haven’t received the vaccine so they should go home.”

There are several challenges contributing to the shortages — one being the supply of raw materials, said former ICMR director general Nirmal Kumar Ganguly.

India “has the capacity to produce,” Ganguly added, but supply chains have been disrupted during the pandemic. The vaccine formulas and required materials “cannot be changed overnight, so we have to rely on the raw materials being imported.”

The US has placed a temporary ban on exporting raw materials critical for vaccine production — and the EU has similarly tightened restrictions around vaccine exports. India is now working to “adapt to the materials which are made at home or the neighboring countries like Singapore,” but this will take time, said Ganguly.

An additional challenge is the country’s reliance on SII, he added. There are other vaccine manufacturers in the country, such as Bharat Biotech, but SII remains the largest.

“The need has been glaringly brought out that we need to expand our capacity,” Ganguly said. “We are one of the vaccine exporters but these are done by two or three Indian companies at the moment, the rest of them are not big players and some of them are totally new in vaccine production.”

Government’s mixed response

Several states have requested more doses from the central government — but federal officials have pushed back, insisting the situation is under control.

Tope’s complaints were “nothing but an attempt to divert attention from Maharashtra government’s repeated failures to control the spread of pandemic,” said Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in a statement last week. Home Minister Amit Shah also refuted states’ claims, saying their information was “not true” and vaccines were available, “as much as is required.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a point of praising India’s vaccination effort as a success. During a meeting with state governors on Wednesday, Modi “highlighted that India has become the fastest nation to reach the landmark of 10 crore vaccinations (100 million doses),” according to a statement from his office.

India took 85 days to reach 100 million doses. By comparison, the US took 89 days and China 102 days, according to Modi’s office.

And on Tuesday, Rajesh Bhushan, the health ministry’s secretary, said the problem was poor planning and management — not supply. “We are making doses available to states in a timely manner,” he said, adding that states should “look at how many unutilized doses there are at each cold chain point.”

Their statements were met with outrage from local and state leaders. Shah’s assertion was “factually completely incorrect,” tweeted Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on April 10.

And though a last-minute shipment from the central government had saved Uttarakhand from a complete shortage, it’s far from a perfect solution and “the supply is unpredictable,” said health department official Kuldeep Martolia on Monday.

In a sign the federal government may be feeling the pressure, it took action this week to open the doors for vaccine imports. On Tuesday, it announced it would fast-track emergency approvals for vaccines already approved by the World Health Organization or authorities in the United States, Europe, Britain and Japan.

Companies still need to apply for approval in India, but they will be exempt from having to conduct local safety trials, expediting the process.

“If any of these regulators have approved a vaccine, the vaccine is now ready to be brought into the country for use, manufacture and fill-and-finish,” Dr. VK Paul, a senior health official at the government-run think tank Niti Aayog, said at a news conference on Tuesday. “We hope and we invite the vaccine makers such as Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and others … to be ready to come to India as early as possible.”

The move is “a calculated step” by the government to “ensure we have more vaccines available,” said Ganguly. The government could also expand its supply through the private market — but this brings additional challenges too, he said, including the question of how to price vaccines to provide equitable access to the poor.

But even the possibility of importing foreign vaccines won’t be a quick fix, since companies like Pfizer and Moderna have other orders to fulfill first, including supplying vaccines for the US. India just granted emergency use authorization for Russia’s Sputnik vaccine — but “by the time they build up manufacturing capacities and manufacturing requirements, it will be five to six months,” Ganguly said.

In the meantime, the government is working to expand local production capacity — a state-run biomedical institute in Maharashtra was given the green light to manufacture the Covaxin vaccine on Thursday, through a transfer of technology with Bharat Biotech.

All the while, the second wave roils on, with cases climbing sharply every day. Millions of people are traveling across the country to the city of Haridwar in Uttarakhand for the Kumbh Mela, a Hindu festival and the largest pilgrimage on Earth. Despite warnings of the COVID risks, huge crowds are gathering to hold prayers, attend ceremonies and take holy dips in the Ganges River.

Already, cases in Haridwar are spiking — prompting the state to impose new restrictions on Thursday. At least one religious group attending the festival, the Niranjani Akhada, has asked those from out of state to pull back amid the rise in cases.

“This surge is a very, very threatening sight which is happening at this given moment in India,” said Ganguly. “We have never seen anything like this before.”

Vaccinations administered at Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale amid rollout

Sat, 2021-04-17 21:47

A church in Fort Lauderdale helped people get their shot at protection this weekend, as sites across South Florida continued to see big numbers.

7News cameras people waiting in line to receive their dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Sunshine Cathedral, located along the 1400 block of Southwest Ninth Avenue, Saturday.

The National Guard was on hand to help out during the whole process.

Meanwhile, over at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, cameras showed long lines of cars as drivers and passengers waited to receive their dose.

The large site is administering doses daily until 10 p.m.

For more information about vaccination sites in Florida, click here. To pre-register, click here.

Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.

Seven Mile Bridge Run returns to Florida Keys after 1-year hiatus

Sat, 2021-04-17 21:04

NEAR MARATHON, Fla. (WSVN) — The Seven Mile Bridge Run returned to the Florida Keys after a year-long hiatus.

About 1,000 people from dozens of states competed in Saturday’s run, the annual event’s 40th race.

As a safety measure this year, runners were put into groups of 10 with different start times while wearing masks throughout the race.

Race officials said it will take a few days to to find out who the winners are.

2 more bodies identified as search continues for missing crew of ship that capsized off Louisiana

Sat, 2021-04-17 20:51

(CNN) — The bodies of two men found inside a commercial vessel that capsized earlier this week off the Louisiana coast have been identified.

Lafourche Parish Coroner Dr. John King identified the two men as Anthony Hartford, 53, of New Orleans and James Wallingsford, 55, of Gilbert, Louisiana.

The bodies of the two men were found inside the capsized liftboat on Friday by divers contracted by Seacor Marine, the owner of the vessel, according to the US Coast Guard.

A man recovered from the water on Thursday near the capsized vessel was identified Friday as Ernest Williams, 69, of Arnaudville, Louisiana, Lafourche coroner chief investigator Jamie Folse told CNN.

On Wednesday, Coast Guard crew members found the body of David Ledet, 63, from Thibodaux, Louisiana, according to the coroner’s office.

The cause of death for the four men have not yet been released.

Six people were rescued immediately after the boat capsized several miles south of Port Fourchon on Tuesday and nine people are still missing, the US Coast Guard said Friday.

The vessel with 19 crew members on board had just left Port Fourchon when it encountered a line of strong thunderstorms with winds that gusted as high as 117 mph.

The capsized vessel has been declared a major marine casualty by the Coast Guard.

According to the Code of Federal Regulations, a major marine casualty is a casualty “involving a vessel, other than a public vessel” that results in the loss of six or more lives, more than $500,000 in property damage, hazardous material threat to life, property, or the environment, or the loss of a mechanically propelled vessel at or more than 100 tons.

The Seacor Power, a 129-foot commercial liftboat, is operated by Seacor Marine. The details of where the ship was going and its mission are still under investigation. Liftboats are used to service oil platforms and other offshore assets like wind farms.

54 dogs, 4 cats rescued in Bahamas arrive at FLL for adoption

Sat, 2021-04-17 20:14

More than 50 dogs and cats touched down in South Florida after they were rescued in the Bahamas.

7News cameras captured the furry travelers in their kennels after they landed at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Saturday.

The animals are on their way to new homes thanks to Wings of Rescue. The group flew them in from an overcrowded shelter in the Bahamas.

“These pets, by being here, have opened up space back in the Bahamas, which is still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Dorian,” said Wings of Rescue president and CEO Ric Browde, “so that the shelter there can take care of even more pets that would otherwise be left out on the streets.”

The 54 dogs and four cats were rescued by the Humane Society of Grand Bahama. They were abandoned or unclaimed for at least 30 days.

Now they’ll be evaluated and prepared for adoption.

Coast Guard crew rescues 2 off Dania Beach after boat capsizes

Sat, 2021-04-17 19:39

A U.S. Coast Guard crew came to the rescue of two people after their boat capsized off Dania Beach.

According to officials, a good Samaritan called to report the overturned boat, at around noon, Saturday.

A crew from USCG Station Fort Lauderdale that was in the area located the boaters.

They brought the pair to the Lauderdale Marina in Fort Lauderdale.

The boaters did not suffer any injuries.

A salvage company is recovering their boat.

Scouts’ trailer stolen in South Miami-Dade after troops raised $5K

Sat, 2021-04-17 19:12

Two South Florida Boy Scout troops are reeling after the trailer for which they raised $5,000 to buy was stolen.

According to Scout Master Jennifer Graham of Troop 941, the trailer was stolen near the campgrounds of Camp Owaissa Baur off Southwest 264th Street in South Miami-Dade, at around 6:30 a.m., Saturday.

Graham said the boys and girls in the troops had a competition on Saturday.

The scout master said the trailer was filled with years of memories for both troops. Some items date back 50 years.

“We all have memories of the kids with different items. If we can get the mementos back so that we can keep the history,” she said. “We’re actually in the process of planning our 50th anniversary for our troop, and going back and trying to find all those Eagle Scouts and all of those boys that came through our troop.”

Graham said the trailer also stored wood that the troops had been cutting and preparing to build a bridge to welcome new members.

“It was just used at our last camping a month ago,” she said. “Those [items] are the kinds of things that insurance can’t [cover]. We can’t get that back.”

Graham said the troops spent more than a year raising the $5,000 to buy the trailer.

If you have any information on this theft or the trailer’s whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

2 killed, 2 hospitalized after SUV slams into tree, catches fire in Miami Beach

Sat, 2021-04-17 17:33

Two men were killed and two women were rushed to the hospital after, police said, they were involved in a fiery crash in Miami Beach.

Miami Beach Police and Fire Rescue units responded to the scene of the single-vehicle wreck along the 3100 block of Pine Tree Drive, just after 5:40 a.m., Saturday.

Cellphone video showed a line of emergency vehicles along the roadway.

Hours later, 7News cameras captured the mangled SUV cordoned off by yellow tape.

Investigators said the driver was heading southbound when they crashed into a tree. Officials said the motorist may have been trying to avoid crashing into another vehicle making a turn.

An area resident said he heard several explosions right outside his home. When he realized what happened, he ran back inside called 911 and grabbed a fire extinguisher to help.

Doorbell surveillance video shows the good Samaritan running toward the burning vehicle with the fire extinguisher.

Other neighbors also tried to perform CPR on the victims until fire rescue crews arrived.

One man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Paramedics transported the remaining victims to Ryder Trauma Center where the other male victim succumbed to his injuries.

Officials said the injured women suffered injuries that are not life-threatening.

Back at the scene of the crash, police shut down Pine Tree Drive in both directions between 30th and 34th streets. It has since reopened to traffic.

Police have not released the victims’ identities, as they continue to investigate.