Not news Senate Republicans wanted to hear
Merck is shutting down its COVID vaccine program after lackluster results
Merck said Monday that it is halting development of its two experimental Covid-19 vaccines, after early clinical-trial data showed the shots generated disappointing immune responses against the virus.
Early-stage studies of the vaccines indicated they produced inferior immune responses in subjects given the shots compared with people who survived Covid-19 or took authorized Covid-19 vaccines, the company said.
The exit removes a major vaccine player from the constellation of firms seeking shots to curb the spread of the virus, as the few companies that have been able to bring shots to market struggle to meet heavy demand.
It turns out spreading wild conspiracy theories about election fraud has consequences
Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit on Monday against Rudolph W. Giuliani, the lawyer for Donald J. Trump and former mayor of New York City who played a key role in the former president’s monthslong effort to subvert the 2020 election.
The 107-page lawsuit, filed in the Federal District Court in Washington, accuses Mr. Giuliani of carrying out “a viral disinformation campaign about Dominion” made up of “demonstrably false” allegations, in part to enrich himself through legal fees and his podcast.
The suit seeks damages of more than $1.3 billion and is based on more than 50 statements Mr. Giuliani made at legislative hearings, on Twitter, on his podcast and in the conservative news media, where he spun a fictitious narrative of a plot by one of the biggest voting machine manufacturers in the country to flip votes to President Biden.
Mass protests in Russia in support of Navalny
Protesters took to the streets Saturday in nearly 70 cities and towns across Russia calling for the release of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny — a massive show of defiance against President Vladimir Putin and his widening crackdowns against challenges to his power. More than 1,900 people were detained, including Navalny’s wife, Yulia.
The rallies — from Russia’s Far East to central Moscow — came less than a week after Navalny returned from Germany, where he recovered from a nerve agent poisoning in August during a trip to Siberia. Navalny was arrested shortly after stepping off the plane. Some 40,000 people participated in the Moscow protest, Reuters reported, while police said 4,000 people took part. Tens of thousands of others joined protests across the country — sending a powerful message to the Kremlin on the reach and resolve of Navalny’s network. It also underscored the pressure facing Russian authorities who must decide whether to keep Navalny behind bars.
Austin gets in with an overwhelming majority
Here we go again
Politico compiled a list of the “day one” promises Biden didn’t keep, and it’s pretty short
Here are the promises he didn’t keep and the reasons why:
X “On day one, I’ll move to: eliminate the Trump tax cut for the super-wealthy, cut the unjustified loopholes in our tax code, and use that money to invest in America’s future.” June 27, 2019
X “On Day One, if I’m president of the United States, you’re going to see the end of Trump’s tax cut for the top 10th of 1%.” (Said during an address to the Philadelphia AFL-CIO in September 2019, according to Bloomberg)
These two economic priorities were put forward before the pandemic and the subsequent recession that led Biden to overhaul his initial economic agenda.
X “My first day of office, I’m going to send a bill to the Congress repealing the liability protection for gun manufacturers, closing the background check loopholes and waiting period.” Feb. 20, 2020
This is the most conspicuous First Day pledge that Biden has abandoned, an apparent concession to the reality of slim Democratic margins in Congress and a shift in post-pandemic priorities.
X “I’d double that tax [on foreign profits] and do that on Day One.” July 9, 2020
This was probably a Biden ad lib.
X “On Biden’s first day in office, he will restore federal employees’ rights to organize and bargain collectively, and will direct his agencies to bargain with federal employee unions over non-mandatory subjects of bargaining.” The Biden plan for strengthening worker organizing, collective bargaining, and unions
Biden is scheduled to sign this one today. (A White House spokesman told us, “We’re thinking about ‘Day One promises’ not literally on Jan. 20, but across multiple days.”) Even without that caveat, Biden did indeed keep the overwhelming majority of Day One pledges that we could find from his speeches, press releases and interviews over the last two years.