News Headlines 4/27/21

BIDEN TO REPORTEDLY ANNOUNCE UPDATED GUIDANCE ABOUT  WEARING MASKS OUTDOORS: President Biden is expected to announce updated Covid-19 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today (April 27th), including whether vaccinated vaccinated people need to wear masks outdoors, according to media reports. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, forecast on CNN Sunday that the guidance would be updated this week, quote, “of what people who are vaccinated can do and even some who are not vaccinated.”

U.S. to Share AstraZeneca Vaccine with World After Safety Clearance: The White House said yesterday (April 26th) that the U.S. will begin sharing its entire stock of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine with the world once it gets federal safety clearance. As many as 60 million doses are expected to be available to send to other nations in the coming months. The U.S. already shared some four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with Mexico and Canada last month.

ATTORNEYS: BLACK MAN KILLED BY NORTH CAROLINA DEPUTIES SHOT IN BACK OF THE HEAD: Attorneys for the family of a 42-year-old Black man who was killed by deputies in North Carolina last week said Monday (April 26th) that Andrew Brown Jr. was shot in the back of the head and had his hands on his car steering wheel when they opened fire, according to relatives who saw bodycam video. The footage has not yet been made public. Brown was killed in Elizabeth City by deputies serving search and arrest warrants for drug offenses, and his death last Wednesday led to nightly protests. Attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter, who saw 20 seconds of the video with Brown’s family, all they were allowed to see, said Brown didn’t appear to be a threat to the deputies as he backed his vehicle out of his driveway and tried to drive away. Lassiter said, “They’re shooting and saying, ‘Let me see your hands,’ at the same time,” and stated, “This was an execution.” Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said Monday that a judge has to authorize release of the video, and asked for patience while the State Bureau of Investigation looks into the case. He said, “This tragic incident was quick and over in less than 30 seconds, and body cameras are shaky and sometimes hard to decipher. They only tell part of the story.” Seven deputies are on leave while the investigation is ongoing.

GARLAND ANNOUNCES FEDERAL PROBE OF LOUISVILLE POLICING IN WAKE OF BREONNA TAYLOR’S DEATH: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday (April 26th) that the Justice Department is opening a probe of policing in Louisville, Kentucky, in the wake of the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police in a March 2020 raid at her home. Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician, was shot multiple times by police who burst into her home while looking for her ex-boyfriend in a drug investigation. They had a no-knock warrant, and Taylor’s boyfriend said he fired his licensed gun once after they were woken from sleep and believed they were intruders. Taylor was killed in the volley of return fire. This comes less than a week after Garland announced a similar probe of police tactics in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd. Both will be “pattern or practice” investigations, that looks into whether there’s a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing in the department. Louisville’s mayor and police chief both said they supported the probe.

CALIFORNIA OFFICIALS SAY ENOUGH SIGNATURES FOR GOVERNOR RECALL ELECTION: An election to try to recall California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom will now almost certainly take place after state election officials said yesterday (April 26th) that organizers of the recall effort had collected enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. The California secretary of state’s office said more than 1.6 million signatures had been judged valid as of yesterday, about 100,000 more than required. People who signed  the petitions now will have 30 days to withdraw their signatures, but it’s unlikely that enough will do so to stop the election. An election is likely to take place in the fall, and voters would be asked if they want to recall Newsom, and if so, who they want to replace him. The votes for the second question will be counted only if the first gets a majority. Dozens of candidates, many of them not serious, are expected to enter the race. In the only other gubernatorial recall election in California, Democratic Governor Gray Davis was voted out in 2003 and Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger won the race to replace him.